Choosing LED Tube Colour Temperatures: Top Picks for White, Cool White & Daylight

One of the most important factors to consider before replacing LED tubes is the colour temperature. When it comes to LED lighting, colour temperatures can play a huge role in both productivity and relaxation so it’s important to choose the right colour for the right purpose and application.

In this guide you will learn:

Determining which colour tube is already installed

Learn more about how retailers can mix up product colour temperatures

Which colour temperatures work best for different environments

Understanding Lumen outputs for T5 & T8 LED tubes

Top products to help you choose the correct LED tube colour temperatures

Find out more about LED tubes

What colour temperature tube do I currently have?

Identifying the colour temperature of the tube that you already own is quite easy. All you have to do is look at the packaging of your tube light and look for its Kelvin rating. If you no longer have this, the temperature is usually printed on the light bulb or tube itself.

You should be able to match your colour to the following chart:

Colour Temperatures for white LED Tubes

Colour Temperature T8 LED Tube T5 LED Tube
2700K (Extra Warm White) No No
3000K (Warm White) Yes Yes
3500K (White) No No
4000K (Cool White) Yes Yes
6000K (Daylight) Yes Yes
6500K (Daylight) No Yes

As you can see, colour temperatures range from 2700K to 6500K. Your choice will depend on the location of the light and it’s application.

Generally, lower Kelvin ratings are used in more ambient, relaxed environments.

Sharper white light tends to be related to productivity and providing crisp lighting for staff and students.

Avoiding incorrect retailer descriptions

When buying online, make sure you check the Kelvin value on the chosen product.

Sometimes retailers mix up terms such as:

  • White
  • Cool white
  • Warm white
  • Extra warm white

These incorrect descriptions mean you might end up buying tubes that are wrong for your applications so it’s important to always check the Kelvin rating.

Best colour temperatures for each environment

Certain colour temperatures may be better suited for different environments. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the most suitable colour temperature for a variety of environments.

This study showcases the benefits of switching lighting between focused and ambient lighting to help create productive and relaxing lighting at the correct times and in the correct environments.

Schools & Classrooms

Classrooms require focus, therefore, the best lighting to have inside them is one with a temperature of 5000K.

However, if it’s a class for group discussion or a relaxing / mood area, it’s better to choose a colour temperature of 3000K which offers a warm white light to have more calming effects on children.

If you want to switch between various lighting moods, then you may want to consider alternative products such as LED Downlights. Our popular solo downlight allows easy colour switching so teachers can control the environment for children more easily and to help manage classrooms and avoid fatigue.

LED downlights classroom


The best colour temperature to use in a warehouse is between 4000K and 5000K. This is because the cool white light can reduce eye-strain and increase productivity.


Same as warehouses, it’s best to look for a colour temperature that’s 5000K or higher. Giving a closer colour rendering quality to daylight, it helps to improve the mood in the work environment.


The trend in fashion is crisp white light so go with a cool white or daylight tube if you want to light a retail environment. The most important factor will be the CRI rating on the tube as this can provide dramatic differences in how colours are picked out.


As you know, manufacturing requires the most attention out of all the environments we’ve mentioned.

You’d need a temperature of 5000K or more to make sure that all the details in an industrial environment are clear.

industrial lighting

Lumen outputs

As well as the tube colour temperature, you may also want to consider the lumen output (brightness). This can differ from tube to tube so it’s worth shopping around to get the best deals.

T8 tube lumen outputs

Tube Size Bright Source Energizer Osram
2ft 900 900 800
4ft 1800 1800 1700
5ft 2300 2000 2000
6ft 2800 3000 N/a
8ft 3850 N/a N/a

Our top picks for white, cool white, and daylight T8/T5 LED tubes

In this section, we’ll introduce you to some of our favourite LED tubes that you can choose from.

energizer LED tubeCool White (4000k)

Energizer T8 6ft 30w LED Tubes Frosted c/w FREE Starter

This is an Energizer high output 6ft (1800mm) 30w LED tube with a frosted finish. One of our best sellers due to its plug and play capability, high lumen output and price.


  • 3000 lumen output
  • 30,000 hours average life span
  • Glass tube design
  • 3 year warranty
osram cool white lightCool White (4000k) / Daylight (6000k)

Osram LEDVANCE 5ft 1500mm 19.1w LED T8 Tube c/w FREE Starter

These tubes are a direct retrofit for old 58w T8 or 65w T12 fluorescent tubes in switch start fittings as they come complete with a Free LED Starter.


  • 30,000 hours average life span
  • 2000 lumens output
  • Energy Rating A+
  • Glass Tube
  • 3 year warranty
energizer cool white lightCool White (4000k)

Energizer T8 5ft 22w LED Tube Frosted

This is an Energizer high output 5ft (1500mm) 22w LED tube with a frosted finish in colour 4000k (cool white).

Direct retrofit for old 58w T8 or 65w T12 fluorescent tubes with savings up to 60% less energy consumption than its fluorescent predecessor.


  • 2000 lumens
  • Glass tube
  • 3 year warranty
  • Free led starter
brite source LED lightCool White (4000k) / Daylight (6000k)

Brite Source 5ft 23w LED T8 Tube - Single Ended Wiring

These tubes are an ideal replacement for 58w T8 or 6580w T12 fluorescent tubes offering savings of up to 65% compared to their T12 fluorescent equivalent.


  • Lumen Output: 2300
  • Lifetime: 30,000 hours
  • Colour Rendering: Ra80
  • Warranty: 3 Years
  • 320 degree beam angle
tungsram LED tubeCool White (4000k)

GE Tungsram 1449mm T5 LED Tube

This is a 34w 1449mm LED T5 Tube in a 4000k Cool White colour from GE Tungsram which replaces the 80w HO T5 Fluorescent tube.


  • Lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Beam angle of 165 degrees.
  • 5100 lumens
  • 62% energy savings
tungsram LED tubeDaylight (6500k)

GE Tunsgram 1149mm T5 LED Tube

This is a 16w 1149mm LED T5 Tube in a 6500k Daylight colour from GE Tungsram which replaces the 28w HE T5 Fluorescent tube.


  • 2400 lumens output
  • Lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Saves up to 65% more energy than its fluorescent equivalent
  • Beam Angle 165 degrees

In summary

When it’s time to invest in a new light source for your work place or home, make sure that you pick the right LED tube colour temps for each one of your rooms.

Not only are LED tubes energy efficient but, with the right colour temperature, it should also improve the mood of everyone in the room.

Useful further reading

We have a number of other useful resources relating to LED Tubes:

LED v Fluorescent LED Tubes

How to replace your fluorescent tubes with LED counterparts (includes cost comparisons)

Our most popular brands Energizer, Osram & Sylvania

Our best picks for warm white, white and cool white Led Tubes

Frosted V Clear Led Tubes – what you need to know

Picking T8 Tubes – Budget, Mid-Range and Premium options

Picking T5 Tubes – Budget, Mid-Range and Premium options

Waterproof Led Tubes – what this really means

Glass v Polycarbonate LED Tubes

Single v Double Edge LED Tubes

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