Full Spectrum Light Bulb – What is it and Benefits
Are you looking for a non-medicinal treatment for depression or a sleep disorder?
Are you a hobbyist gardener who wants to grow orchids, houseplants, and some fruit and vegetable crops indoor?
Do you want your indoor light bulbs to emulate the full light spectrum found in sunlight?
If you said “Yes” to any of these, what you need is full spectrum lighting – the closest thing to sunlight that money can buy.
Now, you may be wondering: That’s all good and dandy, but what sunlight-alike artificial light has got to do with the treatment of medical conditions or indoor gardening.
Well, there’s a strong connection — and we will lay out the details for you. But first let’s understand what full spectrum lighting is.
Full spectrum light bulbs are made with the intention of emulating the full light spectrum found in sunlight during midday. These particular lamps come in a wide variety of voltages, wattages, finishes, base types and sizes.
Full spectrum bulbs are used for various applications. Let’s learn more about this.
Treatment of Depression – According to the Mayo Clinic, light therapy can help in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that is associated with changes in season and that starts and ends at roughly at the same time every year. Light therapy, in which you sit near a light box emitting light that mimics sunlight, affects brain chemicals related to sleep and mode. This, in turn, helps ease SAD symptoms.
Treatment of Sleep Disorders – Light therapy is the primary treatment for circadian sleep disorders, a condition in which the circadian — that is, day vs. night — rhythm gets disturbed, and the person typically falls asleep at the same time late in night.
Indoor Gardening – Much like outdoor plants, indoor plants grow best under full spectrum light bulbs, since the light that they produce replicates the natural solar spectrum. You can grow orchids, houseplants, culinary herbs, and some other plants with a set of grow lights. Full spectrum bulbs are also excellent for seeding.
Last but not the least, full spectrum light bulbs are a great choice if you want your indoor light to be as close to the natural outdoor light during the day as possible. That being said, you may also want to consider Natural White LED bulbs — since they also effectively mirror the natural daylight.
Manner of Operation
The function of full spectrum lights highly depends on the type of bulb used to produce it. There are no technical terms that can fully define full-spectrum lights, which makes it very hard to measure what factor specifically defines the light being produced. Lights which utilize the full spectrum generally fall into two types: fluorescent and incandescent.
Incandescent bulbs that use the full spectrum generally incorporate a glass enclosure made of neodymium. This effectively filters the dominant warm colours that make the usual incandescent light yellow. These bulbs appear to be a mix between purple and lavender when you turn them off.
Full spectrum fluorescent lights; on the other hand, incorporate a mix of various phosphors to reach a wider range of colours in the Kelvin colour temperature scale. The light coming from these types of bulbs appears whiter and bears the closest resemblance to sunlight compared to other fluorescent bulbs. When unlit, these lamps still appear white like most fluorescent lamps. These bulbs are designed to represent the full spectrum colours accurately and typically come with a moderate CRI (colour rendering index).
Full spectrum light bulbs aren't expected to have the exact range of colours and Kelvin temperature that sunlight does, it is only made to specifically emulate the hue and quality of the visible light we see during the day.
Frequently Asked Question
- What is a full spectrum light bulb?
Full spectrum light bulbs replicate the full electromagnetic spectrum of light—that is, midday sunlight. You can find these bulbs in a variety of sizes, bases, voltages, and wattages.
- Are full spectrum light bulbs good for you?
They are used as part of light therapy, which is used for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, Sleep Disorder, and some other conditions. Full spectrum lighting also comes in handy in gardening.
- What color is full spectrum light?
Full spectrum light, in contrast to conventional indoor light, includes each and every colour in the electromagnetic wavelength.
- Can you get a tan from full spectrum light?
No, you can’t. This is because the amount of ultra violet linked to the luminous intensity of full spectrum light bulbs is not sufficient to effect skin tanning.