Full Spectrum Light Is Like The Sun

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Full spectrum light is like the sun. It consists of many colors which combines to make a beautiful white light. To be truly full spectrum, the manufacturer must create a light that looks like daylight white (the Kelvin temperature) and also contain all the color wavelengths of natural daylight (the Color Rendering Index). It’s easy to make a light with the appropriate Kelvin. The challenge comes in matching the daylight colors at noon when we are most biologically active and alert. We are proud to announce that our Indoor Sunshine light rates 95 CRI, or 95% of the sun’s noontime rating.


CRI — Color Rendering Index or how the colors appear under man-made light in comparison to natural daylight. The sun is 100 CRI. The best man-made light is in the 90s.
K — Kelvin Color Temperature Scale or chromaticity

The Kelvin color temperature is a term used to describe the “whiteness” of incandescent lamp light. In incandescent or screw-in bulbs, the color temperature describes the actual physical temperature of the wire or filament inside the bulb. For fluorescent tubes with no hot filament, the term “Kelvin” indicates that the light appears as if the lamp is operating at a specific color temperature. It is not hot to the touch. The term “chromaticity” is beginning to be used in place of color temperature.

Typical CRI and Kelvin ratings are:

49 CRI 2800 K incandescent
56 CRI 3000 K warm white fluorescent
68 CRI 4200 K standard cool white fluorescent
90 CRI 5000 K daylight-simulating fluorescent
95 CRI 5500 K Indoor Sunshine
100 CRI 5500 K outdoor light

Lux — Lux is a measurement of light output or intensity.
Lumens — Another measurement of brightness.

We see yellow-green as the brightest color. (Think of the new yellow-green school buses and crossing signs, fire trucks and fire hydrants.) Since yellow is the first color we see as babies, the scale for brightness measures the amount of yellow light emitted. However, yellow is the narrowest part of the color spectrum We see better under a light that has blue wavelengths in it or has a blue Kelvin rating.

Full spectrum light increases visual acuity because it activates both the rod and cone cells in the eye.

What are T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes?
These numbers indicate the diameters of fluorescent tubes.
T8 1″ diameter. Found in newer fixtures. Uses electronic ballast only.
T12 1½” diameter. The standard-size older tube. Uses magnetic or electronic ballast.

What’s a ballast?
A magnetic or electronic piece of equipment designed to regulate power to fluorescent tubes. There is one inside every fluorescent fixture, light box and attached to the spiral bulbs.

What’s the difference between a magnetic and an electronic ballast?
A magnetic ballast cycles the light off and on 60 times a second. It’s like being under a strobe light. You may hear the ballast hum or see the light flicker. A magnetic ballast is one of the causes of Sick Building Syndrome. Many people dislike fluorescent lights because of magnetic ballasts.

An electronic ballast turns the light off and on 50,000 times a second. Our bodies perceive this as a steady light and can relax. Stress hormones decrease. The best electronic ballasts (like ours) emit only very, very low levels of EMFs or electromagnetic frequencies. The ballast is quiet and the light doesn’t flicker.

How much light does someone need?
The amount of light needed depends on your sensitivity, the time of year, the amount of time spent indoors, the geographic location, even skin type. Fair skin responses faster; darker and Asian skin requires more light.

Quality Control of our light products
Random testing of the phosphor blend is done during mixing before it is shipped to the manufacturers. Our fluorescent lamps are made in several countries around the world. Random testing Quality Control and Performance Testing is conducted during each stage of manufacturing. Products are tested again after shipment to the United States.

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