Fluorescent Lighting Dangers - Why LED Lights Are the Better Choice

If you have even a passing interest in the topic of Fluorescent Lighting Dangers, then you should take a look at the following information. This enlightening article presents some of the latest news on the subject of Fluorescent Lighting Dangers.

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Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) along with more traditional fluorescent lamps are now being aggressively marketed as environmentally friendly due to their reduced electricity consumption. Indeed, widespread replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs will greatly reduce electricity demand; however, there are safety issues that ultimately contribute to making LED lighting the superior choice. Understanding fluorescent lighting risks can help ensure that fluorescent light bulbs are used and disposed of safely while explaining why LED lighting is the safest and most eco-friendly lighting choice in the long run.

Mercury

The most commonly cited fluorescent lighting hazard is mercury. Fluorescent and CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury and are identified with the elemental symbol Hg. When these bulbs are cold, some of the mercury in the lamp is in liquid form, but while the lamp is operating or when the lamp is hot, most of the mercury is in a gaseous or vapor form.

Breakage

Fluorescent lamps create several hazards if broken. Depending on the type, there may be a partial vacuum or the lamp may be under pressure. Breaking the glass can cause shrapnel injuries, along with the release of mercury and other hazardous compounds.

Dimmers

Never use a CFL with a dimmer in the circuit (unless it is specifically made to work with dimmers), even if the dimmer is set at the maximum setting. Doing so places you at risk of fire and at the very least will dramatically shorten the life of the lamp and the dimmer. Also most photocells, motion sensors and electric timers are not designed to work with a CFL. Check with the manufacturer for the use of a CFL for these types of fixtures.

 Electrical

Any fluorescent fixture that uses lamps longer than 24" or that is used outdoors or in a damp, wet, or high-humidity location must have an electrical ground for the fixture and ballast. All rapid-start and instant-start fluorescent fixtures must have an electrical ground in order to operate properly. Fixtures with longer lamps operate at higher voltages, with some fixtures having starting voltages across the lamp as high as 950 VAC. Voltages at this level represent a strong shock hazard and improperly grounded fixtures or direct contact with electrical connectors or other wiring can result in severe injury or death.

Short-Wave Ultraviolet Light

A long-term hazard from fluorescent lighting is the shorter-wave ultraviolet (UV) light that escapes the lamp. No matter how well crafted, some short-wave ultraviolet light escapes from every fluorescent lamp made. Short-wave UV light is one of the damaging components of the suns rays that reach the surface of the Earth, which can directly damage organic tissue and trigger cancers. Short-wave UV light can also age or damage paper, fabrics and other materials.

 Flicker and Glare

Flicker and glare from fluorescent lights can also cause headaches and have been found to impact learning and ability to concentrate. Although humans cannot see fluorescent lights flicker, the sensory system in some individuals can somehow detect the flicker. Ever since fluorescent lighting was introduced in workplaces, there have been complaints about headaches, eye strain and general eye discomfort. These complaints have been associated with the light flicker from fluorescent lights. When compared to regular fluorescent lights with magnetic ballasts, the use of high frequency electronic ballasts fluorescent lights resulted in more than a 50% drop in complaints of eye strain and headaches. There tended to be fewer complaints of headaches among workers on higher floors compared to those closer to ground level; that is, workers exposed to more natural light experienced fewer health effects.

Now that wasn't hard at all, was it?  And you've earned a wealth of knowledge, just from taking some time to study an expert's word on Fluorescent Lighting Dangers.