There is a lot in the news about the cost benefits of LED lighting, but did you know that switching to LED can also benefit your health? This post explains how.
Why Fluorescent Lighting is Damaging to Your Health
Originally fluorescent lighting was never meant to be used in industrial or commercial settings. When fluorescent lighting was first introduced during WW2, it was a cheap way to keep factory lights on 24/7. No-one considered its high-energy usage or the potential effect on our health; there was little research on the detrimental effects of mercury. However, today there are numerous studies available that emphasize the importance of switching to LED, most notably, the impact of leaking mercury gases and exposure to UV radiation.
The mercury in fluorescent lighting is considered highly toxic and must be disposed as hazardous waste. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) should be disposed of carefully. If they break, it is advisable to open the windows and doors to ventilate the room from mercurial vapours, and place the broken pieces in a sealed container. Old fluorescent lights have the potential to leak mercury gas even if they are not broken. A quick check of the lights will tell you if there is a problem. If the ends are black, you should change it immediately.
In addition to leaky mercurial gases, fluorescent lighting has been known to cause headaches, eyestrain, and memory loss. It is believed that the flickering light and increased UV radiation are the cause of these effects. In fact, the ill effects are so common that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommended the removal of fluorescent lighting from all schools.
Many governments have recently placed the most common fluorescent tube, the T12 4’ tube, on a restricted list. There were a variety of reasons for this action, but one of them was the inefficiency of the product.
The Health Benefits of LEDs
One of the major differences you’ll see once you switch to LED lighting is an increase in your productivity. A recent study has found that students who attended schools with mostly natural light had a 10% to 21% higher learning rate and higher test scores.
Fluorescent lighting exposes the eye to higher levels of UV radiation, which can lead to eye disease. A study conducted in Australia showed an increase of at least 10,000 additional cases of eye disease each year, after many homes and workplaces moved from incandescent lighting to fluorescent lighting.
And studies conducted in workplaces before and after the switch to LEDs have also shown an improvement in visual and cognitive tasks by 8.3%, increased attention, focus and faster reaction times, and reduced fatigue and rates of depression.
When you consider the increased health and cost saving benefits and increased productivity, switching to LED lighting is the sensible choice for schools, office buildings, industrial complexes, and even your home.
The Benefits of LED Lighting
● Significantly longer life span – up to eleven years or 100,000 hours of use.
● An alternative technology that has minimal UV emissions.
● It has a higher efficiency. For example: a traditional incandescent light uses 80% of its energy to heat a room and only 20% to light a room. On the other hand, LEDs does the opposite, losing only 20% to heat.
● Environmentally friendly: no toxic emissions.
● More durable and because they are resistant to external impacts, they are a better choice for outdoor lighting requirements.
If you would like to know more about the process of switching to LED, get in touch with us! We are always happy to help.