How to Create Natural Lighting Artificially
One of the most defining aspects of my previous apartment was the amount of sunlight that flooded through the windows each morning and afternoon. That studio lit up without even needing a filter. The warm tones made my place feel cozy and comforting; something that I deeply cherished when I was trying to heal from my turbulent circumstances. When things got better financially, I moved into my new apartment in Downtown LA. It was the first 'safe' neighborhood that I had ever lived in my entire life. I loved every aspect of this new apartment - its 12 ft. ceilings, large windows, cement floors and exposed ductwork - all but the fact that it was in-facing. :( Yep, that basically meant VERY minimal sunshine. I used to rush home from work early to try to catch the last bit of daylight so I can shoot for my collabs. Those days were immensely stressful >_<.
Yet, if you follow me on Instagram, you'd be surprised to see how all my photos look so warm and sunny. That's because I decided to create my own transformative preset. It's all a facade, my friends. That was... until I figured out how to create my own natural lighting!!!
A super modern company called Soraa marketed themselves so well that I decided to give them a try. They produce lightbulbs that boast a "full spectrum for every color and detail;" light that mimics natural sunlight to highlight your home in a way that brings out its natural, radiant colors. I ordered two kinds of energy-efficient LED lightbulbs: the Soraa Radiant and Soraa Healthy A19 and B30. Here's what the packaging looked like upon arrival:
In case you're curious, the beautiful copy reads: Light is more than light. Light can help you see the true beauty of every color and every moment, or calm your mind for a good night's sleep. Light can give you more than you ever imagined. Soraa wants you to experience it all.
Ladies and gentlemen, if that isn't excellent copy, I don't know what is. I could tell right away that this company was passionate about their products, which made me even more excited to try them out.
The Soraa Radiant lightbulbs bring out the full spectrum of colors in spaces where color is most important. Of course, I had to plug these in the living room!
Below is an example of what the living room looked like with Soraa Radiant's soft off-white color. If you can tell, I have the blinds closed so I can demonstrate just how well the lightbulbs work. This photo is completely unedited. I used my Sony A7Riii with the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens to capture this scene in portrait setting.
If you want to achieve natural lighting as though its midday, where the sun isn't peeking through the windows but everything is lit and the brilliant colors of your furniture can show, then go for the Soraa Radiant collection. I'll keep these installed in my living room because that's where I need my furniture to pop out the most. Wherever color is the most important to you, install the Soraa Radiant bulbs.
When installed in my bedroom, it made my bedding look wonderfully bright. Normal lighting usually dulls or distorts the colors, while Soraa's Radiant collection created a natural filter; highlighting what's meant to be highlighted and bringing out the integrity of each decor piece.
Even Ollie's natural coat color looked beautiful under this lighting, which was hilarious!
This image almost looks as though there weren't any lights, but I can assure you that they were on.
The Soraa Healthy lightbulbs were meant to be used in rooms where evening hours are spent because they help promote sleep by eliminating blue light.
The Soraa Healthy collection brings out a slightly warmer tone, suitable for bedrooms and offices.
The Soraa Healthy collection creates a warmer atmosphere, as though sunlight is flooding through the room at golden hour. If you desire to achieve that warm, cozy look, install the Soraa Healthy lightbulbs.
As shown, the colors of each subject still comes through without being dulled or distorted by the warm tones.
These bedroom images were shot at around 6-7 PM in the evening, which would normally be pretty dark in my apartment due to the lack fo sunlight. With these lightbulbs at work, you can't even tell that it's evening time. It hugs the colors and doesn't make them look harsh. The soft lighting makes the space feel more relaxing and not to mention, much easier to photograph.
If your space doesn't get as much sunlight as you'd want, I highly recommend these Soraa lightbulbs. Each lightbulb will last me for about 20 years, so I probably won't need to need to spend another dime on lighting for a while. They're under $20, which makes it an even more worthwhile investment! Check out both of their collections and other products if you want to achieve that beautiful, warm, natural lighting no matter how your rooms are positioned.