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Ambient temperature is known to affect the emission spectrum of a light-emitting diode (LED). This study has investigated the effect of changes in ambient temperature on the emission spectra of two LED with peak emission wavelengths similar to those used in pulse oximetry. There was a 5.5-nm increase in the peak wavelength for a 660-nm LED, and a 7.8-nm increase in the peak wavelength for a 950-nm LED as temperature increased from 0 to 50 degrees C. Using a simple theoretical model based on the Beer-Lambert law, the effect of these shifts in wavelength on pulse oximeter accuracy was examined and found to be negligible over the temperature range studied.


Journal article


Br J Anaesth

Publication Date





638 - 643


Electrodes, Equipment Failure, Infrared Rays, Light, Models, Theoretical, Oximetry, Temperature