The Source of Natural Light: Sun, Clouds, Water, Plants, Trees

Where Does Natural Light Come From?

Natural light is a beautiful, soft form of lighting that can create breathtaking photos. It is also beneficial for our health, and is needed by plants for photosynthesis.

Photographers often choose to use natural light because it offers a more organic and sincere aesthetic in their images. But where does it come from?


The Sun is the brightest object in our solar system and the source of all of our light. It is also the center of our energy systems, supplying heat and radiation that sustains life on Earth. The sun is named for Helios, a Greek god of the sun and its attendant mysteries, which have fascinated humans since Galileo and Newton first studied it.

The sun is a blazing combination of gases, mostly hydrogen (92.1%) and helium (7.9%). Much of the star exists in a state called plasma, which is electrically charged gas that’s hot enough to break the particles of other atoms apart and knock their electrons loose.

When these electrons escape, they emit light of all colors, including the blue wavelengths that give sunlight its color. This is why the sky looks blue.


Natural light comes from the sun and is often described as “soft” or “warm”. It contains a balanced rainbow of colors and changes throughout the day, depending on the weather and time of day.

A cloud appears when a parcel of air becomes saturated, meaning it contains as much water in vapor form as it can hold. At this point, the water vapor begins to condense into visible droplets or ice crystals.

These tiny water droplets reflect all wavelengths of sunlight that hit them, which is why clouds appear white when they aren’t raining. When it’s about to rain, however, the water droplets clump together and less light penetrates through them, which is why they appear grey or black when seen from below. This is the same process that causes lightning.


Natural light can be transmitted into buildings through windows or other openings, or more complex ‘daylight’ systems. This light is a great way to regulate internal circadian rhythms, promote wellbeing and reduce energy consumption compared to artificial lighting.

It’s been a staple in the fridges and beer pong tables of college students for decades, but Natural Light is now expanding its offerings to reach older drinkers too. The American-style light beer brand recently launched a strawberry lemonade iteration called Naturdays, and is also experimenting with boozy ice pops and hard seltzer.

Regardless of what product you choose to drink, it’s important to consider where the water in your beverage comes from too. This can be a significant factor in the taste and smell of the brew.


Many buildings now incorporate a lot of glass and natural light into their design. This is not only an aesthetic decision but also a health one, as research has shown that natural lighting can regulate our internal circadian rhythm and promote a healthy sleep schedule.

Plants absorb sunlight through a pigment called chlorophyll that allows them to convert the energy into chemical energy. This process, known as photosynthesis, makes the plants grow and produce food. It also produces oxygen and other gases that humans need to breathe.

Bringing natural light into a home can help cut down on your electric bills and create a relaxing environment. A sunroom or screen room is an easy and cost-effective way to bring in the sunlight. It can also improve your home’s curb appeal.


When you see a tall, sturdy tree, it’s natural to assume that it got its strength and growth from the soil underneath it. But a little research reveals the truth is a bit more mysterious.

Trees get their material from carbon in the air, water and a tiny amount of nutrients from the soil. This process is called photosynthesis. The Sun’s energy breaks apart carbon dioxide and water molecules and connects them to form glucose (a simple sugar) which plants use as a building block for new branches, leaves and roots.

Daylighting your home or business can reduce the need for artificial lighting, saving you money and lowering the energy usage in your facility. It also improves occupant health and wellbeing, boosts morale, lowers eye strain and promotes sleep.

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