The daylight bulb difference {Amazing!}

June 18, 2021

Natural light is one of the easiest ways to make a room look it's best! It shows off the true colors of everything and feels fresh and clean. For years I'd want to recreate that feel in our smaller spaces or rooms without windows, but the yellow tint of our light bulbs made everything feel drab. 

Regular warm light bulbs cast a tint on everything that changes the color. Incandescents were the worst offenders, but even some of the energy efficient bulbs nowadays give off that yellow hue that changes the color of the room. 

Years ago I found the easy the solution that is (literally) as easy as replacing the light bulb! Enter the daylight bulb...the easiest change you can make to make a room feel fresh and bright! I've been adding these all over since I discovered them years ago. I still find spots in our home that would look better with the daylight bulb. 

I added this inexpensive wood planked wall on our stair landing soon after we moved in, but the yellow tint of the bulb has bugged me: 
easy inexpensive wood wall horizontal

This little alcove upstairs gets tons of natural light, so the warm light felt really out of place. 

Look at the difference in just a quick change of the bulb!: 

wood planked wall on stairs

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foyer with wood wall on landing

That's the actual color of our carpet! :) I've done this tons of times and it never fails to amaze me how great everything looks! 

I don't use daylight bulbs in every room -- I prefer warmer light in our living spaces and bedrooms. But in bathrooms, storage rooms, hallways, closets, laundry rooms...it makes a HUGE difference. 

I install them in bathrooms no matter how much natural light the room gets. Our basement bathroom was feeling super dingy with the warm halogen bulbs our builder installed. I replaced those (left side) with the daylight (right), and what a difference!: 
daylight bulbs before and after

If you use these you'll notice that anything white looks MUCH better with a daylight bulb. And you can see the actual color of the Agreeable Gray paint on the walls. 

By the way, in the before the bulb was 100 watts. The daylight was only 60, and still looks brighter! 

With both the fan and vanity lights changed out, the difference is huge: 
bathroom with tile dark vanity

I could be imagining it, but daylight bulbs seem to help to brighten my mood as well. The dreariness is gone, and the fresh light looks so good! 

I prefer daylight bulbs that have more bulb and less plastic, like these: 
daylight LED bulb
Some LED lights have the plastic base that covers half of the bulb and I feel like those don't let off as much light. I get a lot of ours at Home Depot (they have a big selection) but you can find them here as well. 

I first found these when I did a small makeover on our son's old bathroom. This is the difference the daylight bulbs made with the old vanity light: 
difference between daylight and incandescent bulbs

Isn't that crazy? I didn't care for the old glass, even though the new bulb really did help. 

Here's the difference with the new bulb and the new brighter glass as well: 
Comparing incandescent and daylight bulbs

We couldn't even believe how different it felt in here! It was like there was a window opened and letting the sun in. 

After I installed these I left the light on, came upstairs and for a split second thought daylight was streaming in the bathroom. I knew there wasn't a window but my mind was tricked for sure. 

The daylight bulbs make everything their true color. This was with incandescents: 
easy bathroom makeover

Here's the after: 
Daylight LED bulbs in bathroom

This is what I mean by the real color of the room. It's amazing! Daylight bulbs really let your rooms shine the way they should! 

They come in different wattages, but overall they are brighter no matter what. In this room I immediately installed a dimmer because first thing on a dark morning they would be way too much. (Most are fine to use with a dimmer, but double check.) 

I tell you what -- you see a lot more with the daylight bulbs. You know how you think you look pretty good in your bathroom and then sometimes you go out and you're like, whaaa? Yeah. These show you all of that before you go out. :) 

Have you tried these "natural light" bulbs in your home? You can see all of my lighting tricks and tips here

P.S. See that bathroom after I remodeled the whole thing here!: 


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Comments

  1. OMG Buying these!! I totally look great in my bathroom and am like WHAAA??? when I get outside. Thank you!!

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  2. Sarah this could totally be a game changer for me! My house is SO dark and taking pictures is such a challenge. Thank you for posting this.

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  3. I have a similar light fixture, but I use 25 watt bulbs. Not sure if they are daylight bulbs, but I will have to look into it...making slow and steady progress on assembling everything for that bathroom re-do...

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  4. Awesome! Thanks so much for showing the 'before and afters' here. This is great. We have some dark rooms at my house so I definitely trying these!

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  5. We switched over right before Christmas and I will never buy anything else! I never realized how yellow and dingy everything looked until we made the switch, lol.

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  6. I've started switching to LED and LOVE them. It's shocking how yellow the light is worth the old light bulbs.
    Thank you for praying a comparison. I've read other blogs reviewing LEDs and there are no before and after pictures which drives me crazy.
    I purchased some from Menards and a few have already burned out so save your receipts no matter where they are purchased.

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  7. I've started switching to LED and LOVE them. It's shocking how yellow the light is worth the old light bulbs.
    Thank you for praying a comparison. I've read other blogs reviewing LEDs and there are no before and after pictures which drives me crazy.
    I purchased some from Menards and a few have already burned out so save your receipts no matter where they are purchased.

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  8. These make an incredible difference! What wattage did you use? We recently bought our house and it has very poor lighting. We haven't changed out any light fixtures yet, so I'm thinking these bulbs could really help out while we decide which fixtures to buy!

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  9. i wonder if it would help with "winter time" depression. i know they have "special" bulbs for that, but the ones you have make it seem like outside light!

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  10. I use daylight bulbs in my basement family room. When we finished the basement I chose a yellow paint that I loved. Loved the color of the paint chip in the room, loved the paint on the walls while I painted. Evening came and the lights went on and I HATED it! And in a MN winter it will be seen more by the lights than by the sun from the windows. Switched the bulbs in the room to daylights, and it make all the difference.

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  11. Mind. Blown. It's unreal what a difference that makes! Is the cost much different?

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    1. Duh, never mind. Just saw your link to amazon :) Thanks!

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  12. yep there are rooms where a yellow bulb does work..but i love the white look much better!!

    http://k-g.us/

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  13. I'm loving these bulbs and it's amazing to see the impact they have in your bathroom. I'm the process of switching them out - I was totally ready to rip down the old light fixtures in our super dark hallways but though first maybe I should try LED bulbs and it's made a HUGE difference. I still don't like the style of the light fixtures, but at least I can see now! The electrician also don't me that bc they are LEDs and don't generate much heat, you can go higher than the wattage that a fixture is marked for.

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    Replies
    1. Electrician *told* me - sorry about the typo! Just way overexcited about LED bulbs.

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  14. Funny coincidence - we live in a different state but our house was also built in 2004 and we have the same light fixture in all our bathrooms. Also, I buy the warm light compact flourescents specifically because they give off the same glow as an incandescent. Thank you for showing the difference with the daylight LED's.

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  15. We bought some daylight bulbs not too long ago and could not believe the difference! It is unreal! They work really great for closets too, so you can see everything in there.

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  16. I love light; got to get some of those!

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  17. We recently discovered them as well and have been quickly trading out our old light bulbs for these. Living in Southeast AK (think dark....it rains... a lot) these really make all the difference. It may be the only way I see "daylight." :)

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  18. This is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm buying these for sure. The two pictures look like two different bathrooms.

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  19. I wonder if they would help with SAD (seasonal affect disorder) that many in winter suffer with.

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  20. Yes, I saw a display at Lowes and bought them for jewelry photography! I still wound up having to buy bigger lights. Now I can use them around the house - something I have not yet done for some unexplicable reason! I, too, was amazed at the startling difference between the two types of bulbs. Maybe they would be good near plants in the winter that require more light?

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  21. Yes, I saw a display at Lowes and bought them for jewelry photography! I still wound up having to buy bigger lights. Now I can use them around the house - something I have not yet done for some unexplicable reason! I, too, was amazed at the startling difference between the two types of bulbs. Maybe they would be good near plants in the winter that require more light?

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  22. I love these bulbs !! We recently changed our entire house to daylight LED. What a huge difference .. Try one room and I know you will be sold

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  23. .....DAYLIGHT BULB.....
    IT'S WONDERFUL...I CAN CUT MY COSMETIC
    EXPENSE IN HALF...A WHOLE NEW FACE !

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  24. I must try these. Our main floor bathroom is windowless and I always feel like the paint color in there is sooo yellowish. Perhaps different lighting will help, though I do plan to paint the room as well.

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  25. They should pay you for this post!
    I am sold, too. Must get a few. :)

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  26. Oh my gosh! What a difference!! This is awesome and would help with my photo taking for my shop as well. Our house is very dark so this would be great! So do they have them for can lights?

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  27. My husband is obsessed with LED lights. I really don't like how blue they make everything. They are so cold feeling. There has to be a happy medium between the yellow and the blue. LOL!

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    1. There are light bulbs that are "bright white" that are exactly that! The daylight does give off a blue tint...but the bright white is just white light

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    2. There are light bulbs that are "bright white" that are exactly that! The daylight does give off a blue tint...but the bright white is just white light

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  28. Sarah, would these work well in reading lamps?

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  29. Yes we have them all over in our house. i love them!!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  30. Wow! I'm sold on these and will be swapping out our old energy-efficient ones.

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  31. So THAT explains why your floor looked like a different flooring in the photos. Isn't that something. I'm glad you followed up with this post; very interesting. And the lamp shades themselves, amazing how they changed color too.
    chrissy

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  32. Definitely going in my bathroom and kitchen! Seeing is certainly believing and your photos tell all. I'm sure at first it takes some getting used to but it will be great to have true light, not dingy light!

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  33. Oh Yes! the day light bulbs are amazing. We put daylight LED recess lights all over the house when we remodeled our current home and everyone that sees gets amazed. One thing though, its harder to wind down at night. So may be in bedrooms, you should use bed side lamps with warm light bulbs for sometime before sleeping so your body can get into relax mode. It may sound crazy but true.
    On the other hand, for bloggers, you can get good pictures of your projects in the middle of the night without major photography equipment.

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  34. Wow what a crazy difference!! It looks so much better with the new bulb!

    Lauren | Lovely Décor
    xx

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  35. I have switched most of my house over to daylight . . . It really helped me feel more calm and peaceful. The "soft white" made everything feel dark and dingy. It might be a psychological thing for me . . . but the difference in the feeling and my personal mood was amazing. My husband still prefers the soft white . . . but for the impact it makes on how I feel--daylight has won out! We still have soft white in our lamps by our beds for quieting down and at night reading. I absolutely love my daylight bulbs!

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