Unfortunately, fluorescent lighting is one of the most common light sources in offices and retail spaces everywhere. Now that compact fluorescent lights exist, fluorescent lighting is becoming common in homes as well. Since these lights last so long, they are cheaper and therefore more attractive to consumers. A fluorescent bulb will last about 13 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb, and require only a fraction of the energy. Fluorescent lighting is also seriously bad for your health.
Hundreds of studies have been done that show the negative effects of prolonged exposure to fluorescent lighting. The main problem that’s shown is the quality of the light that fluorescent bulbs give off.
Humans need sunlight. The light from the sun spans the entire visual spectrum. Sunlight actually gives off more than the visual spectrum. Incandescent bulbs show a full spectrum, but don’t show as much as sunlight. Fluorescent lighting only gives a tiny portion.
Negative Health Effects
When humans don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, it messes up our circadian rhythms. When that gets messed up, it can cause all sorts of health problems. The circadian rhythm disruptions caused by prolonged exposure to fluorescent lighting have been linked to
- Eye strain
- Problems sleeping due to melatonin suppression
- Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and depression
- Endocrine disruption and poor immune system
- Increase in breast cancer rates and tumor formation
- Stress and anxiety due to cortisol suppression
The main reason fluorescent lighting can do all of this it because it flickers. Even if you can’t consciously see the flicker, you may be one of the people who can perceive it. This perception can cause migraines, headaches, eye strain, stress, and anxiety.
Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to combat the negatives effects of fluorescent lighting.
- Spend more time in the midday sun.
- Bring in a light source with a fuller spectrum. “full spectrum” and “daylight spectrum” lights are great alternatives to fluorescent lighting.
- Place a full spectrum filter over your fluorescent bulb or fixture.
A Better Work Space from American Design Associates
American Design Associates, Inc. is a furniture dealer and design firm serving clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. We strive to ensure that every customer ends up with the office design and furniture to help their business run for years to come. We have the expertise and resources to help you get your move off to a great stress-free start. Visit us online to see what we can do for you, or give us a call at (410) 823-5500. To see examples of our work and get more advice on furnishing your office space, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.