For many common household lighting applications, people prefer warm white lights. It is relatively easy to pick up a warm white incandescent bulb just about anywhere, but if you want to save electricity and money with one of the new LED light bulbs, picking a good warm white LED light bulb is a little more complicated. This article provides some advice and recommendations on picking the best warm white LED light bulbs.
When we describe a light as warm white, we are referring to its color temperature. Technically, the concept of color temperature is based on the relationship between the temperature and radiation emitted by a theoretical standardized material (a so-called black body radiator) that has been cooled down to a state in which all molecular motion has ceased. So, simply put, the color temperature is a measurement that is used to define the color of a light emitted by the bulb. We typically think of the color temperature in terms of the whiteness or warmness of a light source: “Warm White” = 3000 Kelvin; “Neutral White” = 3500 Kelvin; “Cool White” = 4100 Kelvin and “Daylight White” = 5000 or more Kelvin.
LED light bulbs are available with a wide range of color temperatures, but the warm white LED light bulbs that produce a light similar to a traditional incandescent light used in general home lighting are more expensive because more or brighter LEDs are required in the bulb. Since cool white is the natural color of LED light, it is brighter, whereas chips that emit a warm white light require a phosphorous “filter” to “warm” the color temperature, thus reducing the chip’s brightness. So, a warm white LED bulb is an LED light bulb with a color temperature around 3000K that will produce a warm light similar to that we typically expect from an ordinary household incandescent bulb.
There are a growing number of LED light bulbs on the market today that are marketed as warm white bulbs. Which ones are the best? Below we discuss a couple of the best we have come across for replacing common household light bulbs.
C. Crane describes its warm white GeoBulb as the first 60 watt direct replacement bulb that uses less than 8 watts. One of the things we like about the GeoBulb is that it is the same size as a conventional incandescent bulb; therefore, it is suitable for direct replacement in any indoor open fixture. In addition, it’s one of the few bulbs that we have come across where the manufacturer has published independent lumen test data, so you can have some confidence that it will actually produce as much light as the manufacturer claims – something that, sadly, can’t be said for a lot of the bulbs out there. This is a well-made product that has received generally favorable ratings from customers. The GeoBulb is a good, eco-friendly substitute for a standard A-line (or A-type or A-shape – this is the shape of an ordinary household incandescent) light bulb. Like an ordinary household light bulb, it also has a standard (often called medium) E26 base.
Lots of folks today are looking for warm white PAR38 LED bulbs that are dimmable. As you may know, most LED light bulbs will not work with a standard dimmer or with those fixtures with electric eyes that come on automatically at dusk or when a motion is detected. This is because LEDs require constant current to operate. If a standard dimming method is applied, the LED bulb will flicker at regular intervals, or worse, simply not work. In order to dim an LED light, a 0-10V dimming module is required in order to “trick” the LED into emitting less light. In theory, all LED lights are dimmable with this module. So, the bulb below is one of these special dimmable LED bulbs, and it is a good choice both when you want to replace a standard PAR38 bulb where you have a dimmer or maybe outside with a motion detector.
LEDinsider, which we have found to have a nice range of well-made bulbs and excellent customer service, sells a fully dimmable 100 watt warm white PAR38 replacement bulb with a standard base. This warm white LED bulb generates 553 lumens and consumes only 11 watts of electricity. LEDinsider suggests that it can be used to replace any household 100-120 watt incandescent/halogen bulb, although due to the size of the bulb, you can only use in locations where a PAR38 bulb with a 4-3/4″ diameter will properly fit. Customers have reported that they are using the bulbs as outdoor floodlights.
Depending on your specific lighting needs, there are a growing number of good warm white LED light bulbs coming on the market, so we encourage you to take a look at the full range of LED light bulbs available, paying close attention to product details and customer reviews.