What does Full Spectrum mean?

What does full spectrum mean?

To complete your education concerning lighting for birds the following is a little history about the phrase “Full Spectrum”

Dr. John Ott, a pioneer in time-lapse photography and amateur botanist, made up the phrase “full spectrum” to describe a light bulb that contained all of the electromagnetic wavelengths in the visible spectrum, as the sun does at noon. It has no scientific definition, and cannot be measured—it is more of a concept than something that exists in the real world.

Dr. Ott became famous for his time laps films of flowers blooming and Walt Disney used them extensively, the two became fast friends.

In the early 1970s, Dr. Ott noticed that the plants he was photographing in time-lapse grew and bloomed at different rates depending on what light he was using. Some experimenting led to the discovery that plants perform photosynthesis at a higher rate at specific wavelengths of artificial light. Years later, he wrote a book theorizing that all living organisms would benefit from full spectrum lighting, and the concept is now ingrained into the minds of people.

While Dr. Ott was a great photographer and self-promoter, his conclusions about the benefit of full spectrum light were not based on science. His theories were never accepted in the scientific community, and there were no peer reviews of his studies. It was just a popular book by an amateur botanist.

For whatever reason “Full Spectrum” is now a phrase which is burned into the brains of pet bird lovers as the only type of light you should use for a bird even though it is as fictitious as the Lock Ness Monster. 

YES! I do call my lights Full Spectrum because if I didn’t, I would never sell a light

Last spring, I overheard my 30 year old neighbor yell at her son to go back in the house and put a hat on or he will catch a cold. Yes, scientists have known since the 1940s that colds are caused by contracting a virus not by exposing your head but as long as there are mothers on this earth they will always yell at their children to wear hats to avoid colds. On the same note, people will always insist that birds need a full spectrum light to be healthy.