29 July 2008

My Fluorescent Reconciliation

For those of you in the blogosphere who know me, you will be keenly aware of my abhorrence of fluorescent lighting. I am an ambient kind of guy. I like nothing more than a room full of well placed incandescent 60 watt bulbs to relax my eyes and soothe my soul (okay, admittedly, that was a little much).

From my earliest recollection, I have associated the harsh, radiated
light from fluorescent tubes as the Lucifer to my well-lit path to happiness. The very Son of the Morning or Lightbearer, armed with a high intensity, luminescent staff and eyes that burn like low-heat-emitting fluorescent bulbs of the starkest lab, classroom or dead-end office. Indeed these tubes of harsh light have been an ever-present reminder of the price we pay for energy efficiency and long lasting lighting.

While this hate affair has been going on for many years, it wasn't until recently that I stopped to recognize that I have been in multiple offices that seem warmly lit, but yet bask under fluorescent tubes. I immediately began to research the topic and comenced by Googling the term "I hate fluorescent lighting." The results yielded 118,000 results (incidentally "I hate Lucifer" resulted in a little less than three times that number--while "I hate George W Bush" came in at a whopping 10 times that number. Come on folks, of all these issues, fluorescent lighting is the only one that doesn't have any end in sight.). Being the bright, analytical person that I am, I did the obvious thing and clicked on the first hit listed and believed everything it said.

The site contained an article by a man named Eric Strandberg, LC (I think LC stands for lighting consultant. Apparently they have some sort of a certification program). After reading the article I learned some very important points to consider:
  • Modern-day fluorescent lighting is available at the same Kelvin warmth as incandescent bulbs (3000K), rendering near identical ambiance.
  • Rather than the old style magnetic lighting, modern-day fluorescent lighting is has electronic mechanism inside which eliminate buzzing and flickering.
  • Modern-day fluorescent lighting is available in various sizes and fixtures allowing for both accent and overall lighting.
Some of these facts came as a complete surprise and in an all-too-timely fashion. According to my trusty internet sources, by 2011 or 2012 it will be nearly impossible to find incandescent bulbs, due to new energy-saving legislation recently passed by congress.

To be fair, I wouldn't say I am converted to fluorescents, but you could say we have become reconciled. So for those of you out there with my previous misconceptions about fluorescents, open you eyes, you may be surprised at what modern-day fluorescents have to offer you.

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