LEDs or Fluorescents?
Our expert heralds the advance of LEDs while still preaching the fluorescent gospel.
The golden glow comes from a very energy-efficient, long-life LED linear light source.
Randall, speaking for the millions of people who get migraines from fluorescents, while I am all in favor of energy conservation, fluorescents make me sick, literally. Have you seen a traffic light lately? Not fluorescent. Been behind a new car when the brake lights went on? Not fluorescent. They’re all LEDs, which use less than one-third the energy of fluorescents and are more durable—not to mention the design flexibility. California’s new Title 24 will just make me homeless or a scofflaw. Why don’t you do a better job and not sell out the millions like me who can’t live with fluorescents, especially when there’s a much better alternative? Get a clue!
Believe it or not, I agree with what you are saying. I am a huge advocate of LED (light-emitting diode) sources. I really feel that this is where lighting technology should be headed. The initial stumbling block was that, until recently, there was not a white LED available, only red, blue, yellow and green diodes. These were great for traffic signals, indicator lights and the backlighting of colored signage but had little use in residential settings. Now that we have a white LED, it opens up a whole world of possibilities. The other upside of LEDs is that they emit no UV or heat and can last from 30,000 to 75,000 hours. One of the main problems we foresee is that the LED equivalents of incandescent bulbs have bases that match what they are replacing. California’s Title 24 demands that we can’t unscrew an energy-efficient bulb and replace it with an incandescent source. Now that hardwire LED fixtures are coming onto the market, with the help of manufacturers, we are convincing the inspectors to allow LEDs on projects. In response to your concern about fluorescents causing migraines, there is plenty of old fluorescent technology out there in existing buildings, and it is unfortunately still available on the market for new projects. These old styles with magnetic ballasts cause headache problems because they cycle (flicker) at an agonizingly slow 60 times a second. The new fluorescents with electronic ballasts cycle at 10,000 times a second, which makes a world of difference. Now, aren’t you sorry that you yelled at me?
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Latest from ask randall
This is a challenging question that may require a bit of compromise. To keep the cooler hues appearing crisp and white, you need to select a color... read full story
First off, I'm very glad that you are using a pair of sconces flanking the mirror. You don’t want fixtures that point light up or down, but instead... read full story
I wasn’t immediately familiar with the CE listing, but I’ve done my research. This is a label used in European countries and is applied to products... read full story
This is a little bit of a challenging situation. You want to have a fixture that you can’t look inside of easily — we don’t want to see the bulbs... read full story
Sponsored by Legrand and Bulbrite. Wednesday, October 5 at 2 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Sponsored by Emerson and Legrand. Webinar Overview: Learning units:AIA/... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/... read full story