Blocking UV Rays from Linear Fluorescents
Lighting know-it-all Randall Whitehead shares his tips on dealing with linear fluorescents.
Do you know of a device that can be used to block the UV rays from linear fluorescents installed in a clothing store? My customer is complaining that the lights damaged clothing stored in boxes on a shelf near the ceiling. Are there any special diffusers or tube guards that would help?
Other retailers, including lighting showrooms, may carry soft goods that are sensitive to UV, and may want a little protection. Fortunately, there are fluorescent tube sleeves that filter out UV. As an example, take a look at Lee Filters’ UV absorption filter #226. I recommend that you also purchase the polycarbonate tubes that fit around the actual lamps. Not only do they make it easier to install or change the filters (think fun colors for the holidays), but they also protect the lamps from shock and contain the pieces if the lamp is broken. Lee Filters is a British company, but it sizes everything in inches and feet. You will need to find out from your client, though, what size fluorescent lamp she is using (T5, T8 or T12) in order to get the right size product. A few companies, including Malcolite and Pegasus Association Lighting, offer these tubes with the UV filter built in.
Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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