Non-financial “Quality of Life” Benefits of Conversion to Silescent LED Lighting Fixtures

There are many benefits of using Silescent Citizen Array Chip based LED fixtures in addition to their cost- saving energy efficient operation and low maintenance. Many of these could be considered benefits to our quality of life. Several of these many benefits are discussed in detail below.

Elimination of the potential for home, school, and workplace mercury contamination from fluorescent or CFL bulb breakage

All fluorescent tubes and CFL’s contain significant amounts of mercury. Although these amounts are often referred to as trace amounts, they are not really “trace amounts” in the normal sense of that phrase. In fact, they may contain upwards of 30 mg in each tube. This is significant enough that warnings are placed on fluorescent tube and CFL packages recommending evacuation of an area and bringing in certified waste clean- up experts to decontaminate an area or dwelling in which a bulb has been broken. For some reason the public is not well informed on this subject and does not generally follow these instructions at their own risk. Mercury is a very powerful neurotoxin, especially in children, and exposure to it has many proven long term negative effects. This problem is eliminated with LED lighting products.

Elimination of the potential for contamination or injuries from glass bulb breakage

Each year there are numerous injuries sustained from cuts from broken light bulbs. Many are received during installation and removal of the bulbs themselves. In corrosive environments, the screw in metal portion of the bulb may become corroded and difficult to unscrew. This can lead to bulb breakage and cuts during bulb removal. When a bulb falls, typically it shatters. This can spread small glass fragments far beyond the immediate breakage are. These can be missed during clean up and lead to later cuts and punctures.

Broken glass from bulbs is an extreme hazard in food processing or food preparation areas. This can lead to glass ingestion by consumers, patrons, or even family and friends eating at home. This hazard is eliminated with the use of LED fixtures in these food processing and preparation areas.

Elimination of disposal problems for spent bulbs and ballasts

Disposal of spent bulbs is a serious environmental issue for fluorescent and CFL bulbs. Although these bulbs are supposed to be recycled, in fact they are not. Instead, they are commonly simply thrown in the trash. Hauling spent bulbs to a recycle center is costly and time consuming, and just isn’t happening to any significant extent according to all reports. This issue is eliminated by using LED fixtures.

Reduction of the levels of mercury contamination at local area landfills.

Mercury contamination can be a serious local issue. For example, the Everglades is seriously contaminated with mercury. Are we to believe that the disposal of millions of fluorescent bulbs every year in the landfills lining the eastern edge of the Everglades from Palm Beach to southern Dade Counties is not contributing to this? We are not even supposed to eat the fish we catch there anymore or if we do, sparingly and pregnant women and small children are cautioned to avoid eating Everglades wildlife at all. LED lighting has no mercury, and therefore is bound to help reduce this problem.

Fixtures are easy to clean and care for in food processing or food preparation areas.

Silescent LED fixtures are waterproof and easy to clean. They can be easily washed with no harm to the fixture. This improves appearance and cleanliness in the area. Try washing a bulb fixture and you will see this difference. I have seen many filthy bulb based fixtures in food preparation areas. This problem can be eliminated by using Silescent LED fixtures.

Fixtures are easy to decontaminate and clean in health care settings with biological contamination issues.

Bulb based incandescent, CFL, or fluorescent tube fixtures are all difficult to clean due to the way they are constructed. Silescent LED fixtures are available in waterproof flush mounted versions that can easily be cleaned and decontaminated with no harm to the fixture. This makes the Silescent fixture an ideal light for hospitals, long term health care facilities, and biological research facilities.

Reduced workplace accidents, due to falls from ladders while replacing bulbs and ballasts.

Workplace falls are a major source of workplace injuries. Falls are also a major source of injuries in the home. Falls from ladders often occur while changing bulbs or ballasts, especially in high ceiling areas, stairwells, and other hard to reach areas. These types of injuries are avoided by using Silescent Lighting Fixtures. Useful lives of over 100,000 hrs. are expected for most Silescent fixtures. This translates into a projected lifetime of between 12 -30+ years for most applications considering most normal usage rates. (A year is 8,760 hrs.) As you can see, the trips up and down the ladder are pretty well eliminated by using Silescent fixtures.

Elimination of UV light in Interior Lighting

There is a UV component of both fluorescent and incandescent light sources. There is no UV component in the Silescent light source. This is important for applications involving lighting of valuable artwork. This eliminates the aging of the artwork due to UV light, and also reduces the rate of fading of paints, fabrics, and carpets.

UV is also harmful to humans in relatively small amounts. This exposure is eliminated by using LED lighting.

Reduction of Lighting Induced Fatigue and Headaches

Many people report fatigue and headaches associated with fluorescent lighting. This is understandable when the spectrum and operation of the fluorescent light is considered. The spectrum of the fluorescent light contains UV light which is harmful to the human eye, and the spectrum is severely spiked at 3 main frequencies giving the appearance of white light while not producing a true even color spectrum. This leads to visual fatigue, and in many people even headaches. There is also the issue of the flicker associated with fluorescent lights. It is sometimes visible as the light ages, but always present at a frequency of twice the hz of the AC power being used. This may contribute to fatigue. There is almost always an audible hum associated with fluorescent lighting. This is usually not noticed due to background noises. It is most perceived by those with excellent hearing, notably the young.

There are none of these fatigue and headache issues with the use of Silescent light fixtures. Many users swear they no longer experience headaches in their work area after switching from fluorescent to LED lighting. Many users also note how much more relaxed they feel in a room lit with Silescent lighting fixtures vs. fluorescents. The Silescent LED lights have no UV component, no flicker or hum, and instead of having severe concentrated spikes of light at single frequencies as the fluorescents have, they have a smooth delivery of light throughout the visible color spectrum. This explains the reduction in headache and fatigue.

Improved appearance of colors in rooms lit with Silescent LED fixtures.

There are many opinions on why the Citizen LED Array chip, when incorporated into a flush mount wide area dispersion fixture, produced such vivid colors in the lighted area. The full evenly distributed color spectrum must surely play a role, but there are obviously other factors that are not yet fully understood that also contribute to this very obvious feature of this type of light.

This is an important factor when lighting areas that have been beautifully decorated or are displaying artwork. One gentleman commented that one of his paintings now looked so much better that in Silescent light its value went up $200,000. He mentioned that he saw things in his paintings that he had never seen before.

This factor is also important in school classrooms, especially grade school classrooms where children are still developing and have very keen senses. Children love the way colors look under this light. One contractor, when standing in a small hallway between 2 first grade classrooms, one equipped with Silescent Fixtures that he had just installed, and the other remaining fluorescent for comparison and evaluation purposes remarked that “All the good artists must be in the classroom with the LED lights”. The difference in color vividness was unmistakable to everyone who made the comparison. At this particular school, all of the teachers who do not yet have LED lights are jealous of those who do, and can’t wait to get them for their classrooms.

This feature of LED lights makes them perfect for enhancing merchandising. Jewelry stores especially love the effect for displaying their expensive materials and gemstones. Produce markets have used this feature to merchandise their products to such great success that there is a movement to stop grocers from using LED light which they claim makes the produce look better than it does when they bring it home. Of course the real answer here is to improve your own home lighting so that you get the benefit of what you paid for. There is nothing wrong with the produce.

Ability to use the Full Range of Light “Color Temperature” When Designing a Specific Lighting Application

Typically color temperature was given little thought by many lighting system installers. There was a general preference for incandescent bulbs in the 2300- 2700 degree K range for interior lighting in evening type environments. For daylight work situations such as factories, offices, and schools higher color temperatures of between 4000- 6000 degree K range were used. LED arrays are currently available in increments between 2700 and 5000 degree K. This allows specifying the same fixture with different color temperatures in different applications. This is a valuable option offered to customers.

Human beings are very sensitive to color temperature of lighting. There is evidence that this is tied into normal circadian rhythm cycles. Sunlight has a color temperature of about 5000 degrees Kelvin. Moonlight, about 4000 degrees Kelvin, and firelight about 2700 degrees Kelvin. These are all naturally occurring light sources that humans have adapted to over time. We tend to wake up with the sun and its light spectrum, and tend to relax and prepare for sleep at the firelight range of the spectrum. There are some opinions that sleep disorders, and some mood disorders could be related to interruption of circadian rhythms caused by light of inappropriate wavelengths at the wrong time of day. This could lead to lighting system changes that could hopefully help alleviate these disorders.

Ability to Use Dimming to Adjust Lighting Levels to Meet Changing System Demands

Most models of Silescent LED fixtures incorporate smart drivers to power the LED array chip. This allows these lights to be smoothly dimmed over the entire range of the light output range. This is important for those applications that want to change lighting level with time of day, or upon command for any reason. This not only allows for more efficient operation, but allows adjusting the ambiance of the area being lit.

Ability to be offered in Explosion Proof Versions

Most models of Silescent Lighting can be offered in explosion proof versions. This greatly improves performance and safety of lighting in oil and gas production facilities, refineries, chemical processing, grain elevator, and gas station environments.

 

Posted in LED Lighting Articles.