Came home to a package at the door.
I open the box to find a note, some green bubble wrap, and cardboard box
number two. Deja vu. I open box number two to find some more green
bubble wrap (oh no) and cardboard box number three. Thankfully, box
number three is marked, "Natural Light," which is what I'd ordered.
It's a full-spectrum light bulb, designed to mimic the wavelengths found
in natural sun light. "Stimulates appetite, activity and reproductive
behavior . . ." It's actually marketed for reptile terraria, but natural
light is natural light. Or, in this case, artificial light is natural
light. It's winter here in the southern hemisphere, and my room doesn't
get a lot of sun, thanks to the trees outside. I was beginning to feel
the effects of this: seasonal affective disorder. I've experienced
seasonal affective disorder before--once in a sub-arctic winter, once
working in a low-quality office--so I was able to see it coming this
time. I've also learned that it's not much fun.
Most indoor light bulbs lack some of the frequencies of light present in
sunlight, which, to cut a long story short, makes your brain think it's
dark all the time, which makes it unhappy.
I've had the lamp a few days now, and the oncoming seasonal affective
disorder disappeared pretty quickly, just like when I'd come back to a
southern hemisphere summer around Christmas time.
As a photographer, I'm quite attuned to the subtleties and variations of
light. I can notice changes in brightness which our brains usually let
us ignore, tell harsh light from soft light, pick color temperature just
from being in a room. This makes me quite fussy about light. I can't
stand the lights that let you see well enough but still somehow look
dim, because some frequencies are missing. It also makes me really
appreciate good light. Sometimes I go outside at the right time of
evening and just think, "wow, look at the light."
This daylight bulb is reasonably good looking. Color rendition under it
is quite high and my room feels, in a way, sunny, but more like the
light you'd expect from a toy sun, than filtered light from the real
No increase in reproductive behaviour yet, but we'll see.