Which tint or colour temperature?

robert.t

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I am curious to know which colour temperature people prefer and, most importantly, why?

You may give more than one answer, but then you also need to give more than one reason.

I haven't completely made my mind up yet, but I'm edging towards neutral white because it gives the most natural colour rendition.
 

AnAppleSnail

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Tint and color temperature are different.

Here is a picture.

Bin%20labeling.jpg


That thin dotted line is "pure untinted" CCT, low in the bottom-right, high in the top-left. The colors are exaggerated tints. The curved squares are Cree color bins. My favorite is a very high CRI at high (6000-7000K) CCT for color-based tasks, and a very high CRI at a medium CCT (4000-6000K) for relaxed tasks. I prefer minimal tint, but if I must have one, I like slight yellow or blue tints, unless I am cooking. Then red, but never green.

The short version is, "The only full description of an LEDs output is its spectral power distribution (A list of each Wavelength and the ratio of output at that wavelength). We model light with measurements to approximate this shape. One example is "CCT, CRI, and Tint." That is, you may have a Cree LED at 5000K CCT in the 5A (Slightly peach yellow) color bin. That is easier to describe than a list of CIE color-space coordinate ranges (The corners of the boxes in the Cree Tint Map), and much easier than a long list of SPD components.
 

robert.t

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Tint and color temperature are different.

Good point and that's a very useful reference image, thanks. Of course one problem I find is not always having the full specification for the LED in question, so I might say that I like the output of such and such a light, and I know that it is "neutral white" but I don't necessarily know the exact tint or colour temperature.
 

mcnair55

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I prefer what ever comes with the light and have no interest at all as long as the light serves its purpose of illumination.If i buy a light from a trade store they never ask me just hand me the box.:kiss:
 

ven

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I am sure a 3c is neutral robert,or one of them that is classed as a NW....

I am still learning myself,so have a from a warm 4c tint(very warm) to cool white 1a.
Not over struck too much on the NW being honest,the creamy white is not my preferred although the jury is still out.
Warm i like,but gives an artificial colour as everything being exaggerated.....
Cool i find gives better detail and i find better for throw
Nichia 219 is a nice tint to me
Looking forward to the tn35vn mt g2 which i believe is around 5500k

Convoy to name one brand offers various tint options,(also good lights too for the money),so an affordable way to experiment with different tints,some you will prefer,ones you do then can be chosen in more expensive lights or for specific aplications,maybe the greens of forests/woods/fields to mountains etc etc.

But as its said it can be a tint lottery,some will have green/blue etc colours if white wall hunting,i prefer outside as everything changes,what on a wall may look poor,outside is great.............but i am sure i am not the only one who checks their tints on white walls:laughing:

I mentioned in another thread about rach(the boss) showing me the difference and prefers cool and why as gives better detail. Also better colour rendition and not artificial,showed me going through around 5 or so of my lights with different tints.
:twothumbs
 

Fireclaw18

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5000k neutral white is a pretty nice tint. For Cree emitters its the 3C tint.

I also like 4000k and 4500k tint. Anything without green in it. I hate green tint.
 

Etsu

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I haven't completely made my mind up yet, but I'm edging towards neutral white because it gives the most natural colour rendition.

The most natural colour rendition would probably be had from a cool-white high-CRI light. Sunlight is about 5500K, which is in the cool-white range. And if you're in the shade, or it's a cloudy day, the colour temperature could be 8000K or higher. That is the colour temperature in which our eyes evolved to see colour. It's not warm white or neutral white, it's cool white.

However, if your goal is not a natural colour, but rather a light that emphasizes reds and yellows, then you're better off with a warmer LED like a neutral or warm white. I think that is what most people prefer.

There's also another reason to choose a warmer LED. Warmer LEDs are usually higher CRI, just by the manufacturing process I suppose. A higher CRI is really your goal in colour, so most people choose a warmer LED because that's the easiest way to get a high CRI.

If you're doing colour work in a job, you're probably going to use daylight florescent lights, which are kind of like cool-white florescents with a high CRI. Personally, I find them too blue for regular lighting, but they are great for colour rendition.

Personally, I like the tint of the Nichia 219 neutral white. High CRI, and it really makes reds and browns pop.
 

robert.t

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The most natural colour rendition would probably be had from a cool-white high-CRI light. Sunlight is about 5500K, which is in the cool-white range. And if you're in the shade, or it's a cloudy day, the colour temperature could be 8000K or higher. That is the colour temperature in which our eyes evolved to see colour. It's not warm white or neutral white, it's cool white.

I'm not so sure this is true, but part of the reason for this thread is to find out which people prefer and why. The important difference between LED light and sunlight is that sunlight is full-spectrum white light. That is, it contains lots of wavelengths at similar strengths. LED light is a much narrower spectrum designed to fool our eyes into thinking it's the same "colour" of light.

To me, CW tends to have a definite blue or green tint. WW looks more "natural" in the sense that it looks more like incandescent or firelight and gives the sort of light we're used to seeing in the dark - it isn't so harsh, but colours are clearly more "orangey" than they should be. There's also less total light output. NW is somewhere between these extremes.

One of the reasons incandescent lights look "better" for a given brightness is that they produce a fuller spectrum of light than an LED does. However as you note, the colour temperature is still very different to sunlight.
 

hiuintahs

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I like LEDs without any bluish or greenish tint. I also don't like the warm (yellowish) tints. I'd say that my favorite is around 4750 to 5500k and maybe that is on the neutral side of cool white. Now that I have purchased LEDs with a bin spec, I'd say that I like the border area between 2A, 2d, 3A, 3D and 2B, 2C, 3B, 3C. I've actually bought 2 leds with the same bin spec and found one to be slightly different than the other as each of those bin squares is not a finite value but within a range. So most of the time I accept what I get unless its a big disappointment.
 

mcnair55

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I bought a new light today over the phone,the guy asked do i want cool white or neutral and i replied stick whichever comes to hand in the box first makes no difference to me as long as it serves its intended job.
 

ven

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I bought a new light today over the phone,the guy asked do i want cool white or neutral and i replied stick whichever comes to hand in the box first makes no difference to me as long as it serves its intended job.


But what is its intended job,one may serve the other better:nana:
What light has mr mcnair purchased?:)
;)
 

cland72

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I prefer the Nichia 219 over any other LED/tint I've seen. That puts me in the 4500k fan club, I suppose.
 

kbuzbee

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Overall, it's a Nichia 219, so, neutral w/ high CRI. I do like a warmer tint as well. Feels "homey" but I seem to grab a Nichia based light more often than not. Today it's a D25C but there are others ;).

I know cool white throws better / is more efficient all other things being equal but this D25C is plenty bright enough for 99.5% of the things I need.

Ken
 

Poppy

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I bought a new light today over the phone,the guy asked do i want cool white or neutral and i replied stick whichever comes to hand in the box first makes no difference to me as long as it serves its intended job.

I know my friend that you are just trying to bring home the point that you don't really care about tint selection, but if you look at the CREE XML Data sheet, the neutral white bins deliver on average about 12% fewer lumens than the U2 Cool white bin. Unless you are getting a really cheap/inexpensive light, the cool white light will be a U2 bin. So if the purpose of the light is just to see more in the dark, you might get more bang for the buck with the cool white.

On the other hand, if your purpose is to have a power failure light to ceiling bounce and just sit around and chat with the misses, then you may prefer the softer white of the neutral white.

The difference in performance is not earth shattering, but it might be worth considering next time you order a light that you have the option of choosing a tint/color temperature.

Good point and that's a very useful reference image, thanks. Of course one problem I find is not always having the full specification for the LED in question, so I might say that I like the output of such and such a light, and I know that it is "neutral white" but I don't necessarily know the exact tint or colour temperature.
robert.t,
I fully agree. The only lights that I have that I know the tint specification is my convoy S2 where you can choose amoung a number of different tints when you order it. And a few of the P60 dropins that I built.
Unfortunately it seems that the reflector and how hard an LED is driven also affects what the beam looks like.
I'll have to play later tonight, or tomorrow morning with darkness and dark adapted eyes to see which ones I prefer.
 

mcnair55

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I know my friend that you are just trying to bring home the point that you don't really care about tint selection, but if you look at the CREE XML Data sheet, the neutral white bins deliver on average about 12% fewer lumens than the U2 Cool white bin. Unless you are getting a really cheap/inexpensive light, the cool white light will be a U2 bin. So if the purpose of the light is just to see more in the dark, you might get more bang for the buck with the cool white.

On the other hand, if your purpose is to have a power failure light to ceiling bounce and just sit around and chat with the misses, then you may prefer the softer white of the neutral white.

The difference in performance is not earth shattering, but it might be worth considering next time you order a light that you have the option of choosing a tint/color temperature.


robert.t,
I fully agree. The only lights that I have that I know the tint specification is my convoy S2 where you can choose amoung a number of different tints when you order it. And a few of the P60 dropins that I built.
Unfortunately it seems that the reflector and how hard an LED is driven also affects what the beam looks like.
I'll have to play later tonight, or tomorrow morning with darkness and dark adapted eyes to see which ones I prefer.


Mr Poppy,

I must be lucky as the guy said he was putting cool white in my box. :wave:
 

Wiggle

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Depends on the application but personally I find anything in the 4000K (warm-ish neutral) to 6500K (cool white) can be best. For general EDC I find a nice cooler white is what I will usually gravitate towards. I find warmer temperatures need a higher drive level for me to appreciate them and EDC is typically for low lumen outputs.

For use in the woods or anything with lots of rich colour a temperature closer to 4000K can be very nice and provide good contrast between shades of brown and green. For throwers, I just got a K50vn dedomed (approx 5000K) that seems almost purely neutral and it seems to scatter a little less than the cool white lights I have.

Nature seems to respond well to warmer and neutral lights while urban environments are better handled with a slightly cooler light. Just IMO of course :)
 
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