I appreciated this post on CFLs (no, not the Canadian Football League – Compact Fluorescent Lights) from Somebody Heal Me. I think this is a topic that has snuck up on a lot of us, and this is a great reminder to think about it.
For years people with migraine or headache have complained about the bane of fluorescent lights. The flicker of these bulbs (even when new) is what causes the problem. If defective, the fluorescent bulbs may even trigger an epileptic attack.
Start looking up, and you’ll realize that your bulbs are slowly being replaced with CFLs. The reason is, of course, they’re cost and energy efficient. But are they quickly increasing health issues at work, school, and in the home? If so, the efficiency may quickly be lost.
There is an alternative – LED lights. There are downsides. LEDs are expensive (in the short term), and they tend to be rather focused – meaning that it takes more to generally light an area (such as a large office room). They also don’t generate as much light.
But the upsides of LEDs are many. First, they are more energy efficient. Second, they are most cost efficient in the long run – lasting 6 times longer than CFLs. Also, they are cool – excellent to replace those bright, hot lights in your bathroom or right over your desk. And no more flicker!
Here’s hoping that the technology of LEDs will continue to improve and the cost will continue to drop.
I hope to see more buildings taking advantage of natural light – skylights, windows and mirrors. You can take advantage of it too – make yourself mobile and go somewhere where the light is better.
Meanwhile, don’t be ashamed to request LEDs in your workplace. Start saving to replace fluorescent lights in your home with LEDs in places where it will work. Carry around sunglasses, if that helps. Turn off the big, fluorescent overhead lights and use a focused LED for what you’re doing. There are other alternatives – being green doesn’t have to mean being sick!