Difference Between Daylight and Soft White LED Bulbs

By: | Updated: Jul-10, 2021
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As a species, we have used candles and oil lamps for centuries, but with the introduction of electricity in the late 19th century, people began to experiment with electric lighting. There were many different approaches to this problem, but all involved generating electricity and running it through a filament. As we know, the filament will eventually burn out, but until that time, it will emit light. The filament must be heated to a high temperature in order to emit light, and the hotter it is, the brighter the light. This is what we call incandescent lighting.

Daylight and soft white LED bulbs are nothing more than LED bulbs with a diffuser, while halogen bulbs are just incandescent bulbs with a different filament. Even fluorescent lights are just tubes filled with mercury vapor. But what are the differences between daylight and soft white LED bulbs?

The article will focus on the daylight and soft white LED bulbs, the difference between daylight and soft white bulbs, and the science behind how they work.

Summary Table:

Daylight LED Bulbs Soft White LED Bulbs
The color is blue The color is yellowish
Have a flat face Have a bulbous face
Brighter Dimmer
Generate less heat Generate more heat
More expensive Cheaper


Difference Between Daylight and Soft White LED Bulbs

What is an LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. A diode is a device that allows electricity to flow in one direction only. A normal incandescent bulb contains a filament. When electricity is run through the filament, it glows and gives off light. A diode is similar to a bulb in that it also allows electricity to flow in one direction only, but instead of glowing, it emits light.

How do LEDs work?

The inside of an LED is made up of semiconductor material (usually gallium arsenide or indium phosphide). This material has the property that when electrons are injected into the material, they will cause a glow or “excite” the atoms in the semiconductor. This glow is light. In an LED, there are two layers of semiconductor material with a small gap between them (the “P-N junction”). When electrons are injected into this junction, they will excite atoms on both sides of the junction and this will cause light to be emitted from both sides. If you look at an LED under a microscope, you can see that it looks like two diodes stuck together with a gap between them. The LEDs used in your lights are very small, but you can still see this effect under magnification. The way that we get different colors from LEDs is by changing the materials inside them.

What is a daylight LED?

Daylight LEDs are a form of LED that are designed to emit light in the 5000K range. That is, they are designed to emit light that looks like sunlight. Sunlight has a color temperature of about 5500K. The temperature of a light is the color of the light that it emits, as measured in Kelvin. The higher the number, the more blue the light will be. A 5000K light will look like sunlight and will not be as warm as a 3000K or 3500K bulb.

What is a soft white LED?

Soft white LEDs are a form of LED that are designed to emit light in the 3000K range. That is, they are designed to emit light that looks like the light from a regular incandescent bulb. The 3000K range is in between sunlight and incandescent bulbs. Soft white LEDs are more yellow than daylight LEDs, but not as yellow as incandescent bulbs.

Daylight Vs. Soft White LED Bulbs:

There are many differences between daylight and soft white LED bulbs. Here are some of them:

The color difference

The first thing that you will notice is the color of the light. Daylight bulbs will be very blue, while soft white bulbs will be yellowish. This difference in color can have a big impact on how you feel when you are in a room. A lot of people prefer the warm glow of incandescent bulbs because they think that it makes them feel more comfortable. However, if you look at the light that comes from a window, it is very blue and daylight bulbs will look very similar to the light from a window.

The shape difference

Daylight bulbs have a flat face, while soft white bulbs have a bulbous face. The bulbous face is designed to be more like an incandescent bulb so that it can fit into an existing fixture without any modifications being needed. You will see this difference when comparing daylight and soft white LED flood lights or LED corn lights. In other words, the daylight version will be flat, while the soft white version will have a more traditional bulb shape. If you compare the same type of light with different color temperatures, you will notice that the daylight version is shorter than the soft white version (due to the fact that it has no reflector).

The brightness difference

Daylight LEDs are brighter than soft white LEDs because they contain less phosphor than soft white LEDs do. This means that daylight LEDs produce about 75 lumens per watt, while soft white LEDs produce about 35 lumens per watt. This means that you will need to use more daylight bulbs than soft white bulbs to get the same amount of light.

The heat difference

The main reason that daylight LEDs are brighter than soft white LEDs is because they generate less heat. A lot of people don’t realize this, but LED lights generate a lot of heat and this can cause problems with electronics. The hotter an LED gets, the more current it will draw in order to stay cool. If it draws too much current, it will burn out. That is why daylight LEDs are brighter than soft white LEDs; they generate less heat and therefore can use more power to generate the same amount of light as a soft white LED bulb. In fact, many people report that their daylight bulbs burn out much faster than their soft white bulbs (due to the higher temperature). One way to solve this problem is by adding a fan inside your fixture, but this isn’t always practical or possible (such as in outdoor lights).

The price difference

The biggest difference between daylight and soft white LED bulbs is the price difference between them: $5-$10 per bulb for daylight versus $1-$2 per bulb for soft white.

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