Full spectrum LEDs outperform standard lighting for comfort & impact, says Fraunhofer study

22 April 2020


Full spectrum LED products outperform conventional solutions, according to a study into the visual impact & perceptual performance of LED lighting by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) in Stuttgart, Germany.

Research conducted by the organisation at its High Performance Indoor Environment Lab (HiPIELab) indicates that full spectrum LED lighting delivers greater visual comfort and an improved perception of naturalness (including colour, condition and quality) compared to standard LED products. Researchers concluded that unrivalled colour rendering for different colour temperatures can be provided by full spectrum LEDs.

Full spectrum LEDs are usually categorised as those emitting light similar in composition to natural sunlight. NICHIA, for example, has developed a range of proprietary full spectrum LED solutions with specific benefits.

For example, Optisolis™ technology accurately mimics sunlight, but without producing any ultraviolet light (which can degrade precious artefacts), making it ideal for museums, art galleries and jewelry stores, among other retail settings. Vitasolis™ products, meanwhile, target human centric lighting applications with a colour spectrum richer in cyan content to promote greater alertness.


The soon-to-be published Fraunhofer IBP study incorporated a technical comparison of the LED spectra to daylight spectra, a literature review addressing the effects of light spectra on humans, and a psychological study with 83 persons in an office setting. Each participant was tested for one hour in one of four different lighting settings comparing full spectrum LEDs with conventional LEDs on various aspects such as visual comfort, naturalness, concentration, general glare rating, sleepiness, alertness and glossiness.

Dr Ulf Meiners, Managing Director at Nichia Germany said: “There is limited research on the impact of full spectrum LEDs on people’s perception, with a focus instead on the psychological effects of natural and artificial light in general. As a pioneer of true daylight white LED emitters, NICHIA welcomes the findings from Fraunhofer IBP. We hope new studies are developed to further demonstrate the performance of full spectrum LEDs on perception, behaviour and health.

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