A new metric to quantify the naturalness of light

May 14, 2020 //By Julien Happich
Bridgelux has developed a new metric to enable objective comparisons of light sources to natural light. With the growing market interest in human-centric lighting, the question of "naturalness" of light source spectra is becoming a frequently asked question.

Lighting specifiers, designers, and luminaire manufacturers regularly consider color quality metrics such as CRI and TM-30, as well as individual spectral power distributions (SPDs), when making decisions regarding light source selection. However, until now, there has been no metric that quantifies the naturalness of a light source. Standard lighting quality metrics such as CRI and TM-30 do not fully address the naturalness question. In order to address this shortcoming, Bridgelux has developed the Average Spectral Difference (ASD) metric, providing an objective measurement of how closely a light source matches natural light over the visible spectrum, averaging the differences of the spectral peaks and valleys between a light source and a standardized natural light source of the same colour correlated temperature (CCT). The ASD value is a quantitative metric of the SPD differences. Unlike CRI and TM-30, where higher values indicate higher quality light, ASD represents the difference in spectra compared to natural light, therefore the lower the ASD value, the closer the match to natural light.

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