What is the difference between daylight and bright white bulbs?
Warm white and soft white will produce a yellow hue, close to incandescents, while bulbs labeled as bright white will produce a whiter light, closer to daylight and similar to what you see in retail stores. If you want to get technical, light color (color temperature) is measured in kelvins.
The three primary types of color temperature for light bulbs are: Soft White (2700K – 3000K), Bright White/Cool White (3500K – 4100K), and Daylight (5000K – 6500K). The higher the Degrees Kelvin, the whiter the color temperature.
- There are several other light bulbs that are a better choice for your eye health, including traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs, and halogen bulbs. Warm white fluorescent CFLs can be a good replacement, but do know that they still emit a small amount of UV rays.
- The Brightest LED Bulb: The 2500 Lumen Feit Bulb. The Brightest LED Bulb Overall: The Feit BR40 LED Bulb is currently the brightest led light bulb available — it is rated at 2500 lumens (approximately equivalent to a 250 watt incandescent bulb). It uses 30 watts and costs $27.
- Xenon headlights. Xenon lights, also known as high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, produce a brighter light than halogen bulbs and with far less heat. The blue-white light emitted by xenon bulbs is so bright, it has been known to "blind" other drivers.
Halogen bulbs are a variation of incandescent. They give the closest approximation of natural daylight, known as "white light." Colors appear sharper under halogen light and the bulbs can be dimmed. They're a little more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive and burn at a higher temperature.
- Horticultural LED grow-lights produce only the wavelengths most utilized by plants, so you may want to look for these bulbs rather than buying ones for general use. Halogen lights can also provide full-spectrum light, but like incandescents they put off a lot of heat and are less energy-efficient than fluorescents.
- A fluorescent lamp, or fluorescent tube, is a low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light. An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor, which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp to glow.
- Radiation from the Sun. [/caption]Radiation from the Sun, which is more popularly known as sunlight, is a mixture of electromagnetic waves ranging from infrared (IR) to ultraviolet rays (UV). It of course includes visible light, which is in between IR and UV in the electromagnetic spectrum.
A light bulb that produces light perceived as yellowish white will have a color temperature of around 2700K. As the color temperature increases to 3000K - 3500K, the color of the light appears less yellow and more white. When the color temperature is 5000K or higher the light produced appears bluish white.
- You may have see "Daylight" bulbs, which are included at the low end of this Kelvin temperature range. The whitest natural light occurs when the sun is directly overhead. The closest light bulbs will be in the "Daylight" range on some packaging. You now know that this is the 4000-6500K range for fluorescent bulbs.
- Kelvin is a unit of measurement used to describe the hue of a specific light source. The higher the Kelvin value of the light source, the closer the light's color output will be to actual sunlight. Bulbs with an output of 3500K or lower on the scale will have an amber hue.
- Warm white and soft white will produce a yellow hue, close to incandescents, while bulbs labeled as bright white will produce a whiter light, closer to daylight and similar to what you see in retail stores. If you want to get technical, light color (color temperature) is measured in kelvins.
Updated: 4th October 2019