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Beam color guide

Why are LED colors different?

LED color temperatures can be divided into white light (about 6500K), neutral white (about 4000k) and warm white (about 3000K). The creation of white light from LEDs happen this way: electron goes through chips to emit blue light, and then it excites fluorescent powder to emit yellow light. Finally the two light combines and you get white light output.

The resulting color depends on the ratio of fluorescent powder to chips.


So which is better, warm or cool light?

It depends on the Color Rendering Index (CRI) rating. Expressed as a rating from 0 to 100 on the Color Rendering Index (CRI), CRI describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes, and how well subtle variations in color shades are revealed.

The higher the CRI rating, the better its color rendering ability. A high-performance white-light LED flashlight’s CRI is about 75% (The cooler the color tint, the lower the CRI), while a good neutral white flashlight and warm-white flashlight’s CRI are about 80%.


How CRI works in the wild

In the wildness, a flashlight’s brightness is good enough to identify a subject’s contour, but a subject’s details and gradation depends on good CRI ratings to be recognizable. So brightness (lumens) alone helps to identify a subject’s contour, while a minimum CRI of 75% is needed to identify a subject’s color, detail and gradation. And if visual interference and adaptation is involved, a minimum CRI of 135% is needed. That’s why we always pursue a higher CRI rating in all our lights (warm white).


Benefits of warm light

Yellow light’s CRI is higher than blue light. So raising the proportion of yellow light will increase CRI. The warmer the light color, the higher the CRI and the more suitable it is for outdoor use. Warm light’s low color temperature and long wavelength allows it to further penetrate rainy and foggy weather. That’s why harsh outdoor situations require warm white lights.


The perfect balance between warm and cool light

Nitecore strikes the perfect balance at neutral white because the warmer the light, the poorer the run-time and brightness. Neutral white lights provide the perfect balance of run-time, brightness, penetration and rendering ability.

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