The creation of artificial light continues to help us accomplish tasks and go about our business when real natural light isn’t available. Before LED light, most artificial lights compromised what normal or natural light looked like.
Most lighting applications, whether it be incandescent or LED, claim a full and continuous spectrum, but usually neglects efficacy, color rendering, or light quality.
Lighting gets complicated so let’s stick to the basics of different lighting applications, specifically LED and “natural light.”
What is full spectrum light? How does it relate to natural light?
Full spectrum light covers the electromagnetic spectrum, or all wavelengths useful to animal and plant life. Sunlight gives off a full spectrum.
Natural lighting refers to artificial lighting trying to replicate full-spectrum daylight with wavelengths between 380nm and 770nm. No universal definition or way to measure natural light exists but color temperature and CRI measure similarity to natural daylight.
Light bulbs emit a “temperature” that represents the light color between yellow and blue. Color temperature measures Kelvin units from 2200 (low) to 6500 (high). The higher the temperature, the bluer a light source appears, and the lower the temperature, the yellower the light source appears.
Natural daylight’s color temperature is around 6500K. Many fluorescent and LED lamps only reach 2700-3000K. A full spectrum light bulb should emit close to 6500K to promise similarity to natural daylight.
The CRI, color rendering index, tells consumers the accuracy of an object’s colors under the light and the quality of the spectrum emitted. CRI is measured on a scale from 1-100 and natural daylight’s CRI is 100. Lower CRI renders color inaccurately compared to sunlight. Higher CRI reflects colors more accurately to natural light so full spectrum lights should have a high CRI, preferably 90 and above.
The interest in natural lighting stems from our preferences to view objects in their “natural” state and to improve our well-being. Benefits to full spectrum, artificial natural lighting include:
- Reduced eyestrain and improved concentration
- Assistance in the adaptation to new time zones and jet lag
- High color rendering and well-being benefits
- Improved sleep-wake cycles
The interest in LEDs continues to grow and LED technology exhibits three main benefits for consumers.
- Energy Savings
- Long Life
- Design Flexibility
Another advantage includes the ability to optimize a full spectrum while maintaining high energy efficiency. With these benefits, the interest in replicating natural light with LED technology grows.
LEDVANCE’s product line Natural Series ™ based on SYLVANIA TruWave Technology uses a high color rendering index (CRI) and Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) to closely match natural light.
The Natural Series ™ achieves a high CRI (above 90) and color temperature without compromising efficiency. It delivers a full spectrum and achieves quality color rendering while providing the benefits of natural daylight.
This standard is a requirement in buildings, particularly: work areas, living environments, breakrooms, and learning areas. Only 1% of office business costs go towards energy so the need for affordable, energy efficient fixtures grows. SYLVANIA Natural Series ™ meets the WELL Building requirements.
The circadian cycle, or the human sleep-wake cycle, is determined by melatonin. The Circadian Stimulus (CS) is a measure of the impact of light on this cycle through melatonin suppression. SYLVANIA Natural Series™ supports the sleep-wake cycles by delivering CS closest to natural light.
What is blue light? Is it relevant to natural light? Blue lights’ short wavelengths emit higher energy. It penetrates the eye and can result in retina damage or long-term vision problems. For those reasons, optometrists suggest wearing blue-light blocking glasses.
Electronics emit this light but so do full spectrum lights. Many lighting applications, including LED, employ large blue wavelengths to increase efficiency but as mentioned before, it can also hurt us. To combat this problem, TruWave ™ enables a more natural color rendering and creates a broader and less intense blue light.
SYLVANIA TruWave Technology claims to meet these standards:
- Color Quality
- Full Spectrum
- Dimmability and Flicker
Many LED lights present poorer color quality due to lower CRI accuracy. TruWave encompasses a full spectrum, a high CRI, and ideal color temperature to create the most accurate natural lighting.
TruWave uses a blue emission with reduced intensity and wider wavelength to make a broader blue distribution, more accurately matching natural daylight.
LEDs operate on low voltage and respond to voltage variations, making them easily dimmable. Many traditional light fixtures flicker due to low light output. SYLVANIA Natural Series ensures a higher light output and TruWave delivers high-quality lighting with minimal flicker.
Increased blue light upsets many people’s eyesight. TruWave Technology reduces the intensity of the blue spectrum while matching natural light.
SYLVANIA TruWave Technology applies to many applications including:
- Your Home
- The Store
- The Office
- In Schools
- The Airport
For natural light in the mornings before school and work!
Customers need to accurately see the colors, textures, and finishes of a store’s products.
Natural lighting increases the well-being and productivity of employees through good dimmability, low flicker, the full spectrum, and broader blue light.
Like the office application, students and teachers require improvements in productivity and reduced fatigue.
Natural lighting relaxes passengers, increases socializing, and reduces the effects of jet lag.
Check out HomElectrical's selection of Sylvania LED bulbs and more!