When it comes to light it is not rocket science that it effects moods. When we are exposed to the right type of light, it helps to align our daily rhythm. And this has never been more true in a small place like your camper or motor home. The right kind of light can effect our whole overall outing.
As the camping industry moves toward LED lights for a number of reasons, of which the most obvious being power saving, we are confronted with more choices. We have many light colors to choose from. The two most common are the brighter white 6000-7000k, also known as Bright White, and the softer color 2700-3500k commonly named Warm White. There are a number of other lights colors that are out there like neutral white which can range from 4000k to 5200k.
These light colors have been around for a long time in the lighting industry even thought you have never seen a Bright White light in the hardware or grocery store. For the most part the major light manufacturers have a good idea what light goes where, and the light best suited for the home when you relax The best light for resting and relaxing is the 2700-3500k (warm white). In the work environment, the stronger light is better suited for high productivity. For starters the workers can see better, and it effects the over-all rhythm which enhances concentration.
All of this needs to be kept in mind when you trying to figure out what lights you want if your retro fitting your unit that was not supplied with LED light. It stands to reason that if you want to relax and rest on a nice camping trip, that you would not what bright white. However that is not the rule 100% of the time. If you like to read you may want a stronger light. Having a Bright White light may be the thing for you especially if your like myself and getting a little age on you. Even if you're reading to relax, if you have to strain it does not take very long and your eyes are tired.
Another area to consider a Bright White light is in the shower. Very often the colors of the walls and surroundings are off white or almond in color. When you bounce Warm White off of that you can get a very dull look not to mention it may be very hard to see while your bathing. And you may have a white lens which will defuse the light a little more, also making it a little harder to see.
I often recommend different lights in different areas of the camper for the above reasons. People often are surprised to find I suggest to mix Warm White and Bright White. On first thought you would think it odd. I sure did until I was an Airstream International CCD with half and half. The shower, the closets, overhead cabinets and the kitchen counter were all Bright White. The main living area was Warm White. When I saw it I was amazed to see how easy it was on the eyes. After looking into it I found it offered a fuller light spectrum.
Since that time, I have helped others work on finding a solution to retro fit their unit, and ran into a guy who had a very good understanding of how light effects mood. In his motor home he knew which lights would be used for relaxing and which lights for getting stuff done. Certain banks of lights had Warm White lights and other banks were Bright White. He said," when the lights are warm and relaxing it is hard to pull yourself away to break camp or to get on a project that has to get done."
As a rule of thumb I recommend Bright White for the kitchen and shower, Warm White for the main living area, hallway, and bed room. I highly recommend a mix of Bright and Warm for makeup area and if the makeup area is the bathroom and you have on/off switches on those lights, the maximum lights can be used when they are needed. Or you have those double click lights where you can turn them all off and leave one on for a night light that is pretty nice too. When it comes to reading lights you could go either way. I met one couple where she wanted Warm and he wanted Bright..
One very important thing to consider when retro fitting your unit is the color of lens you have. The white lens can defuse the light to where you may want Bright White in more places. Below is a link to our sister site (www.LED4RV.net) where we have lumen out-put with clear lens and white lens.
Click here to see our sister site with lumen out-put
Another important thing to keep in mind is (and this is BIG) the LED cluster bulbs (most of the time) produce 1/3 the amount of the light as the bulb they replace. That is not to say all of them do that but most of the ones that are affordable for the RV industry are. The items that produce the best light and sometimes more light than the bulbs they replace are the pads. Some LED pads product the same amount of light as a 80 watt light bulb when used with a clear lens.