Getting that perfect lighting color in your home is very important as it can look visually appealing, creates an ambiance and brings out good mood and energy. Since scientists started using Color Temperature as a measure of the color of light, we got a number in Kelvin (such as 2700K or 5000K) in the specifications of the light. Two such popular color temperatures are 3000K, which is slightly warmer and 4000K, which is less warm than 3000K. In this guide, we will try to understand 3000K and 4000K Color Temperatures, compare and find the differences between them an also see where to use 3000K vs 4000K lighting.
We already made a similar comparison but with respect to other popular color temperatures i.e., 4000K and 5000K. If you are interested to find the differences and use cases, then read the 4000K vs 5000K Color Temperature Comparison Guide.
A Brief Note on Color Temperatures
Using temperature to define the color of the light is a popular (and scientific) method. This is because, in the days of incandescence, the temperature of the light source and the color it emits are directly proportional. But since luminescence is different, scientists came up with an updated method known as Correlated Color Temperature (CCT).
Irrespective of the method, color temperature of a light is one of the easiest ways to identify, differentiate or compare different colors of light. The color temperature scale consists of temperatures in Kelvin, usually starting from 1000K all the way up to 10,000K.
The lower the temperature value, the warmer the color of light and similarly, the higher the temperature, the cooler the color is. As an example, a standard incandescent bulb (rest in peace) has around 2700K while a white fluorescent lamp has 4000K – 4400K color temperature.
3000K Color Temperature
From the above discussion, it is clear that lower temperatures in the scale have a warmer color. This is also true for 3000K Color Temperature as it is yellowish white in color, very similar to an incandescent light (which is around 2700K).
As a result, people who want that look and feel of a vintage incandescent light tend to use this color temperature. The slightly warmer color temperature of 3000K Light Bulbs is also good for eyes as the blue content from the light is very low.
4000K Color Temperature
As the 4000K Color Temperature is more than 3000K, the colors are also slightly less warm but still yellow. If we put 3000K and 4000K lights side-by-side, we can say the 3000K light as slightly darker tone of yellow white and the 4000K light as a lighter shade of yellow white.
Anything beyond 4000K, the blue color starts dominating the lights with 5000K and 6000K color temperatures being close to white light and daylight colors.
PRO TIP: Blue Wavelengths are generally harmful to eyes and we recommend to use warmer color whenever and wherever possible. Also, most display units (TVs, Laptops, Mobiles etc.) have an option to warm up the display to reduce blue light. In Windows, this option is in the display settings as “Night light”. In Samsung Mobile Phones, we have a “Blue light filter” setting. You can find similar settings in other devices as well.
When to Use: 3000K vs 4000K?
Since both 3000K and 4000K Color Temperatures produce relative warm light (with 3000K being warmer than 4000K), the important question is: when to use 3000K and when to use 4000K lighting?
Before taking a look at this, there is one thing we need to clear. If we put 3000K vs 4000K color temperature lighting side-by-side, then our naked eye cannot tell much of a difference. They both look similar with 3000K Light looking slightly warmer than the 4000K Light.
All lights with 3000K Color Temperature are definitely on the warmer side of the spectrum. Due to the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs and the close resemblance of 3000K lighting to that of incandescent lights, many people who still like incandescent lights and its warm color tone, use 3000K lighting as an alternative.
As it has a slightly warmer color and emits very less blue light, we recommend 3000K lighting for reading and also for living room lighting. You can use it occasionally to create a warm atmosphere or make you feel relaxed.
One of the popular applications of 4000K Color Temperature Lighting is office spaces. Its slightly warmer tone and its white light with a hint of yellow tinge is perfect for office lighting. This color temperature makes employees feel relaxed and also makes them productive.
Another popular area where 4000K lighting is frequently implemented is kitchen lighting. Whether it is general kitchen lighting or cabinet lighting, the 4000K color temperature lights bring out that warm and relaxing feel in kitchen.
In retail spaces and showrooms, where you need highlight/showcase the product clearly, the 4000K light is perfectly suitable due to its neutral white with a hint of yellow.
You can also use 4000K Color Temperature Lighting in garages, shopping malls, outdoor lighting, living rooms and home offices.
Choosing lighting with proper color temperature will not only have a positive impact on your health but also improves/increases ambiance, mood and energy. 3000K and 4000K color temperature lighting are slightly on the warmer side of the scale with 3000K Lighting being slightly yellow than 4000K, which we can describe as white with a hint of yellow tinge. In this guide, we saw the comparison of 3000K vs 4000K Color Temperatures, saw the applications of these lighting and different areas/applications where 3000K Color Temperature and 4000K Color Temperature Lighting is suitable.