Wanna know what are the 6 practical examples and uses of visible light rays in everyday life? If yes, then you are at the right place at the very right time. As per NASA, the visible light spectrum is the segment of the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can view.
Typically, the human eye can detect wavelengths from 380 to 700 nanometers. Not to mention, the visible light spectrum comes between the infrared (longer wavelength) and the ultraviolet (shorter wavelength).
From the natural sunlight that sustains life to the artificial lighting that enhances our environments, visible light serves a multitude of purposes. Whether it’s enabling communication through fiber optics or revolutionizing medical treatments through lasers, visible light continues to shape our world in ways we can’t imagine.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore 6 practical and diverse examples and uses of visible light in our everyday lives, shedding light on the significance of this remarkable phenomenon. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in…!!!
Examples and Uses of Visible Light Rays in Everyday Life
- Fiber Optics Communication
- Natural Illumination
- Optical Data Storage
- Human Health
- Solar Energy Conversion
The very first on my list of 6 practical examples and uses of visible light in everyday life is for the process of photosynthesis and plant growth. Visible light is vital for photosynthesis, enabling plants to convert light energy into glucose and oxygen. Chlorophyll absorbs blue and red light most effectively, driving chemical reactions in plants.
Light-dependent reactions produce energy-rich molecules like ATP and NADPH that are essential for glucose synthesis. Not to mention, light also guides plant growth (photomorphogenesis) by influencing germination, flowering, and other processes. In fact, different light wavelengths affect growth patterns and adaptation mechanisms.
Light duration (photoperiod) also impacts flowering and growth. While essential, excessive light can stress plants, but they have protective mechanisms. To sum up, one can say that visible light is vital for energy production and regulating plant growth and development.
Fiber Optics Communication
Fiber optics is a technology that uses thin strands of glass or plastic fibers to transmit data in the form of light pulses. Visible light, specifically within the range of colors our eyes can perceive (around 400 to 700 nanometers wavelength), is a viable option for optical communication, although other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as infrared and ultraviolet, can also be used.
Visible light is used in fiber optics for communication by encoding information as light pulses. The core of the fiber reflects light through total internal reflection. Modulating the light intensity encodes data, and at the receiving end, the light is converted back into electrical signals.
Techniques like multiplexing and high data rates enable efficient data transmission. Fiber optics offer low interference, and high security, and are suitable for various applications, such as Internet communication and telecommunication networks. To sum up, this technology is at the heart of global internet infrastructure and modern telecommunications systems.
The most fundamental use of visible light is enabling us to see the world. It involves the utilization of sunlight, which is composed of visible light along with other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Natural illumination relies on the Sun as a natural source of visible light as it contains a full spectrum of colors within the visible range, from violet to red.
This is particularly important for accurate color rendering in visual arts, design, and other applications. Similarly, sunlight entering through windows and openings in buildings provides illumination for indoor spaces during daylight hours. This reduces the need for artificial lighting, therefore, helps us to conserve energy and reduce electricity consumption.
In addition, sunlight’s natural illumination enhances visibility outdoors, making it possible to see objects, landscapes, and surroundings clearly during the day. In other words, this illumination facilitates everything from admiring a breathtaking landscape to safely navigating through bustling city streets.
Optical Data Storage
Visible light plays a role in optical data storage by utilizing its properties to encode, read, and retrieve digital information from storage media. Optical data storage technologies, such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, use visible light for reading and writing data. Optical data storage systems use lasers that emit visible light to write, read, and erase data on storage media.
The laser’s focused beam allows for precision in reading and writing data on a microscopic scale. Such that, data is encoded onto the storage medium as a series of microscopic pits and lands. When writing data, the laser heats the surface of the medium, creating pits (low reflectance areas) and lands (high reflectance areas). The arrangement of these pits and lands represents the binary code of the stored data.
Similarly, when reading data, the laser’s beam is directed onto the surface of the medium. The presence or absence of pits and lands modulates the reflection of the laser light. A sensor detects the variations in the reflected light intensity, converting them back into binary data for interpretation by a computer or device.
We all know that sunlight is a rich source of visible light that impacts our well-being in various ways. In fact, exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, helps regulate the body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm influences sleep-wake cycles, hormone production, and various physiological processes.
Proper synchronization of the circadian rhythm can contribute to improved mood and overall well-being. Similarly, exposure to natural light also suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness.
Reduced melatonin levels during the day promote alertness and vitality, leading to better mood and cognitive function. Not to mention, sunlight triggers the synthesis of Vitamin D in our skin which is essential for bone health and immune function.
Solar Energy Conversion
Last but not least on my list of 6 examples and applications of visible light in daily life is solar energy conversion. Visible light rays play a fundamental role in solar energy conversion through the use of photovoltaic cells, also known as solar cells. These cells utilize the energy from visible light to generate electricity.
Photovoltaic cells are designed with materials that can absorb photons (particles of light) from the incoming sunlight. Visible light carries the energy required to eject electrons from atoms within the cell’s material. When a photon from visible light strikes the material of a solar cell, it transfers its energy to an electron, elevating it to a higher energy level.
This process is known as electron excitation or photoexcitation. The absorbed energy causes electrons to break free from their atoms, leaving behind positively charged “holes.” The release of these electrons and holes creates an electron-hole pair, which is essential for generating an electric current.
Some Other Examples and Applications of Visible Light in Daily Life
Apart from the above-mentioned ones, I am also mentioning a few here.
- Artificial Lighting
- Medical Applications
- Photography and Imaging
- Art and Aesthetics
- Light-Based Security Systems, etc.
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