May 2013

What Is Light and Why It Is Important

Vision provides us with most of the information that we rely on to survive, and vision would not be possible without light. Light is the stimulus for vision. The receptors in the eye only respond to electromagnetic energy between 380 nanometers (nm) and 760 nanometers (nm). The difference between x-rays, radio waves, UV, IR and visible light is their wavelength. When light travels through a prism the speed at which it travels slows down and the light waves are bent and refracted at different angles so the light emerges as a fan of different colors. What we see as colors are the colors in the light. A blue wall is blue because the light source contains wave lengths in the blue part of the spectrum.

Since light is such an important factor in all our lives it is essential that the environments that are created by lighting designers must allow the eyes to function at optimum levels for the psychological and general well being of the inhabitants. That is the reason you must take control of your lighting. Learn as much as you can about proper lighting so that you will be able to direct the installation of that lighting. But if you do not want to take the time to do that, hire a trained lighting professional to represent your interests. Get the lighting you want and need. The difference between good and bad lighting is huge and will impact your life for years. Budgets are tight, but do not skimp on the lighting…it is what enables you to enjoy everything else in your house. 

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Mar 2013

What is Light?

Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum of energy. It is a form of energy that we can see. Light is created when an energy source emits energy in the visual spectrum which is between 380 and 780 nanometers.

Incandescence at its Best!

Light is created in a number of ways. Incandescence is the most common way. Incandescence is burning. In an incandescent light bulb the filament is heated until it glows. This is true in the common A lamp as well as halogen and xenon light bulbs. Arc discharge is another way light is created as in fluorescent or High Intensity Discharge lamps. Arc discharge occurs when an electrical current is passed through a gas. Another relatively new way to create light is Solid State Lighting, better know as LED. Light is produced when electrical current passes through a semiconductor and light is emitted as a photon. 

Perhaps the best example of incandescence is the sun. The sun is an example of natural light. Daylight is sunlight reflected and diffused through the atmosphere. Moonlight is sunlight reflected. There is no single type of natural light. There are even some plants that give off light directly. They are luminescent.

It is important to know about light, light sources and qualities of light in order to more effectively design lighting for a home. Remember, from a previous post, the color you see is in the light source. If the light source does not have a full spectrum of colors, you will not see the colors that are missing from that light source. That is why early fluorescent and LED light sources did not render colors accurately; they were missing colors in the spectrum.

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