The best part about being the “Lightbulb Lady” is the stories my customers share when returning to Sunlan Lighting to obtain more full spectrum light bulbs. They teach me the value of light and new ways to use them. Here are a few from people who use full spectrum lighting.
Dogs and Cats
One of my customers selected several neodymium bulbs off the shelf. “My dog is in the dumps,” he said. “Whenever the full spectrum lights burn out, my dog gets blue and just mopes around. I knew the bubs helped me, but who would have thought that the bulbs would help my dog?”
One of my favorite stories is about a cat that chose to sleep on the back of the sofa under the full spectrum lights instead of the window shelf that her owners provided. The cat would bat at the light if it were turned off until the bulbs were turned back on so he could have his “sunshine” on the sofa.
One of the most often requests for special lighting is for plant lights. The first story is about a young man who inherited a large jade from his grandmother. He brought the plant to his small apartment and it was dying. I suggested that he put three halogen lamps around the plant to give it an even spread of light. A few months later, he called me and asked, “Did you know that Jade plants have flowers? He also told me that his father had never seen this type of plant flower and not only was the plant flowering, but it was healthy.
I also had a jade plant. My plant was in the south office window of my store. I had full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the room. My jade blossomed every year, but only half of the plant had flowers. The side of the plant facing the window did not have any flowers, but the side facing the office was full of flowers. A shamrock plant in our warehouse playroom is 24 years old. It opens its leaves each morning when Dennis turns the lights on and closes up each evening. This plant lives under full spectrum lights. Many customers tell me about their plants and how happy they are once they were exposed to the proper lighting.
Over the years, I have shared information about the full spectrum bulbs with bird clubs. I supply them with full spectrum fluorescent lamps and a combination of halogen and Neodymium bulbs to help with general health and egg lying. The bird breeders report excellent results by using the correct lighting. Halogen’s yellow light helps birds lay eggs and the full spectrum fluorescent and neodymium bulbs seem to help with general health.
As a child, at night in my room I use to read with the light of a beacon on the hill above our house. That flashing light allowed me to read at a speed that helped me to become a speed-reader. Today as an older lady, I have trouble reading the words indoors under normal incandescent lighting. I need both more light and better quality light to see clearly. Try this: take a book outside in full sunshine. Can you read with ease? Now read under your current lighting. The difference is similar to reading with full spectrum lighting.
Know Your Bulbs
Several manufactures use the term full or wide spectrum. Not all bulbs advertised are the same. When I use the term full spectrum I am speaking of bulbs that are 90% natural sunlight. I offer several bulbs that are 90% natural light. Halogen lighting is 98% of early morning spring sunshine; krypton and xeon bulbs also have a high color rendering, and these types of lights are more mid-morning in color. Neodymium bulbs are like afternoon sunshine. There are several fluorescent brands that produce 90% plus of natural light. Some are like a day in September and are 5500 to 5900 Kelvin (K). I have a fluorescent lamp that is like a day in June at 6500K and another that is like a July day at high noon, 5500K.
Color alone is not a good indicator of light quality. An example of this is the 5000K lamps. I have 5000K bulbs that put out 62% of natural light and ones at 72%, 82%, 90%, and 90% plus, so you need to know what you’ll be using the bulb for and buy the right bulb for the right job.
As of this writing we are in the darker days that we experience during the winter here in the Northwest. These darker days can produce Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which could be helped with full spectrum lighting. So if you’re starting to feel a little down try changing out your lighting for the winter. You just might use them all year long.
Kay L. Newell is the owner of Sunlan Lighting, located at 3901 N. Mississippi Ave., and is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Light your world and give “The Lightbulb Lady” a call at 503-281-0453.