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Natural Light Indoors: The Difference Between Full-Spectrum Bulbs and Daylight Bulbs - Pt 1

Natural Light Indoors: The Difference Between Full-Spectrum Bulbs and Daylight Bulbs - Pt 1

Natural Light Indoors: The Difference Between Full-Spectrum Bulbs and Daylight Bulbs - Pt 1


The human eye evolved over millions of years under the warm glow of the Sun, Sol, our nearest star. Our eyes adapted to see by the unique spectrum of light emitted by our star. This warm yellow-orange dwarf star has burning hydrogen into helium over the millennia, which emits a mix of visible and invisible waves outward through space. Our planet soaks up those rays and turns them into heat and life. Our eyes also use those wavelengths in the visible light spectrum to see and understand the world. 


Human Eyes See Best in Sunlight (and Artificial Sunlight)

  • Sunlight contains many light spectrums and invisible wavelengths
  • Human eyes are more comfortable in natural-spectrum light
  • Artificial sunlight must be complex to match the real sun

Sunlight is still the best way to get a clear look and to see colors most accurately. We can make artificial light, but eyestrain is the frequent result when our eyes try to read or work under an incomplete light spectrum.

We have found that mimicking the exact balance of visible and invisible light from the sun is the best way to provide clear, comfortable light indoors.

A savvy business owner can boost morale, health, and productivity in one move by upgrading old flourescent lights to a more complete natural light spectrum. However, there is one very common misunderstanding we'd like to help you avoid. When you search for natural light bulbs, you will find offers for "full-spectrum" bulbs and "Daylight" bulbs.

There is often a significant price difference without a clear indication of why or what distinguishes the two. Today, we're here to clear up this confusion on how to achieve natural light with full-spectrum vs daylight bulbs.


What is a Daylight Light Bulb?

  • Yellow = "Warm Light"
  • Blue = "Cool Light"
  • "Daylight" is a light bulb color that is faintly blue

Lightbulb Color and Temperature

Lightbulbs are often distinguised by the color of light they emit. We use a "temperature" scale because we associate colors of light with warm or cold. Therefore, shades of white light that include the yellow spectrum are called "warm" light while shades of white including blue spectrum light are considered "cool" light.

While it's true that warm things often glow with a yellow or red tinge, like fire and heating elements, blue-tinted light is not actually cooler to the touch.

In fact, blue and violet light are the hottest and require the most energy, though they are referred to as "cool". Conversely, red light requires the least energy and is therefore cooler to the touch, despite being "warm" in the bulb color scale.

It's important to understand that lightbulbs advertised as "cool temperature" are not actually safe to touch, while "warm white" bulbs are no hotter than normal bulbs. Instead, this is just how we identify light color along with how those colors of light make us feel.

"Daylight" as a Bulb Color

Sunlight has a great deal of blue-spectrum light in the mix, and this helps your eyes to see with better contrast clarity. Therefore, bulbs that are tinted very faintly blue are often referred to (and marketed as) "Daylight" temperature bulbs.

In terms of buying light bulbs, consider "Daylight" to be more like a paint color, akin to "Robin's Egg Blue" for lighting. Daylight doesn't actually indicate that it is comparable to natural sunlight, simply that it shines with a similar blue tint.


What is a Full-Spectrum Light Bulb?

  • Full-Spectrum light is better for the human eye
  • We gain more details in full-spectrum illumination
  • Full-Spectrum bulbs are designed to provide more scientifically natural light

Full-Spectrum Light - Natural and Artificial

Full-spectrum lighting is a technological advancement above light temperature-colors. While we can define a light by how yellow or blue it shines, most florescent and incandescent lightbulbs have very limited spectrum range. With simple white light bulbs, there is a reason why people often get eye strain when working without natural light in the room.

There's a reason why we open the window blinds even with good overhead lights on.

The human eye craves the full spectrum of light and performs less well in limited-spectrum illumination. It's why your eyes can tell the time by how sunlight looks through a window. Your eyes gain more information in the natural full-spectrum of sunlight than in simplified artificial light.

Full-Spectrum Lighting

Light bulbs made to provide full-spectrum light use our knowledge of the sun's many emitted wavelengths to create more natural indoor lighting. These bulbs provide light that has a color temperature of 6500K and 96% CRI. This clarity provides you with much more vivid vision, better for both contrast and the perception of colors.

Investing in full-spectrum lighting helps you to eliminate eyestrain and therefore significantly increase comfortable hours in the space. Natual light makes it easier to focus and increases the detail with which we can see our environment and tasks. This makes it ideal for workplace lighting, but also great for homes, offices, workshops, and studios.


[Continued in Part 2

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