White Light vs Yellow Light: Which is Best for Reading & Studying?

You’ve heard the advice a million times.……Concentration and mood get influenced by the light bulb color.

Can this really be true?

Well, when studying, many students don’t consider the color of the light bulb. Yeah, I get it- which light to choose entirely depends on the person’s mood.


But if the question drives you nuts- which light is better for studying white or yellow?

Let’s crack the code with real data & physiological aspects- if your demand is reading and studying, you must opt for white lights (between 4000K to 6500K). While studying, our brain engages with potentially complex ideas. And the white light creates an effect of focusing, allowing a student to be attentive in the reading and memorizing.

Sounds too complicated?

No worries, I’ll walk you through the whole process of picking the right warm light vs cool light for study.

First let’s understand the ABC of Color Temperature and Brightness on light


The functionality and purposes of each light are different. 

Not only are they engineered with different designs, their color temperature and brightness are also dissimilar. 

And……When you understand these 2 elements quite well, picking the best light for reading and studying will never be a challenging task.

That’s for sure!

Alright, now let’s have a closer look at how they actually work.


The brightness of a light bulb is measured by Lumen (lm). 

Never heard the term before?

This unit will let you know the power of the light. The higher the lumen rating is, the lighter the bulb will be. Also, there is such a thing as too much light.

But here’s the main concern………

You need to determine the brightness level according to the room size, wall color, light placement, and other considerations. So, learning the brightness level can be troublesome.

Read Also: How Bright Is 700 Lumens?

Color Temperature & CRI (color rendering index)

Along with the brightness level, color temperature is another essential factor when choosing the right light color for reading and studying. 

It is generally measured by Kelvin rating and accompanied by a descriptive name like daylight and warm light.

Light bulb color temperature breakdown is as below.


  • Daylight: With a 5,000 – 7,000K rating, it has a bluish tone. This light color will create the most contrast for the color. Thus, it becomes an ideal choice for reading, writing, working, applying makeup, etc.
  • Bright White: This light color stands between blue and white tones with 4,000 – 5,000K. It offers a more energetic and cozy feeling. It is the best option for workplaces like garages, kitchens, home offices, etc.
  • Warm White: It has a more yellowish-white tone, and the kelvin rating is 3,000 – 4,000K. You can use these colored lights in the bathrooms and the kitchen.
  • Soft White: It is a warm and yellow-toned color with a color temperature of 2,700 – 3,000K. Incandescent bulbs offer light color within this range. It is best suited for the bedroom and living room as it gives a pleasant and cozy feeling.

So what is White Light?

Direct, intense, and cold lights are known as white light. This light type will let you concentrate and be attentive to work during the day. It is ideal for commercial workplaces and areas.

Moreover, white light can be used in households as well. It creates a pleasant environment in the office room, kitchen, and bathroom.

These places are unsuitable for relaxing; white light will assist you in improving your reading and studying performance.

If the cold light is too harsh for your eyes, yellowish-white light less than 3,500K would be the Best color light for reading at night for you

Furthermore, your reading and studying performance will surely improve a lot. 

But the condition is………

The CCT scale has to be intermediate. Remember, white light with a high CCT scale will decrease your reading and studying performance.

And what is Yellow Light?

Yellow light is categorized as warm light. 

This warm light is more comfortable for the eyes and gives a pleasurable feeling of a friendly, cozy environment.

Thus, you should use this light color in such places where you relax and read. For this, it is suitable for use in bed and living room.

Read Also: 3000k vs 5000k – Which One to Choose

Is yellow or white light better?

The best benefit of warm light is that your body’s melatonin production will not be hampered, unlike cold light. This way, after installing this light, you will feel more relaxed and comfortable. It is because your brain considers the yellow light as sunset and recognizes it as nighttime. This is so far the best option for reading without disturbing your partner.

So White Light vs Yellow Light – Which is best for Reading & Studying?

Always Keep in mind one thing:

Eye health can’t be overlooked. That is why selecting the right light color for reading and studying is significantly essential.

The selection process significantly relies on the reaction of our eyes to both light colors.

As stated earlier…….

Yellow light offers a relaxing effect. For this, people use them in living rooms and bedrooms where we take rest and pass relaxing times.

Here’s the other side of the coin…….

White lights are more energetic and intense. They summon us to be attentive to things. So, people prefer to install them in kitchens, bathrooms, workplaces, etc.

With the above concepts, we should use these lights smartly in our studying and reading.

Is yellow light good for studying? Since yellow light offers a comfortable and relaxing feeling to the eyes as melatonin production increases, they are good for leisure or regular reading. 

When you install yellow light in your room, you will feel sleepy. These colored lights are suitable to glide through comic books or interesting novels.

But for reading and studying, white lights are recommended. When we study, our brain actually engages with potentially complex ideas. At the same time, we try to memorize them. 

And in that time, the white light creates an effect of concentration, allowing you to be ready for memorizing.

That is why white light wins over yellow light when buying the best light for reading and studying.

The study showed that- “Academic performance gets better day by day once students start reading under white lights”.

Moreover, researchers found that lights positioned at the cooler temperature’s higher-end generate superior concentration and agility with an equal increase in heart rate. While warm lights increase productivity in leisure activities.

The Surprising Benefits of Cooler Light for Reading 

Good lighting color is significantly essential. 

So true!

That’s why, when selecting light, the color also needs to be taken into consideration. The right light color for education purposes offers the below benefits.

  • When we read under low light conditions, our eye pupils stretch themselves, making it easier to see easily in dim light. With good lighting, our pupils won’t dilate to get as much light as possible. As a result, eye strain will reduce.
  • With the good lighting color, you will always have a pleasant and productive learning environment. Additionally, external distractions will reduce. You can concentrate on the numbers that you are trying to memorize. It means memorizing and remembering will be much easier when you install good light in your reading or study room.
  • Modern lights are available with a more flexible design. These lights arm or heads can easily be adjusted according to the preference.
  • Choose the right lamp design for your reading room. With a longer LED light, even distribution of lights will happen in the larger area. What LED light color is best for studying? While the spotlight will illuminate a specific area, which means you may need to move your books to read and study.

A word of caution:

Avoid using battery-powered lights as they are dim. They preserve energy within them.

Is blue light good for studying?

Ideally, reading and studying is possible with lights of any color, except black. The light colors can be blue, green, and red. But these colors are not conducive to capturing the texts with eyes. If you ever tried to read under these colors, you will know how meaningless and difficult such a task would be.

Here is the deal:

Blue and red lights are also suitable for specific purposes but unsuitable for reading and studying.

Here is a Fun fact:

Have any idea- What color light increases focus?


Surprising, isn’t it? The green color is good for finding hidden objects at night, but you will surely feel discomfort when you try this color for reading and studying purposes.

In fact, these colors will make you feel lost. Also, you will be inattentive and inefficient in your study.

Final Thoughts

From an occasional reader to a bookworm, everyone wants to enjoy the reading experience. You will have a good reading experience when you use the right colored bulb in your reading room.

If you opt for reading interesting or comic books, install yellow light, which will give you a pleasant feeling.

While, if your purpose is to read and study, don’t look further; install the white-colored bulb. 

Concentrating will be much easier, which will lead you to a great result. Simultaneously, your eyes will be protected from unnecessary damage.

About Annabelle B. Malcolm

Howdy, readers. This is Annabelle B. Malcolm and I’m a content curator. Don’t tell anyone but I low-key take pride in having a treasure of random knowledge. I co-manage this website with my husband Jamie who is a lighting technician by profession. The idea for this website stemmed out of boredom. Out of nowhere really, Jamie came up with the idea of having a website and since he is an authority on lighting fixtures, we decided to play to our strengths.

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