Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Dark Side of LED Bulbs

Artificial light is regarded as one of the most important factors in the development of the human race. The ability to use fire to light up caves changed the way early humans lived. Man was no longer literally left in the dark when the sun went down. He could work, eat and do everything with the light of the fire. Lighting evolved through candles, lanterns, gas lights, till the electric lightbulb was invented over a century ago. Today we have become so dependent on artificial lighting that a power outage brings life to a standstill.

Modern lighting uses LED technology and these bulbs will be in use in the foreseeable future. They are long lasting, efficient and minimize the amount to electricity they consume. While the technology is a blessing, it is not an unmixed one. There is a dark side to LED bulbs that many are not aware of.

Hazardous Substances

A study quoted in the highly reputed journal Scientific American says that LED bulbs contain over a dozen potentially harmful substances including lead and arsenic. Besides making disposal of old bulbs a major issue, what happens if one breaks in the home? Experts recommend that gloves and a mask should be worn before sweeping them up and then the debris, including the broom, should be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Artificial Light and Health

In 2012 the American Medical Association released a study on the impact of artificial light on health in general and on specific medical conditions. Among other things, it recommends that the development of new lighting technologies be given priority to reduce the health risks of artificial light. This is now a major area of research, but no practical technologies will be available for many years to come.

Daylight Is Best

We cannot do without artificial lighting. But controlling and limiting its use can make the home a healthier place. One way of doing this is to reduce the amount of electric lighting used during the day. Most homes have areas that remain dim during the daytime hours, requiring electric lights to be turned on when they are occupied. Instead of doing this, daylighting systems can be used. These systems capture daylight from the roof of a home and use high-tech tubes to carry it through ceilings and walls to parts of the home that need more daylight. The light they produce is completely natural and has none of the potential risks that extended exposure to electric lighting may have. They are free from hazardous materials and consume no electricity. Dimmer switches allow the amount to light to be controlled so the right illumination can be maintained. Using daylighting systems means that a home has clean natural sunlight in it and because of this it becomes a safer and healthier place to be in.

When installing daylighting systems it is very important to ensure that they are from a world class manufacturer that uses the best materials and has the latest technology. Having the installation done by a dealer ensures that once in place, the systems will functions flawlessly for years to come.