Lighting is an art form; just ask Rembrandt. For the sake of a quick definition: Tungsten Light is warm, or soft light, and generally used indoors. Daylight, is a colder, much brighter light.



Color temperatures are a science in itself, but basically, Tungsten Light has warmer, with orange properties and it’s temperature is around 3’200 Kelvin, whereas Daylight (also called HMI) has much higher, (5’600 K) temperature and has blue properties. Fluorescent light has yellow-green properties which is why it’s so perfectly ghastly to shoot with.

If you’re interested it’s worth perusing the color temperature link on Wikipedia. They have some rad schematics.

For a DIY-er keep these three points in mind:

  • Consumer cameras and smart phones, don’t need to be balanced for either or lighting, but LOOK and SEE what you’re shooting and pay attention to the tonality on your subjects face and skin
  • Either shoot with the light of a window and daylight balanced bulbs, or
  • Shoot in a window-less room, or at night and supplement with Tungsten light bulbs (aka, soft, or warm bulbs)
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