SAD? Change your lights!
Nicole Eastman
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
Floor Location : M 202 H

For my project I determined that Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by a lack of natural sunlight. I hypothesized that changing the lighting in your home to best replicate sunlight could possibly help. Due to being unable to do a study as to whether home lighting can change mood levels I just tested which light bulb has a spectrum most similar to sunlight. For my project I designed and constructed a mobile spectrometer using a cellphone to record the spectrum and utilized already available software to analyze the spectrum of each sample. I tested Incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), Fluorescent tube lights, LED bulbs with a temperature of 5000 kelvin, LED bulbs with a temperature of 2700 kelvin, and candlelight because why not. After comparing each of these to a sample of sunlight I determined that the LED bulb with a temperature of 2700 kelvin best match the spectrum of sunlight by the intensity of different wavelengths. Incandescent bulbs were a close second with CFLs being the most artificial and least similar to sunlight. The spectrum of Compact Fluorescent bulbs had spikes in several areas and were very artificial and not like natural light at all. To further upon my experiment would be to change the lighting of those effected by seasonal depression and see if new light bulbs made a difference.