What is Full Spectrum Lighting?

Full Spectrum light is light that covers the electromagnetic spectrum from infrared to near-ultraviolet All wavelengths that are useful to plant or animal life; in particular, sunlight is considered full spectrum, even though the solar spectral distribution reaching Earth changes with time of day, latitude, and atmospheric conditions.

It's amazing to think that even though we spend two-thirds of our time living under artificial lighting, we're not paying attention to the consequences for our body and mind. Where as people are concerned about organic food, pure water, and clean air, the element by which our very life came into existence - light - is often forgotten.

 Many adults will remember the phrase “go play outside” from their childhood. A phrase that always seemed to be uttered at a time when they most wanted to stay inside and watch TV. But time moves on, and now for many of us, it is time to start reminding our children “to go play outside

The original idea of full spectrum light goes back over 50 years: During the early twentieth century, the US Navy actively researched methods to combat diseases that commonly appeared on submarines where no natural daylight exposure was available to the crew for many days, weeks – or even months.

Ultimately, NASA provided a solution by creating the first natural daylight simulating tubes with added UV output to help the crew stay healthy even without access to actual daylight.

In the early 1950s, Dr. John Ott made a name for himself with full spectrum light when he devised a way to capture the growth of plants in slow motion for a Walt Disney® production that had to be filmed indoors. Initially, the plants failed to produce blossoms and even died because of insufficient daylight exposure; this eventually led to the creation of a new lighting range, specifically developed for this purpose.

In those early days, few could afford the expensive tubes that were made for such specific purposes, but nowadays the awareness of many people has changed.

After all, how many products do you know that can make such a great difference in your life by something as simple and easy as changing some light bulbs in your home or office?

Use in art and in colour matching

Full-spectrum fluorescent lamps are used in the art studio by artists who paint pictures on canvas when they paint at night or inside (ideally, during the day the art studio should have north sunlight, but many artists don't have access to north sunlight so they use full-spectrum lamps instead)

in order to make sure that the colours they are using appear in their natural hue as they will appear when the painting is displayed in a home or in an art gallery.

Full-spectrum lamps are also used by colour scientists or colour matchers in paint stores to match colors at night or inside when they don't have access to north sunlight. 

Use in gardening

Gardening under lights keeps plants blooming almost year-round, for a wintertime harvest. Some plants grow better when given more of a certain colour light, due to the mechanism of photosynthesis. 

Use in seasonal affective disorder

In recent years, full-spectrum lighting has been used in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) through the use of "light boxes" that mimic natural sunlight, which may not be available in some areas during the winter months. Light is an environmental stimulus for regulating circadian cycles.

Lightbox therapy, otherwise known as phototherapy, is a recognized modality for depression (such as SAD). It is also the primary treatment for circadian rhythm sleep disorders, in which the circadian (day V/s night)-rhythm is disturbed, and the individual tends to fall asleep at the same time much after midnight.

Composition of natural sunlight

Solar irradiance spectrum above atmosphere and at surface

The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation striking the Earth's atmosphere is 100 to 106 nanometer (nm). This can be divided into five regions in increasing order of wavelengths:[1]
Ultraviolet C or (UVC) range
Ultraviolet B or (UVB) range
Ultraviolet A or (UVA) range
Visible range or light
Infrared range. It is further divided into three types on the basis of wavelength:


Aquarium lighting

Different corals in a reef aquarium require different lighting conditions. Most of the corals are symbiotically dependent upon zooxanthellae—a type of algae. It is the zooxanthellae that require light to perform photosynthesis, and they provide the coral polyps with simple carbohydrates. In addition to the above techniques of lighting, a new technique employs light emitting diodes (LEDs). The advantage of this technology is that the various parameters of lighting such as warmth and coolness of colour are microprocessor-controlled that make it possible to simulate daybreak, sunset, and even the various phases of moon. However, this technology is relatively expensive. Also, some animals like the Red-eared slider turtle are benefited of having those lights fitted on their aquariums.

Full Spectrum Lighting using electronic ballasts controlled via time clocks is a practical and relativley inexpensive alternative to the LEDs.

Lamps and lighting terms

Incandescent Regular Halogen

·Parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) ·


Fluorescent (Compact)

Fluorescent induction

High-intensity discharge (HID)

Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide (HMI) ·

Hydrargyrum quartz iodide (HQI) ·
Metal halide (Ceramic)
Sodium vapor Gas discharge

Mercury-vapor ·

Deuterium arc ·
Neon ·
Sulfur ·
Xenon arc ·
Xenon flash ·
Black light ·
Tanning lamp ·
Germicidal ·
Growth light

Electric arc

Carbon arc ·
Yablochkov candle


Acetylene/Carbide ·
Argand ·
Candle ·
Diya ·
Gas ·
Kerosene ·
Lantern ·
Limelight ·
Oil ·
Safety ·
Rushlight ·
Tilley ·


Lamp (electrical component) ·
Light fixture ·
Lightbulb sockets ·
Light-emitting diode (LED) ·
LED lamp ·
Solid-state (SSL) ·
Plasma ·
Electroluminescent wire ·
Chemiluminescence ·
Radioluminescence ·
Glow stick ·

Secure payment by Paypal