Warm Light vs. Cool Light: Which is Better for Headlamps?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you know the importance of a good headlamp. Far more convenient than an ordinary flashlight, headlamps offer hands-free lighting in whatever direction you happen to be looking. No wedging a flashlight between your neck and shoulder, no asking, “Hey, will you point this flashlight right here for me?” If you need your hands free in a low-light situation—whether on a twilight bike ride, an early morning jog, or in a backcountry campsite trying to pitch a tent—headlamps offer the best solution.

Have you ever given any thought to the type of light emanating from your headlamp? There are two basic types: warm light and cool light. Some headlamps on the market today emit warm light while others emit cool light, and both types differ greatly from one another. So which type of light (and headlamp) is right for you?

Warm Light vs. Cool Light: A Closer Look at Your Headlamp

Light temperature is measured in Kelvin. In residential lighting, a light bulb’s temperature typically falls on a scale ranging from 2,000K to 6,500K, with warm light bulbs usually at 2,500–3,000K and cold light bulbs at 6,500+K. Warm and cool light have very different effects on our mood, sleep, attention, concentration, and eye health. And what’s more—people need both light types for their overall health.

Ultra-bright, cool light is perfect for the office as it is proven to boost concentration. However, cool light is also harsh. It can be quite jarring and prolonged exposure can cause eye damage. Warm light, on the other hand, has a natural feel. It’s much more relaxing and less reflective than cool light. Most importantly—especially when it comes to headlamps—warm light causes less eye strain for you and your fellow adventurers, making it the perfect type of light to use in low-light situations.

Woman using warm light headlamp to tie her shoes

Something as simple as tying your shoes can feel like a blinding experience without a warm light headlamp.

Do Yourself (And Your Friends) a Favor—Opt for a Warm Light Headlamp

Warm light headlamps—like the Kiva™ Headlamp from Lander—light up the night without hurting your eyes. This device features a bright light setting with a maximum output of 150 lumens, a lantern setting for a light that illuminates a larger area, and even a strobe mode. It’s easy to charge via USB and has a battery life of 40 hours on low and 2 hours on high. Plus, its IP65 rating makes the Kiva rain, snow, and dustproof, keeping up with you and your active lifestyle—no matter where it takes you.

The differences between warm and cool light are significant. Each serves an important purpose in our everyday lives. But when it comes to lighting your path on that twilight bike ride, early morning jog, or backcountry camping expedition, the Kiva knows no equal.