How are “Daylight Lamps” different from standard white LEDs with the same power? What gives them the therapeutic properties?


How are “Daylight Lamps” different from standard white LEDs with the same power? What gives them the therapeutic properties?

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There was a theory that blue light makes you more awake. Which is why there are blue light blocking glasses, screens that go towards red towards night time, and daylight bulbs.

But it’s been debunked.

Therapy aside, daylight bulbs are good for working on visual art on dark days.

It doesn’t matter if it’s LED.

What matters is the colour, and intensity [in lumens]. The idea is to replicate the intensity of the sun [in lumens] with the right colour tone [cool white]. It is believed to stimulate your brain into producing chemical responses & altering of thought patterns.

This is founded on the concept that your body uses sunlight to assist in managing your circadian rhythm. With a poor circadian rhythm, comes poor sleep which easily snowballs into low mood and even depression. Hence the existence of “seasonal depression”: there is less sunlight in the winter and it can often be *assumed* that your low mood is a symptom of it.

I’ve had many of these lights over the years. All they’ve ever done is provide psychological assistance to me. I’ve never managed to come to a formulation of how long I should use them, so I overused them. I changed every bulb in my house to these things.

They’re just bright lights. The rest, in my *opinion & experience*, is psychological.

Daylight lamps mimic daylight. LED lamps are just bright. The difference is the frequency of the light emitted. Daylight lamps will include some UV light, and other wavelengths that more traditional lamps lack. This promotes things like vitamin D production, and as such can have significant health benefits, most notably for things like SAD and depression in general. In addition light does help regulate circadian rhythm so the lights can be used to help adjust your sleep schedule, though as far as I’m aware this is a claim and I haven’t seen any supporting documentation (because I haven’t looked). But the other benefits are noted, and seem to be real.

They are not simply lamps with more blue light, they have a physiological benefit.

Daylight lamps attempt to mimic the frequencies present in sunlight, and the balance of those frequencies. “White” LEDs don’t try half as hard (which is why you’ll find them labelled as “warm white”, “cool white” and so on – “white” covers a multitude of sins, basically). It’s as simple as that. My own experience with them is in art and crafting contexts requiring colour-matching, where you absolutely want a daylight lamp. Otherwise as soon as the lighting changes and you see your work in actual daylight, say, you’re likely to discover that your “matching” colours are visibly quite different.

Daylight light bulbs attempt to simulate daylight by outputting all wavelengths of visible light. Which is more than what is necessary for a bulb to appear “white”.

Since our eyes only have three types of cone receptors for color information, all it takes is for a bulb to output some combination of red, green, and blue, and it will appear white. This is what most bulbs do. A daylight bulb tries to emit all wavelengths though, which includes wavelengths between red and green, and between green and blue.

Which means that not only do daylight bulbs have “therapeutic properties”, they also result in more accurate colors of objects being illuminated by the light. Ever wonder why some objects look a different color in daylight and indoor light? It’s because of the missing wavelengths from regular indoor light bulbs. A daylight bulb makes the color more accurate.