The New Guy
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Down south, where the food is good.
The "soft white" light bulbs that you're probably used to are normally around 3,000K to 4,000K. They have a yellow tint to them and have a way of making things feel older and "softer", like in Grandma's house. The higher color temperatures like "daylight white" around 5500K is a pure white light which often seems blue because people are used to the soft white bulbs and think that the yellow lights are actually white, skewing the perspective. My house has only the daylight white bulbs and if I don't open the blinds, I don't notice that the sun has set because the color doesn't change. With the soft white bulbs, you notice that it looks different after dark because you lose the white light and are only left with yellow lights.
If you haven't checked out the higher K lights, you should. The difference is very noticeable if you have a room with two light fixtures. Put the normal soft white in one, and daylight white in another. The daylight white almost feels harsher IMO, but it's definitely a more white light. You'll notice how yellow soft white is when you see the two side by side. The difference looks more dramatic than that pic in person.