LBNL Report Number
Recent experiments at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) have demonstrated that rod receptors, which are widely thought to be important only for night vision, also contribute actively to vision processes at typical office light levels. At these light levels the studies found that pupil size and brightness perception are strongly affected by rod activity. These results suggest that light sources with scotopically richer spectral content need less photopic luminance to enable a given level of visual performance, visual clarity, and brightness perception. Such phenomena can explain the confusing results of many earlier visual performance studies where performance and visual clarity differences obtained under different lamps could not be explained on the basis of photopic luminance A re-analysis of these past studies, together with an examination of currently available lamps and phosphors, suggests that there is a substantial opportunity to increase lighting energy efficiency in a highly cost-effective manner solely by considering lamp spectrum.