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Home Repairs and Maintenance: Is the light output the same for fluorescent lights vs other

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FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 1, 2012
4:03 PM

Post #8991152

type of bulbs? I bought a fixture to use in my son's room and it is fluorescent and uses 1 22 watt bulb and 1 32 what or something like that. Less than 60 watts combined. The old style bulbs were 60 watts, but you usually put a fixture in a bedroom that will use 3 bulbs or so. 1 bulb would be pretty dim. So I am wondering what good is a fixture that doesn't even put out 60 watts would be? It must actually put out more light per watt? Please don't laugh at me, I don't know hardly anything about light bulbs or electricity!
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

February 1, 2012
5:07 PM

Post #8991249

Yes Fluorescent bulbs put out much more light per watt than an incandescent bulb does. Some where in the area 3 or so times as much.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 1, 2012
5:23 PM

Post #8991274

The light output of a CFL (compact fluorescent light) is equivalent to an old style bulb (incandescent) that uses four times the energy. So if you had an incandescent 100 watt bulb and replaced it with a CFL of the same light output, you'd use a 23 to 32 watt bulb (a savings of 3 to 4 times in energy use). The biggest drawbacks to CFL (or fluorescent in general) is they take a few minutes to attain maximum brightness and the cost is more for the bulb itself. The nice things about fluorescent is they last a lot longer (up to ten times longer) and save lots on energy costs.

For maximum light, get a fixture that holds three bulbs (60 watt max per bulb) and buy three 100 watt equivalent CFL bulbs. If you used incandescent lights you'd use 180 watts. For CFL (100 watt rating) you'd be using between 75 and 100 watts total but get nearly twice the light output. The results are amazing.

FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 1, 2012
8:28 PM

Post #8991538

well I got the light because it has a plastic cover over it, and it is only about 5 inches deep or so. (Doesn't hang down off the ceiling far)
My son is severely autistic and mentally retarded, he is 15 so getting tall now. He can only convey his very basic needs, like being hungry or needing changed ect. I had someone tell me recently that florescent lights can cause migraines in some people. I do believe my son gets headaches, but with such limited communication, I have no way of really knowing the severity or what is bringing them on. I am wondering if I do not use the fluorescent lighting, what other options do I have for him? I chose the plastic cover because he sometimes will bang his light fixture with toys, or otherwise tear it up. I cannot use a ceiling fan or anything like that which hangs down. We do not have raised ceilings, just the standard 8'. He broke a glass light shade once, so thus my search for plastic. I just don't know what I am going to use in there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

February 1, 2012
8:42 PM

Post #8991547

Have you considered any sort of recessed can-type lighting ?
FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 1, 2012
8:55 PM

Post #8991559

what king of bulbs do those use?
1_Lucky_Texan
Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 1, 2012
9:19 PM

Post #8991574

Well, fluorescents and LEDs can strobe and perhaps a few people experience headaches or other problems from that. So, perhaps changing to fluorescent is contr-indicated.

But, in an enclosed fixture that will hold in heat and be a little more trouble to service, the lower wattage:lumen and the longer lifespan of fluorescent is a big advantage. Home Depot sells a good brand - make certain the package says 'warm white' or you could get a harsh color. The package will likely also say '75 watt equivalent' or otherwise guide you as to the incandescent brightness similarity. Also, do not use them on a dimmer switch. Even the style that are designed for dimmers will have reduced lifespan and don't dim as much as incandescent bulbs. They also lose a small amount of brightness over time. They contain a small amount of mercury as well. usually not a problem but handle with care.
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2012
8:41 AM

Post #9034583

I've converted almost all of my fixtures to the CFL bulbs. I love them! In my bathroom, as the light gets brighter, it's like the sun rising--a great way to start my day. LOL

I haven't noticed any of my CFL bulbs flickering, which I think is what usually causes headaches/migraines in people. Some of my 4 ft florescent bulbs will flicker and that annoys me until I change them. But I LOVE my CFL bulbs.

As far as expense goes, if you watch Ebay, you can often get the CFLs for around $1 each if you buy in bulk. They seem to last longer than regular bulbs and they don't get as hot as regular bulbs either, so I think it also saves on my cooling bills in the summer.

Have you asked your son's doctor about the lighting? I'm sure it's a question he's heard many times and he may have some interesting insight.

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