We reported on the design, demonstration, and analysis of white lighting systems based on GaN laser diodes. Compared to light-emitting-diodes (LEDs), lasers have been proposed for the development of high-power light sources for many potential advantages, including circumventing efficiency droop, reduced light emitting surface, directional beam characteristics. Laser-based white light sources are also attractive for visible light communication (VLC) applications that enabling lighting and communication dual functionalities. In this work, we detailed the color-rendering index (CRI), correlated color temperature (CCT), and luminous flux analysis of laser white light sources by using the GaN laser diode exciting color converters at various driving conditions. By using a blue-emitting laser exciting a yellow YAG phosphor crystal, a luminous flux greater than 600 lm has been achieved with a moderate CRI of 67.2. By constructing a white lighting system using phosphor crystal array based on a reflection configuration, an improved CRI of 74.4 and a luminous flux of ~400 lm with a CCT of 6425 K was obtained at 3A. Using a novel ceramic phosphor plate as color converter, the CRI for the white light source has been further improved to ~ 84.1 with a CCT of ~ 4981 K, which suggests that the laser-based white light source is capable of high-quality illumination applications. The CCT of the white laser sources can be engineered from 5000 K to 6500 K and a potential approach to use laser array for high power white lighting is discussed.