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Full spectrum lights?

Ok, so I stare at a monitor all day, and at night I feel like reading some books which seems to really tax my eyes.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with those full spectrum lights that supposedly mimic all the wave lengths of real sunlight.

I found this site: http://www.solux.net that sells these things, but I was wondering if anyone had any real experience (sans-hype) with these full-spectrum lights.

In anycase, the whole point is just to be able to have a eye-friendly light for reading at night.  Thoughts?

Charles
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

our entire office area has these bulbs (flourecent natural light)

Everything appears to illuminated with the same color temp as natural sunlight...

we use  http://www.naturallighting.com/
superbrite bulbs

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Aren't you concerned that it might interfere with your tin-foil beenie hat? ;^)

Edoc
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

well arch-ing does occurs at certain times of the day but you get used to it :)

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

that would be "arcing"

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

apw,  do you like the lights?  Think they're worth it?

Charles
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Why is the holy grail to have the same spectrum as sunlight? Does it actually make it easier on the eyes? Is it supposed to be healthier somehow?

Nigel
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

well the regular run of the mill tubes make everything look drab and grey...  by looking directly at the new bulbs they appear cooler color but they seem to throw a almost netural light...  ie  i can close the window shades and turn the lights on....the colors of the surroundings look the same as it does when illuminated by sunlight...

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

First we tried halogen, and now have settled on "HappyEyes" lamps as the best eye strain (and winter-cabin-fever) cure around.

Joe Hendricks
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I would assume it's because eyes and associated fleshy matter evolved in the presence of natural sunlight.

b
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Nigel,

My eyes have been the most happiest when reading with natural sunlight... though obviously not in the direct sun. 

However, one of those who prefer to work in the dark  (batcave!) with only the glow of the monitor to accompany them might have a different preference.

Charles
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Will these lights give me sunburn as well? (I seriously used to get sunburnt when I used to use an ARC or MIG welder all day long so it would be a concern)

(or for the less fair skinned, a tan?)

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Full spectrum bulbs require more power than standard bulbs. Basically they're regular bulbs with certain frequencies of light gently muted - especially in the green/yellow area. If you look at one you'll see it's pink tinted.

In my experience people look a healthy pink rather than an unhealthy green with these lights. Not like sunlight, but certainly different from standard bulbs. If there is a difference on my eyes or mood, it's subtle, but I do prefer them. I guess the best way to describe them is "warmer."

They run hotter than standard lights - that light energy has to be converted to something, and you need 150 watts to get something like 100 watts of output. Some of them are odd shaped too, larger than standard, and won't fit in every light socket, or will stick out of some desk lamps.

You shouldn't worry about getting a sunburn, there's no magic here, just some color adjustment.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Oh, plenty of lighting stores sell them, places like Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and WalMart as well. Unless you're talking about flourescents. There is a floursecent "sleeve" you can buy and presumably re-use that slips over a standard flourescent lamp (bulb). So you see, there's no magic here, just a pink filter.

They're more expensive than standard bulbs, but won't break the bank. I don't think there's any need for most people to order them online. Why not just try it and see how you feel.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Chris you get sunburnt when using welders because they give of UV rays. That's why, if it was too hot to wear long sleeves when welding, I would lather up with sunscreen.

Dan G
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Yes I understand why I got sunburnt from welders, but if these "full spectrum" lights give off the "full spectrum" then does that include infrared and ultraviolet as well?

If they do, then that means I will get sunburnt, but it also means that there would probably be some sort of case for not using them unless the employer wants to be held liable for causing skin cancer in their employees. So will I get sunburnt off these lights?

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Sorry, I think marktaw answered my question on the sunburn, its just if it is just a colour adjustment then how could they advertise it as "full spectrum"?

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Full (visible) spectrum"

Some of them - the kinds that are used for greenhouses - may give of a true full spectrum.

If they're just modified normal lamps, I think normal lamps would be full spectrum as well... Just with a skewed distribution.

A quick Google turned this up:

http://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com/fullspectrumlight.htm

What is the real definition of "Full Spectrum Light"

"Simulated full spectrum light is color corrected light that operates in the range of 400 to 800 nanometers.  This light will simulate the optical brilliance of outdoor light at noontime."

There are some pretty graphs on the page to show the difference between a normal "Cool White" lamp, their lamp, and sunlight. Notice that the full spectrum bulb graph really just looks like the cool white but without the large spike.

Also this statement "All UltraLux light therapy products use "NON UV" full spectrum bulbs" implies that there are other bulbs that produce UV rays.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Chris, if you are getting sunburned from arc welding all day, that's not a good thing at all.  I think there's some real potential for medical trouble (i.e. increased risk for skin cancer) there.  Weren't you wearing leathers designed for arc welding?

Some of the full spectrum lights produce varying degrees of UV because in order to get perfect color rendition, you need to be able to match how certain things flouresce in the presence of the sun's UV rays.  However, I assume that they are only doing the non-DNA-damaging UV rays or something, so it's very unlikely that you could get a tan.  Very few folks in the flourescent biz are talking about it because apparently some folks are starting to suggest that even the small amount of UV from full-spectrum lights may be increasing one's risk for skin cancer.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Of course there is also research now that suggests the avoidance of exposure to the sun and use of sun-blocking creams is causing many more health problems than it's solving.

The reason is that the body needs to receive a certain amount of ultra-voilet in order to avoid Vitamin D deficiency. This is the probable evolutionary explanation for the exisntence of fair skin amongst the inhabitants of northern climes.

So the true hypochondriac should lather himself in sun-cream and only go out at night if he lives in New Miexico, but buy case loads of natural spectrum greenhouse type lights if he lives in Canada. Either way he would do best to avoid exposure to dihydrogen monoxide, but most geeks do that automatically.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 01, 2004

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