We'll bet most of you prefer your light sources as natural as possible. A difficult task when most light bulbs emit a light far from pleasing or natural!
So what light bulb is best for creating beautiful, natural light? That's the question we're here to answer today!
What is natural light?
First, what exactly is the definition of natural light? Apart from the natural light coming through the windows in your home (which needs no explanation), when most people refer to natural light bulbs, we find that they are referring to one of two things:
a) a light similar in form to sunlight, or,
b) a beautiful light that is neither too cool nor too warm
Let's define these two options further:
Natural light bulbs are similar in form to sunlight.
As mentioned in this article on the healthiest light bulbs, incandescent and halogen light bulbs will be most similar in form to sunlight.
Just as the sun radiates heat, producing the visible light spectrum we can see, an incandescent (and its brighter counterpart, the halogen) light bulb does much the same thing.
An electrical current heats the base of an incandescent light bulb, which produces heat and visible light when conducted through the filament housed inside.
Now, onto option b:
Natural light bulbs provide beautiful light that is neither too cool nor too warm.
The terms "cool" and "warm" are references to color temperature.
Color temperature refers to the relative whiteness of light. So, while white light contains all the colors of the rainbow, its appearance will vary depending on whether its spectrum skews more toward the blue or red color wavelengths.
Here are the three primary color temperatures:
A warm white light skews more toward red
Natural white light is more balanced between red and blue
Daylight white/cool white
Just as its name entails, a daylight white light source looks like the sun at noon and will have more blue than red in its spectrum.
What light bulbs are closest to natural light?
While color-tuned LEDs can get pretty darn close to the purity of the natural light streaming through your windows, we find that "analog" incandescent or halogen light bulbs provide an additional element of purity that LED cannot.
A halogen, or Chromalux® incandescent light bulb produces the purest, most natural form of artificial lighting. Whether we're going by the first definition of natural light, a light similar to sunlight, or a beautiful light that is neither too cool nor too warm, either option will produce a far superior light.
If natural light as close to pure light is what you're after, we recommend these options. Remember, light is a tool. High-quality sources of LED and fluorescent exist and provide something that incandescent or halogen cannot, like energy efficiency.
We suggest using incandescent or halogen bulbs throughout the day + night if you're after a greater sense of well-being.
Remember also that sunlight can show itself as either bright white or warm white depending on time of day. We suggest incandescent bulbs for light that looks most like the warmer sunlight of dawn and dusk, and halogen light bulbs for light more similar to daytime daylight.
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