As we get older it’s amazing the revelations we, if not learn, finally accept and integrate into our lives. Such as staying away from high Fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch/MSG. What you didn’t get the memo? :).
Yesterday after decades on this planet, I finally switched from regular bright light or warm light light bulbs, the kind that I guess make up 99% of the type of lights most people are living or working under in America, to full spectrum/daylight light bulbs.
Great Caesar’s Ghost!!! What the heck was I waiting for??? There is a negligible price difference and the quality of the light is noticeably easier.
What do I mean by easier? There’s always the sense in the human condition that we are fighting things, ourselves, others, nature, the tools we use to do our job, even the chairs we use or the lights that keep us from the dark.
There was always a bit of strain or glare or if not discomfort, at least awareness of otherness in the artificial light you use when the sun goes down. Artificial is the word, however I accepted it as a given, and compensated with brighter bulbs or angled reading lamps, etc.
Yesterday when I stuck those 5000 and 6500 kelvin bulbs in my floor standing lamps, what I felt when I turned them on, is the tension I always keep around my eyes in preparation for the coming of the light, I felt that tension let go.
I was prepared for something to fight against, the human condition, and instead this light flowed over me like a breeze, like a hand, and the light in my house and I… were no longer at war.
Since that revelation I’ve added 6500 Kelvin lights to my kitchen, helps the plants grow, and 5000 and 6500 Kelvin lights throughout the rest of the house. I keep one room with the standard artificial light, that I spent most of my life living, and working, and breathing under, I keep that room there to remember the fight, and in its contrast to the rest of the house, it reminds me to always appreciate… the end of fighting.
Most full spectrum lights you’ll find are CFL lights (Compact Fluorescent). Just about all of us now have CFL lights in our house, but very few of us have the full spectrum daylight bulbs. As I said, it in my estimation is a no-brainer regarding full spectrum light bulbs… they are must haves. The issue with CFL’s however is the one there has always been, they contain mercury. Mercury for an element that we rely on so much, it is one of the most toxic substances to human life.
And as a guy who has used CFLs for years, they tend to blow… a lot. I have never found CFL claims of longevity to be accurate in the real world. They blow faster than incandescent bulbs in my experience. And over years of use you’re going to end up breaking your share. And even if you do manage, not to eat mercury over the cost of usage, you still have the issue of disposal, which is a big one. Because of the mercury content you cannot just toss it in the trash, it has to be taken to your local hazardous materials site or recycling site for proper disposal.
So there’s a lot of issues that become part of the mix when dealing with CFLs.
Which makes this push to LED light bulbs (Light Emitting Diodes) quite understandable. Though I have yet to find an LED that will work in the 6500K range and even the ones that work in the 5000K range, while producing that easy relaxing light, there are issues with them not truly being full-range. And depending on the brand, they also have flickering issues.
So yeah, I can definitely understand CFLs becoming less and less popular because of their Mercury issues (I would think a mercury free CFL bulb shouldn’t be an impossibility, why manufacturers have not pursued that option is a mystery) however as of today there really is no great equal or replacement for them in the 6500K Kelvin range (particularly great for growing plants).
So for the time being I use a combination of CFL daylight lights (making sure to be careful with the CFLs and properly dispose of them)and LED daylight lights, and in my house they are a hit. The light is a more pleasant experience than the harsh light that we had before, and we are better for the switch.
You just might agree as well. Try some Daylight bulbs for yourself here (and when you find the 6500K version you like, stock up as they are getting VERY hard to find):
Cree Daylight Dimmable Led 75w Replacement Bulb. Uses Only 13.5 Watts Ba19