Compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFL’s, are now being promoted as an easy way to conserve energy. Compared to the regular incandescent light bulb using CFL’s can save up to $30.00 over it’s lifetime. It sure sounds good. So, in the beginning I went out and bought many CFL’s in different shapes and wattage. It felt like the right thing to do.
Over time, I found that some thing about the light bothered me. CFL’s give off a different quality of light. I do admit that they have come up with more varieties of CFL’s and I have not tried them all. But, being rather sensitive to light, I find that using CFL’s in the Northwest climate is somewhat difficult. So, in some areas of the home I have switched back to incandescent bulbs. Yes, it makes me feel guilty, but there is a reason for this.
Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I found that I am craving more and more sun because of the lack of it. A few years ago, I realized I must suffer from SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, lighting has become a concern. When attending design school, I recalled my lighting class and remembered that sunlight is a full-spectrum light. There are light bulbs that are labeled full spectrum light bulbs that mimic daylight and have excellent color rendering, so the lighting doesn’t affect the true color. The market is full of these light bulbs and they even make fluorescent ones too. But, they are very pricey. While a regular incandescent light bulb will cost about $1.00, a full-spectrum light bulb can set you back about $9.00.
So, the question is: Do they work? Well, I think they do. I’m not sure if it’s psychological. But, you may have to try it for yourself. It isn’t necessary to have every light bulb in your home changed to these. What I would suggest is to change one by your desk, or an area where you spend a lot of time under the light. See if your mood changes or your eyes don’t tire as much. Be aware of your feelings and measure the effects for yourself. For those working in an office with little of no sunlight, if it works for you, it could be a great way to help improve your well-being.