How to Choose RGB Light - RGB vs RGBW vs RGBWW | RGBCW

RGB Flood light

How to Choose - RGB vs RGBW vs RGBWW | RGBCW

Life needs color. RGB light is an economical and beautiful way to light up our houses and yard. But now you might come across many kinds of RGB lights in the market - RGB, RGBW, RGBCW, RGBWW, and even RGBIC or RGBCCT. The more choice we have, the harder the decision will be made.

What's the difference among these RGB lights? Do I need to pay for these suffix(w/cw etc.) Now let’s go over the differences of these acronyms.


What does these words stand for


RGB is the process of rendering original light colors - red, green, and blue. RGB is in the range of 0-255 for red, green, and blue channel, respectively. this means that RGB color mixing can create 16,777,216 colors (255*255*255). If you can choose color from RGB color cycle, you’ll get so many colors, in theory. That’s why many sellers advertises their product has 16 millions colors, that’s it!



RGBW (RGB+White) lights use 4 kinds of LED chips -red, green, blue and white. By adding additional white color channel to the light, RGBW lights will get a more natural and eye-friendly white light than the mixed white light in traditional RGB light..



You can view this as a plus version of RGBW through adding an extra W(warm white) or C(cold white) channel.

RGBWW (RGB + Warm White + White) provide a separate warm white channel to produce a natural warm light with softer yellow white color. It’s ideal for decorating comfortable spaces such as bedrooms or living rooms.

RGBCW(RGB + Cool White+White) There’s another saying that the suffix CW refers to cold and warm light. Anyway, you’ll get a natural cold/warm white from those kind of lights. 


Additional talk about RGBIC and RGBCCT

These lights will produce extra color control chips and produce more functions like display various colors at the same time. However, these products don't provide a noticeable improvement on user experience with higher price. So they are not practical choice now.

Color Red,Green,Blue Red,Green,Blue,White Red,Green,Blue,White,Warm White Red,Green,Blue, Cool White,Warm White
Channels 3 4 5 5
color changing Single Single Multiple Multiple
Brightness Bright Ultra-Bright Ultra-Bright Ultra-Bright
Price Normal Medium Medium Medium

How do I choose between RGB, RGBW and RGB-CCT?

RGB is enough to meet your basic requirement if you just want colored light. So if you are on a budget, RGB is the best choice. But if you would like to use warm and cool white light, a RGBW/RGBWW/RGBCW would be a cost-effective choice. RGBW for white, RGBWW for warm white, and RGBCW for cool white and warm white.


Each of them has its own merits, and you need to choose with your personal needs.
Actually, we have more things to consider when choosing a RGB light, like
Installation ways - Most lights provide mounting accessories. But if you want to stake it to the ground, choose a light with stake accessory.
Cord length - Most lights has a very short cord and you have to extend it before use. So choose a light with long cord as possible.
Control methods - Remote or APP control. And if you want voice control.
Waterproof rating - If you want to use it outdoor, choose a IP65 light at least.

Always remember that cheapest is not the best buy, cost-effective is.

Hope this article could help you find a proper RGB light.

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