When to Use Full Spectrum Lighting

The term full spectrum lighting is a misnomer. It is not considered a real term by a number of expert photographers. Although there are a number of fluorescent lighting devices which are advertised to provide this type of lighting, the only light source which can truly provide this type of light is the sun. There is currently no other device which has come close to providing or simulating the quality of light that the sun can provide users.

Definition of Full Spectrum

A full spectrum light is defined as light which covers all of the wavelengths that can be seen by human, plant and animal life. It is defined as one which provides the same amounts of red, blue and green light. The term is currently used to describe a number of light sources which emulate natural light.

Determining What Makes a Full Spectrum Light

The sun is the only light source which can provide this type of light. There are items being advertised as full spectrum which can produce light from the entire spectrum. However, the light provided is not evenly distributed along the entire spectrum. The Color Rendering Index is a tool used to determine the color accuracy of the light being produced. As a guide, the sun has a CRI of 100. Most fluorescent lamps are within the range of 60-75. To see colors as accurately as possible, the light used must be at least 90.

Uses of Full Spectrum Lamps

Full spectrum fluorescent lamps are used by individuals and professionals who need to work inside a studio, office or home. These are also needed when working during the evenings or for people who do not have access to northern sunlight. Besides photographers, other professionals who use full spectrum lamps include artists and gardeners.