Sad led light colors

Does LED Light Therapy Help with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

You may have noticed that every time fall and winter roll around and the days become shorter, your energy levels go down. As a result of these changes, it becomes hard to pay attention, you feel like sleeping all the time, and you experience signs of depression. You have a gut feeling that it might be more than the winter blues. Perhaps you’ve even read that an LED light for SAD might solve the problem. But what is SAD? And does LED light therapy help with SAD?

If those lousy feelings linger during winter, causing you to quickly hit the snooze button each morning or to eat a lot of comfort food, you are not alone.

Psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal and scientist Alfred Lewy coined a name for that debilitating “mood” almost 40 years ago: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

What is SAD?

Not to be confused with Social Anxiety Disorder, SAD is a type of recurrent major depression syndrome that is prevalent in the fall and winter seasons. Nowadays, SAD symptoms can be experienced in spring and summer, too.

Moreover, SAD is so common that it’s insurable in the U.S. People experience a drop in energy levels once the cold and darkness that characterize both seasons begin.

But unlike the winter blues’ symptoms, SAD symptoms become more severe to the extent people are diagnosed with a major depression disorder.

How Many People Suffer from SAD?

The American Psychiatric Association reported that as many as 6% of U.S. citizens could have SAD. One in three people in the U.K. experience a drop in energy, mood, and activity levels. But for most people, the symptoms go beyond the blues and develop into mild or full-blown SAD.

While many people experience mild SAD symptoms, as many as 6% need hospitalization to improve.

How do you know you have SAD?

The U.S. National Institute for Mental Health has over the decades reported several SAD symptoms to look out for. Let’s examine them.

Common Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • A recurring depressed mood characterized by increased feelings of insignificance that follow a seasonal pattern 
  • Unexplained heaviness, aches, and pains in the arms and legs
  • Lingering or extreme cravings for sugary food or carbohydrates
  • Bouts of social withdrawal and isolation, a person no longer enjoys the activities they normally enjoy—they prefer to relax on the sofa most of the time
  • Chronic sleepiness that gets in the way of leading a normal life
  • Noticeable changes in appetite and body weight
  • Low energy levels that enhance feelings of sadness and even thoughts of suicide
  • Having difficulty concentrating

While these symptoms are similar to winter blues, they are typically more pronounced in those with SAD. For instance, when they occur for at least two years in a row, one is diagnosed with SAD.

Symptoms of Spring and Summer SAD

Some SAD symptoms are specific to summer and spring seasons. This type of SAD is referred to as summer depression and its symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased anxiety, agitation, and occasionally violent behavior

On the contrary, the type of SAD that occurs during fall and winter is known as winter depression.

Symptoms of Fall and Winter SAD

  • Oversleeping
  • Increased cravings for sugary foods and carbohydrates
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Lasting tiredness, the arms and legs feel heavy
  • Social withdrawal
  • A huge drop in energy levels and physical activity

Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder

There are several risk factors associated with SAD.

1. Disruption to the Biological Clock during Darker Seasons

Autumn and winter are characterized by shorter days and longer nights. This reduced exposure to the sun is linked to SAD. During these seasons, the part of the human brain known as the hypothalamus, which regulates the circadian rhythm (the sleep/wake cycle), can’t keep up with the changes in daylight levels.

This disruption is believed to cause the following hormonal and behavioral changes:

  • Abnormal melatonin production: The brain normally detects sunlight levels to keep your internal clock working well and to control vital tasks such as waking you up or making you feel sleepy. Subsequently, SAD causes the brain to produce more melatonin (the hormone that controls the sleep–wake cycle), leading to excessive sleep.
  • Irregular serotonin production: Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate mood, appetite, and sleep. Reduced sunlight is linked to lower-than-normal serotonin production. This results in increased appetite, sleepiness, and feelings of anxiety or lingering sadness.

2. Living On the Extreme North or South of the Equator

If you live in an area that’s past 30 degrees south latitude or north latitude, you may be at risk for SAD because of the reduced sunlight in those areas. In fact, one study found that 14% of the people in Norway suffer from SAD, compared to only 4.7% New Yorkers.

3. Other Mental Health Concerns

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has linked bipolar disorder, major depression disorder, eating disorders, and alcoholism to SAD. Up to 34% of people with alcoholism and 54% of people with severe depressive disorder are at risk for SAD.

4. SAD Can Be Genetic

Multiple studies suggest there is a genetic predisposition to SAD. Some genetic variations of SAD have been observed in many people. Furthermore, some people also report that a close family member suffers from a psychiatric condition. However, more research needs to be done to ascertain exactly what triggers SAD.

5. Age Matters

The people mostly diagnosed with winter SAD are aged between 18 and 30 years. As people get older, they are less likely to be diagnosed with the condition.

6. Your Gender

Women are 40% more likely to suffer from SAD than men. But here’s the thing, women tend to experience mild symptoms while men tend to experience severe symptoms.

7. Some Allergies

People who experience summer SAD are usually allergic to the heat and high humidity that are typical in spring and summer. Thankfully, like other mental health disorders, Seasonal Affective Disorder is treatable. Take SAD symptoms seriously. Most importantly, see a doctor when symptoms exceed the usual winter blues.

How Is Seasonal Affective Disorder Diagnosed?

Mental health professionals use a set of screening tools to make a SAD diagnosis. In particular, there are two major steps in diagnosing the disorder.

One is to identify a seasonal problem. The second is to capture and assess the severity of the seasonal problem so doctors can establish whether the patient has SAD or normal winter blues.

In the first step, a patient is given a self-administered questionnaire known as the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ) to fill out based on their past experiences. To curb the problem of patients faking their symptoms, doctors conduct a clinical interview.

The interview follows gold-standard DSM-5 criteria. This ensures the health professional not only identifies a seasonal pattern in the symptoms but also assesses their seriousness so they can recommend SAD treatment.

The interview can include a psychological evaluation to ensure the person doesn’t have a psychiatric disorder. If need be, the mental health professional may ask the person to take a lab test, usually a blood count and a thyroid examination, to be completely sure.

How is Seasonal Affective Disorder Treated?

If you’re not feeling your best, a SAD lamp will help you refuel and get back to feeling normal.

Common treatments for SAD are categorized into two:

  • Light therapy treatment for winter-type SAD
  • Medication

Here’s what happens in each case.

1. LED Light Therapy for SAD

A few years ago, researchers figured out that the most common type of SAD, winter-pattern SAD, occurs when there’s a shortage of sunlight. This discovery led to the invention of Light therapy for SAD treatment, which can be done at home with a TaoTronics LED desk lamp for SAD. But does LED light therapy help with SAD at all?

does LED light therapy help with SAD?

In the brain, there is a protein that transports serotonin to the presynaptic neuron from the synaptic cleft. It is known as SERT and it plays a major role in serotonin regulation, affecting mood and depression.

Decreased exposure to sunlight and natural light causes levels of SERT to increase. Higher SERT levels prevent proper serotonin functioning. With less serotonin activity, a person becomes susceptible to mood swings, hypersomnia, appetite fluctuations, and depression.

Light therapy, or phototherapy, involves placing a 10,000-lux LED light box about 12 inches in front of you. You must place it in such a way that the light gets into your eyes without you having to stare directly at the lamp’s LED bulbs.

We recommend that you use a TaoTronics LED desk lamp for SAD and make this a 20 to 40-minute ritual every morning for the best results.

Will Using the Best LED Light for SAD Work for You?

A 2017 study and a 2018 Elated-2 Pilot Trial showed that LED lights for SAD mimic natural light and can safely treat SAD. In particular these lights can ease jet lag, non-seasonal depression, sleeping disorders, and dementia.

But LED light boxes are not made equal. So in answering does LED light therapy help with SAD, you also need to know how you choose the best LED light for SAD?

See a Qualified, Licensed Doctor or a Mental Health Professional First

There may be evidence that LED lights for SAD help. But how much light you need is up to your doctor to recommend.

Your doctor can also confirm if you have a skin or eye condition that makes you sensitive to outdoor-like light. Without professional advice and guidance, you may expose yourself to too much light and develop other conditions, including severe manic behavior.

How to Choose the Best Light for SAD: Features to Look for
Inject some gentle light therapy into your home.

The best light for SAD isn’t hard to find, if you know what to look for.

A light box like the TaoTronics LED desk lamp for SAD (TT-CL016 or TT-CL011), offers the kind of benefits you need. These are the features to look for when buying an LED light for SAD:

  • 10,000-lux capacity. Such lights produce powerful, white light that mimics sunlight’s optimal color temperature.
  • Lumens: how bright a lamp is will determine how close you need to place it in front of your face to get relief for SAD. Look for a lamp with brightness controls as you’ll have an easy time regulating the light. When we look at a TaoTronics LED desk lamp for SAD, for example, the TaoTronics TT-CL011 LED light energy lamp offers up to three brightness settings.
  • The light should produce powerful, bright light but filter out harmful UV rays to protect your skin and eyes.
  • It should be specifically designed to treat SAD and other related mental health disorders.
  • The light should be compact and portable. It should be easy to carry, set up, and take up minimal space in a bag or a desk.
  • It should be durable. For instance, the TaoTronics LED desk lamp for SAD lasts up to 8X longer than a fluorescent lamp.

2. Seasonal Affective Disorder Medication

The only FDA-approved drug for SAD treatment is the antidepressant, Bupropion XL. Aplenzin and Wellbutrin XL are extended-release versions of Bupropion XL. In other words, these medicines can be used to prevent bouts of depression in people with SAD.

How to Reduce the Risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder

If you’re asking does LED light therapy help with SAD, then there are also some other options you should be aware of. Namely, mental health professionals say that you can take some steps to reduce the symptoms of SAD. Here’s what you can do:

  • Get psychosocial therapy, also known as talking therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It can empower you to change your behavioral response to SAD symptoms and learn to manage stress levels.
  • Expose yourself to natural sunlight as much as you can, whenever you can.
  • Do not buy sugary and starchy food. Stock up on healthy fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich food. That way, you also steer clear of unhealthy weight gain. 
  • Exercise regularly. The minimum recommended workouts for adults are three, 30-minute sessions per week.
  • Make plans for social meetups, adventure, art, music, or yoga/meditation during fall and winter.
  • Take vitamin D supplements and avoid untested vitamin D lamps which can cause skin and eye cancers.

Get an LED Light for SAD

So, does LED light therapy help with SAD?

Recent studies have shown that high-quality LED lighting can help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. The best LED light box for SAD treatment should be safe and have the right color temperature to make you feel better in just a few days.

In short, do not go for the cheapest SAD lamp. Choose one such as the TaoTronics LED desk lamp for SAD that’s not only convenient, portable, affordable, and well-made, but also offers UV protection.

  • Author
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Mike Cheong

Editor at TaoTronics Lamp

Mike Cheong is the senior lighting expert for TaoTronics. He started focusing his attention on lighting upon realizing how daily life can be improved with the right spotlight. When not busy testing the latest lamp releases, he can be found reading bedtime stories to his three kids.

Latest posts by Mike Cheong (see all)

How to Use LED Light Colors for Different Moods

There’s no doubt about it. Lighting has a profound impact on our lives and especially our moods.

And with modern day LED lighting, we can use the power of color to create a sense of warmth, vibrance, creativity, power and more.

Spaces as small as a bedroom and as large as a theme park can utilize LED light colors for different moods. Here’s what light colors can mean and how they might affect you.

LED Light Colors for Different Moods

It’s no secret that different moods co-exist with certain colors.  

Each color and shade of a light can invoke an emotional response. In many ways, a color and its meaning is deeply ingrained into each of us.

So depending on the intended use, it’s crucial to understand just what each color means and how to best use it.

Different Moods

  • Creativity – purple or yellow lighting
  • Friendly – yellow or orange lighting
  • Serenity/Harmony – light blue or green lighting
  • Happy – yellow or orange lighting
  • Energy/Vitality – red or yellow lighting

*Pro Tip Warm light colors like orange and yellow generally provide happy and lively moods, while cool light colors like green or blue can provide a quiet or balanced mood.

Yellow LED Light Color Moods

Yellow is a wide range in shade. Going from olive to golden, yellow hues are colors we tend notice in dim or low-light settings. That said, yellow is used to wake us up and stimulate energy as well as create relaxation.

Like a lot of colors, yellow generates many different moods. 

  • Happiness
  • Warmth
  • Friendly
  • Stimulus
  • Caution
  • Creativity
  • Energy

Orange LED Light Color Moods

An orange LED color can range from an orange-red to a melon shade.  

Orange can be a bit deceiving in the mood it generates. It can be uplifting and rejuvenating, but also be an attention getter which creates a bit of nervousness.

  • Friendly 
  • Cheerful
  • Confident
  • Watchful
  • Impatience

Red LED Light Color Moods

Red is one of the most powerful colors. It’s a light color that can be used in lots of settings and has the ability to invoke many altering moods.

The red LED color itself is often recognized as a having passion and desire while also offering senses of alertness or alarm.

And believe it or not, a red light can be one of the best light colors for sleeping. As it mimics a setting sun, the red color can help promote melatonin which can help aid in sleep quality (source). 

Red light can represent:

  • Passion
  • Adventure
  • Urgency
  • Desire
  • Vitality
  • Rejuvenation
  • Courage

Violet LED Light Color Moods

Purple or violet LED light colors are one of the most popular. It’s less visually harsh than a red, green, blue or pink light and when used as an accent light, can be great for many applications.

Another reason violet LED colors are so commonly used is the wide range of moods they can create. Purple or violet colors are amazing for displaying a sense of peaceful wisdom while also being luxurious.

  • Wisdom
  • Creative
  • Imaginative
  • Royalty
  • Luxury
  • Mysterious

Download Our FREE Color Temperature Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet will help you pick the perfect LED color temperature with zero guessing!

Blue LED Light Color Moods

Is your favorite color blue? It just so happens to be one of the most liked colors.  

Blue LED light colors can create various moods including trustworthiness and a sense of security. It’s no wonder we see blue colors used in many industries like healthcare, finance and aerospace.

“Blue” can range from a teal color to a royal blue. Each shade of light color can be quite different in the moods it tends to generate. 

The lighter blue colors can be much more soothing and healing. The darker shades of blue can stronger and more intense.

  • Intelligence
  • Trustworthy 
  • Serenity
  • Authority
  • Security
  • Dependable

Green LED Light Color Moods

Green is a unique color. It can signify many types of moods.

Stronger green LED light colors like Kelly green, can be a balancing color with a sense of growth and harmony. And other lighter shades of green like lime green, can be revitalizing and promote growth.

Regardless of shade, green light color and be healing and is one of the most relaxing for the eye.

  • Growth
  • Nurturing
  • Healing
  • Relaxing
  • Balance
  • Harmony
  • Health

How to Make Custom LED Light Colors

Sometimes we need a specific color just for us our space. What’s the best way to do that? Using an LED light strip or bulb with a remote control is the best way to make custom LED light colors.

With 44 key (multi-button) light strip remotes you can quickly create a “recipe” for unique colors.

You can filter through pre-set colors like red, green, blue, purple, yellow, etc. or fine tune a color with specific remote control buttons.

Our Top Pick

Govee - Water Resistant RGB Strip Lights

Clear silicone coated strip light kit perfect for indoor or outdoor use. Light kit comes with a 44 key remote control for on/off and color changing capabilities.

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Color Changing Lights to Use at Home

Want to change your light color in various rooms at home? No problem. Instead of using a roll of LED strip light or a smart bulb, you can use a portable light.

Just like other color changing LED lights, these can create millions of colors with the help of an app on your device.

If you need a specific color for your living room or a unique color option for a bedroom, you’re in luck.

It’s all about fine-tuning your light color to match your mood. And portable LED lamps are a simple and affordable option to do it.

Top Pick

Govee - Bluetooth RGBWW Ambient Table Light

Complete RGBWW light color control via bluetooth app in a convenient LED lamp that can be used in any space.

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Understanding Color Properties

Using color properties is also important to understand when learning about LED light colors.

Terms like warm, cool, bright and dark are used to control emotions as well. For example, a dark blue can represent sadness and a light blue can be relaxing. 

The good news, is that LED lighting products like smart bulbs or strip lights can be controlled to your exact liking and color preferences.

A light blue color can be a relaxing source of light.

How to Use Different Light Colors

One of the best things about using LED light colors is the ability to create scenes, settings and moods.

They’re great for holiday decorations like Christmas, Halloween, St. Patricks Day, Valentines Day, Independence Day or any relevant occasion.

You can also use different LED light colors for photo and video highlights. Utilizing ambient lighting for a background can make the foreground more impactful. You can also use color light for photography as well. 

Another easily overlooked area for LED light colors is outdoor areas. Water resistant LED light strips or outdoor string lights can be a simple yet impactful source of color.

Use LED light colors for things like:

  • Holiday decorations
  • Video/Photography 
  • Signage
  • Grow lights
  • Sleeping
  • Chromotherapy

The Right Mood Can Make All The Difference!

The right color of light is a personal preference.

As we all react to lighting very differently, you may have a unique taste to what color of light works best for certain moods.

LED lighting makes it easy for us to choose that perfect color no matter the space. With light strips, smart bulbs, and apps to control every aspect of our lights, it’s easier than ever to design a great lighting experience.

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CRI: I have bad news for you: ammo1 — LiveJournal

Everyone who has dealt with the quality of light of LED lamps and everyone who has read my articles about LED lamps knows about such a parameter as color rendering index (CRI, aka Ra). It is believed that quality light for living spaces should have a CRI of at least 80.

I recently came across a lamp that had a decent CRI of 83.4, but it gave a very unpleasant greenish light.

I tried to figure out what was wrong with her.

Color rendering index or color rendering index - CRI ( rendering index chi) - a parameter characterizing the level of correspondence of the natural color of the body to the visible (apparent) color of this body when illuminated by this light source was proposed in 1965 year.

CRI is the average rendering level of eight R1-R8 colors.

Sometimes, in addition to CRI, the red transmission index R9 is indicated and measured. This index affects the quality of human skin tone reproduction. On measured index R9listed on each lamp card.

Back in 2007, the International Commission on Illumination noted that ". .. the color rendering index is usually not applicable to predict the color rendering parameters of a set of light sources if this set includes white LEDs", but it turned out that all manufacturers of LED lamps use namely CRI.

In 2010, in order to more accurately assess the quality of color reproduction, the Color Quality Scale (CQS) technique was developed, which evaluates the quality of light in fifteen colors.

In 2015, the TM-30-15 standard was developed, which evaluates the quality of light by 99 colors.

For good lamps, the values ​​of all three indices are approximately equal.

And now back to the Gauss 207707102 190Lm 2W 2700K G4 12V lamp, because of which I started all this research. Its color indexes look amazing.

The CRI value is quite high - 83.4, TM30 Rf - 84.3, but the CQS is very low - 35.8. It seems that the cunning Chinese mixed the phosphor so that exactly those 8 colors that are taken into account when measuring CRI are well transmitted. Surprisingly, the result of what seems to be the most advanced TM30 index also turned out to be high.

Of all the 1244 lamps I measured, only one had such a low CQS. Even the worst unnamed Chinese bulbs with a CRI of 60 have a CQS of at least 50.

I started looking at the CQS values ​​of the bulbs and found that there are quite a few bulbs that have a CRI greater than 80 and a CQS value of just over 70, but the light of such lamps is visually quite comfortable. But for some lamps with a CRI of more than 80, the CQS turned out to be about 60, and the light of such lamps is visually greenish or yellowish.

The question arises what to do with all this. You will probably have to add the CQS value to the lamptest and take it into account when calculating the final rating of the lamps, so that it could not turn out that a lamp with a high CRI, but uncomfortable light, received a high rating.

p.s. Looking for project development:

1. PHP-programmer, ready to help with website development.

2. Assistants who are ready to deal with the purchase and return of lamps in stores.

3. Laboratories with a photometric ball, ready to measure the luminous flux of a dozen of my samples for free (to confirm the accuracy of my measurements).

4. The person who made the formula for calculating the quality of lamps in Excel (I shoveled everything, I can’t find contacts).

I still accept donations for the development of the project and the purchase of those test lamps that cannot be taken for free or bought with the possibility of a return.

© 2017, Alexey Nadezhin

The main topic of my blog is technology in human life. I write reviews, share experiences, talk about all sorts of interesting things. I also make reports from interesting places and talk about interesting events.
Add me as a friend here. Remember the short addresses of my blog: Blog1.rf and

My second project is I test LED lamps and help you figure out which ones are good and which are not so good.

Phytolamp for plants and seedlings: how to choose

Daria Bolshakova

wants more light

Author's profile

A home garden can also be illuminated with ordinary lamps, the main thing is to correctly calculate the desired light intensity.

Light is the main thing in the life of plants: thanks to it, they turn carbon dioxide and water into organic substances and release oxygen. Light helps protect against diseases and pests. Without good lighting, the rest of the investment in plants will be in vain.

You will find out

  • Why plants need light and whether everything needs to be illuminated
  • How to determine if there is enough light in an apartment
  • How illumination is measured
  • How a phytolamp works
  • How to choose a phytolamp
  • Which lamp to choose for plants
  • How to use a phytolamp
  • Are phytolamps harmful to people and animals

Everything you need to know about real estate

The best articles about how to buy, sell and equip housing - in your mail on Tuesdays. Free

Why do plants need light and do they need to illuminate everything

Plants create organic substances through photosynthesis: they convert light, water and carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons. The more light, the better the plants develop: new leaves, shoots and buds appear, the pattern on the leaves becomes brighter.

The following signs indicate a lack of light:

  1. New leaves grow dark green, lose their color, become monochromatic - this is how the plant tries to survive: it produces more chlorophyll to enhance photosynthesis.
  2. New leaves become smaller, and old ones turn yellow and fall off.
  3. The shoots are thin, stretching towards the window, the distance between the nodes increases, that is, the places where the leaves are attached.
  4. Seeds do not germinate for a long time, and shoots that appear are rare and weak.
  5. Plants are not blooming or there are fewer flowers.
  6. Flowers are weakened and are more likely to get sick or attacked by pests.

10 easy care houseplants

When I put the cribo callisia on the window, I found out that it had pink shoots. At 3 m from him, she grew completely green Ficus Benjamin stands half a meter from the window, but closer to the corner, so he almost does not see the sun. Its leaves also lost their variability - a white border
When I put the callisia cribo on the window, I found out that it had pink shoots. 3 m from him, she grew completely green Ficus Benjamin stands half a meter from the window, but closer to the corner, so she almost does not see the sun. Its leaves also lost their variability - a white border

But an excess of light is also harmful to plants: the leaves turn pale, rise, burns appear.

The level of light also affects other aspects of care. So, a plant near a sunny window will evaporate moisture faster, which means that it will have to be watered more often.

All plants have different light requirements. The easiest way to recognize them is in reference books: I check on Blossom and Picture This.

Water in time and save from pests: 10 applications for flower growers

The most capricious are succulents and cacti: they enjoy even the bright midday sun and feel great on the south and west windows. Most tropical plants like monstera, anthurium, ficus are also accustomed to the sun, they need a long daylight hours and diffused bright light.

The variegated color of the leaves appears in bright light. Sansevieria, chlorophytum and ferns will survive in partial shade, that is, 2-3 m from a sunny window. But this does not mean that they can be put in a corner where the sun does not hit at all.

There are many lists of shade-tolerant plants on the Internet, but I found it convenient to have a shop website where you can filter plants according to lighting requirements. Source:

The second important point is the length of daylight hours. Most people need at least 8 hours of darkness, that is, rest: at this time, plants absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Some are more sensitive to light and need a few weeks of dormancy to bloom, when the night lasts up to 18 hours. These are Kalanchoe, Decembrist, Poinsettia.

In winter, due to the short daylight hours, most plants do not have enough light, additional lighting at this time definitely does not hurt. And tomatoes and peppers grow better under a lamp even in summer. Phytolamps are also useful for germinating seeds and cuttings: they need light of a special wave.

How to determine if there is enough light in an apartment

We can read with the light from one light bulb, which will give illumination of 50 lux, but for plants it is darkness. Therefore, it is difficult to assess by eye whether there is enough light in the room. It is believed that plants are dark if sunlight hits them directly for less than 4 hours a day.

One piece of advice helped me quickly identify areas that were completely unsuitable for flowers. You need to put yourself in the place of a plant in order to understand how much it sees the sky. The more - the better, if he doesn't see at all - he won't survive. So I excluded the corners of the rooms and the upper shelves, where you definitely can’t grow anything without artificial lighting. After all, putting a flower in a room lit by the sun is not the same as putting it in front of a sunny window.


How to make a garden right at home: 9plants for the window sill

If there are no special devices at hand, flower growers are advised to focus on the cardinal points. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. That is, the southern windows remain lit for the longest time. Cacti and succulents feel great on such window sills, but direct sunlight threatens other plants with a burn. They will be better off a meter from the window.

The northern windows are the darkest, but there is no risk of burning flowers on them. Without additional illumination, arrowroot, aglaonema, philodendron, sansevieria will survive there if they are placed closer to the glass.

On the eastern side, the sun is only in the morning, the light is not so aggressive: calathea, anthurium, spathiphyllum, like most people from the tropics, will grow without problems.

On the western window sills, on the contrary, sizzling heat begins in the summer afternoon. Cacti love this, but plants with leaves need to shade the blinds or remove them from the windowsill.

This is in theory, but in practice trees and houses obscure the light, and dusty glass reduces its intensity, in winter the sun is lower and the rays penetrate further into the apartment than in summer. It is better to focus on specific values ​​- to measure them with special devices.


How not to go broke on indoor flowers: 12 tips - foot-candle, or candela, which is designated FC. This is the amount of light that falls on a square foot from one candle at a distance of 1 foot. 1 FC is approximately equal to 10.76 lux. For example, 50 lux is enough for reading, and 200 lux for work.

Here's what you can use for more accurate measurements.

The light meter is a special device that indicates the intensity of light. It costs 1500-6500 R.

Automatic watering and pest traps: what is useful for caring for houseplants

application for photographers - measures the level of illumination quite accurately. Significant deviations from professional luxmeters occur only at low values. To assess the level of illumination, it is enough to place the phone next to the foliage so that the front camera looks at the light source. I tried Photometer PRO and Lux ​​Meter apps - they show the same values.

How much light do plants need

Light intensity Light intensity Which plants are suitable for
Dark Less than 75 FC or 808 lux Sansevieria, violets
Medium light 75-200 FC or 808-2153 lux for a minimum of 8 hours Aglaonema, spathiphyllum
Bright ambient light without direct sunlight More than 200 FC or 2000-3000 lux for a minimum of 8 hours Anthurium, hoya, dyschidia, ficus
Sunny areas Minimum 4 hours light 200-740 FC or 3000-8000 lux Cacti, succulents

Light Intensity

Less than 75 FC or 808 Lux

Suitable Plants

Sansevieria Violets

Medium Light Intensity 900 902 0003

75-200 FC or 808–2153 luxury for at least 8 hours

Which plants are suitable for

Aglaonema, Spathiphyllum

Bright diffused light without direct sunlight

Light intensity more than 200 FC or 2000-3000 Lux for at least 8 hours

What plants are suitable for

Anturium, Hoya, Chojidia, Ficus

Solar areas

Light intensity

Mini -4 hours of light 200–740 FC or 3000-8000 luxury

Which plants are suitable for

Cacti, succulents

On a cloudy morning in October, the light intensity at the western window is almost 4,000 lux, according to the Photometer-pro application. This is enough even for light-loving succulents Half a meter from the same window, the illumination is already 3.5 times lower than
On a cloudy morning in October, the light intensity at the western window is almost 4000 lux, according to the Photometer-pro application. This is enough even for light-loving succulents Half a meter from the same window, the illumination is already 3.5 times lower

How a phytolamp works

When plants are grown under artificial lighting, this is light culture. Russian botanist Andrey Famitsyn experimented with kerosene lamps as early as 1868. Then the biologists conducted experiments with incandescent and xenon lamps, as well as gas discharge lamps.

Phytolamps are now called lamps with a certain spectrum, which give out a violet glow that irritates the eye. But this is not entirely accurate. Other lamps - incandescent, fluorescent, gas discharge and LED - can also be used to illuminate plants. They also compensate for the lack of natural sunlight, although they do not completely replace it.


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What is the spectrum of light. For plants, not only the length of daylight hours and the intensity of illumination are important, but also the wavelength, that is, the spectrum. For full development, a wavelength of 400-700 nm is required, that is, from red to blue. This range is called the phytospectrum.

How the spectrum affects the plant. Waves of the blue and red spectrum are critical for photosynthesis, so in phytolamps they focus on these LEDs. Leaves practically do not absorb yellow-green light, and some phytolamp manufacturers and flower growers consider this spectrum unnecessary and exclude these LEDs - lamps with a purple glow are obtained.

There is an opinion that this is more of a marketing ploy than a real need. For example, researchers studied how full spectrum lamps affect plants and found that the yellow-green spectrum is necessary for the synthesis of trace elements and vitamins in plants. Tomatoes and greens from under the blue-red lamps will be tasteless and unflavored. So full spectrum fixtures work better, even if they cost more than bicolor lamps.


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In other experiments, red lamps were added to white lamps and the effects of this on plants were tested. Lettuce leaves became greener and sweeter, although the difference was not significant. Therefore, red spectrum phytolamps will be useful for greens and tomatoes in the flowering and fruiting stages, but for most home flowers, you can use ordinary spotlights with LED bulbs.

How to choose a phytolamp

When choosing, you need to take into account the size of the illuminated area, the sensitivity of plants to light and the power of the lamp.

Light intensity. In the specifications, this parameter is denoted differently: PAR or PAR, PPFD, luminous flux.

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PAR is photosynthetic active radiation, that is, the wavelength of light in the range of 400 to 700 nanometers, which is important for photosynthesis.

PPFD - photosynthetic flux density - that is, the amount of photospectrum that actually reaches plants per second. Measured in µmol/m²/s. This level of illumination, or rather irradiance, as botanists call it, should be 100-600 µmol / m² / s, depending on the plant. This is the main indicator of the effectiveness of a lamp for a plant.

Here you can see how the PPFD decreases as the distance from the light source increases. In the characteristics of the lamp, PPFD is indicated for the minimum allowable distance of 20 cm. They measure the luminous flux at the exit from the light source, and it is captured by the human eye. Plants receive a different amount of light of a certain spectrum - PPFD.

Lumens can always be converted to µmol/m²/s for LED lamps using the formula:

PPFD = 15 × light intensity in lumens / illuminated area in m².

For example, you need to light a shelf with succulents with an area of ​​0.25 m², but the bulbs indicate not PPFD, but luminous flux in lumens. The minimum PPFD for light-loving succulents is 100 µmol/m²/s. If you convert the formula into lumens, you get:


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Light intensity in lumens = 100 µmol/m²/s × 0.25 m² / 15 = 1667 Lm.

In terms of LED bulbs, these are two pieces with a large margin, since the brightness of one is 1473 Lm.

Power. Customers are accustomed to choosing lamps by power and comparing it with brightness. But this characteristic says how many watts of energy the lamp consumes, and not what light flux of the phytospectrum it produces. It is more reliable to choose phytolamps with a known PPFD, although I found this parameter only from one lamp manufacturer.

If only power is indicated in the specifications, you can focus on conditional recommendations for LED lamps: 10-40 W per 33 × 33 cm area, depending on the plant growth stage and light requirements.

The power rating is useful to calculate the cost of electricity per phytolamp. For example, lamps with a total power of 40 W, which work 14 hours a day, will consume 86 kWh of electricity per month, which is about 300 R, depending on the region.

Typ. Any lamp for lighting can be considered as a phytolamp. From the point of view of energy efficiency, service life and phytospectrum, LED lamps win. And incandescent lamps have a low luminous flux intensity: it will take 16 times more bulbs for the same area than phytolamps.

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To compare the effectiveness of different types of lamps, I calculated the number of lamps that are needed to light 1 m² of basil with a PPFD of 220 µmol/m²/s for 1000 hours.

The shape of modern luminaires is varied:

  1. Lamps can be screwed into any luminaire or suspended from the ceiling.
  2. LED strips - using adhesive tape or self-tapping screws, they are attached to a shelf or rails that are suspended above the plants.
  3. Linear luminaires - attached to a shelf or placed above the flowers on a special stand.
  4. Mini-gardens - ready-made containers with lights installed above them - for the same price you can buy a strip light that will illuminate the area four times more.
  5. Floodlights - high power square or rectangular lamps.
  6. Bayonet luminaires - installed for each plant and limited in height, so you will have to change if the flower grows quickly.
  7. Lobe luminaires are high-power lamps with two or four petals, with the help of which the angle of light distribution is adjusted.
Ordinary light bulbs are easier to fit into the interior, they can be screwed into any lamps. The price of the bulb itself is from 242 R. Source: Soltech / Pinterest Such bayonet lamps on Aliexpress are called an angel - they cost two times cheaper than on Russian marketplaces. Price — 413 R. Source:
Ordinary light bulbs are easier to fit into the interior, they can be screwed into any fixtures. The price of the light bulb itself is from 242 R. Source: Soltech - Grow Lights, Plant Accessories & Decor / Pinterest Such bayonet lamps on Aliexpress are called an angel - they cost two times cheaper than on Russian marketplaces. Price - 413 R. Source:
If you close the petals of such a lamp, the luminous flux will be more powerful, but will cover a smaller area. Price — 1527 R. Source: A mini-garden with a container for seedlings is not adjustable in height. Price — 1693 R. Source:
If you close the petals of such a lamp, the luminous flux will be more powerful, but will cover a smaller area. Price - 1527 R. Source: A mini-garden with a container for seedlings is not adjustable in height. The price is 1693 R. Source: LED strips are the cheapest: from 125 R per meter. But you will have to think over the fastening: glue it to the shelves or additional rails. Source: ozon. ru

Degree of protection. The degree of protection against dust, particles and moisture is indicated by the IP marking with a numerical code. For dry rooms, IP20, IP40 lamps are suitable. If there is a risk of raindrops or from a spray bottle, take it with a protection class from IP44 to IP65. This characteristic is not always indicated. If the protection class is not specified, it is most likely IP20, IP40 - without moisture protection.

Lamps in greenhouses, aquariums, next to the air humidifier can be additionally treated with moisture-proof varnish or placed in a special sealed casing.


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The degree of protection against moisture and dust can be indicated in the technical data sheet and in the product specifications. This IP40 rated lamp can only be used in a dry environment, away from a humidifier. Source: Moisture-protective lacquer for lamps exposed to water. Source:

Power supply. Most lamps are mains powered, but some can be connected to a power bank. But due to the high power of the battery lamps, 20,000 mA will only last for a day of backlighting.

Timer simplifies plant care: no need to control the lighting time or get up early in the winter to turn on the backlight. In simple models of phytolamps, a timer is built in, which allows you to automatically turn off the lamp after 2, 4, 6, 8 or 12 hours.


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In the timers, which are sold separately, you can set the exact time when the lamp will work, up to minutes. It is enough to set the time and date once, set the backlight program and turn on the lamp. This one costs 500-1200 R.

In the simplest timer, 3-4 modes are already set for several hours. You need to connect it to the lamp with the L.N connector, plug it into the socket and use the buttons to select how many hours the backlight should work. Price - from 350 R. Source: In electronic timers-sockets, you can set different on and off modes - they are suitable for any lamps, regardless of the connector. Source:

Additional functions and accessories. There are phytolamps with flexible legs and clothespins, which are conveniently mounted on a shelf or table edge. Linear lamps may require an additional stand or hooks. But there are also home-made options on self-adhesive hooks.

Thanks to the lamp on flexible legs, light-loving plants survive on shelves where the sun hardly gets from the window

Which lamp to choose for plants

Incandescent lamp is the cheapest - within 20 R per piece, and this is its only advantage. Most of the energy goes not into light, but into heat, so it has low energy efficiency of class E, F, G and there is a risk of burning plants. The intensity of the luminous flux is low - more lamps are needed for lighting. They serve less than others - up to 1000 hours. The radiation spectrum is dominated by yellow and red.

The cost of lighting 1 m² for 1000 hours without taking into account the cost of electricity - 272 R.

Fluorescent, or energy-saving, lamp produces a luminous flux in the phytospectrum and greater intensity than an incandescent lamp. Lasts longer than incandescent lamps - 10,000 hours. There is a lack of radioactive mercury inside the lamp, so used lamps must be taken to hazardous waste collection points.

The cost of lighting 1 m² for 1000 hours is 150 R.

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The HID lamps produce more of the high-intensity orange-red spectrum. They are cheaper than LED ones, and the intensity of the luminous flux is higher, but the greatest efficiency is achieved at a power of 600 W. In addition, they are more difficult to install, require a special lamp with a ballast and protective glass, and can explode if overheated. They serve 24,000 hours. Generally suitable for large greenhouses.

The cost of lighting 1 m² for 1000 hours is 151 RUR. They have a high light intensity. They serve 30,000-50,000 hours and even taking into account the relatively high cost per piece, they are cost effective.

The cost of lighting 1 m² for 1000 hours - 33 R.

LED phytolamps of the red-blue spectrum give out the maximum intensity of the light flux, but they lack the yellow-orange waves, which are also necessary for plants. Phytolamps are more expensive than ordinary white LED lamps, and serve 30,000 hours.

The cost of lighting 1 m² for 1000 hours is 50 R.

How to use the phytolamp

Lamps are placed 15-30 cm from the leaves of the plant. If closer, the leaves may burn: they will become dry at the edges, brown spots will appear. If you double the distance, the light intensity is reduced by a factor of four.

Ideally, the distance should be easily adjustable, as the flower grows and the lamp will have to be moved. From this point of view, lamps on flexible legs or chain suspensions are convenient.


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The luminous flux is more powerful in the center, so the lamps should be hung so that the light from them overlaps. Or put light-loving plants in the center, and less susceptible to light - at the edges. You can place the lamp not horizontally, but vertically: this is how to effectively illuminate the plants on the shelves.

Such a phyto tape will work as a decorative light, but will not give anything to plants: it is not powerful enough and is located far away. It is better to place such a tape in 2-3 strips at a maximum of 30 cm above the plants. Source: The light intensity is higher in the center, right below the lamp. To make the plants around the edges also light, you need to hang the lamps so that the light fluxes overlap each other, as in this photo. Source: Christy Goodlove / Pinterest
Such a phyto tape will work as a decorative light, but will not give anything to plants: it is not powerful enough and is located far away. It is better to place such a tape in 2-3 strips at a maximum of 30 cm above the plants. Source: The light intensity is higher in the center, right under the lamp. To make the plants around the edges also light, you need to hang the lamps so that the light fluxes overlap each other, as in this photo. Source: Christy Goodlove / Pinterest

How to install in an apartment. Phytolamps are not only poisonous purple stripes in the middle of the window and a lot of wires. They can beautifully fit into the interior - there are a lot of ideas on Pinterest.

To make the most of the light, growers use reflectors - reflective surfaces: light-colored walls or foil-lined cardboard. Arrange the plants so that they do not shade each other. More light-loving ones are better placed closer to the light source.

It is difficult to illuminate several plants with spotlights, so they are hung over each pot. Source: Teaching Preschoolers / Pinterest In this grow box, the white walls reflect the light and increase the efficiency of the lamp. Source: Apartment Therapy / Pinterest
It is difficult to illuminate several plants with spotlights, so they are hung over each pot. Source: Teaching Preschoolers / Pinterest In this grow room, white walls reflect light and increase lamp efficiency. Source: Apartment Therapy / Pinterest

When to turn on the phytolamp and for how long. The University of Missouri recommends that lamps be turned on during the day, not just in the morning or evening, to increase the efficiency of the backlight. Plants need rest at night.

If the sun also illuminates the plant, 8-12 hours of illumination will be enough in winter. In dark and distant corners without a source of natural light, the lamps must be turned on for 12-16 hours, depending on the light-loving nature of the plants.


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Are phytolamps harmful to people and animals

Plant lamps seem too bright to people. Being next to them is uncomfortable, but hardly anyone will voluntarily sit under the lamp.

The spectrum of the phytolamp includes wavelengths of 380-780 nm, that is, dangerous ultraviolet waves up to 315 nm, which increase the risk of cancer, do not fall into it. At the same time, there is a small number of waves up to 400 nm long - they cause photoaging, that is, premature deterioration of the skin condition, which is associated with UV radiation. But such rays can harm the skin only if you sit under the lamp for days on end.

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The case when you can use the already existing light in the interior for plants. A bright lamp hangs close to the palm tree to make up for the lack of sunlight. But a meter away from her, you can safely read a book. Source: marta begonia / Pinterest

Blue light also leads to premature skin aging and pigmentation, but it is emitted not only by LED and fluorescent lamps, but also by smartphones, monitors and TVs. At the same time, blue light is used in the treatment of acne, psoriasis, sleep disorders and depression. So, perhaps, people will also benefit from the phytolamp.

Any source of high intensity light is hazardous to eye health. Short waves of 400-500 nm, which are present in a phytolamp, in sunlight, and in any light bulb, can damage the retina. The higher the intensity, the higher the risk. But a person does not voluntarily look at the sun or a burning lamp, a harsh light makes you look away.


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How phytolamps affect the human nervous system

Olga Kashubina

medical editor of the Tinkoff Journal author

Indoor lighting can be damaging if it disrupts a person's sleep hygiene. If phytolamps are installed in the bedroom and continue to shine even late at night, there is a risk that the occupant of the room will have problems sleeping.

This is due to the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for our "internal clock". Melatonin increases only with the onset of darkness, so sleep doctors recommend that people eliminate all light sources in the bedroom before going to bed.

It is important that the phytolamp does not flicker - for example, fluorescent and LED lamps have this effect. Flickering can be imperceptible to the eye, but still harm health: cause fatigue, reduce efficiency, and in people suffering from epilepsy and migraine, provoke seizures. This is not a reason to refuse phytolamps, but it is better to place them outside the rooms where people rest and sleep.

Phytolamps at a Glance

  1. Plants have different lighting requirements and not everyone needs supplemental lighting.
  2. For non-bearing plants, any lamp is suitable: incandescent, gas discharge, LED.
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