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How Do LEDs Change Color?

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Over the years, manufacturers have devised ways to play with the color emission LEDs. How this is possible remains a mystery to most users. Some think that the color change happens in the plastic casing of the LED lights. Is that the case? How do LEDs change color? 

How Do LEDs Change Color? 

LEDs change color by using small different colored diodes inside them. While most people think that the plastic cover of LED lights aid in the color change, this is not the case. Instead, different colored diodes inside emit the light. 

It is the semiconductor materials that determine the color of an LED, not the color of its plastic body. LEDs come in the diffused colored and clear-bulbs (some people call them water-clear bulbs) 

LED light bulbs

Did you know that you can create a wide range of colors when you vary the brightness of each internal LED? Well, there are two methods that MOST manufacturers use to make their LED lights change color. Let us take you through a simple explanation of how LEDs light change color. 

Alternating Current Method 

In this method, the lower current connects to the LED so that the shade changes. The concept here is to change the color by alternating the amount of current you send to it. For example, when you send full brightness through a red LED, the resultant light will be color red. 

However, when you lower the brightness to say, 50%, the LED will give pink light. This color effect is specifically for LED lighting only. When you apply the same mechanism to some light products like Halogen and CFL, you will not get the same result.  

How it Works

LEDs change lights in quick succession that the human eyes fail to notice when it happens. Instead, your eyes will only see the light turning on and off. This way, you say that your LED light is dimmer when it is turning on and off at a fast pace.  

When the red light turns on and off in quick succession, your brain will only detect it when it turns pink, that is, at 50% brightness. The shades you register will change depending on the pace that you set. 

Using Several LED Colors 

A LED is a semiconductor that emits energy in the form of light. Manufacturers use different materials of semiconductor to control the energy level. The color light that comes from these semiconductors depends on the specific semiconductor materials.  

Most color-changing LEDs contain three LEDs of different colors in the casing. You can create other lights by controlling the energy levels of these Light Emitting Diodes.  

There are several types of LED lights. In our case, we use a color-changing LED with three primary colors:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue 

Every LED casting contains a microcontroller that determines which LED receives the current.  

How it Works

A current to a single LED in the casting will give the primary color of the particular LED, red, yellow, or blue. When you pass current through two LEDs of different colors, a color combination occurs. This color combination is specifically: 

  • Magenta
  • Yellow
  • Cyan 

You can pass different levels of current through other LEDs to create shades in between six primary colors. This whole process applies the LED color temperature mechanism. The range of colors that LEDs support has widened with time.

Demonstrating how do leds change color

While other bulbs take time to reach full brightness, LED lights will get full brightness instantly. LEDs do not have a lag time. 

Aging of LED 

Just like most light sources, LEDs degrade over time. This is another, possibly non-intentional way LEDs change color. The electrical tensions on the components eventually take a toll on the color effect. 

Many users still find it hard to maintain the quality of light and color performance of their LED light with time. 

Can I Use Voltage to Change the Color of My Single LED Light? 

No, you can’t use voltage to change the color of your single LED light. LEDs do not change color when there is a shift of voltage. Doing this can only make the light dimmer instead of changing the color.   

If you drive more current through the LED than is recommended, the intensity of the color might change slightly. You can try this when you have a three-color LED. 

However, this experiment is risky, can shorten the life of the LEDs and we don’t recommend it. If the current is too high, it might also blow your bulb. 

What are Smart LED Lights? 

A smart bulb is an internet-enabled LED light that allows the user to customize, schedule, and control it remotely. They are some of the latest additions to the home automation products. 

You can control your smart LED bulb through your smartphone or a home automation hub. You can also manipulate and program your smart LED light to behave in a certain way. All you need to do is to integrate the lighting system to a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth to or a connection to a home automation system.  

The internet connectivity has taken the lighting industry to a whole new level. Smart bulbs are now sophisticated. Some of them come with additional features such as in-built surveillance systems, inbuilt audio speakers, and motion sensors; thanks to edge computing. 

How Can You Use Color-Changing LED Lights?

While LED lights have different applications across different fields, most people use them for decorations. They have also been shown to help elevate moods by making people happier.

Some people use them as part of home decor and they are also used in night clubs to make the scene livelier. The competition among manufactures has made the innovations more interesting with the latest introduction of smart led color-changing bulbs.  

Some common uses of LED lights include:

Mood Elevation 

The color-changing LED bulbs can elevate your mood in a whim. Most people use these bulbs in rooms to help boost their mood. When you get exposed to blue light during the day will make you feel rejuvenated and energetic. 

LED light bulbs

Green lights can help in calming nerves. They could help you with concentration while yellow light provokes that happy feeling.  

It may be time to use a color-changing LED light bulb. Certain situations in life might require you to have colored lighting in your home. Scientific studies have shown that light can have a positive impact on your mood and productivity. 


You can use them in the living room to set the mood of that captivating movie you are watching that favorite song coming from your home theater system.  

You could also adjust the color of your light when hosting a dinner party to bring out that cozy atmosphere. 

Have you ever asked yourself questions when you see these lights installed at your favorite establishment? Maybe that is what keeps you going back. 

Bedroom Lights 

Color-changing can help you get a peaceful sleep after a long day at work. You can install an excellent slow fading LED lighting system to make things a little soothing in your bedroom when you want to sleep. An orange tone of LED light will help mimic that lovely sunset and lull you into a deep, peaceful slumber. 

Keep away from Blue LEDs since they can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin 

Colour changing smart LED lights will be very helpful when you wake up in the morning. You can schedule these lights to come on in the morning to give you that perfect jump start.  You can also color-code your lighting systems morning color automation to provide you with a head start on how much longer you are left to snooze the alarm.    

Visualizing Your Alarm 

If you find it hard keeping it up with your alarm, you can use warnings with color-changing lights to remind you every time you have to honor a scheduled event. 

For example, they could help you track when you have an appointment, when to take your medicine and when to take your morning run. 


The LEDs apply basic electrical processes to enable them to change colors when you turn them on. These products come in different shapes and sophistication. The color-changing LEDs have become an essential part of our lighting system but sometimes are relatively expensive. 

You can always DIY at home to change the type of lighting in your home. Note that factory manufactured color-changing LEDs are better in appearance and functionality. Cheap could be expensive.