Advantages and disadvantages of color temps?

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ZoomieFan
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Advantages and disadvantages of color temps?

3000K, 4000K, 5000K and 6500K are common colors. But why pick one over the other?

I know that certain colors look more like daylight. If that was ideal only one color was sold I guess.
What are the advantages of each color?

Is it for example so that some colors look brighter at the same lumen because that’s how our eyes work?
Do some colors reflect less?
Are our eyes able to see more detail at certain temps?
Do some temps have a longer throw at cost of something?

I currently have a BD04 of which I would never write a bad review.
CLICK and scroll 1/3 down to the pictures of colors

Unfiortunaely I don’t remember which color I bought. I think 1A because it looks brightest on the pictures. (is there a way to check?)
Why do people buy the 7A with 3000K color temp? What’s the advantage.
While my BD generally works great on high I almost always have to set it to low when reading. It reflects so much it’s hard to read the text. I’m wondering 3000K suffers less from that problem.

To summarize: What are the (dis)advantages of each temp?

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southland
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The short answer. Cooler temps like 6500K put out more lumens than others but can have too much of a blue tint. Warmer tints such as 3000K can have a very orange/ yellow tint, less lumens than others. Neutral temps are in the middle, most people think they shown colors more naturally. Most of the people on this forum prefer neutral. Most of my personal lights are either neutral or cool, no temp is a deal breaker for me.

raccoon city
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southland wrote:

The short answer. Cooler temps like 6500K put out more lumens than others but can have too much of a blue tint. Warmer tints such as 3000K can have a very orange/ yellow tint, less lumens than others. Neutral temps are in the middle, most people think they shown colors more naturally. Most of the people on this forum prefer neutral. Most of my personal lights are either neutral or cool, no temp is a deal breaker for me.

I have a question right before I go to bed...

6500K is cooler.

3000K is warmer.

But 6500K is 3500 degrees HOTTER than 3000K.

Why is that?

ZoomieFan
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@raccoon city, don’t go to bed yet. You are still bright this late. Would say at least 5500K Smile

@southland
Thanks for your reply. Practical question. In your personal experience, say you have to read some text in the dark. Stuff like the text on a can of Pepsi, or the chassis number of a car, a book. Just practical things.
I’m just wondering some colors are better for that when comparing at equal lumen.
For me long throw isn’t that important. 5 inches to 10 yards is what I use my flashlight for 90% of the time.

Chargers: Dodge SC, 2x LiitoKala Lii 202, 2x LiitoKala Lii 100, Miboxer C4-12.

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CRX
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Stars man Big Smile

The hotter they are the more blue light.

Spectral Classes
Star Type - Colour – Approximate Surface Temperature

A - Blue – 7,500 – 11,000 K
F - Blue to White – 6,000 – 7,500 K
G - White to Yellow – 5,000 – 6,000 K
K - Orange to Red – 3,500 – 5,000 K

southland
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Raccoon, I don’t know, can someone help me?

ZoomieFan, neutral is probably best for that.

gravelmonkey
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raccoon city wrote:

southland wrote:

The short answer. Cooler temps like 6500K put out more lumens than others but can have too much of a blue tint. Warmer tints such as 3000K can have a very orange/ yellow tint, less lumens than others. Neutral temps are in the middle, most people think they shown colors more naturally. Most of the people on this forum prefer neutral. Most of my personal lights are either neutral or cool, no temp is a deal breaker for me.


I have a question right before I go to bed…


6500K is cooler.


3000K is warmer.


But 6500K is 3500 degrees HOTTER than 3000K.


Why is that?

Although there are those far more qualified to explain, yes, the light produced by a hotter body will emit more blue light, however, I believe that the naming of 3000K light as “warm” simply relates to the orangy colour we perceive, which I agree, on a technical level, causes confusion.

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raccoon city wrote:

southland wrote:

The short answer. Cooler temps like 6500K put out more lumens than others but can have too much of a blue tint. Warmer tints such as 3000K can have a very orange/ yellow tint, less lumens than others. Neutral temps are in the middle, most people think they shown colors more naturally. Most of the people on this forum prefer neutral. Most of my personal lights are either neutral or cool, no temp is a deal breaker for me.


I have a question right before I go to bed…


6500K is cooler.


3000K is warmer.


But 6500K is 3500 degrees HOTTER than 3000K.


Why is that?

The hotter an object is the more blue light is emitted by it.
Just think about red and white glowing steel. Which is hotter?

The Wikipedia explains it very well.

ggf31416
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raccoon city wrote:

I have a question right before I go to bed…


6500K is cooler.


3000K is warmer.


But 6500K is 3500 degrees HOTTER than 3000K.


Why is that?

Red to yellow colors look like fire and the sun, so they are called ‘hot’, blue-ish colors look like water and ice so they are called ‘cool’. That convention probably comes from long before astronomy became popular and certainly came from artists, not from metalworkers or anyone that had access to high temperatures. Actually reaching 6500K (6200ºC!!!) in a controlled setting is very hard and would destroy any container so deriving the color of 6500K wasn’t possible until physics theories were developed from year 1858 to 1900.

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raccoon city wrote:
I have a question right before I go to bed…

6500K is cooler.

3000K is warmer.

But 6500K is 3500 degrees HOTTER than 3000K.

Why is that?

Lookit your hot/cold knobs on your sink (if they have red/blue dots or something).

Ice/cold = blue, fire/hot = red.

So bluer light = “cool”, redder light = “warm”.

The End.

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Jerommel
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versus

..waiting for parts..

Still looking for 5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Jerommel
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…or

versus

..waiting for parts..

Still looking for 5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Jerommel
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versus

..waiting for parts..

Still looking for 5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

Jerommel
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So warm / hot is red.
But you have no red when you have a low CRI LED.
This is why high CRI and especially high R9 values are important, especially for warm white LEDs.
With a low CRI warm white Cree LED skin tones still look greenish, whereas with incandescent light (tungsten) you have red in copious amounts, which looks nice and cozy.

..waiting for parts..

Still looking for 5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

jon_slider
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The color of a flashlight can be matched to the color of the environment.

Lets start with two flashlights, one is 3000k, the other is 6000k.

Now lets use them in two different ambient light scenarios, outdoors in sunlight, and indoors under incandescent light.

Lets mix it up and see what happens

Scenario:
Sunlight, working on a car, using a flashlight to illuminate dark, shaded areas around the motor.

1. The 6000k light will look less different than the ambient sunlight that our brain is adapted to at the time.

2. The 3000k light will look much more orange than the ambient sunlight that our brain is adapted to at the time.

Conclusion, the best choice for working on a car during the day is the 6000k light.

Scenario:
Indoors under 3000k incandescent house light, using a flashlight to illuminate a dark closet.

1. The 6000k light will look much more Blue and glaring, than the ambient incandescent light that our brain is adapted to at the time.

2. The 3000k light will look very similar in color to the ambient incandescent light that our brain is adapted to at the time.

Conclusion, the best choice for looking in a dark closet, after the brain is adapted to 3000k light, is the 3000k light. Otoh, if I have been outside in the sun, and I come inside to illuminate a dark closet, the 6000k light will seem more natural, and the 3000k will look ridiculously too orange.

Suggestion
1. During the day, shine each light on the ceiling of your kitchen, no electric lights on. Notice the 6000k looks not very blue, but the 3000k looks very orange.

2. At night, shine each light on the ceiling of your kitchen, this time with electric incandescent lights on. Notice the 6000k now looks very blue, while the 3000k no longer seems very orange.

Iow, our brain sets its white balance to the environment (this adaptation takes 30 minutes). A flashlight that matches the white balance of the environment will look most similar to what the brain is white balanced to at the time.

So, 6000k is best when the brain is adapted to 6000k, and 3000k is best when the brain is adapted to 3000k.

Additional observations I have made. A flashlight will seem “brighter”, if it is a higher color temperature than the brain is white balanced to at the time. And, a flashlight will seem “dimmer” if it is a lower color temperature than the environment the brain is white balance adapted to, at the time.

Another example
Wake up in the middle of the night in full dark. Use a 3000k light to avoid obstacles on the floor. This temperature will be relaxing, and it will be easier to go back to sleep.

Now try a 6000k light, notice it seems very blue, glaring, and makes it harder to get back to sleep.

Now reading a book in full darkness, the 3000k will be more pleasant, the 6000k will be more glaring.

Then reading a label on a soup can in a supermarket, the 3000k will suck, and the 6000k will work better Smile

Bottom line is our brain changes its white balance in response to the ambient light. Our flashlights will differ or match our brain adaptation to cool or warm light. A flashlight that approximates the white balance of the brain at the time, will look closest to what the brain is adapted to at the time

therefore,
during the day, I prefer a cooler light. At night, I prefer a warmer light.

IF I had to only choose one light, I would choose 4500k.. it will be more orange than sunlight, but not as bad as 3000k. And the 4500k light will be more blue than incandescent, but not as bad as 6000k. Therefore, the 4500k is sort of a least bad of both worlds :-), its an average..

I have a 3000k light on my nightstand, a 6000k light in my car, and a 4500k light in my pocket Smile

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or…

 vs 

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ZoomieFan
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That’s a great explanation jon_slider!

So I need a flashlight with color settings Smile

Chargers: Dodge SC, 2x LiitoKala Lii 202, 2x LiitoKala Lii 100, Miboxer C4-12.

Flashlights: BLF Q8, Convoy BD04(1A) /BD06 (3B) /S2+(1A), FiTorch MR35, Zebralight H600Fc.

jon_slider
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Yes, choices are good

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raccoon city wrote:

I have a question right before I go to bed…


6500K is cooler.


3000K is warmer.


But 6500K is 3500 degrees HOTTER than 3000K.


Why is that?

As a general rule of thumb, the more Ks you have the cooler it is. Cool

Example : All of ma friends says 4K TVs are cooler than 2K (1080p) TVs Wink

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

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If you have the same LED. Say example, Cree XP-L2. It will be able to produce more lumens at 6500k than the same LED at 3000k. Tint preference does not depict color actualization. That is determined by CRI. It’s just some people like Coke and some like Pepsi. Except Coke doesn’t fill their cans as full.

southland
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southland wrote:
Raccoon, I don’t know, can someone help me?

ZoomieFan, neutral is probably best for that.


The part to Raccoon was a joke.
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To walk at night a warmer tint is better to see the terrain in front off you

Quote:
arficus : People can have whatever preferences they like re cool/neutral/warm tints, but in real world situations that DEMAND precise visual accuity virtually everyone I’ve encountered prefers warmer. Mountain biking at high speeds in rough terrain is perhaps the clearest/best example I know. Riding fast at night requires continuous and rapid assesment of the terrain. It is empirically obvious that cooler tints (even when brighter) are far less revealing of color contrast. Color contrast is essential for “deciphering” terrain. With cooler tints irregularities in the terrain ahead look rather monolithic- a dark rock looks similar to a dark hole. Thus, top speed with a cooler tint is SIGNIFICANTLY less. Every trail rider that has familiarity with different tints who I’ve discussed this with has agreed with this assessment. This idea is also well understood/accepted in the rock climbing community – many rock climbers still use incandescents. Anyone in doubt should simply try it if they are able- even riding downhill on a rutted bumpy dirt road will suffice. Try a warm tint first, go as fast as you feel safe, then try again with cool. Regardless of one’s preference for tint, the lesser depth perception and contrast of the cooler tint will force you to be more wary. I’ve never met anyone who has actually tried this that has disagreed. Cool may be “brighter”, better able to lift the veil of darkness, but when detail is essential… Q: http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1254706#comment-1254706
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I think the 3 articles below are really worth reading. As a sneak preview I’ll say that low lumen may improve your vision…. Smile

Short and simple

How the eye works

Why green gives better night vision and bright light of any color compromises night vision

Chargers: Dodge SC, 2x LiitoKala Lii 202, 2x LiitoKala Lii 100, Miboxer C4-12.

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Thanks for the explanation jon_slider. It explains what I’ve observed. My part-time retirement job is giving 4 wheel drive tours of the San Andreas Fault in the So Cal desert area, and the tour includes entering a few small structures. I bought a few of the grey Convoy S2+ 7135X6 u2-1b flashlights when Gearbest had them on sale, and also have a BLF A6 with a warmer temp. I’ve tried both on the tour, and the u2 1b’s seem to do a better job lighting up the inside of the structures on sunny days (which means most days in the Colorado-Sonoran Desert).

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Only thing i can add to what has already been said is that some tints have been found to see through fog and smoke better than others. Ughh

Should my information be incorrect in the slightest please inform me as i am always learning as well and may not recollect everything properly. ALSO, ANYTHING I WRITE PLEASE TAKE WITH A THOUSAND GRAINS OF SALT AND YOUR OWN LIABILITY, AS YOU SHOULD WITH ALL INFORMATION.