The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Nowadays, especially in the optical industry, we hear all sorts of terms referring to light - and protection from said light. Here are some - just to name a few: blue light, harmful blue light, UV, UVA, UVB, infrared, visible light, full spectrum, wavelengths, etc…

So, what does that all mean?? Well, all of the aforementioned terms fall under something called “The Electromagnetic Spectrum” (see chart below):

The portion of the spectrum that is visible to humans is called “visible light” - the rainbowed section above - what can be seen and detected with the naked eye. The electromagnetic spectrum is made up of different wavelengths. Some examples of wavelengths that are invisible to the naked eye are, Infrared, Ultraviolet, Radar, and X-rays.

So what exactly is a wavelength you ask? Let’s use the ocean as an example - yup - the ocean. If you’ve ever watched the waves coming in, and going out - you have seen a wavelength. Electromagnetic waves operate in a similar way to the waves of the ocean.

From the beginning of one wave to the beginning of the next wave is called a wavelength. If the wavelength is long, you will experience less waves. If the wavelength is short, or closer together, you will experience more waves.

All of the light within the electromagnetic spectrum travels at the same speed - the speed of light = 670,616,629 mph. One could go around the Earth 7.5 times in one second if traveling at the speed of light! Amazing, huh?

You are lying in bed when your alarm clock goes off. You get up and feed your fish when you notice the light from your window is creating a rainbow in the corner of the tank. You head downstairs to the kitchen. As you enter the kitchen, you use the remote control to turn on the radio in the kitchen as you pop a breakfast burrito into the microwave. After eating and getting ready for school, you head out on this sunny day to wait for your bus. In this scenario, you have experienced almost all of the waves on the electromagnetic spectrum.

With all of these different types of wavelengths of light, it’s important to keep your eyes protected. Come visit us at ‘Frameworks Eyewear’ and let us show you our ‘spectrum’ of options to keep your eyes healthy and happy.

Sources: Spectrum Lesson for Kids/Chapter 6, Lesson 30.

Web Accessed: 25 November 2019. Fast Does Light Travel? The Speed Of Light/March 7, 2018.

Web Accessed 25 November 2019.

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