The Uses of Light

Posted by Briana Lipor on 4/1/20 9:15 AM

Businessman standing with hands on hips against low angle view of skyscrapers at sunset

Humans are extremely visual creatures, our reliance on eyesight is one of the defining characteristics of the human experience.

We are appealed to and motivated by visual output.  Light is an incredibly valuable resource containing photons, which are minute packets of energy. Light is defined as a form of electromagnetic radiation emitted by hot objects like lasers, bulbs and the sun. When an object's atoms get heated up, it results in the production of photons. The sun emits a large amount of electromagnetic radiation. 

Visible light constitutes only one among many kinds of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. The electromagnetic spectrum is defined as a range of all possible frequencies of radiation. Light energy is the only form of energy that can be seen with naked eyes. But, there are also many commercial and scientific uses of light energy.  


                    Fresh crops at sunrise on a summers morning



Photosynthesis is a concept in biology where food is synthesized by use of light. Light is the sole source of food generation for all living organisms on the earth. Almost all living beings depend on light for their food and energy. Plants and other autotrophs synthesize their own food materials by use of light. The light which falls on the leaves of a plant is trapped. The trapped energy is converted to reserve energy in the form of food by the process of photosynthesis. From plants, animals get the required food materials and thereby needed energy for living. 

So plants depend on sunlight for their food and animals depend on plants. Thus all living beings depending on light for food. 


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a type of vitamin which is supplied externally. This is because it can be synthesized by ergosterol and cholesterol by irradiation with sunlight. When light falls into skin, the ergosterol below the skin coverts to vitamin-D. Therefore if someone stays away from sunlight for too long, they can develop a vitamin-D deficiency. 



All animals and birds are able to see objects around them due to the presence of eyes. But without light, eyes might be of no use. Because of light, the eyes can receive the image of the objects and send the information to the brain. From this visual information we are able to comprehend the objects. Hence we can notice that in darkness we can see nothing. 


                      Color guide closeup



The world is vibrant due to colors. But in darkness, we see no colors. This is because all the colors in the world are only possible due to light. Light has many spectra and are broadly referred to as VIBGYOR ( violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red). All these colors have different wavelengths and frequency. When light falls on an object, it absorbs some spectra and reflects others. The reflected light falls onto our eyeball and passes the impression to the brain making it look colorful. So it is the ability of the object to absorb some spectra of light and reflect the remaining that makes it look colorful. We would not be able to see the color if the light is absent or our eyes are not functional. 


Temperature Maintenance 

Light is a form of energy. Sunlight has huge energy by which temperature on the earth is maintained. Due to this, life exists on the earth. If sunlight were absent, the temperature of the earth can drop drastically such that the water on the earth gets frozen. 


Maintain Body Clock

Circadian rhythm or everyday light, keeps plants and animals ticking with time. There is a clock inside both plants and animals which keep them both active during the day and relaxed at night. This clock is controlled by light. Birds, animals and insects are controlled by light. We can notice birds stop making noise in the evening and start making noise in the morning. This habit is controlled by light as it can tick their body clock. Even without a watch, the sunlight changes can make you fall asleep or rise regularly. 


                 close up of an office clock on white background with clipping path



Light, especially its ultraviolet component, is an excellent sterilizing agent. UV rays kill microbes in the air ultimately keeping an area sterile. 


Solar Energy

Light from the sun helps to generate green energy or renewable energy. Solar panels imbibe sun rays and convert it into electric energy which can be used for domestic needs. Solar energy is an alternative and renewable energy that is safe for the environment. It generates no pollution and other harmful wastes. 



Light is used for analysis of compounds for spectrophotometry. This spectroscopy can be used for both qualitative and quantitative analysis. There are many forms of spectroscopy which vary based on the spectra and wavelength of light used.


                   leaves in deep forest


Light and Plant Development 

Plants grow toward the sky as they are guided by the light. Availability of light directs the growth, that is, the plant grows toward the light. You can notice some plants taking different turns when they are in between the other plants to reach the sunlight. 


Whatever the source or use of the light, pairing it with a reflector to attain the desired control and pattern is ideal. At Reflective Concepts, we specialize in design and engineering of reflectors for the lighting, medical, architectural, agricultural, aerospace and many other industries. Our team of lighting industry experts are here to help you every step of the way. With decades of reflector component development, lighting material knowledge, and fabrication experience. Our spectrum of understanding allows us to approach each and every project with unrivaled diligence, experience, and expertise to ensure our customers are getting the very best product every time. Contact us at 262-605-0500 to let us help you with your next lighting project. 



Topics: Material for Segmented Reflectors, Grow Lighting, Lighting Facts, Engineering, Science, Light Quality, Energy Efficient, Energy Efficiency