Light plays an essential role inside a home. The right light can transform a room and provide a great atmosphere or enhance your work productivity.
Today, there is a wide choice of bulbs on the market, and the naming can be confusing. Is there a difference between cool white and daylight bulbs? Which is brighter: Cool white or daylight bulbs?
Neither is brighter than the other. Daylight bulbs are not brighter than cool white bulbs just because they have a higher Kelvin color temperature.
There is much more to a light bulb than its Kelvin temperature. I will give you a short overview of people’s questions regarding the two popular choices: cool white and daylight bulbs. Is one better suited for some rooms than the other? Why? And is there an alternative?
Let’s start with the first question:
Which Is Brighter Cool White or Daylight?
You might think daylight bulbs are brighter with a Kelvin temperature of around 5,600, while a cool white bulb can range from 3,500 to 4,000 Kelvin.
However, a bulb’s color temperature has little to do with how bright it is. Brightness is measured in lumen, not in Kelvin.
A cool white bulb with 2,000 lumens will be brighter than a daylight bulb with 1,500 lumens – and the other way around.
So, if you want to answer the question of which is brighter, cool white or daylight, you need to compare the lumen ratings of different bulbs.
What Are the Differences Between Cool White and Daylight?
How white the light from a lightbulb is depends on its Kelvin temperature. The higher the Kelvin temperature, the whiter the light will be.
A cool white light bulb is anything between 3,500 and 4,000 Kelvin, while a daylight bulb is around 5,600 Kelvin. So the latter will appear whiter.
A cool white bulb emits an intense and clean light with a slightly blue hue. It is often used in buildings without little natural light and where you would like to enhance productivity. Office buildings are a good example.
Cool white is popular in modern houses and buildings as it complements the style. Daylight bulbs are more natural.
A daylight bulb will be brighter and are closest to replicating natural daylight (around the time of noon). This light creates the most prominent contrast between colors and is ideal for reading and working on projects that require an eye for detail.
Is Cool White or Daylight Better for the Kitchen?
If you spend a lot of time cooking and enjoy the natural colors of food, then a daylight bulb is the better option.
A daylight bulb will not change the natural look of foods and will enhance your food’s features beautifully.
Is Cool White or Daylight Better for the Bathroom?
This comes down to personal preference and your bathroom’s design. Is it modern, and would it benefit from light with a blue hue? Then choose a cool white bulb.
Choose a daylight bulb if you prefer the light in your bathroom to be more natural.
Is Cool White or Daylight Better for the Bedroom?
The best option for your bedroom would be neither, as both can negatively influence your sleeping pattern. A better choice would be a warm white bulb as it creates a cozier atmosphere.
If the choice is only between cool white and daylight, daylight bulbs are the better choice.
Is Cool White or Daylight Better for the Patio?
A daylight bulb is perfect for your patio as it will create a natural atmosphere. It is also great for security as the bright light will deter potential thieves and trespassers.
Do Cool White Bulbs or Daylight Bulbs Last Longer?
There is no difference in the lifespan of daylight and cool white bulbs if they are used under the same circumstances.
The average lifespan of a light bulb does depend on what type of light bulb is used. There is quite a difference between incandescent bulbs that last around 1,000 hours and LEDs that can last up to 50,000 hours!
Suppose you are still wondering what kind of light bulb is the best for your circumstances, and it is not only about which is brighter, cool white or daylight bulbs. In that case, there is a great solution:
Adjustable LED bulbs!
Yes, they are often a tad pricier than the other two options. Still, they are great because you can adjust the light depending on the situation.
If I need a bright light for work, I can choose that setting on the LED. I can adjust the bulb if I want a light that is better for a relaxing mood. I can even have blue and purple lights if I want.
An adjustable LED might also help you with making a decision for all your rooms. Just go around the rooms with the adjustable bulb, try different settings – i.e. daylight or cool white – and see which is the best choice for each room.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.