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David Baxter

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Energy efficient bulbs may trigger migraines, U.K. group says
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
CBC News

Energy efficient light bulbs could be causing migraines, a British migraine lobby group said Wednesday.

"These bulbs do trigger migraines for some of our members ? it's either the flickering, or the low intensity of the light, causing eye strain," Karen Manning, a spokeswoman for the British Migraine Action Association, told the BBC.

Many jurisdictions around the world have recently moved toward banning standard incandescent bulbs, which lose most of their energy as heat, in favour of compact fluorescent lights.

Last September, Britain's environment secretary announced a voluntary agreement that would see stores stop selling all conventional bulbs by the end of 2011.

"We would ask the [U.K.] government to avoid banning them completely, and still leave some opportunity for conventional bulbs to be purchased," Manning said.

Energy efficient light bulbs could be causing migraines, a British migraine lobby group said Wednesday.

"These bulbs do trigger migraines for some of our members ? it's either the flickering, or the low intensity of the light, causing eye strain," Karen Manning, a spokeswoman for the British Migraine Action Association, told the BBC.

Many jurisdictions around the world have recently moved toward banning standard incandescent bulbs, which lose most of their energy as heat, in favour of compact fluorescent lights.

Last September, Britain's environment secretary announced a voluntary agreement that would see stores stop selling all conventional bulbs by the end of 2011.

"We would ask the [U.K.] government to avoid banning them completely, and still leave some opportunity for conventional bulbs to be purchased," Manning said.

Australia announced last February that it was going to prohibit the use of incandescent bulbs by 2010 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In Canada, the federal government said last April that it would ban the sale of inefficient light bulbs by 2012.

Implementing the ban in Canada would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than six million tonnes a year and save homeowners about $60 annually in electricity costs, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said at the time.

Australia announced last February that it was going to prohibit the use of incandescent bulbs by 2010 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Retired

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OH no! Not another trigger to think about...:hissyfit:

Seriously though, I've been living in a house totally converted to energy efficient fluorescent lighting for over a month. Considering I experience frequent migraines, I have not noticed the lighting to be an obvious trigger.

IOW the migraines I have experienced could be related to known and obvious triggers which preceded each episode. I cannot say any of the migraines during the past month could not be related to an obvious and known trigger for me.

The article is interesting, and I'll keep it in mind.
 

Mari

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H! One of the reasons I work from home is because I can not work under fluorescent lights. The flickering makes me dizzy and disoriented and some fluorescent lights make a humming noise that I find very irritating. I will be stocking up on incandescent bulbs and hope that the light patrol doesn't get me. Maybe someone will come up with another option - hopefully one that is easier to spell. :heart: Mari
 

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Mari,

I wonder if there are differences in the types of fluorescents that are now being made for enegy efficiency.

Agreed that the balast type office lighting was annoying to many people, due to the color of the light, the flicker as you alluded to and the hum associated with the balast.

It will be an interesting topic to investigate and perhaps some of our Psychlinks members have the understanding of lighting technology to interpret the differences in these new lights.

From what I have seen in the last month, every light bulb for just about every imaginable application has a version available as a low energy fluorescent bulb.

Even the globe type bulbs used around vanities or dressing room mirrors have a fluorescent replacement.

Spot lights, flood lights table lamps, dimmable..they all are available as low energy equivilants.

You may want to research these products before stocking up on incadescents, because there may be advancements in their design which might not cause you the discomfort of those institutional fluorescents.

Also LED lighting is beginning to be used in residential applications, which may be even more efficient. Over the next few years it's quite conceivable that new technology will be developed to replace what we now have.

The bottom line is that our energy costs are rising, and the fluorescent equivilants will reduce the electric utility bill significantly.
 

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