Have you ever noticed that the more time you spend indoors, the more you tend to feel tired, depressed, or both? This is perfectly natural, because the light generated by the fluorescent lighting common to our homes and offices fail to provide the full spectrum of light that the sun provides. This is where full spectrum light bulbs come in, because such bulbs are designed to more closely replicate the intensity and range of colors found in natural daylight.
What is “full spectrum lighting?”
Natural light covers the full electromagnetic spectrum from gamma rays to extremely low frequency waves. Plants and animals, however, do not find this entire spectrum useful to sustaining life. Therefore, when we use the term “full spectrum lighting”, we are talking about the wavelengths that are actually useful to plant or animal life, from infrared to near-ultraviolet light. Full spectrum lighting brings outside light inside, mimicking natural daylight to provide you with all of its benefits.
What are the benefits of full spectrum lighting?
There are many advantages to using full spectrum lighting in your home or office. Such lighting reduces eyestrain, headaches, and tiredness. Because it closely imitates the natural light your body craves for improved physical and mental health, full spectrum lighting also improves your performance and creates a happier environment. Various conditions have been linked to being in an artificially lit environment, such as:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Sleep disruption
- An increased risk of cancer
- A poor immune system
- Stress and anxiety
Using full spectrum lighting in your home or office can provide numerous benefits to your physical and mental health. Exposure to full spectrum light bulbs prompts your body to produce serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that are important in regulating your body’s Circadian rhythm, or sleep cycles. A lack of serotonin or melatonin can disrupt your nature sleep schedule, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. According to Dr. Richard G. Stevens, a cancer epidemiologist and professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center, the lack of melatonin can also increase your risks for cancer while also putting you at a greater risk for suffering from stress, anxiety, and numerous other conditions.
Okay, so what are “full spectrum light bulbs?”
Full spectrum light bulbs are also known as daylight bulbs. They are designed to provide a spectrum of light closer to that found in natural sunlight. Such light bulbs are color-matched to daylight in order to produce a beneficial effect that makes you feel less tired and strained, while also reducing the depression and other medical risks involved in a reliance on indoor lighting.
The problem with full spectrum light bulbs is that they are more expensive than standard CFL or fluorescent lighting. They’re also throw-aways, since you cannot recycle or reuse the bulbs once they burn out. A solution is needed that provides for the capability to mimic full spectrum lighting without the extra cost of the light bulbs, and with the added benefit of being reusable. Furthermore, lamps marketed as full spectrum lights are typically less efficient than conventional fluorescent bulbs. In fact, full spectrum T12 fluorescent lamps have an efficacy of up to 40% less than your typical triphosphor fluorescent bulbs.
What about full spectrum light filters?
Full spectrum light filters are a much more economical than daylight fluorescent bulbs, and operate in the same way as full spectrum light bulbs. Our fluorescent filters re-purpose the light provided by your fluorescent bulbs, providing the full spectrum of usable natural light. They work with standard fluorescent light bulbs, but are reusable and can last for many, many years. This way, you make a single initial investment in the full spectrum light filters, and can use the regular, more economical fluorescent tubes in your lighting.
Full spectrum lighting is crucial to excellent physical and mental health. If you are a worker who spends much of your time indoors, full spectrum light filters are an excellent way to reap the benefits of full spectrum lighting while also eliminating the need to buy new special bulbs. We can provide full spectrum covers or overlays for your lighting that will ensure happy, health workers for years to come.
Full Spectrum Comparison
Below is a spectrum comparison between a Sylvania™ Octron 900 bulb (the most full spectrum bulb Sylvania makes) and our NaturaLux™ fluorescent light filter.
The illustration includes the different colors that make up white light, indicated by the Ra. The closer the line is to the outer edge of the graph, the greater the perceived color accuracy is.