Fluorescent light consists of luminaire which is gas charged. It produces illumination via chemical reactions that entail mercury and gas vapors interacting for the creation of UV light within glass tubes. While it is superior to the older incandescent lights, there are still many disadvantages of fluorescent lighting, which are explained below.
They Contain Toxic Materials
As stated previously, fluorescent lights require mercury for their operation, which is a well-known toxic substance. It also uses phosphorous, which is almost just as bad. Should a fluorescent bulb or lamp shatter, the mercury will be released in the form of gas, which can contaminate nearby areas.
Regular Switching Makes Them Prone to Failure
When fluorescent lights are placed in an indoor location where they are regularly turned off and on, they will age faster and be more prone to failure. It is for this reason that they should not be used for motion sensors or emergency lighting controls, and are better applied in places where they can be left on for extended time periods.
They Produce Ultraviolet Light
Research conducted in the early 1990s found that the UV exposure from sitting near fluorescent lights for 8 hours a day was the same as being exposed to sunlight for 60 seconds. This means that some people who are light-sensitive may develop health problems as a direct result of being exposed to this form of illumination, which includes eye disease, especially cataracts. It is also believed that fluorescent light could cause myopia, astigmatism, and retinal damage.
It Can Damage Artwork
Fluorescent light has been linked to a variety of eye conditions, but may also damage rare artwork, especially the ones that use textiles or watercolor. This is why these pieces must be protected by either acrylic sheets or extra glass which can prevent the rays from reaching their surface.
Hard to Recycle
Fluorescent lights are hard on the environment and phosphor is difficult to dispose of. Because of this and their mercury content, governments around the world have issued regulations that entail specific disposal requirements and they must be separated from standard household or commercial waste.
While energy savings usually outweigh recycling costs, this is not the case with fluorescent lights, since one has to incur additional expenses to ensure it is disposed of properly. Because of the high cost involved, many recyclers won’t deal with them at all.
They Need to Warm Up
Fluorescent lights do not reach full illumination immediately upon their activation. Instead, there is a delay of between 10 to 30 seconds which must pass before they can achieve full brightness, which is significant because this wastes a lot of energy.
They Sometimes Produce A Buzzing or Humming Noise
In order to function, fluorescent lights require magnetic ballasts. However, the ballasts have a small flaw where a buzzing or humming noise will sometimes be heard, which has to be removed by using ballasts that are electronic and high frequency.
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