Skip to Content

Why yellow light is better than white?

Lighting has a significant impact on our daily lives. The type of light we are exposed to affects our mood, productivity, sleep cycles, and even our health. For decades, bright white light has been the norm for indoor lighting. However, research shows that warm yellow light may be a better option for our well-being.

The Problems with White Light

White light simulates daylight. It has a color temperature above 3000K, which gives it a cool, blue tone. White light seems like an obvious choice for indoor lighting since we are used to being exposed to the bright light of the sun during the day. However, there are several downsides to white light:

  • Disrupts Circadian Rhythms – Our bodies have natural circadian clocks that regulate our sleep/wake cycles. Exposure to bright white light at night can disrupt our production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, making it harder to fall asleep.
  • Eye Strain – White light has more blue light emissions which have been shown to cause digital eye strain when exposure is excessive. This can lead to tired, dry eyes.
  • Headaches and Migraines – Studies suggest that prolonged exposure to bright white light can induce headaches and trigger migraines in sensitive individuals.

While white light seems bright and energizing, it can have detrimental effects on our bodies that should not be ignored.

The Benefits of Yellow Light

Yellow light has a much lower color temperature, below 3000K. This gives it a warm, inviting glow. Yellow light offers a variety of benefits:

  • Improves Sleep – Yellow light has less blue emissions. Using yellow bulbs at night avoids suppressing melatonin production. This helps maintain healthy circadian rhythms.
  • Reduces Eye Strain – Long term exposure to yellow light causes less retinal stress and photochemical damage.
  • Enhances Mood – Studies show that warm yellow light enhances mood and boosts productivity better than cool white light.
  • Soft & Soothing – The warm glow of yellow light creates a relaxing ambiance, ideal for living areas and bedrooms.

The gentle nature of yellow light makes it the healthier choice for general purpose lighting indoors.

The Science Behind Blue Light

To understand the advantages of yellow light, we must look at the science behind blue light. Sunlight contains visible light across the color spectrum. White light contains more blue wavelengths, which triggers biological responses in our body and brain:

  • Suppresses Melatonin – Blue light suppresses melatonin up to 5 times more than green light. This makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.
  • Boosts Alertness – Blue wavelengths stimulate photoreceptor cells and boost attention, reaction times, and alertness.
  • Eye Damage – Studies show overexposure to blue light contributes to digital eye strain and retina damage over time.

While blue light is helpful for mood and alertness in the daytime, too much exposure at night disrupts our natural circadian rhythms and can lead to poor sleep quality.

Light Color CCT Range Effect on Sleep
Blue Over 5000K Disrupts melatonin production, leads to sleeplessness
White 3000K – 5000K Moderately disrupts melatonin production
Yellow Below 3000K Does not affect natural melatonin production

This table demonstrates how yellow light with lower CCT (color correlated temperature) does not impact melatonin levels like white and blue light. Using yellow light in the evenings and for nighttime lighting allows our bodies to produce melatonin naturally.

Choosing Yellow Bulbs and Fixtures

Here are some tips for integrating more yellow light into your home:

  • Replace Bulbs – Switch out bright white bulbs for yellow bulbs in table lamps, floor lamps, and ceiling fixtures. Choose bulbs with a CCT rating below 3000K.
  • Dimmable is Best – Dimmable yellow bulbs allow you to control brightness and tone. Dim lighting sets a relaxing mood.
  • Install Dimmers – Use dimmer switches wherever possible to control yellow lighting accents conveniently.
  • Layer Lighting – Combine ambient yellow light with task lighting. Use yellow for overall room lighting and white/blue for reading spots.

With the right yellow bulbs and fixtures, it is easy to create a warm, welcoming environment anywhere in your home.

Recommended Yellow Lighting

Here are some highly rated yellow lighting options to try in your home:


  • Philips Warm Glow LED – 2700K
  • GE Relax LED – 2700K
  • Philips Sunrise LED – 2500K
  • Osram Soft White LED – 2700K


  • Globe Electric Marble Table Lamp – Amber Yellow
  • Mkono Vintage Wall Sconces – Amber Glass
  • Stone & Beam Rustic Pendant Lights – Brown/Yellow
  • East Urban Home Wood Chandelier – Yellow/Natural

These are just a few top-rated yellow lighting options for easy upgrade. The warm glow they provide can transform any living space.

Incorporating Yellow Accents

Aside from lighting, yellow accents can reinforce the warm, welcoming ambiance in a home. Try adding yellow accents in your home decor:

  • Pillows & Throws
  • Rugs
  • Curtains/Drapes
  • Flower Arrangements
  • Candles
  • Kitchen Accessories
  • Artwork

Yellow is associated with happiness, optimism and creativity. Using yellow accents and decor touches sparks positive emotions. A few vibrant yellow accents also balance the softer glow of yellow lighting.

Creating a Warm, Welcoming Home with Yellow Light

Yellow light provides the foundation for a warm, welcoming home environment. Follow these tips:

  • Install yellow light bulbs/fixtures in entryways – Greet guests with soft, inviting light.
  • Use yellow lighting in living rooms – Relax and unwind in a cozy glow.
  • Layer yellow + white light in kitchens – Mix general and task lighting.
  • Diffuse yellow lighting in bedrooms – Keep sleep undisturbed.
  • Highlight architectural details with yellow – Show off interesting features.
  • Add yellow accents throughout – Tie lighting into decor.

With strategic use of yellow lighting and decor, you can create a warm, welcoming ambiance throughout your home. Turn lighting into an opportunity to enhance comfort, relaxation, and positive emotions for all who enter your home.


The cool blue and bright white light that surrounds us daily can easily disrupt our body’s natural rhythms. Warm, inviting yellow light provides a healthier alternative. With its low blue light emissions and cozy glow, yellow lighting helps maintain natural melatonin production at night supporting deep, restful sleep. Your mood, productivity, and well-being see a boost under golden yellow lighting. Beyond lighting, yellow decor accents reinforce the cheery, optimistic ambiance. There are many easy ways to integrate more yellow light and decor into your home for a warm, welcoming environment day or night.