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The Disadvantages Of Fluorescent Lighting

The Disadvantages Of Fluorescent Lighting

For many years, fluorescent lighting was the go-to form of lighting for large buildings. This included offices, warehouses, schools, stores, and more. But now many people in charge of these same buildings are switching to LED lighting as they realize all of the disadvantages that come with fluorescent lighting. Perhaps you have already considered the benefits of switching your building from fluorescent lighting to LED lighting, or maybe it’s only just occurred to you that fluorescent lighting isn’t all it was once cracked up to be. Either way, you might be interested in learning more about the fluorescent lighting in your current building and why it is doing you so many disservices.

5 Problems With Fluorescent Lighting

  1. Fluorescent Lighting Can Be Toxic
    Fluorescent lights contain mercury and phosphorus and if the fluorescent light is broken, the mercury can escape as a gas while the phosphorous stays on the broken glass. When fluorescent lights break, the room needs to be aired out and the glass needs to be carefully picked up. It is recommended to do this with a damp paper towel. The glass should not be touched with the bare skin, as the glass may cause cuts and expose the wound to phosphorus.
  2. Fluorescent Lighting Emits UV Rays
    UV rays are typically emitted from the sun and they can lead to surface-level skin damage or deeper, long-term skin damage. Although significantly less strong than UV rays from the sun, being exposed to fluorescent lights all day every day can add up. It is suspected that increased exposure to UV rays from fluorescent lights contributes to the development of cataracts.
  3. Fluorescent Lights Lose Power As They Are Turned On And Off
    Every time fluorescent lights are turned on and off, they lose a small portion of their lifespan. For lights that often stay on, this won’t make a huge difference in how long they last, but turning lights on and off frequently can dramatically decrease their longevity. For example, the fluorescent lights in rooms with automatic motion sensors tend to last significantly shorter than fluorescent lights that stay on all day. This can make fluorescent lights fairly expensive, as they either need to be left on all day and therefore use energy and increase your energy bill, or they can be set on timers and cause you to replace them more often.
  4. Sensory Overstimulation
    If you’ve ever noticed a constant buzzing while inside, you’re probably in a building that uses fluorescent lighting. These lights tend to buzz or hum whenever they are on and the sound gets worse as the fluorescent lights get older and the prongs of the fluorescent lights get bent or dusty. Many people also tend to react poorly to the light produced by fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lighting has been known to trigger migraines and to overstimulate people with autism both due to the bright, unnatural light and the buzzing noise. Fluorescent lighting has also been shown to be related to eye strain and disturbed sleep patterns and to greatly impact anyone with light sensitivity.
  5. Fluorescent Lighting Is Not Eco-Friendly
    As Canada gradually takes steps to be more eco-conscious, fluorescent lighting is going out of style. Because of the dangerous chemicals in these lights, it is very difficult and costly to recycle them and many companies choose to dispose of them instead. Fluorescent lighting needs to be disposed of separately from other household or business waste in a very particular way or it can be taken to a hazardous waste collection centre.


Calgary Lighting Specialists Can Replace Your Fluorescent Lighting

To reduce the negative effects and disadvantages of fluorescent lighting, you can switch to LED lighting instead. LED lighting offers a variety of benefits which you can read about in Reasons To Upgrade to LED Lighting For Your Commercial Properties. Besides the benefits LED lights offer, retrofitting your business or commercial space for LED lighting will save you from the disadvantages of fluorescent lighting and may help to improve your workspace. To schedule a FREE consultation with the lighting experts at Fluorescent Man Lighting and Electrical in Calgary, either call 1-403-863-8529 or fill out the online contact form. Our lighting experts will be able to save your company money.



Q: Is an LED retrofit cheaper than just buying a new light fixture?
A: Yes, it is a significantly cheaper option. LED retrofits exist for those who do not want to purchase a whole new lighting system for their home. Instead, an LED retrofit will upgrade your current fixture and will save you money in the long term. Schedule a free consultation with a lighting contractor to get an estimate for an LED retrofit.

Q: Can LED bulbs be installed indoors and outdoors?
A: Yes! The Fluorescent Man Lighting and Electrical residential lighting consultants can quickly and efficiently retrofit both your interior lighting fixtures and exterior lighting fixtures to be compatible with LED technology. LED lighting also operates better in cold conditions than traditional lighting.

Q: What kinds of LED retrofits are there?
A: There are several different types of LED retrofits that you can choose from: 

  • LED troffer light
  • LED strip light
  • LED vapour tight fixture
  • LED tubes

A Fluorescent Man lighting specialist can help you decide which LED lighting is best for your home.

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