West Frisian sinneljacht, Middle Dutch sonnelicht, (Dutch zonlicht), Old High German sunnalioht and sunnûn lioht
1 : the light of the sun : sunshine
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun, particularly infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.
When the direct solar radiation is not blocked by clouds, it is experienced as sunshine, a combination of bright light and radiant heat. When it is blocked by the clouds or reflects off of other objects, it is experienced as diffused light.
The World Meteorological Organization uses the term "sunshine duration" to mean the cumulative time during which an area receives direct irradiance from the Sun of at least 120 watts per square meter.
Sunlight may be recorded using a sunshine recorder, pyranometer or pyrheliometer. Sunlight takes about 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth.
On average, it takes energy between 10,000 and 170,000 years to leave the sun's interior and then be emitted from the surface as light.
Direct sunlight has a luminous efficacy of about 93 lumens per watt of radiant flux. Bright sunlight provides illuminance of approximately 100,000 lux or lumens per square meter at the Earth's surface.
Sunlight is a key factor in photosynthesis, a process vital for many living beings on Earth.