What Colour is White?

led parWith the proliferation of a whole range of light sources, it makes me wonder what colour is white these days? This is especially true with the new LED fixture that are in the marketplace. Now the problem I see with LEDS is what colour is white going to be. It seems in the cheaper range the actual “colour” of white seems to vary enormously. So it then becomes a problem when you buy equipment from different companies or at different times during manufacture. Now you may be asking if this is an issues, and I believe it is. As a lighting designer I like to have full control over the colour of the rig and if I want a white wash I want it to be all the same white, I do not want to have to spend a load of time getting the white to look the same. The same can probably be said about the colours. For simplicity and ease of work-flow you need to have the LED’s all with very similar colours or you are going to spend hours matching colour and thus not the time and effort to get a great lighting design happening. So if are intent on using the cheaper end of the market you better be prepared to purchase a few dozen if you intend to do serious lighting with them. The lights are probably better suited for parties and low disco work. If you are serious about using LEDS you are better spending on quality fixtures and brand names. There is no point in making life difficult for yourself.

In the old days of tungsten lamps this was not such a problem, a lot of lamps were made to a standard colour temperature and had a seasonable spread of the spectrum, whereas LED’s don’t seem to have such a complete spectrum. At least quality control is improving and the LED has greatly improved over the years. The better quality manufacturers are putting a lot of dollars into make the LED a better light source and we are seeing almost daily improvements.

So if you are going to get yourself a range of LED fixtures be willing to pay to dollar and you will reap the benefits.

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2 thoughts on “What Colour is White?

  1. A good point regarding the trade-off between colour consistency and light/heat efficiency (which is why we want to use LEDs, right?)
    My take on LEDs is that it’s still a new technology, steadily accelerating in development …. and when technology is in that state, I’m a firm believer in renting, not buying. 5 years from now, I believe LEDs will have greatly enhanced colour consistency, light output and attractive pricing.

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