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The RGB Lighting Guide: How to Choose Between RGB and RGBW LED Strips

Nov 16,2023 | Muzata LED Channel

In 1861, the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell delivered a lecture on human color vision and illustrated his theory using a color image.

His method involved taking three different black and white photographs through red, green, and blue (the three primary colors) filters. These photographs were then converted into black and white slides.

Subsequently, in front of the lens of a projector showing these three slides, red, green, and blue (the three primary colors) filters were placed individually. By aligning the three images on the screen, a color image was obtained.

additive color with red, green and blue

Maxwell's principle became the basis for modern color processing methods and is known as the additive color process. 

What is RGB?

RGB represents three primary colors: red, green, and blue. These three primary colors can be combined with different intensities to produce a broad spectrum of colors. When these three colors are mixed at full intensity, they produce white light. 

The Luminescence Principle of RGB LED Strips

RGB is designed based on the principle of color luminescence. Simply put, its color mixing method is like having three lights: red, green, and blue. When their light overlaps with each other, the colors mix, and the brightness is equal to the total brightness of the two. The more mixed, the higher the brightness, which is additive mixing.

What RGB LED Can be Applied to?

It can be used for lighting, television, and computer monitors. For example, a display generates color by emitting light through red, green, and blue phosphors. The vast majority of visible spectra can be represented as a mixture of red, green, and blue (RGB) light at different ratios and intensities. If these colors overlap, they produce cyan, magenta, and yellow.

the application of rgb led light strips


RGBW is an addition of white to RGB, which combines four light colors: red, green, blue, and white within a single LED bead.

What RGBW LED Can be Applied to?

By adding a white sub-pixel to the original red, green, and blue (RGB) primary colors, we create what is known as an RGBW pixel. This addition aims to enhance the efficient use of energy in LCD screens. Introducing a white element alongside the RGB tricolor filter can improve how the LCD utilizes its backlight, leading to increased display brightness and reduced power consumption.

However, a challenge associated with this approach is that it may result in decreased purity and intensity of individual colors when displaying monochrome images.

Highlights! How to Choose Between RGB and RGBW LED Strips?

RGB and RGBW LED lighting have been the subject of extensive discussions due to their vast potential for innovative lighting designs and creative applications. These types of LED lights have become trendsetters because they offer a variety of optimal color combinations, including red, green, blue, and white.

Each light source emits a specific color temperature, which our brains interpret differently. Consequently, many individuals have been exploring the nature and functions of RGB and RGBW lights, as well as determining which option best suits their residential requirements.

Which One Is Better?

Light Quality: As we mentioned above, RGB LEDs have the ability to generate white light by combining the primary colors of red, green, and blue. BUT, the resulting mixture involves color blending and diffusion, which creates a simulated white light. This type of white light may appear somewhat cloudy or obscured, as if it is veiled by mist. So, RGBW has relatively better light quality, giving use better experience.

Energy Consumption: As for RGB LEDs, it can only produce relatively low brightness light, if we want to enhance the illumination brightness, more LEDs is required. However, increasing the number of LEDs raises production costs and energy consumption. On the other hand, RGBW LEDs use fewer LEDs to achieve the same level of brightness. 

Some Recommended Applications of RGB 

  • RGB LED Lights In Computer Keyboard

rgb led light in computer keyboard

  • RGB LED Strips For Room Decoration

rgb lights to decorate room

rgb led light strips and channel

Muzata RGB LED Strip Lights with LED Aluminum Channel Complete Set

Choose Based on Your Needs!

Everything is relative, and only what suits oneself best is truly the finest! As if each person has a unique puzzle piece to find in the grand mosaic of life. RGB LED strips has its own unique charm.