Color Changing LED: Dynamic Color-Switching Lights for Decorative or Functional Use


Color-changing LED lights are usually available as bulbs, strips, or strings for decorative purposes. However, they have functional applications, as well, to help set the mood or vibe for activities like yoga or sleeping.

Therefore, it is vital to understand how these lights work and how the colors elicit human responses. We have covered these topics in detail below, and let’s get right into it!

Why Try Color Changing Light Bulbs?

Although these bulbs work like regular single-color bulbs, you can dynamically change their color temperature, brightness, and color.

Color-changing LED light bulbs

Color-changing LED light bulbs.

For instance, you can design the bulb to change colors dynamically to match music or sound patterns. It is also possible to set them to cool white during morning hours, switch to warm white at night, or pick a color to set the mood in your bedroom.

What Gives The LED Its Color?

The color produced by an LED depends on the energy level emitted by the semiconductor used to make it.

For instance, light-emitting diodes with an aluminum gallium arsenide semiconductor produce a red glow. Green diodes have a gallium phosphide semiconductor, while blue diodes have indium gallium nitride.

A silicon semiconductor wafer

A silicon semiconductor wafer

A regular LED bulb has one of these semiconductors. However, a color-changing bulb contains all these semiconductors to control the produced energy level.

How Do LED Light Strips Change Color?

Color-changing LED bulbs are three LEDs in one (red, green, and blue). These three are the primary colors and produce all other colors via different combinations.

If current passes through one LED, it produces a single light color. However, powering the red and blue diodes creates magenta, while red and green merge to create yellow light. Lastly, a combination of blue and green produces cyan.

Red, green, and blue LEDs

Red, green, and blue LEDs

You can widen the color range by varying the amount of current flowing into the LED to control the color intensity of each of the primary colors.

For instance, controlling the current going into the red and green LEDs will give you all the color options between the two. They will produce yellow light when the red and blue LEDs are at 100% output.

If red is at 50% brightness and green is at 100%, the light strip will produce a pink color. But if you switch the two (red at 100% and green at 50%), you will get an orange light output.

Using AC on the diodes can create an impressive light show with millions of shades and colors. White light is a mixture of red, green, and blue. Therefore, powering all three LEDs to 100% brightness will create a white-color smart bulb.

How Long Do Color-Changing LED Lights Last?

Color-changing LED bulbs can last 25,000 to 50,000 hours, depending on their quality. However, unlike incandescent bulbs, they don’t burn out and go off immediately. Instead, they fade gradually, becoming dimmer towards the end of their life.

Generally, LEDs last longer than other light bulb types because they:

  • Are energy efficient
  • Generate a small amount of heat
  • Have no working parts that can burn or break over time

How To Choose A Color-Changing Light?

If unsure of which color-changing light fixture to buy for your space, these three factors will help you make the right decision.

Where Do You Want To Place the Lights in Your Room?

If you have a yoga or meditation room, you should fit green lights in it because the color soothes and calms the mind. Reading spaces in your living room should have blue light because it increases energy and triggers alertness. However, bedroom lights should have a red hue to stimulate melatonin, a sleep hormone.

An atmosphere of red lights in a bedroom

An atmosphere of red lights in a bedroom

You can use color-changing light bulbs or strip lights to illuminate these spaces. Switching from red to green in your bedroom can convert the area into a yoga room when you wake up.

How Do You Want To Control the Lighting Fixture?

Most bulbs with color-changing features come with remote controls or a mobile app remote controller. The latter features WiFi or Bluetooth app control. Both apps and remote controls do the same functions, but apps might have advanced features.

An app-controlled light bulb

An app-controlled light bulb

Which Are the Best LED Light Colors for Your Needs?

Even though they are color-changing lights, some alternate between fewer colors than others. Therefore, if you want a few colors for specific purposes, ensure the bulb you buy can produce the required color. Otherwise, look for models with a wide range of colors for placing behind the TV or setting different bedroom color moods.

A living room accessorized with multi-colored lights

A living room accessorized with multi-colored lights

What Color LED Lights Make You Happy?

Various light color settings can elicit different human responses. The following six colors bring up these reactions.

  • Red: Red is the color of love. It also helps boost energy and strength.
  • Green: This color elicits a healing response. Also, it can indicate freshness and quality.
  • Blue: Blue symbolizes peace, trust, and loyalty.
  • Orange: This color brings about happiness, confidence, and success.
  • Yellow: Like orange, yellow brings about joy/happiness. This factor explains why your mood improves on a sunny day. Additionally, it brings about warmth and creativity.
  • Purple: Purple is the color of royalty. It also symbolizes ambition and luxury.

Best LED Color Changing Lights

There are several LED color-changing lights, but they fall into several categories, such as the following.

LED Color Changing Wireless Light Bulb with Remote

As the name suggests, these color bulbs come with remote controls for adjusting the lighting color from a distance. Therefore, you can place the bulbs in table lamps, ceiling fans, wall-mounted fixtures, and floor lamps.

A multi-color LED light bulb

A multi-color LED light bulb

The downside is that most of these bulbs come packaged as individual units, so you need several pieces to create an elaborate lighting design. However, you can buy remote-controlled LED strip lights that cover a longer stretch.

An LED strip with a remote control

An LED strip with a remote control

LED Color Changing String Lights

String lights differ from regular strip lights in their construction. They are impact-resistant LED bulbs rated for outdoor use. Also, they are waterproof, and most measure 24-48 feet long.

An LED rope/string light

An LED rope/string light

Therefore, they are ideal for outdoor spaces like patios, gardens, and balconies. Most of these string lights come with remote controls for setting the light colors and light effects/modes.

WiFi Controlled LED Color Changing Light Bulbs

WiFi-controlled LED bulbs operate like Bluetooth LED strip lights because they feature wireless app remote control. However, the two differ in terms of range and connectivity.

A smart WiFi-controlled color-changing light bulb

A smart WiFi-controlled color-changing light bulb

WiFi has a broader range than Bluetooth. Also, you can connect to a Wi-Fi-controlled LED bulb from anywhere with a WiFi or internet connection. Therefore, you can make adjustments from anywhere in the world. But for Bluetooth, you must be within range.

However, WiFi bulbs are costlier, and you cannot control them if the WiFi connection goes down.

Are There Other Ways To Change The LED Light Color

You can change the light color using these two DIY methods if you have a colored or white LED light bulb.

Change The Housing

LED light housings usually contain a translucent epoxy resin material that acts as a diffuser to disperse and soften the light. If you prefer brighter light, you can replace this section with a water-clear one. Try different housing colors, as well, to adjust the light output accordingly.

Colored party lights. Note the colored housing

Colored party lights. Note the colored housing

Wrap The Housing

It is also possible to wrap the housing with a tissue or thin paper to diffuse the light and change the color. Try coloring or soaking the paper in colored solutions before wrapping the housing to produce colored light. Alternatively, you can color the cover directly. This method requires at least two coats to create an even glow.


That’s it for this article. As you can see, different colors elicit varying human responses, and color-changing LEDs can help you achieve these effects. Also, they are ideal for decorative purposes indoors and outdoors. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to us, and we’ll respond asap.

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