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Fluorescent Lamp Innovations

By HHI Staff

Fluorescent lamps with improved performance and design features are now available. One popular innovation is the warm-white fluorescent tube that emits less light from the blue and green portions of the visible light spectrum. As a result, the light from warm-white fluorescent lamps appears less harsh than the light given off by typical fluorescent lamps. (Note: There are now actually a whole range of specific warmer appearing fluorescent lamps available.) To purchase warm-white fluorescent lamps locally, check lighting centers, hardware and home improvement stores. 


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Full-Spectrum Fluorescents


Another development is the full-spectrum fluorescent tube, which gives off light that more closely duplicates the spectrum of natural sunlight. Some believe that there are positive health benefits from using full-spectrum lighting instead of conventional indoor lighting. For example, a number of years ago bright full-spectrum lights were found to be useful in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that reoccurs every winter. It affects certain susceptible individuals because, for them, the decreased amount of sunlight during the shorter winter days triggers a biochemical imbalance in their bodies. While the original researchers worked with full-spectrum lamps, subsequent research has revealed that individuals with SAD will sometimes improve if they sit in front of any type of safe bright light - full-spectrum or not - for a few hours each day during the winter.


Compact Fluorescents


One very popular fluorescent-lamp innovation is the compact fluorescent (CF). These fluorescent lamps have smaller-diameter tubes (in a variety of shapes, some quite complex), built-in ballasts (transformers), and screw bases. Therefore, compact-fluorescent lamps can be used in many of the same fixtures, and decorative table lamps, as incandescent bulbs. While they’re more expensive to purchase, they’re very long-lasting and quite energy-efficient, so that, over time, they can save you a considerable amount of money. One minus has been that some are just too large to fit in fixtures and table lamps that were originally designed for smaller incandescent bulbs. Fortunately, smaller CFs are now more commonly available. Your electric-power utility may offer them at discounted prices.


Choosing the Right Lamp


Because of all the varieties available, it’s important to know what you really want before purchasing a lamp for a specific application. Some considerations to keep in mind are the desired brightness, the type of socket the fixture has, the size of the bulb compared to the size of the fixture, the lamp’s energy efficiency, the amount of heat given off, the type of light spectrum emitted by the lamp, the lamp’s initial cost, the lamp’s lifetime operating cost, and whether the lamp has a flickering quality, or gives off a steady uniform light.


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HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


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Fluorescent Lamp Innovations:  Created on May 27th, 2011.  Last Modified on August 15th, 2011


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