Finally running out of incandescent bulbs for our two front door exterior fixtures. I want to use this opportunity to try LED bulbs, as I do not love CFLs and seems like LED prices are getting reasonable.

Question is, what color temperature would be appropriate here? I've Googled around, but most advice I find seems to be focused on landscaping lighting, where a warmer (up to 3000K) temperature seems to be recommended.

I'm not sure that's quite right for the front door. I think I'd want something more cooler, but I'm not sure if I should go for a cool white (3100-4500K) or a daylight (4600-6500K).

Is there a conventional wisdom bulb warmth for this application, much as there is for kitchens & bathrooms (daylight) or living rooms (warm white) or garages (cool white)?

1 Answer 1


This is a real personal choice.

IMHO The daylight bulbs give a harsher whiter light similar to a mercury vapor lamp. This gives things more of a stark steril look.

The cool whites are less harsh.

The warm whites will be the closest match to a standard incandescent. So, if you have some incandescents still installed on the outside of your house the warm white would match better.

Or you could buy all three, take them home and try them out and then return the other two you don't like.

Good luck with your project!

  • I had considered checking the Kelvin rating of the current incandescent bulbs, but I was more wondering if there was a conventional guideline, as there is for living room vs kitchen vs bathroom, etc. Sounds like there isn't!
    – Darryl
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 21:09

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