In recently published work, joint with Maxime Durand, Matthew Robson and Baiba Matule at the University of Helsinki, we present a new method for measuring changes in light intensity and spectral quality in field environments. Using a high-resolution spectroradiometer, it is possible to record a time-series of light and use a mathematical framework to pull out information about the changes experienced. This indicates that shorter, rather than longer, periods of light known as ‘sunflecks’ contribute the most to irradiance experienced by plants. We also show how different species and canopy positions alter the characteristics of this light.