The way the human brain processes light is a fascinating subject. We barely notice that there are different types of white light until you see them next to each other – and then the difference is as clear as … well … day. In this article, we’ll look at one kind – daylight bulbs – and where they should be used.

What are daylight bulbs?

Daylight LED bulbs are a type of artificial light source designed to replicate the natural light of daytime (i.e. midday sunlight on a cloudless day). These bulbs typically have a colour temperature in the range of 5000K to 6500K, providing a bright, crisp light without a dominant hue.

The high colour temperature does produce a light that edges into the blue end of the spectrum, albeit subtly. This is in contrast to “warm” bulbs, which have a distinct yellow, orange or red tinge, rather like the glow of a traditional tungsten filament bulb. This neutral or cool property makes daylight bulbs perfect for various settings and applications around the home and workplace. 

Benefits and ideal uses

So what are the benefits and drawbacks of daylight bulbs? Broadly speaking, the advantages are as follows.

Enhanced visibility and sharpness

Daylight bulbs emit bright and vibrant light, reducing eye strain and increasing visibility. This makes them particularly suitable for areas where close, detailed work is being carried out or where reading is common.

It’s also good for hygiene, as it’s more likely to illuminate stains and crumbs thanks to the fact that it covers a more neutral part of the spectrum. Home offices, studies, kitchens, bathrooms, laboratories and craft rooms can greatly benefit from daylight bulbs. 

Mood improvement

Exposure to daylight has been linked to improved mood and energy levels. There’s a condition called SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that can grip people in the far north or south in their winter months. It’s thought to be linked to the body’s production of melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy, and is more prevalent when the days are shorter and dimmer. 

Using cool daylight bulbs around both the home and workplace can help mimic the effects of summertime, potentially reducing feelings of tiredness and boosting overall wellbeing. The same applies in environments with limited access to natural light, such as basements or internal rooms, especially if you spend a lot of time there. That can bring on SAD symptoms even in the summer.

Aesthetic appeal

The clear and bright light of daylight bulbs can enhance the true colours within a room, making spaces appear more vibrant, inviting and spacious. You’ve spent hours deciding on those colours, so why not do them justice? Daylight bulbs are particularly effective in enhancing modern, minimalistic aesthetics or any setting where colour accuracy is important, such as art studios or design spaces.


The main drawback is that they can feel too bright. If you’re trying to create a cosy space, whether that’s in a living room, a spa or a restaurant, you might be better off choosing warmer light bulbs.

That said, if your bulbs are few and far between, or if you’re relying on light shining off other surfaces (e.g. bouncing off coloured walls or ceilings), daylight bulbs can give you the neutrality you need, with the reflected colour creating the mood.

Considerations for use

In summary, you should take these factors into consideration when choosing the colour temperature for your bulbs:

  • Time of day: Using daylight bulbs in the evening can interfere with sleep patterns by inhibiting the production of melatonin. It’s best to use warmer tones of lighting (with lower colour temperatures) in living areas and bedrooms during evening hours to promote relaxation.
  • Task-oriented spaces: Due to their bright, crisp light, daylight bulbs are most effective in spaces designed for specific tasks or activities requiring concentration and clear visibility.
  • Mood settings: For environments where a cosy or intimate atmosphere is desired, such as dining rooms or entertainment areas, the sharpness of daylight bulbs might not be appropriate. In these settings, softer and warmer lighting solutions might be more suitable. Consider using dimmable bulbs and dimmer switches to give you maximum control. 
  • Focus: Don’t forget that you can mix light types within a space. For example in a hair salon or nail bar, you can achieve a relaxed aesthetic in the space with warm light, but have small spotlights in daylight temperature for close work.

Daylight bulbs offer a versatile lighting solution that can enhance productivity, improve mood and bring out the true vibrancy of a space. By integrating these bulbs into specific areas around the home and workplace – while considering their impact on our natural sleep patterns – you can create environments that are both functional and conducive to well-being.

The key lies in thoughtful application. While you might aim to replicate the benefits of natural daylight in places, you can also maintain balance with the inherent need for softer light as day transitions into night. Dimmability can be your friend here, too.