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Why Is LED Lighting Considered A Safer Alternative?

LED lighting has become increasingly popular within both businesses and homes, and there are many reasons why LED bulbs can be seen as preferable over traditional bulbs, including filaments, halogen bulbs and the new, low energy compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs as they are called. One of the words frequently associated with LED lighting is ‘safe’, and certainly the use of LED bulbs does offer a safer alternative to many other forms of lighting. But what is it about an LED light which makes it a safer alternative, and are there any drawbacks to consider when switching to LED light solutions?

For many years most of us have been used to using filament bulbs, and the recent legislation which has ruled that filament bulbs should no longer be sold has led to a number of people looking for alternatives, and not always liking what they see. The initiative has been designed to encourage people to buy CFLs, as these are low energy bulbs, helping to lower the impact on the environment. However, there are a number of drawbacks with using CFLs, and these negative issues have caused a great many people to express concerns. In such cases, LED lighting may well help to solve these problems, managing to reduce the impact on the environment whilst at the same time not causing the problems which CFLs can generate. So what is it that makes LED bulbs safer and more preferable when compared to compact fluorescent lights?


The first argument against CFLs is that they take too long to become fully illuminated. For a long time we have been used to being able to flick a switch, and have a light come on immediately, lighting up the room, cupboard or stairs fully. Because of the way they work, CFLs can take many minutes to reach full brightness, meaning that the area is dim and poorly lit for some time. This might be acceptable in rooms where no immediate need for light is necessary, but the light will be kept on for a long time. However, in many cases immediate light at full brightness is required. If you are looking in a cupboard, you need brightness immediately. Similarly, for dark passages or stairs, poor lighting can be the direct cause of accidents and injuries.

LED lighting works differently, and provides focused lighting immediately, at full brightness. There is no period of warming up - the light is crisp, bright and immediate, providing full illumination for cupboards, stairs, and other areas where immediate lighting is required. This in itself provides a much safer alternative, particularly in key areas. Because LED bulbs provide a focused light, the beam can light up key areas more fully and more effectively than CFLs, which diffuse light in a 360 degree radius. With more light focused where you need it, and reaching full illumination immediately, it’s clear to see why many people are switching to LED lighting as a safer and more efficient alternative.

However, there is another issue relating to CFLs, and that relates to the strobe effect. Not everyone is conscious of the strobe effect caused by CFLs, but as with any fluorescent light, there is a constant flicker. For those using computer monitors this can create a distracting strobe effect on the screen, causing ripples or waves to appear to glide up the screen. More seriously, however, is the fact that the strobe effect from CFLs can trigger unwanted side effects in a number of people, from epileptic seizures to headaches and nausea. LED lighting uses an entirely different technology, resulting in a completely flicker free form of lighting. LED bulbs do not flicker or strobe, meaning that for those with conditions which may be triggered by rapid strobing of fluorescent lighting, either at work or in the home, they represent a much safer and healthier option.

Yet another issue concerning CFLs is their manufacture. A compact fluorescent light contains several dangerous compounds, including phosphor and mercury, both of which are extremely dangerous to the health of people and pets. Quite apart from the danger of the glass, if a CFL breaks you are advised to vacate the area immediately, and only return after a period of venting, and even then, only with safety equipment. LED lighting is completely safe, incorporating no chemicals substances and presenting no danger to the health of people or animals. With no glass to break, LED bulbs are not only completely safe, they are also fully recyclable, making them a safer and healthier alternative for both the home and for business.

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