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AppNote180803 - CCT Selection Guideline

*Please note that this guideline is based on my personal experiences dealing with various (mostly) Nichia LEDs.
 
What's your preferred CCT?
In general, there are two broad category for white LED: warm white and cool white. As for Nichia LEDs the warm white (1800K - 4500K) denoted with "L" and the cool white (5000K - 10000K) with "W". For example NVSL219CT, NVSWE21ATE, NV4L144AME, etc... For more information about CCT, tint, and you can find it here: Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and Colour Rendering Index (CRI), Colour Rendering Index (Nichia JIS)
If you want a shorter quick answers then:
  • Warm CCTs ranging from 4500K "off white" all the way down to very 1800K yellow/amber/orange colour. With some variations depending on the CRI and binning used.
  • Cool CCTs ranging from 7000K "bluish sci-fi white" all the way down to neutral 5000K white colour. With some variations depending on the CRI and binning used.
  • The higher the CRI for warm white LED, the closer it reproduce colour compared to planckian black body radiator (incandescent bulbs, wood fire, glowing tungsten rod, etc...). A high CRI warm white will not reproduces colour as those under the a high noon sun! Just like any incandescent lit objects, a high CRI warm white will never make white paper/wall/clothing as white as under the sun.
  • The higher the CRI for cool white LED, the closer it reproduce colour compared to the sun.
Application guidelines:
  • 5000K is the minimum to get closer to the true sun lit colour reproduction.
  • 5700K is the minimum to get white shades looks correct.
  • Avoid anything higher than 4000K for prolonged night reading or walking in the snow.
  • Very warm CCT (2000K-3000K) is easier on the eyes if you need to constantly switching between the dark (surroundings) and bright view (the object you need to shone on).
1800K - 2000K
2000K - 3000K
3000K - 4000K
4500K - 5000K
5700K - 6500K
(Work in progress, stay tune...)
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