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Why The Right Lighting Matters - Light And Its Impact On Sight

Are there different shades of white light? What color is the sun? What is light? Take a few seconds to think before you answer. 

Don't have any idea? Don't worry; you aren't the only one! 

We live in a world that is hardly ever dark, power outages aren't common, and unless you turn out the lights at night, you are almost always surrounded by light. While this seems like the natural development of technology it also makes us unappreciative (and unaware) of light and its role in our daily lives. 

What Is Light? 

Light, or Visible Light, commonly refers to electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye.  

The Visible Light spectrum is made up of all the colors of the rainbow, starting with red light waves on the left to violet on the other end.

Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) charts offer a visual representation of the different make-ups of the different light sources. They compare the amounts of each wavelength that are present in each light beam.

Dr. Lite SPD Chart

The sun emits all colors of the rainbow evenly and in physics, this combination is called "white." That's why we can see so many different colors in the natural world under the illumination of sunlight!

What Is Vision?

Vision happens when light waves reflect off of objects into our eyes. This is the light that makes it possible for us to see the objects.

Light plays a major role in how we perceive color. The source of the light being shed determines that is made available for the eye to see. Changing that light source will change what you can see.

Color Temperature

Color temperature offers us a scale to measure how 'warm' (yellow) or 'cool' (blue) a light source is. The higher the number (measured in Kelvin) the 'cooler' the light.

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

As we've discussed in the past, the Color Rendering Index (CRI) is the measure of a light source's ability to clearly show the color of objects when compared to a natural light source like sunlight. 

The CRI is an index ranked in descending order from 100 to 0. The more a light source gets closer to a 100, the more it shows the realistic and true colors of an object. Conversely, a light source with a low CRI value wouldn't realistically render some objects' colors. 

On a general scale, CRI values that fall between 0 and 55 are considered poor and damaging to the eyes. Values between 60 and 85 are considered good and can be used for everyday activities. However, values that fall within the range of 90 to 100 are excellent light sources. 

Dr. Lite Lamps are True-to-Color Depictions with CRI (Color Rendering Index) values as high as 90 Color Rendering Index (CRI).

Where Does Blue Light Come In?

Blue Light is everywhere, from our smartphones to our indoor artificial lighting (including LED lighting), to the sun.

It has a very short wavelength in the visible spectrum, generally ranging from 380-500 nm. Scientists at Harvard have researched the effects of exposure to blue light and concluded that it has an impact on our circadian rhythm, interfering with our biological clock and interrupting our sleep schedule.

Further research has shown that this may contribute to the causes of some cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. All of this while having a massive impact on our eye health.

Not all blue light is bad, of course. Blue Light can help provide basic illumination, boost our alertness, elevate our mood, and lower our blood pressure. However, exposure to large amounts of blue light can be extremely harmful to our eye health (leading to diseases such as Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, and Glaucoma) and our sleep patterns. The key is not to eliminate blue light entirely, but to filter out harmful blue light rays while retaining the beneficial ones.

Dr. Lite offers the most balanced lighting on the market, blocking out harmful blue light while retaining beneficial blue light!

Brightness

Light passes through the front of the eye (the cornea) to the lens. As we age, the amount of light that manages to pass through the cornea drops off, which is why the older eye typically needs more light to see.

However, too much light will also make things worse. This is why the right lighting is so important!

Why The Right Lighting Matters 

All sight is light, but all light is not the same! The light you choose to live under will make a big difference.

You've often heard people say that "using a bright light to read or study reduces strain and protects the eye." There's a logical reason why you've heard that or some variation of it. It's because lighting truly matters. Beyond its use for illuminating videos, crafting, and reading, lighting matters in our everyday life. 

What Impact Does This Have On Your Eyesight? 

As we age and our eyes mature, we begin to notice changes in our visual acuity. This process starts in our 40's and continues to impact our ability to read and see in low light while increasing our risk for eye diseases responsible for irreversible vision loss.

Aside from helping you see, light can determine your eye health as you grow older! Avoiding harmful indoor lighting, wearing sunglasses outdoors, and limiting your time with bright screens will significantly impact the way your eyes age.

And that's just in the long-term, in the short-term the wrong lighting has a negative impact on our mood while causing headaches and dry eyes.

Take a few seconds to think about what type of light you expose your eyes to. The average person is exposed to light from gadgets, sunlight, and other artificial sources of light. 

How To Choose The Right Lighting

Because of poor lighting, half the world's population (nearly 5 billion) will be nearsighted (myopic) by 2050, with up to one-fifth of them (1 billion) at a significantly increased risk of blindness, says a study published in the journal Ophthalmology.

So how do we choose the "right" lighting? With the help of Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) charts, that's how! As we mentioned earlier, a Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) chart measures a light source's energy levels through various light wavelengths. The SPD is the exact "fingerprint" of a light source.  It shows how the light source renders colors help generate optimal lighting solutions for seeing colors within the appropriate color temperature range!

A great light will also adjust to match the individual's visual acuity needs and will provide relief from eye strain, fatigue, and blurred vision. It's also extremely important that your lighting allows for adjusted brightness and that it has the optimum color temperature. The optimum color temperature indoors is 3,500-4,000 Kelvin.

Perhaps the most important factor to the right lighting is blocking out blue light! That's why our lamps gained a reputation for being the most balanced spectrum of lighting, blocking out harmful blue light while retaining the blue light that is healthy!

Dr. Lite lamps are doctor certified as the healthiest choice for indoor lighting. Shop our selection to get yours today! 

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