A full spectrum light covers light from infrared to a near-ultraviolet on the electromagnetic spectrum. These lights contain all the wavelengths which are useful to human beings, animals and even plant life.
Sunlight is an example of a full range, but its solar distribution changes before reaching Earth. These changes occur with the time of day, latitude it hits the Earth at, and the atmospheric conditions where it reaches the ground.
A product, such as a full spectrum lamp, will produce light through an entire visible spectrum. Since these lamps do not provide spectral distribution, you get a better quality of natural light from them.
With different designs and companies out there, choosing the best full spectrum lamp can be a bit challenging. As a result, in this article, we will focus on some of the best full spectrum lamps available in today’s market.
What is a full spectrum lamp?
A full spectrum lamp operates from 400 to 800 nanometers. This color-corrected light will imitate or simulate the brilliance of sunlight at noontime. This light can be measured by Kelvin Temperature (Degrees Kelvin), or by the Color Rendering Index (CRI). The secret to achieving optically balanced light to full-spectrum is how close the optics come to natural sunlight.
The use of full-spectrum lamps and sunlight has been used to treat ailments as far back as the 1500s. Full-spectrum lamps can treat skin conditions to tuberculosis, and modern full spectrum lamp therapy is as close to natural daylight as possible with undeniable benefits.
Full-spectrum lamps have more than medical benefits. These lamps provide task lighting for artists, photographers, readers, and writers. The lamps also have proven beneficial for their healing properties in treating mental and physical related issues. A full spectrum lamp’s health benefits are especially strong in regions with less sunlight and during shorter days.
Unlike ordinary indoor lighting, the full spectrum lamp has all electromagnetic wavelength colors. A full spectrum lamp will mimic the light intensity of 10,000 lux and daylight at 6,500k. These amounts are effective in lightbox therapy to treat seasonal mood disorders.
Factors to consider when buying a full spectrum light
Sunlight is considered full-spectrum light, and your full spectrum lamp simulates this power distribution range. Full-spectrum lighting is the most beneficial for completing tasks as it provides excellent color discrimination. There a several factors to keep in mind when purchasing your full spectrum lamp.
#1. Color Rendering Index (CRI)
The CRI is the measurement of light’s ability to reveal the colors of various objects. This comparison is made against a natural light source, such as the sun. You want a light source with a high CRI as this will be the best suited and will more faithfully provide you with a true representation of colors.
The full spectrum index gives an analysis of the troughs and peaks provided by the SPD.
It will then provide an average of the lamp’s score. When buying a full spectrum lamp, you want one with a low score as it will have a more even color distribution of wavelengths.
Your ideal lamp will have a score of 2.0 or less, as this represents a true-blue full spectrum.
#2. Determine approximate Lumens
The lumens are the measurement of the light emitted by a source. This measurement is often used in conjunction with wattage in determining the luminous efficiency of a lamp.
The more lumens the lamp offers, the brighter the light source will be. Full-spectrum lamps range from 2000 to 10000 lumens. You will want to find a full spectrum lamp that provides the most lumens and is also energy efficient. Using an energy-efficient full spectrum lamp can illuminate your home or office without using excess energy.
#3. Check the energy efficiency
Most of the full spectrum lamps are relatively less energy efficient.
Full-spectrum lamps, or the T12 fluorescent lamps, will provide you about 30 to 40% less efficacy than conventional triphosphoric fluorescent lamps. These lamps consume more energy to offer you comparable light levels.
There are two main types of commercial energy-efficient light bulbs. LEDs and CFLs will provide more energy efficiency than the traditional incandescent light bulb.
You can determine the efficiency of a light bulb by comparing the amount of light it produces against the amount of energy it consumes.
#4. Different Types of Full Spectrum Lamps
There are a wide variety of lamps offering full-spectrum lighting. You can bring the sunlight to your desk with a desk lamp, which will reduce your glare as you work and provide true colors. There are also floor lamps with full-spectrum bulbs to emit natural light into your room.
Full-spectrum lighting therapy comes in various types of setups to provide natural light therapy for improved health. You can also purchase full-spectrum lamps to help the growth of plants indoors.
Check with your lighting specialist the next time you set out to purchase a lamp and have them direct you the number of different choices you have available to meet your needs.
#5. What to expect in full-spectrum prices
Full-spectrum lamps may be priced approximately four to twelve times higher than a comparable lamp without the full spectrum features.
The higher price tag is typical because of the benefits these lamps will provide you over the standard lamp.
Your full spectrum lamp is going to provide better visibility, improved health, greater productivity, and better visibility, which the standard lamp cannot give.
#6. Different styles to choose from
There are a number of different models to purchase in the full spectrum lamps. Another feature to look for in the different models is ones you can adjust the shine of the light. Being able to direct the light where you want it to shine can be even more beneficial to your eyes.
Being able to adjust where the lamp shines is good for those with eyesight problems. As a person ages, your eyes change how you see things. Directing the full spectrum lamp to shine correctly enhances vision and eliminates glare.
Reviews of the 7 best full spectrum lamps
#1. Best overall – Philips full spectrum light with sunrise alarm for bedroom
- Breathe function
- Builds a sunrise alarm clock
- Multiple brightness settings for night reading and more
- Designs with 7 different natural sounds, white noise and FM radio
Ample sleep. The Philips SmartSleep full spectrum lamp aids in improving your sleep and overall well-being. This is one of the best light therapy lamps out there. To help in improving your energy and sleep, it features a sunrise alarm clock which will play ambient music to wake you up.
Great design. It features 7 natural sounds; white noise, FM radio as well as power back up. In addition to that, it is equipped with a USB port for charging your mobile phone as well as AUX port with quality speakers.
Breath function. When night comes, the breath function starts working. It helps you calm down and relax until you got deep sleep. Furthermore, it features a natural colored sunrise.
- Equipped with a built-in timer
- Features different brightness levels
- It is relatively brighter when compared to most lamps
- Only square shape light
Ultra-violet free light. It emulates the power of a sunny day. The best part is that this lamp delivers 10,000LUX, which is recommended for effective light therapy.
Different modes. The Micro LED Bright White therapy light is equipped with 3 different modes at the touch of a finger. You will be able to choose the level of brightness that will best suit your need.
Portable. This full-spectrum lamp is highly portable, and it features a compact size with a bracket that is foldable, making it relatively easy to store.
#3. With timer – JolyWell adjustable full spectrum lighting with a rotatable stand
- Highly portable
- Features smooth dimming
- Equipped with a rotatable stand; this allows you to set it in a position that best suits you
- It is not equipped with a battery
Sunny window. The Jolywell full-spectrum light therapy tens to mimic the sun’s full spectrum that is found in daylight. The best part is that it is free of ultra-violet rays, and it shines with 10,000 LUX making it ideal for fighting jet lag, winter blues, and work shift as well as seasonal changes.
Ultra-thin design. The ultra-thin design makes it relatively light in weight and super portable.
Stand. Jolywell full spectrum light is equipped with a rotatable stand; you can set it at 90 degrees allowing you to use in a landscape or a portrait position. Furthermore, you can adjust the opening angle from 40 to 100 degrees allowing you to set the light at your most preferred position.
Timer and operation. Setting up and operating this full spectrum light is very simple. Whenever you long-press the power button, it will start a 30-minute timer. Furthermore, the LED indicator will start blinking upon successful activation. To cancel the timer, you will have to long-press the power button once again.
#4. Best price – Verilux full spectrum light therapy lamp for SAD
- Easy to operate
- Fairly affordable
- Touch switch on the top of the light fixture
- Comes with a detachable stand for easier storage
- It is not a battery-powered lamp
Incredible design. This light, as the most full-spectrum lamps, delivers 10,000 LUX making it ideal for light therapy. What makes it different is that the lamp has a 35 square lens which is portable and large enough for daily use as well as storage.
Easy to operate. This full spectrum lamp features a simple to operate tablet design. You can position it either vertical or horizontal, and it blends seamlessly in a small space.
Improves sleep. With this full spectrum lamp, you will be able to improve your sleep, energy, and mood significantly. The bright light emitted by this lamp offers signals to your body, which will aid in improving your focus, energy, and sleep.
#5. Perfect for office – Northern large-sized full spectrum desk lamp light box with bright light
- Has a large screen
- Features ultra-violet free design
- Aids in boosting your overall mood
- It is a high end full spectrum light
Comfortable for use. The Northern Light Technologies Boxelite is an incredible lamp equipped with 10,000 LUX, which makes it perfect for light therapy.
Ultra-violet free light. This full spectrum lamp does not emit ultra-violet rays, which makes it perfect for light therapy. The light offers incredibly powerful-glare, which makes it ideal for office use. The light tends to mimic natural light, with the UV light excluded.
High-quality. If you are looking for a high-quality full-spectrum lamp, then this will be best for you. This lamp has been constructed using high-quality metal and features an incredible large light screen that delivers maximum efficiency.
Enhances your mood. Studies have shown that bright light aids in decreasing melatonin, and it increases serotonin, making you happier and more alert.
#6. Mimics sun light – Verilux full spectrum lamp with natural daylight
- Ultra-violet free
- It is equipped with a broad surface
- Sports 2 brightness levels and 2 interchangeable lenses
- It doesn’t have a timer so you need to buy a lamp timer if needed
Broad surface area. The VT20 full spectrum lam features a broad surface area with a personalized setting. The lamp comes with two different interchangeable lenses: Comfort Optix Glare-Control and High-Energy. These settings aids in reducing eye fatigue along with straining. In addition to that, it features two different brightness levels making it highly comfortable to use.
Boosts sleep. If you are looking for a lamp that will help in boosting your sleep, then this full spectrum lamp will be best for you. The bright light emitted from this lamp aids in improving your sleep, focus, mood, and energy.
Safe. This full spectrum lamp has been designed to be safe for use. With Ultra-violet rays excluded in this light spectrum, the VT20 is safe for light therapy.
Perfect design. VT20 is equipped with 10,000 LUX, which is very intense when it comes to light therapy.
#7. Overhead light – Flamingo full spectrum floor lamp
- Ideal for natural light therapy
- Does not cause flicker nor hum
- Features a rotating head that allows you to position it in a position that best suits you
- Relatively pricey when compared to others in this list
Ultra-violet free. The Flamingo full spectrum lamp features 10,000 LUX at about 12 inches. In addition to that, it is Ultra-violet free, which makes it perfect for natural light therapy.
Rotating head. When it is fully assembled, the lamp stands 4 feet tall. Furthermore, it is equipped with a rotating head, allowing you to position the spotlight on the part that best suits your needs.
Incredible performance. Flamingo full spectrum lamp is powered electronically. This assures your reliable performance with zero flickers and no humming.
Why buy a lamp with full-spectrum wavelength?
Buying a lamp with a full spectrum allows you to bring the sun indoors. For centuries, it has been proven sunlight offers you countless benefits. These benefits range from improved health to more accurate color perception, to vigorous plant growth.
In addition, it will help you supplement natural daylight and help you feel better.
These lamps will also allow you to grow plants better.
Promotional claims for lamps with full-spectrum include:
- Improvement in plant growth
- Improvement in color perception
- Aids in the treatment of sleep disorders
- Improvement of visual clarity and moods
- Reduction of the incidence of dental decay
- Improvement of vitamin D synthesis in your body
- Improvement in productivity and mental awareness
- Aids in the treatment of a seasonal affective disorder
- Improvement of academic performance in students
These are the health benefits provided with lamps with full spectrum. The reason behind these benefits is the lamps:
- Portray true colors
- Simulate natural sunlight
- Reduce the glare, eye strain, and fatigue
- Create more productive work environments
- Bring the beauty and benefits of natural sunlight into a building’s interior
The term ‘full spectrum’ implies the light source offers you uninterrupted spectral energy distribution. This distribution is done without the peaks and valleys often connected with most other discharge light sources, such as metal halides, fluorescents, and others. These lamps are considered to give you equal energy in all visible wavelengths.
Buying a full spectrum lamp will provide you with a light source to outshine other fluorescent sources. These lamps will give you an excellent color-rendering, an increase in brightness, and a better visual acuity.
How these benefits will affect you or workers in the workplace depends on the task you are performing. Those doing graphic arts, for example, will appreciate the good color discrimination offered with this light source.
What a full spectrum lamp uses for?
#1. SAD & phototherapy
SAD disorder or Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs when a person’s vitamin D levels are low. Full-spectrum light therapy uses wavelengths from 280 to 320, which allows your skin to produce the vitamin D it is lacking.
This form of light therapy is called Phototherapy. SAD is a form of depression that can occur each year during fall and winter when natural sunlight exposures are low.
Full-spectrum light therapy is also known as lightbox therapy, bright light therapy, and phototherapy. All these treatments are designed to expose a person to higher levels of light, similar to that of natural sunlight.
Notes: How to use a lightbox for light therapy?
Lightbox therapy is designed to mimic outdoor sunlight. Research shows this form of light causes a chemical change in your brain, which in turn lifts your mood and reduces other symptoms of SAD.
The box should expose you to 10,000 lux of light while emitting as little UV rays as possible and should be used within the first hour of waking up in the morning for twenty to thirty minutes.
You should hold the box about sixteen to twenty-four inches away from your face, and keep your eyes open, but looking directly at the light.
#2. Eye strain reduction
Using the right kind of light to read makes a significant difference in your vision. Full-spectrum lighting will improve your reading ability and create a noticeable difference in colors, which will reduce your eye strain.
Typical fluorescent lights have damaging effects on your vision due to their low flicker rate. You may not be aware of the flickering, but every light or overhead lamp flickers when first turns on. This flickering continues whenever power is sent to the light. This continually flickering causes eye strain.
The full spectrum lamps use solid-state circuitry, so it produces a rapid flicker rate that does not strain your eyes. Because of the full spectrum of colors provided by these lamps, most people find they are able to see noticeable differences in shades and colors while working or reading.
#3. Plant Growth
Natural sunlight contains the complete spectrum of light with all the colors of the rainbow. To grow plants indoors and mimic the natural light of the sun, you would need to put them under full-spectrum bulbs.
These bulbs will produce the balance of warm and cool light required to replicate the natural sunlight found outdoors. These bulbs work excellent for seedlings and houseplants. You will also notice significant success in growing culinary herbs and other plants inside under the full spectrum lamps.
What is full-spectrum light therapy?
Does full spectrum lighting help seasonal depression? The health benefits of full-spectrum light therapy are known across the globe. There are various forms of treatments for a number of ailments from skin conditions, such as acne to neonatal jaundice, cancer, and psoriasis.
Full-spectrum therapy can also be used in daylight lamps to help grow plants. The daylight lamps aid in growing plants where natural sunlight is limited or during an outdoor growing season where sunlight is reduced.
Full-spectrum light therapy is able to enhance one’s mood, help you concentrate, increase your energy levels, and help seasonal affective disorders (SAD.) This therapy can reduce one’s winter blues, regulate your sleep patterns, reduce jet lag, improve one’s sleep on shift work, or irregular working hours.
In general, full-spectrum light therapy helps those with sleep deprivation common in today’s high-tech, indoor society. The scientific community continues to explore new applications for full-spectrum light therapy.
To perform full-spectrum light therapy, you use a lightbox in the morning for anywhere between twenty and sixty minutes. The length of time depends on our specific needs.
It is recommended you start at twenty to thirty minutes to see if you experience any changes in your mood or energy levels. If not, you should increase your time.
How to use full spectrum lamps?
To use a full spectrum lightbox:
1. Your full spectrum lightbox should be 10,000 lux. You cannot use a standard lamp as these do not simulate natural sunlight. A full-spectrum lightbox at 10,000 lux will be twenty times stronger than the standard indoor lamp.
2. Your full spectrum lightbox should have the full spectrum of white, bright light, but should block UV rays. The box should be filtering out at least ninety-nine percent of UV rays as these are harmful to your body.
3. Place the box at your eye level or higher. Placement of the lightbox in relationship to your eyes is important. The box is designed to mimic being outside in the sun.
4. Position the light box approximately two feet from your eyes. If your box is weaker than the recommended 10,000 lux, you will need to sit it closer. At 10,000 lux, two feet is recommended.
5. Angle the lightbox either left or right. You do not want the box directly in front of your eyes. Position it at a forty-five-degree angle from the middle of your eyes.
6. Use a full-spectrum lighting box for twenty to sixty minutes each morning. Begin using the lightbox for twenty to thirty minutes each morning and see if you notice any difference in your energy levels, moods, or other symptoms. If no noticeable improvements are occurring, increase the times up to sixty minutes a day. You can do other tasks during this time, such as read emails or the morning newspaper.
7. Consistency is the key to your success. Using the full spectrum lamp daily will provide better results to relieving your symptoms. If you only do it a few times a week, it will not be as effective.
8. Do not use full- spectrum lamps when taking photosensitive medications. Photosensitive drugs can make your skin react to light, especially sunlight. Using a full spectrum lamp while on these medications can lead to rashes or sunburn.
9. Monitor yourself and check the effects of your symptoms or moods. You should begin to see improvement in your energy levels, moods, or symptoms within a couple of weeks.
Broad-spectrum vs. Full spectrum lights
Full-spectrum light bulbs are intended to simulate or imitate natural sunlight. These bulbs also produce UV rays. A lot of lightbox companies are now using full-spectrum bulbs that block the UV rays with a diffuser screen.
The full spectrum lamp gives you a CRI (Color Rendering Index) of ninety or more.
The actual outdoor sunlight you receive from the sun is 100. The full spectrum lamp has a Kelvin temperature of 5,000 or more.Looking at a full spectrum bulb, you will notice a bluish or purplish cast.
Broad-spectrum lightboxes are as close to the full spectrum lamp as you can get without the UV rays. These bulbs typically have a CRI (Color Rendering Index) around 82, and their Kelvin temperature is about 4200. Looking at a broad-spectrum bulb, you will notice they are pure white.
The two terms, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum, are not always used as precise technical terms. Full-spectrum became a word used in a lot of advertisements and was developed as a form of broad-spectrum lamps.
The full spectrum lamps do have very high color temperatures of 5500 or more, as measured in Kelvin. This high temperature will cause more visual glare than a broad spectrum as they have lower temperature measured in Kelvin. This difference will make the broad-spectrum lamps easier on your eyes.
1. How does the full spectrum lamp work?
It isn’t just the shorter days or cold weather that make you feel more sluggish. These conditions are not the only reason you want to stay home on the couch and fixate on the TV. These are symptoms of a disorder known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). A lack of natural sunlight causes this disorder, along with other health conditions. To combat these symptoms, you need a full spectrum lamp.
2. What is a broad spectrum?
Broad-spectrum lamps include all fluorescent lamps with a whitish or white appearance. The broad-spectrum lamps do emit any UV rays. These lamps have a color temperature of 3000-4000 Kelvins and are easier on the eyes than full spectrum lamps. Doctors who are treating patients with macular degeneration often recommend the broad-spectrum lamp as they offer less blue exposure.
3. Is a fluorescent full spectrum lamp any good?
Fluorescent lighting has a mix of phosphors so that it can reach more extensive ranges of the Kelvin scale. These lamps appear more white and closer to natural daylight than your typical fluorescent lamp. These lamps are also designed to represent colors more accurately.
Full-spectrum lamps have a great many benefits. These lamps can be found for use as a desk lamp, room lamp, or as a therapy tool to deal with a multitude of health conditions. No other lamp can be purchased on the market today to provide you the healthy benefits of natural sunlight as the full spectrum lamp.
The lamps mentioned above are some of the best available in today’s market; therefore, you might consider choosing one that best suits you from this list. As we conclude, we hope that this article has been of great assistance when it comes to choosing the best full spectrum lamp that will suit your needs.