Soft White vs. Daylight: 5 BIG Differences

Good lighting is essential in keeping your home’s ambiance cozy. Lighting itself makes a huge difference in every space.

It is one of the most important assets of interior design that can transform a gloomy corner into a relaxing one. Hence, finding the perfect light for every room in your home helps in beautifying your space.

With the different types of lights available in the market, it might be hard to determine which light to get at first. That’s not a problem, though!

Let this article serve as your guide in choosing the perfect light for your home. Let’s dig deeper into the difference between Soft White Light vs. Daylight.

3 Important Things to Know Before Buying

soft white light

To get started, you must be able to know the differences between the basics: Lumens, Kelvin, and Wattage. A better understanding of these 3 factors will help you choose between Soft White light and Daylight easier.


While shopping for light bulbs, LED strip lights, or smart lights, you’ve probably read “lumens” somewhere on their packaging. But, what exactly are Lumens? Lumens measure the amount of light you get from a bulb. One lumen is equal to a candle’s light output.

In simpler terms, a Lumen is a measure of the brightness of a light. This means that the more Lumens there are, the brighter the light bulb is. Fewer lumens mean that the light the bulb will give off is dimmer.

Kelvin, Light Appearance, and Color Temperature

Kelvin measures color temperature or light appearance. It is the numerical value assigned for every spectrum of color temperature. Why is this important to know when comparing Soft White Light vs. Daylight?

These two types of light differ in color temperature, as one appears warmer than the other. This is because of their different Kelvin ratings.

The higher the Kelvin rating is, the whiter or cooler the light will be; The lower the Kelvin rating is, the warmer the light will be.


In addition to Lumens and Kelvin, it is helpful to understand what Wattage is. The Wattage of light measures how much energy it takes to produce a certain amount of light.

The higher the wattage of light is, the brighter light it will produce; The lower the wattage, the dimmer the light will be. It is important to note that as the wattage becomes higher, the more power the bulb uses as well.

Understanding Color Temperature

daylight vs warm white

The appearance of light, whether warm or cool, is dependent on color temperature or light appearance. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of light concerning color temperature:

  • 1,000K to 2,600K – Candlelight: Bulbs under 2,600K give off dimmer light. These are not ideal for large spaces as they provide a very soft glow.
  • 2,600K to 3,000K – Warm White: This type of light is the standard color of an incandescent light. This produces a “yellowish” tone.
  • 3,000K to 5,000K – Neutral White: Neutral white gives off a cool white-colored tone perfect for kitchens, home offices, and bathrooms.
  • 5,000K and above – Daylight: For crisp lighting and productivity areas, Daylight is preferred as it mimics natural sunlight.

Soft White LED Light

daylight white bulb

Soft White LED Lights are also referred to as “Warm White” bulbs. This is because they have a yellow tone, emitting a warm color when lit up. This type of light has a color temperature of 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin, similar to that of a regular incandescent bulb.

Because of its color, it is popular in exhibiting the feeling of warmth, coziness, calmness, and relaxation. Hence, this type of light is most commonly used in bedrooms, dining halls, and living rooms.

Warm light gives off a comfortable environment to relax in. Whether you’re setting the mood in the living room or cooking your favorite dish in the kitchen, this type of light is ideal for tranquillity.

Pros of Soft White LED Light

  • Warm light creates a cozy and homey ambiance.
  • They set a specific mood for every room.
  • They are inexpensive.

Cons of Soft White LED Light

  • Because it can be too warm, soft white LED is not suitable for reading.
  • Soft White LEDs may cause eyestrain because of the yellowish light this type of LED emits.
  • They can not give off a strong light.

Daylight LEDs

daylight bulb

Daylight LEDs have a higher color temperature than Soft White LEDs. Daylight has a color temperature of 5,000 to 6,000 Kelvin. Its higher light appearance makes it give off a type of light that can be described as “bluish”.

Generally, this type of light is often seen in workshops, display areas, sewing corners, and crafts rooms because of its intense illumination. This helps see even the tiniest details in small-scale objects.

This type of light is commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, studios, and basements too.

Pros of Daylight LEDs

  • Daylight LEDs are capable of replicating natural sunlight.
  • Because it presents a cool tone, it creates a more active feel.
  • This type of light can help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) through LED light therapy.
  • Daylight LED helps you visualize clothes and makeup under natural light.
  • They can be used for reading.
  • Daylight bulbs can make your home brighter and lighter.

Cons of Daylight LEDs

  • They give off a strong light that some may not like.
  • Daylight may be too harsh for homes.
  • Daylight bulbs or halogen light have a shorter lifespan.
  • It can be extremely hard to sleep at night with Daylight LEDs.

Soft White Vs. DayLight: 5 Key Differences

There are 5 key differences between Soft White and Daylight that you should know. Understanding these 5 will help you choose which light is best for your space.

Soft White LED

 Basis of Comparison

 Daylight LED

Soft White is ideal for residential homes. Most often, it is found in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and under cabinets.

Best for

 Daylight is more ideal for commercial establishments. This can be seen in most offices and signages. Daylight is also perfect for garages and display cases. As mentioned, because of its intense illumination, this light works for crafts rooms too!

This type of light has a color temperature of 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin.

Color Temperature or Light Appearance

Daylight has a higher color temperature ranging from 5000 to 6000K.

Because of the higher color temperature it produces, Soft White gives off a “warmer” or “yellowish” light.


 Daylight has a light appearance that presents a distinct shade of blue.

Soft White gives off a tranquil and soothing feeling. This is perfect for rooms meant for relaxation like your bedrooms.

Mood Setting

Daylight bulbs tend to provide an instantaneous warm glow to your interiors like the sun’s natural light.

A soft white LED with a color temperature of 2,700 K will give off a cozy and inviting ambiance. For those with a color temperature of 3,000K, a warm and welcoming ambiance is emitted.


This type of light produces a crisp and invigorating feel.

How to Choose Between Soft White vs. Daylight

warm white vs soft white

If you’re still having a hard time deciding, here are helpful tips to note that will guide you in choosing between soft white and daylight:

  1. Know the function of the space. Whether the area is for dining, relaxing, or working, you have to give a definite function of the space. This way, you can decide which type of light would be perfect for installation.
  2. Measure the size of the room. To know how much light you need to shop for, it is important to measure the size of the room. Here is a chart to help you out:


Lumens Recommended Per Square Foot

Living Rooms and Bedrooms

 10 to 20



Kitchens and Dining in General

30 to 40

Kitchen Sink

 70 to 80

Kitchen Stove or Cooktop

70 to 80


70 to 80

Home Office

60 to 80


 80 to 100

  1. Set a desired mood for the room. Ask yourself what you want to feel when you go inside that space. Are you going for a cozy nook? How about an invigorating feel? Answering questions like these will motivate you in finding the perfect light fixture.
  2. Consider the paint color and interior design of the room. Light affects your home’s paint color and how you perceive it. Which part of the room do you want to accentuate more? If you want to enhance certain tones, you have to make sure that they complement the lights in your space. For walls with earth tones, it is best to go for Soft White lighting. For more vibrant paint colors like green and blue, you might want to consider Daylight bulbs.

Soft White vs. Daylight Final Thoughts

Lighting can transform a space beautifully. Understanding various factors that will help you differentiate Soft White vs. Daylight is essential in choosing the perfect light for every room.

Color Temperature, which is the biggest difference between the two, sets several qualities for each type of light. Keeping these basic lighting concepts in mind will serve as a guide in transforming your space successfully.

Leave a Comment