Infrared (IR) is an invisible radiant energy, electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, extending from the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum at 700 nanometers (frequency 430 THz) to 1000000 nm (300 GHz) (although people can see infrared up to at least 1050 nm in experiments).
Most of the thermal radiation emitted by objects near room temperature is infrared.
Sunlight, at an effective temperature of 5,780 kelvins, is composed of near thermal-spectrum radiation that is slightly more than half infrared. At zenith, sunlight provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation.
Nearly all the infrared radiation in sunlight is near infrared, shorter than 4 micrometers.
On the surface of Earth, at far lower temperatures than the surface of the Sun, almost all thermal radiation consists of infrared in mid-infrared region, much longer than in sunlight. Of these natural thermal radiation processes only lightning and natural fires are hot enough to produce much visible energy, and fires produce far more infrared than visible-light energy.