Sunday, February 06, 2011

What You Really Need to Know About the New Lighting

The important thing to look for In compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL)-- is the K rating -- the higher, the better, which is often labeled as "daylight," or full-spectrum bulbs, meaning they simulate natural sunlight, and some people detect that they have more blues, and even ultra-violet. The current best standard is 6500K, although the original full-spectrum bulbs developed were 5000K.

The CFL bulbs most people are familiar with, and dislike as substandard lighting, are those with low K ratings, usually denoted as "soft-white," or "warm" light, because they have more yellow, red, and infrared and heat. They are usually 2700K.

The high K rating bulbs are usually found in stores that cater to arts and crafts -- because they allow a person to do fine-detail work with their eyes for long periods of time -- without the eyestrain, and give a true rendering of color, since it approximates natural daylight. Many with "poor vision," especially in reading, can be "cured" by using this better lighting -- which even many eye doctors claim, should not make a difference -- but it does to the millions who know this for a fact.

These full-spectrum bulbs, are often used in indoor growing operations, because plants also like them, and evolved in natural daylight, just as animals have. Without natural light stimulus, life would be nonexistent -- and the simple experiment of growing a plant in a dark closet will prove that. But if a CFL is kept on in that closet, a plant will grow and actually flourish -- just as humans will, with optimal lighting, but poor lighting, as with the old incandescents which consume a lot of electricity while producing a lot of heat, is an inappropriate choice for too warm climates.

Until recently, these full-spectrum, state-of-the-art lighting, sold at a premium, just as the newer LEDs (light emitting diodes) presently do, that are an even purer light without producing heat, except that now, they are often sold at the same price as the substandard CFLs or only a slight premium -- to the unwary, who don't think it makes a difference, or to those who prefer the yellowish-red hues, as what they are conditioned to prefer in lighting -- as substandard to real daylight.

They think that artificial light should be not as good as actual daylight. But the tanning bed lightbulbs, are these distinctly overwhelming whitish light, and the full-spectrum CFL are their weaker counterparts, that although do not have this powerful tanning effect, are important to stimulating the brain and eyes to maintain their health, since 95% of the stimulus to the brain, is light.

People deprived of this natural light when trapped in cave-ins, or those who choose to live in them, tend to be stunted in their growth, or make weird adaptations, as with the animals of the deep seas, that seem like alien life-forms. Currently, one of the popular misguided pronouncements is that one should avoid sunlight if at all possible, which has caused a whole generation to come down with osteoporosis and dementias for the lack of the proper healthful light stimulus (vitamin D), and the healthful effects on the brain and eyes.

One of the best ways of using CFLs, is to turn them on and leave them on -- especially in light-poor areas that are likely to cause accidents, like darkened interior stairways, walk-in closets, darkened interiors and exteriors after dark susceptible to criminal and suspicious aggregations and activities. There is a huge difference between no lighting, and even a little, in improving such locations and environments. Keeping the bulbs on, enables them to last longer because the CFL
weakness, is the number of times it is switched on and off, and not the length of time it remains on. So it's best use, is to determine the darkest place in the environment, and keep that light on constantly, so that even if one has to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, or for any other purpose, one has light available to safely move about -- which otherwise, is a hazardous activity, in those who think it is wise to economize that way -- and often incur life-threatening injuries in that manner. Light also gives the impression that one is under observation, or is "at home," deterring casual crimes of opportunity.

These full-spectrum CFLs therefore, represent a quantum leap into superior lighting over the substandard incandescent bulbs and even the old, familiar CFLs. Even Costco sells a 75 watt equivalent "daylight" CFL, 6 bulbs at $9.99, or $1.66, a bulb, for the state-of-the-art in lighting. They actually consume 18 watts. The 60 watt equivalents seem slightly underpowered, at 13 watts, while the 100 watt equivalents (23 watts actual), may be more than one needs for ambient (base) lighting.


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