Guide to Choosing LED Light Strip Color Temperature - gindestarled

Guide to Choosing LED Light Strip Color Temperature

CCT LED strip light
Source: Pixabay

Lighting plays an essential role in every space. While its main function is to enable us to see, it also greatly affects aesthetics and ambiance.

It is for this reason that a factor such as the color temperature of your lighting is an important consideration. What kind of ambiance do you hope to have in your space? Are hoping for homey and welcoming or formal and sterile? Plus, what kind of CCT options will help you achieve your desired effect?

To help you make the right CCT LED strip lights purchase, here is a guide to help you navigate your options.

Table of Contents

What is CCT?

An illustration of CCT levels

The abbreviation CCT stands for Correlated Color Temperature. It is a numerical indicator of the tones of white light an LED strip light can produce. It is measured in Kelvin (K).

The term ‘correlation’ refers to the relationship between the number of Kelvin and the color of lighting produced. In principle: the lower the Kelvin, the warmer the light, and the higher the Kelvin, the colder the light. Warm light appears yellow while cold light comprises bright white to bluish shades.

It is important to note that the change in light temperature does not affect light intensity. The brightness of your LED strip light will remain constant during the temperature changes.

How Does CCT Lighting Work?

CCT LED strip lights come with SMD chips and a control mechanism. It is these two components that work together to bring about different tones of lighting.

The LED Chips

CCT LED strip lights can either be single-chip or dual-chip.

A single-chip CCT LED strip light can have either a warm white chip or a cold white chip. This means it can only produce different shades of warm or cold light but you can not adjust it from warm to cold. These types of CCT LED strip lights are referred to as ‘dimmable’.

Dual-chip CCT LED strip lights have both warm white and cold white light LED chips. For this reason, you can adjust them through the full range of cold to warm and all the shades in between. They are known as ‘tunable CCT LED strip lights’

The Controller


The controller is what is used to adjust the temperature of the LED chips. A good quality LED strip light will have a range of temperatures of between 2,700 Kelvin to 6,500 Kelvin. When the controller is set between 2,000K to 3,500K, there will be warm light. In contrast, the hue of lighting between 3,500K to about 5,100K will be white. Whereas any temperature above that will yield bluish light.

A CCT LED strip light controller can either be sensor-driven or wireless. A sensor-driven controller relies on a radio or infrared frequency transmission to relay adjustment commands to the LED strip lights. On the other hand, a wireless controller is connected to LED strip lights via Bluetooth or wifi. In this case, a smartphone or device can also be used to control the temperature of the lights through a lighting application.

Factors to Consider When Choosing CCT LED Strip Lights

A person marking a checklist
Source: Pixabay

The concept behind CCT LED strip lights is the same but, as with all products, some technical details differ between brands. While they may seem minor, they are likely to significantly impact the overall experience you get from your LED strip lights. Therefore, it is advisable that you pay attention to:

Brightness Levels

An illustrations on watts vs lumens
Brightness and color temperature are mutually exclusive but they each contribute to the total quality of your lighting. For instance, bright warm light is less harsh than bright white light. This is because white LED light has shorter wavelengths than yellow light.

In lighting, brightness is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens indicated the brighter the LED strip light will be. To this end, if you would like dim white light, you will need CCT LED strip lights with low lumens and a 3,000-5,100 Kelvin provision. Alternatively, for bright warm light, aim for high lumens and a Kelvin provision of up to 3,000.

Application of the CCT LED Strip Light

Source: Pixabay

Different hues of light are more suited to some settings more than others. You would, therefore, need to weigh your intended use of the CCT LED strip lights against their color temperature capabilities.

For example, formal and industrial settings like offices and hospitals require bright and clear illumination. Due to this, they are better served by white light.

If you have a hard time choosing, dual-white CCT LED light strips would be a perfect solution for you. They would allow you to switch between cold and warm lighting as you please.

Heat Dissipation


As you alter the temperature settings on your CCT LED lights, it is important that heat is dissipated to avoid overheating. Frequent overheating could lead to lighting malfunctions and a shorter lifespan of your LED strip lights. So, how do you avoid such misfortune?

The quality of chips used in your CCT LED light strips will determine how well they dissipate heat. It would thus be ideal to choose a CCT LED light strip manufacturer that uses top-grade components. Mounting your CCT strip on aluminum LED profiles may also be helpful.

Control Options

LED strip lights and different control tools

The type of controller that applies to your CCT LED strip lights determines the radius within which you can operate them. If you would like a wider radius, opt for a wireless controller. It is likely to also give you more control options such as brightness settings and automatic timed color temperature adjustments. Nevertheless, electromagnetic controllers are just as effective if you are operating within a set radius.

Outdoor Application

Source: Pinterest

Great as they are, the outdoors are subject to many elements that could damage your CCT LED strip lights. As a result, if you intend to install your lights outside, they would need to be waterproof. IP-ratings of IP65 to IP67 should be sufficient. The latter rating is, however, recommended for instances where chances of water immersion are higher.

Why CCT LED Strip Lights?

There are many other LED strip lighting alternatives such as the colorful RGB or RGBWW LED strips that you could choose from. You might, therefore, be wondering why you should opt for CCT LED strip lights in the first place. The short answer is that the kind of lighting CCT LED strip lights provide is unique. Let us look deeper into their benefits for a clearer picture.

Flexible Lighting

Warm and white lighting kitchen comparisons

Investing in a lighting solution is a long-term undertaking. No one wants to change their bulbs or strips every other day. However, the problem with long-term solutions sometimes is that they can get boring.

Lucky for you, CCT LED strip lights provide flexible lighting. You can change the ambiance of any room to fit the occasion whenever you like. Moreover, with the right manufacturer, you can customize your CCT LED strip lights to fit any special requirements you might have.


A person holding dollar bills
Source: Pexels

The value of the features you get from this type of lighting makes it well worth the price. Still, even when compared to other lighting solutions, LED light strips are generally more affordable.

Plus, you could get an even better rate by buying your color temperature adjustable LED strip lights in bulk. Large purchases attract wholesale rates which are lower and, on the upside, you would have enough strip length for all your applications.

Energy Efficiency

A symbol of an eco-friendly bulb

If you are worried about your electric bill skyrocketing as a result of CCT LED strip lights, worry no more. LED lighting is the most energy-efficient type of lighting you could choose. It consumes low amounts of power and you can always save even more if you turn them off when they are not in use.

Installation Options

LED strip lights options are flexible and allow for installation just about anywhere. They are applicable for recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, and even outdoor illumination. They also take up very little room and do not get in the way unless they are poorly installed. Suffice to say, you can enjoy CCT LED mood lighting without limitations.


An hourglass with blue sand in it
Source: Pexels

When you invest in genuine quality LED strip color temperature lights, you are assured of longevity. Top-of-the-line SMD chips and LEDs could easily last you more than a decade at the least.

Human-Centric Features

A man and baby sleeping
Source: Pexels

Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Have you been experiencing headaches after working for a long time under certain lighting? Well, barring other underlying medical conditions, such challenges may be as a result of your lighting.

White and blue light stimulates the brain into being awake and reduces melatonin in your body. This is why reading under blue light before bed may render you sleepless.

CCT LED lighting could put an end to such troubles for you as it offers human-centric features. You can turn to mellow lighting when you need it and adjust to white/blue light for more serious tasks.

Room for Customization

A person cutting a LED strip light

When you opt for CCT LED light strips, you can customize them to meet your application. You can cut them to a length that you prefer without diminishing the quality of the lighting. All you have to do is adhere to designated cutting points as indicated by the manufacturer.

Choosing the Right Color Temperatures For Different Applications

Warm color LED strip light

Before you begin shopping for color temperature adjustable LED strips, consider what atmosphere you would like to create. Some areas that could benefit from adjustable temperature lighting include:


A cozy bedroom
Source: Pinterest

When it is time for you to wind down your day and sleep, you need all the relaxation you can get. Sleep experts recommend that you keep all harsh lighting as far away from your bedroom as possible. In its place, they advocate for warm lighting. Get some plants auch as perennial hanging baskets decorated with led can also ease your mood.

Consider installing a warm dimmable LED strip light in your bedroom. It would be aethetically pleasing with your bedroom wall decorated with color-changeable LED strips. The advantage of this would be that you can increase and decrease the brightness as necessary but maintain a cozy atmosphere all through.

The Kitchen

Under-cabinet lighting
Source: Pinterest

Overhead lighting in a kitchen illuminates the room but often tends to fall short. Installations such as cabinets can obstruct the flow of light and make some surfaces darker than others. This could be the reason why you strain so much when chopping or sorting food items on your countertop.

White light LED strip lights would be a great solution for under cabinet lighting. It would provide you with all the clarity and illumination you need. If you entertain or have an open kitchen plan that serves as a dining area, you could opt for dual-light CCT LED strips instead. With them, you can switch from chef mode to cozy dinner mode in an instant.

Medical Facilities

A doctor speaking to a patient
Source: Pinterest

Proper hygiene is non-negotiable in a medical facility. That said, for the staff to be able to clean right, they need to be able to see every spec of dirt. LED strip color temperature lighting presents 3 advantages in this regard:

Art Galleries and Exhibitions

A jewelry gallery
Source: Pinterest

Artistic pieces such as jewelry and paintings need to be displayed in just the right tone of light. It should not be too bright and its hue should accentuate the features of the items on display. It is for these reasons that CCT LED strip lighting is highly recommendable for galleries and art exhibitions. You would have total control over your lighting and many setting options to choose from whenever you need to.

Finding the Right CCT LED Strip Supplier

A person browsing on a computer
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Your choice of CCT LED strip light supplier will make all the difference in the kind of color temperature display you get. Every manufacturer uses different inputs and this is often a cause of disparity in the quality of CCT LED strip lights. Which begs the question, how do you pick between suppliers?

Here are some key indicators you can look for:

Inputs- look out for manufacturers that use the latest LED chips like the 2835 or 3014. These newer models are more compact and more reliable in terms of illumination and thermal management.

Warranty- a manufacturer that is willing to offer you a warranty is one that stands by their product. That is a brand worth trusting.

LEDs per meter – the number of LEDs per meter will determine how well-lit your space will be. If the LEDs are few there will likely be spaces between them which will result in dark spots on the strip.

CRI provision- the color rendering index is (CRI) is a measure of how well color is displayed under a form of lighting. The maximum CRI is 100, at which point every color is rendered to perfection and you tell navy blue from black with ease. The tip here is to aim for manufacturers that offer a CRI of 80 and over. That is sufficient quality to ensure you see each shade of color properly.


At first thought, you may not have expected that choosing a color temperature would have as many moving parts. However, there is a great advantage to understanding the pertinent issues; in the end, you will be able to make an informed decision and get exactly what you need. So, what kind of lights will you be ordering from your preferred LED color temperature strip manufacturer?

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