3901 N. Mississippi Avenue
Portland, OR 97217
What is Full Spectrum Light?
A select group of bulbs and lamps attempt to mimic the qualities of natural sunlight. By closely reproducing the spectral curve of the sun, full spectrum light achieves color temperatures extremely similar to those naturally radiated through sunlight. Both plants and humans thrive in this type of light, which is highly effective at easing the signs of S.A.D., eye strain, and fatigue. At Sunlan Lighting, we call the light source that provides 90CRI or greater in any Kelvin, a full spectrum light. This is not a universal definition of full spectrum light. For more detailed information see the Full Spectrum Tab.
What Is SAD?
S.A.D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Approximately, 10 percent of Americans suffer from serious symptoms of depression and mood swings during the winter months due to decreased exposure to light. This disorder, along with year-round severe depressive disorder, may be treatable with directed exposure to bright light.
Dr. Raymond Lam In a study at University of British Columbia found that 30 minutes of the equivalent of early morning light helps. Using the morning light two weeks before periods can lessen PMS symptoms by 60 percent.
Many people find that cloudy days make them feel tired and/or depressed but using Halogen or other Full Spectrum Lights help them feel better. I use Neodymium and Xenon bulbs [a bulb that give light that is whiter than Halogen with less heat] in my home because at my advance age, I need more and better light to be able to read. The light also makes my home feel better, shows off my art like a sunny day and help my plants grow like I have a green thumb. My son uses Halogen to help get morning energy and as an active light in his home. Both of us use Neodymium in our homes for our evening light because it creates a relaxing light that is useful before bed time. The Key to good lighting is to use the correct bulb for your activity. “The Light Bulb Lady”
What is Kelvin?
The term "Kelvin" is used to describe the color of natural sunlight as it falls on the spectral curve. Many factors impact the Kelvin of light on any particular day, including the season, the time of day, the weather, the density of the cloud cover, and the geographical location. Season-simulating light bulbs mimic these Kelvin measurements to create different light impact.
Bulbs with Kelvin's measurements of 2800K to 3600K produce light that mimics the color of spring, and when produced in a high CRI, helps to improve mood and is an energetic light. Measurements of 5000K simulate the intensity of summer sunlight at high noon and when the light has a high CRI, is beneficial for clarifying colors and improving visual sharpness. 5500K to 5900K is the Kelvin of fall and is relaxing, balanced moods, and improves growth in plants. Changing the Kelvin [color] and the CRI of bulbs in your home or office can make a dramatic difference in how you feel and your productivity.
Most compact fluorescents lamps are 82 CRI. People feel better and are able to read easier under high quality bulbs or lamps. Full Spectrum bulbs are a real boost to lift the winter blues. Plants grow well under any light color [Kelvin] that has a high CRI.
The CRI rating of each Kelvin determines how close the Kelvin [color] is to natural sunlight.
A Kelvin number is used to describe the light color. Cool White is 41K or 4100 Kelvin, Warm White is 3000K, and Daylight is 6500K. Some companies call 5000K Daylight. Sometimes bulbs labeled Full Spectrum they have a Kelvin of 5000K, 5500K or 6500K. I use the Full Spectrum term only when bulb or lamp of any color [Kelvin] is 90CRI or higher.
What is CRI?
CRI means Color Rending Index. Sunshine in any season has a CRI of 100. The CRI scale is a measurement of the accuracy of a light's ability to render when compared to a proven reference light source. Ranging from 1 to 100, the higher the CRI rating, the more natural the light and the more true the colors will appear.
Standard fluorescent lamps can have a CRI of 62 to 82. Better quality light is produced by any light bulb or lamp in any Kelvin ranges if it has a 90 to 98 CRI rating. The new standard for F32T8 lamps is a CRI of 82. There are F32T8 lamps are available with CRI ranging from 90CRI to 98 CRI in select Kelvin between 50K to 59K. Most compact fluorescence lamps have a CRI of 82 to 84 CRI. Neodymium lamps are listed as 89-92 CRI. Halogen bulbs are 98 to100 CRI. LED s has a range from 70 CRI up. Late in 2014, some companies will be offering some LED lamps or fixtures in the 90+ CRI range. The CRI of a bulb or lamp is listed as a number before the Kelvin number. Example, when you read the code on a fluorescent tube that says F32T8/841 the 8 is for 82 CRI and the 41 represents 4100 Kelvin or cool white.
Colors appear to change under different light sources and by using a different Kelvin. Low CRI bulbs or lamps make colors appear less correct. The higher the CRI, the more natural the light and colors appear.
What Is Lux?
Similar to lumens, Lux is a measurement of light at a given distance from the light source. Some studies find that a very high amount of light will help to alleviate SAD. Studies by Michael Terman, director of Winter Depression Program at Manhattan's Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Dr. Raymond Lam in a study at University of British Columbia found that frequent exposures to high concentrations of light are effective at easing symptoms of depression. He found that people are synchronized not by the bright light of high noon but by the subtler light signals of sunrise and sunset. In 1990, he found that patients who woke with as few as 500 lux anthem experienced total relief.
Plants thrive under Full Spectrum Lighting, and so do people.