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Choose 2700K or 3000K light - warm white vs soft white

2700K light looks warmer, and has more yellowish hue than 3000K. Soft white light is a less yellowish, cleaner and clearer color compared to warm white. It seems not easy for some people to decide which is the right one. In our opinion, there is no right or wrong to choose either 2700K or 3000K for a lighting project. It is subjective, the viewer's feeling or preference.

2700K warm white

The most commonly seen 2700K light is the light of an incandescent bulb. It creates a very comfortable and warm environment. In the warm environment, people feel very relaxed and calm. It is one of the most popular color temperatures that strip light users choose for their living rooms and bedrooms.

In 2700K warm white lighting, people feel very comfortable and relaxing when chatting with friends or watching TV. Similarly, when you stay in bedroom, 2700K light maintains a calm and peaceful atmosphere so that you can fall asleep quickly.

Why does warm white gives a relaxing and calm feeling? This is because warm white light lacks blue light waves. The lack of blue light waves tells our brains to produce melatonin, a natural hormone which creates calm and relaxed emotions in our brains, making it easy for us to calm down and fall asleep.

The warm white LED strip produces 2700K warm light that also makes people feel inviting and welcoming, so it is the color temperature that is often used in the reception area of restaurants, bars, hotels, and coffee shops.

2700k LED strip lighting for step lights
2700K warm white LED strip lighting for step lights.

3000K soft white: a "cleaner" version of warm white

3000K light is still warm, but is slightly less yellowish when compared to 2700K light. It looks cleaner or clearer than 2700K. In other words, 3000K is closer to neutral white than 2700K.

3000K light sheds less yellowish or reddish hue on objects. Therefore, if you want the space in warm but clearer or cleaner white, you may choose 3000K light strips. The color presentation of food is very important to dining experience. You may not want to see all your food in a yellowish washed out tone. In this sense, when you choose LED strip lights for your projects, instead of 2700K, using 3000K soft white can be a better choice for kitchens, dining rooms and restaurants.

3000k LED strip lighting for home applications
3000K soft white LED strip light for under cabinet lighting.

How noticeable is the difference between 2700K and 3000K?

While the difference is not huge, it is certainly noticeable when 2700K and 3000K LED strip lights are put next to each other. If you install a 2700K LED strip light on a stair step, and put a 3000K LED strip on next step of the stair, you will surely perceive the difference.

2700K vs 3000K
Noticeable difference in 2700K and 3000K warm white LED strip lighting for stairs

But if you see 2700K and 3000K light separately at different times, their difference may not be that significant. For example, one day at 6 PM, you may be enjoying the beautiful sunset light from the sky far away. At that time, the light was 3000K color temperature.

Then you move your eyes to the beautiful water of the lake in front of you. Five minutes later, at 6:05 PM, you watch the sunset again, and you still enjoy the same beautiful sunset, but might not notice that the light temperature at that time became 2700K.