I was playing with the sun, today. It seems to travel along my wall at an inch a minute, so I can sit there and watch it go. At about 12:30, it enters through the bedroom door enough that there’s a 7″x10″ square on the wall, and that seems enough to light the room like a 60-watt bulb.
I’ve decided that sunlight is a pale (near-white) yellow colour, which is completely different from either cool-white or daylight bulbs, which are red-white or blue-white, respectively. It’s also far away from those horrid orange bulbs, which people seem to believe mimics natural sunlight. I’d say those reddish Cool White bulbs come closest, so far.
The problem with lightbulbs is that they’re so dark. When a patch of reflected sunlight a square foot in area is brighter than a 60-watt bulb, what’s a full-on beam from a window? You’d need to fire a pale yellow light onto a wall or the ceiling at about 20000 lumens to get a full daylight effect. That’s like having at least ten lightbulbs on.
I repositioned my big-ass mirror so that the afternoon sun is directed onto the ceiling directly above me, which casts an amazing light around my desk.
In short: We should stop kidding ourselves. Normal lightbulbs are like fire; dark, hot, and orange; and the more we try to convince ourselves that they’re fine, the more we’re just living in modern caves. It’s the future, and we should really be finding that real daylight lighting solution.
I’m imagining fake ‘windows’ made with a huge sheet of OLED material. With luck, we’re only a year or two away from good, real consumer applications. Those would create a fairly-diffuse light of any colour the manufacturer chooses. Hopefully, they don’t go with dark orange.