What is Full Spectrum Light Therapy?
Full spectrum light therapy is process of taking in bright, natural or artificial daylight through your eyes.
The best source of full spectrum light is sunlight. We are nourished by the stimulation of sunlight primarily through the eyes and skin. Sunlight entering through the eyes goes directly into the brains hypothalamus to affect every system and cell in our bodies.
Recommendations of daily requirements for sunlight range from a minimum of 10 minutes 3 or 4 times per week to a minimum of 1 hour per day.
Why Do You Need Full Spectrum Light Therapy?
Since the invention of the light bulb in 1879, we have changed our lifestyles from an outdoor society to an indoor society. Consideration, however, was not given to the effects of artificial lighting on human beings.
Light, with its full spectrum of radiation, is a life-sustaining element and a basic human nutrient. Relative to the power of natural outdoor illumination (100,000 lux), we are now living in the dark. Average indoor lighting is approximately 700 lux, or less than 1% of the light we are naturally intended to receive. Consequently, we suffer the physical, psychological, and emotional results of a lack of natural light, or malillumination.
Malillumination is similar to malnutrition in that natural light, with its full spectrum of radiation, including ultraviolet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and infrared radiation, is a life-sustaining element and a basic human nutrient. Exposure to natural light is necessary for overall human wellness and longevity. Light therapy treats the effects of “malillumination.”
Symptoms of Malillumination
What Can You Do?
- Spend some time outside – without your glasses or sunglasses when possible.
- Relocate to a climate more suited to outdoor living.
- Add a sunroom to your existing home.
- Replace daytime lighting in your home and workplace with bright full-spectrum light
- Use a full spectrum, bright light therapy box.
How to Find the Right Lights for Full Spectrum Light Therapy
Natural daylight is a true “”white”” light, which contains a balance of energy throughout the entire range of the visible spectrum. Full-spectrum lighting is the most accurate reproduction of natural sunlight available. Today there are many manufactures of ‘full-spectrum’ or’daylight’ bulbs, however, not all ‘full-spectrum bulbs are created equal. There are two primary factors in choosing true full spectrum lighting:
- Color Rendering Index (CRI). The Color Rendering Index rates the light’s ability to duplicate the entire visible spectrum. The sun, for example, has a CRI of 100. Anything over 90 CRI is considered full-spectrum lighting. Opt for the highest CRI you can find.
- Correlated Color Temperature.Correlated Color Temperature measures the temperature at which a lamp burns. A color temperature of 5,000 to 6,500 degrees Kelvin is required to be considered full-spectrum. A full-spectrum light source is a bulb that has a CRI of 90 or above with a color temperature between 5,000 and 7,500 degrees Kelvin. Further to full-spectrum light, there is another form of light which only the sun provides.
Though it has received a lot of ìbad mediaî in the past, UV is just as important to our health as the other parts of light. Remembering that it should be experienced in moderation, UV is the part of light which allows our bodies to produce vitamin D. Without it, we become vitamin D deficient. Because of the widespread fear of UV, vitamin D deficiency is now a worldwide epidemic.