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White Light Sources

Definition: light sources with very broad optical bandwidth

German: Weißlichtquellen

Category: photonic devices

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature


A white light source is a light source with a broad optical bandwidth (usually 100 nm or more). However, two substantially different meanings of the term are in use:

For some applications, the optical bandwidth specified as a full-width half-maximum value is important, whereas weak tails in the spectrum are not relevant. In other cases, it is only important to have at least some moderate level of power spectral density over a broad range, even if the power spectral density varies a lot within that range.


The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains 30 suppliers for white light sources. Among them:

See also: bandwidth, supercontinuum generation, white light interferometers, interferometers, superluminescent sources, amplified spontaneous emission, spectroscopy
and other articles in the category photonic devices

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