• Home
  • >
  • Blog
  • >
  • 3000K Vs. 4000K Vs. 5000K: Best Color Temperature For Outdoor Lighting

3000K Vs. 4000K Vs. 5000K: Best Color Temperature For Outdoor Lighting

Deciding the best color temperature for outdoor lighting can be tricky. There are a couple of options for you to choose from. You have 3000k, 4000k, and 5000k color temperatures. How will you know which one is the best option for the LED lights you’ll use outdoors? In this article, you’ll learn more about these three color temperatures so you can choose which one is perfect for your outdoor lighting.

Table of Contents

About color temperature lighting

The typical measurement of color temperature is in kelvins (K). This usually starts at zero and focuses on measuring the subtle colors the human eye can detect coming from lights. That subtle definition means the colors range from dull red, yellow, white, and bluish-white to blue.

Kelvin color temperature has three classifications.

A warm light looks clear and white. It also has subtle red or blue tones. A cool white light has a hint of blue within the light source. Blue light is the most fabulous color that also has a blue tint within the light source.

The higher the kelvin measurement, the cooler the color temperature is.

color temperature

Why is color temperature crucial?

Choosing the right color temperature is more for aesthetic purposes than anything. Once you understand how warm or cool lights affect the overall ambiance of your outdoor space, you’ll know which one is the most appropriate to use.

This is important because it plays a role in achieving the impact that you want your outdoors to have. Whether you want it to have an inviting, energetic, or even off-limits vibe, your choice of lighting will make that happen.

Identifying the exact color temperature you want will help you find the right LED light fixture to use. It can also help you determine what brightness will not irritate your eye. It will also help you check the correct brightness so it won’t overpower the beauty of your outdoor landscape.

color temperatur chart

The 3 color temperatures and their differences

When it comes to outdoor lighting, you can choose from 3 different color temperatures.

3000K color temperature

This is the warm color temperature. That means it’s more on the yellow color than white. That yellow is responsible for bringing out a warmer feel to the lighting. There are integrations of white light. But if you look closely, it’s a bit slower to come out, so the yellowish light becomes more prominent.

This color temperature is ideal for achieving a natural light finish. It’s excellent for highlighting earth tones like wood and brown shades. It creates a cozy vibe in your outdoor space. So if you want a calm and intimate ambiance, this is the right color temperature you should aim for.

4000K color temperature

This color temperature is more relaxed than the previous one. That means you’ll see white dominate from the source of light. It can remove the shadows in your outdoor area. That means you get a clearer view of what’s happening outside.

This color temperature is ideal for those who want to accentuate white elements outdoors. It could be a bland white wall or white outdoor decorations. This color reflects beautifully on white surfaces.

The specific places you want to use this color temperature are around stairs, pathways, outdoor work areas, and places where visibility is essential. This is perfect for helping you stay attentive because the light brings focus to the right areas.

5000K color temperature

This color temperature is on the higher end of the spectrum. This is the brightest that you can get for your outdoor lighting options without making the lights too glaring. This type of lighting gives a clear and crisp brightness to any area. It can mimic natural daylight or bright moonlight at night.

If you want to make your outdoor space more secure, this is the right option for you to use. It’s incredibly bright that you can see clearly what’s happening outside.

It can also be perfect for lighting garages or showing off water elements in your landscape, like a pond or fountain.

diagram light temperature in kelvins

What color temperature is ideal for outdoors

All 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K color temperatures are ideal for outdoor lighting. But you have to know the proper application that suits each of them.

Here are the typical applications for these three.

Residential outdoor lighting

The ideal color temperature for typical residential lighting outdoors is 3000K and 4000K. If you want a warmer vibe, you can even go lower to 2500K. This will give the residence a homey and welcoming ambiance. It also gives off a feeling of brightness, cleanliness, and harmony.

If you use this as your home’s outdoor lighting, ensure the light can reach green plants, adding to the facade’s warmth.

Landscape lighting

If you want more attention to your landscape, using warmer tones is the most ideal. The cooler color temperature of 4000K to 5000K can make the landscape appear unnatural. It also makes the landscape look uninviting.

This means the best color temperature to highlight the beauty of your landscape should be 3000K or lower. Some experts believe it should be 2700K to bring out the best features of the landscape – precisely the soothing elements of nature. This is the best option to use if you want to mimic a campfire’s warm and cozy feel. It will make your outdoors incredibly relaxing.

landscape lighting

Outdoor garden lighting

If you’ve worked hard on your outdoor garden and want to highlight it at night, the best color temperature to use is between 3000K and 4000K. You can also opt to use a warmer color temperature lower than 3000K to achieve a more cozy vibe in the garden.

But if you’re after showcasing your garden, make sure you chase the shadows away at night. The use of yellowish or warm white light will bring out the bright colors of the garden. It’s not too glaring, but it will light up even the parts where shadows might make the garden look eerie.

As outdoor living and entertainment lighting

If you love entertaining outdoors or having activities at night, use 3000K for this purpose. This gives off enough light to move around, but it’s also not harsh on the eyes. The great thing about this option is you can create a relaxing vibe in your outdoor area, so everyone feels welcome.

outdoor lighting

As a security measurement

The 5000K color temperature emits a bluish light which is perfect if you want to make your outdoor area secure. This effectively increases the visibility of your outdoor space. Not only that, but the lights can be glaring and irritating to the eyes. So people who are looking at your space will most likely look away – giving you privacy and security.

It’s important to remember that when it comes to the color temperature, it’s tough to change it – even for LED lights. It’s not like the brightness you can control to make it dimmer or brighter. The color temperature in LED lights has a connection with voltage. So the more voltage there is, the higher the color temperature. This can be hard to adjust, so you must know what temperature you want before ordering your LED lights.

Tips when choosing color temperature for outdoor lighting

When choosing the right color temperature for outdoor lighting, you want to keep a few things in mind.

First, you want to ensure that you’re clear about the purpose of your outdoor lights. If you are constantly entertaining guests at night, you want to get a warm color temperature for your outdoor lights.

Or, if security is more important to you, you need to get a cooler color temperature of 5000K. That way, you can see what’s going on outside.

Other than that, here are the essential things to remember when considering the specific color temperatures.

For 3000K

The light from this color temperature is warm and comfortable. The LED light creates an intimate and relaxing atmosphere that’s great when you want a quiet evening alone or with loved ones. It can also be ideal decorative lighting for specific areas outdoors. You can also use the lights to focus on architectural elements in your outdoor space.

For 4000K

This color temperature creates a right mix of coolness and warmth. It’s dominantly white, which can be bright and vibrant to keep the shadows away. You can use this for highlighting trees and plants. It produces the right tone to bring out the natural beauty of plants.

This also allows people to see their surroundings and move quickly. But it’s not too glaring that it hurts your eyes.

For 5000K

If you’re looking for brightness that can scare intruders away, this is the color temperature you want to use. It can mimic the light from the Sun and the Moon on a cloudless night. It can draw attention to important parts of your outdoor space.

color temperature in Kelvins(K)


Choosing the right color temperature for your outdoor lighting is essential, especially if you’re trying to achieve a mood. Ensure you consider the right color temperature before ordering your LED lights. Or you can choose to get two sets of lights that you can use separately.

It doesn’t matter what you choose. R&C Lighting can produce it for you. We’ve been in the business of manufacturing custom-made LED lights. If you have unique preferences, we can discuss them with you.

Let us know the details of your order, and we’ll get back to you with a fair quote.

Facade and Landscape Lighting


Light Up Your Landscape And Architecture. Light Up Your Business.

R&C Lighting focuses on providing the best landscape and facade lighting fixtures and solutions for clients who values efficiency and quality.

Download Catalogue

Get notified about new products