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Daylight vs. Soft White Bulbs – Which One Should You Buy?

Daylight vs. Soft White Bulbs – Which One Should You Buy?

Are you familiar with your light bulbs? If not, this post is just for you. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about daylight bulbs and soft white bulbs, including the key differences between the two and their uses.

Sounds good? So let’s get this show on the road.

Which Bulb Should You Buy – Soft white or Daylight

To a certain extent, personal preferences influence this decision. All the same, there are certain easy-to-keep-in-mind guidelines that can help you make the decision between soft white and daylight bulbs.

Daylight Bulbs

First things first. Don’t confuse daylight bulbs with bright white bulbs because they are two very different things. Daylight bulbs imitate the sun’s natural light. The light these bulbs emit is the nearest thing you’re going to find to sunlight.

So in which part of the house daylight bulbs could make sense?

Daylight bulbs maximize colour contrast, and for this reason, are just about perfect for close-up work. For example, you can install a daylight bulb in a desk lamp. These bulbs are also a good option for workstations and bathrooms. You might also want to consider them using in your kitchens because of all the food-related tasks such as following recipes or chopping vegetables is required.

In short, daylights bulbs are suitable for any place where you need to see the true colour of objects.

Just to give a fair idea regarding what to search for, we’ll use a simple example. (Keep in mind that Lumen equals brightness and not watts)

If you want to use a daylight bulb in place of a 60 watt incandescent bulb, you’re going to require a 7 to 10 watt LED light bulb. Such a bulb will have anywhere between 650 and 800 lumens.

Daylight LED light bulbs are usually between 5,000 – 6,500 Kelvins.

Soft White LED Bulb

Soft white LED light bulbs are a good option for spaces where you ambient lightening. This includes spaces where you gather, like a living room or dining room. These LED bulbs emit a warm cozy glow which invokes calmness and hence are also a fantastic option for bedrooms.

However, these bulbs — unlike daylight bulbs — are not suitable for reading small print or completing a detailed task.

If you want to use a soft white LED bulb to replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb, you’re going to need a 7 to 10 watt LED light bulb. Such a bulb will have anywhere between 650 and 800 lumens.

Soft white LED light bulbs are usually between 2,700 and 3,000 Kelvins.

Understanding LED Lights

There’s no denying the fact that LED light bulbs are costlier initially. However, since they last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs, they turn out to be less expensive in the long run.

To top that, LED bulbs cost way less than incandescent bulbs to operate. For instance, you can expect a 60 watt incandescent bulb to cost roughly $13 a year, whereas a comparable LED light bulb with average use will cost around $2.

That means you can get your investment back as early as in the first 12 months of use.


Before LED light bulbs came on the scene, we determined brightness based on the wattage. The higher the wattage, the brighter the light.

Guess what? The wattage doesn’t really tell how bright a light bulb is. Instead, it shows how much energy the bulb uses.

Lumens (Brightness)

Lumens — not the wattage — tells how bright a light bulb is going to be. In short, lumens equal to brightness.

So which is brighter — a daylight bulb or a soft white bulb?

The answer is simple. Whichever has a higher lumen count will be brighter. If they have the same lumen count, they will be equally bright. However, you may perceive the daylight bulb as brighter of the two because it lies in the cooler temperature range of blue.

Kelvin (Colour Temperatures)

Colour temperatures are measured in Kelvin on a scale of 1,000 – 10,000. As shown above, the real difference a soft white and daylight LED bulb is in Kelvin.

The higher the Kelvin count, the cooler will be the colour. Daylight bulbs are usually found in the range of 5,000 – 6,500 kelvin. By contrast, soft white LED bulbs have a temperature of 2,700 – 3,000 kelvin.


Well, that’s just about it. We’ve covered everything about daylight vs. soft white LED light bulbs. Now that you are familiar with them, you will have no problem picking the right LED bulbs for different spaces in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is soft white and warm white light the same?

This is one question that many people ask. While there’s not much difference between the two, they’re not the same. Soft white falls in the temperature range of 2700 – 3000 kelvin. On the other hand, the temperature range for warm white LED bulbs is 3000 – 4000 kelvin.

Which one is better — soft white or daylight?

It’s really not the question about which one is better. Which one should you use depends solely on the use. A Soft light LED bulb is perfect for creating a relaxing, cozy atmosphere. On the other hand, a daylight LED light bulb is a fantastic option for a kitchen, bathroom, or workspace.

Is daylight LED light bulb and bright white the same thing?

No, they’re not. Daylight LED light bulbs give out a bluish light and are perfect for true colour contrast. On the other hand, a bright white LED bulb is more white to blue

A daylight or soft white LED light bulb for a kitchen?

Between the two, a daylight light bulb is a better option for kitchens. However, if you find such a bulb too blue, you may want to give a bright white bulb a go. These bulbs tend to be more white to blue, and many people prefer having them in a kitchen instead of daylight LED bulbs.