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It would make sense since CFL's are fluorescent bulbs, the same ones that are used in tanning beds. You'd also have to realize the traditional long tubes we've been using for decades also emit UV rays. So its not like its a new thing with the CFL's.

I believe there's a coating that can be put on the bulbs to reduce the amount of harmful rays, so the question might be if the bulbs have a sufficient level of coating on them.
 

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Here we go again. :rolleyes:


Fluorescent bulbs have been around for over 40 years with no ill effects. Anyone who has a basic understanding of them knows that they produce UV radiation which is in turn converted into visible light. Low level UV emissions are to be expected.

There are a few issues which need to be addressed (tolerance for use in enclosed fixtures, bad power factor, rare catastrophic failures with smoke, etc.) but UV emissions isn't one of them. (Neither is the mercury "problem" - there isn't enough mercury in a CFL to do you any harm)
 

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Everyone knows that Ottawa is where the CFL goes to die! :D Sorry, couldn't resist...

A photographer with good filters and/or lab gear can test for UV, so I wonder if anyone has tried that with CFL bulbs?
 

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There might be variances.

Cheap chinese-made CFL's may be prone to having more UV, for example -- that should be something to test, to verify.

From a distance such as at least several feet away, it is likely a nonissue -- it's the "close proximity" like a desk lamp in your face that could be a problem.
 

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Then the solution is LED bulb?
Eww.. nothing worse than LED light. Too much of a blue tinge to them as well. I use a lot of flashlight's in my job and I really have a hard time using an LED light to see with. I find it's actually tiring on the eyes and creates a lot of strain.

More of the CFL's are being made with a second covering to look like and older incandecent buld and appearantly this reduces any UV radiation issues.
 

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Since most Canadians are pasty white and in need of a tan, not to mention the endemic vitamin D deficiency in the winter months, not to mention the fact that actually stepping outside for all of 10 seconds probably equals a lifetime of CFL UV....

Why is this an issue?
 

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Tolerance of UV Varies

"Why is this an issue?"

Individual's tolerance of UV varies, and in the case of certain diseases, there can be extreme intolerance. Lupus, for example - it is now well known that people with lupus need to dramatically limit their exposure to compact fluorescent bulbs as light sources when compared to the average person. It can trigger severe rashes, and can be extremely painful.

I don't have a problem recommending that people convert to CFLs in order to save energy and money - but forcing everyone to either use CFLs or sit in the dark to avoid being made ill seems a bit extreme.
 

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I believe the simple solution to this is to encase the CFL in a prismatic filter like the CFLs that look like an incandescent light bulb. These CFL's have been tested and do not emit harmful UV rays.

In the meantime, I'm erring on the side of caution. I stopped using CFL's indoors and I'm stockpiling incandescents to keep me going for a very long time.
 

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They had this on the news the other day... apparently if you put your face 30cm, (REALLY close), to a CFL for 1 HOUR, it's equivalent to minor UV exposure from the sun.

If I had some UV sensitive condition, I'd be more worried about sunlight leaking through the curtains or someone opening a door than if my light bulbs will give me a sunburn.

Besides, if you feel the need to stick a bulb in your face for hours at a time there are other problems to worry about.
 

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Eww.. nothing worse than LED light. Too much of a blue tinge to them as well. I use a lot of flashlight's in my job and I really have a hard time using an LED light to see with. I find it's actually tiring on the eyes and creates a lot of strain.

More of the CFL's are being made with a second covering to look like and older incandecent buld and appearantly this reduces any UV radiation issues.
The blue tinge is an issue with first gen bulbs, and cheap ones. Better manufacturing can create various shades of light including more natural looking light.

LED's are the future, don't fear them. The manufacturing process just needs some work before them become mainstream.

Some people are working with OLED's where they'd just be a sheet that you could apply to the walls or celings like wallpaper that would emit light. No shadows or dark spots! :D
 

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I believe the simple solution to this is to encase the CFL in a prismatic filter like the CFLs that look like an incandescent light bulb. These CFL's have been tested and do not emit harmful UV rays.

In the meantime, I'm erring on the side of caution. I stopped using CFL's indoors and I'm stockpiling incandescents to keep me going for a very long time.
You can't be serious? You've stopped using CFL bulbs over this?

I guess you should stop going outside (even in the winter or on cloudy days) since the UV exposure outside is higher. Also stop going to work and shopping since most stores/businesses use standard flourescent tubes which also emmit UV rays..
 

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People take these things wildly out of proportion. They see the word "harmful" and instantly panic.

The sun is much more "harmful" to you than these bulbs.. I just heard a segment on this on TV. the WORST CASE scenario the doctor mentioned was SKIN REDNESS. Yes, sunburn.
You have a higher risk of UV by sitting in a bright sunny room all day than by using a CFL in front of you.

That, and the "harmful" effect dissipates past 30cm away from the bulb...
 

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The blue tinge is an issue with first gen bulbs, and cheap ones. Better manufacturing can create various shades of light including more natural looking light.

LED's are the future, don't fear them. The manufacturing process just needs some work before them become mainstream.

Some people are working with OLED's where they'd just be a sheet that you could apply to the walls or celings like wallpaper that would emit light. No shadows or dark spots! :D
That'd look fantastic :)
 

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In a country like Canada, the use of CFLs is far less sensible than in a country like Cuba or Australia (both of which have largely switched over). Canadian homes (and offices) are heated spaces for over six months of the year (more than eight in my province). Since the "waste" of incandescent lights is in the form of heat, for more than half the year it is just as well to have the old-fashioned bulbs. This (due to length of days) is also the time of year when you'd be using them the most. If you are heating with oil and, as is the case right now, it's cheaper (and "greener") to heat with electricity, there's an additional bonus in using non-CFL bulbs.

Further, most CFLs I've seen for sale are shipped all the way from China, leaving a long and deep carbon footprint. And they are packaged in petroleum-derived plastic cases! More junk in the dumps. On the other side, old-fashioned bulbs are packaged in (compostable!) paper sleeves, and come from North American manufacturers.
 

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In a country like Canada, the use of CFLs is far less sensible than in a country like Cuba or Australia (both of which have largely switched over). Canadian homes (and offices) are heated spaces for over six months of the year (more than eight in my province). Since the "waste" of incandescent lights is in the form of heat, for more than half the year it is just as well to have the old-fashioned bulbs. This (due to length of days) is also the time of year when you'd be using them the most. If you are heating with oil and, as is the case right now, it's cheaper (and "greener") to heat with electricity, there's an additional bonus in using non-CFL bulbs.

Further, most CFLs I've seen for sale are shipped all the way from China, leaving a long and deep carbon footprint. And they are packaged in petroleum-derived plastic cases! More junk in the dumps. On the other side, old-fashioned bulbs are packaged in (compostable!) paper sleeves, and come from North American manufacturers.
The problem with this thinking is that while incandescent's do generate heat, they are horribly inefficient at it. You might need several thousands of watts of bulbs to generate the same heat that a electric heater could do with a few hundred watts.

Note that CFLs can get pretty warm too. They generate nearly the same amount of heat, and light, while using much less energy.

And the energy used to transport bulbs is pretty minimal, relatively speaking. Theres also a good chance that a large proportion of incandescent are manufactured abroad also, so that argument is flat. And the energy savings of a CFL over an incandescent is so large, it would easily offset the cost of shipping the CFL bulbs, even if the incandescents were all made locally.
 

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In a country like Canada, the use of CFLs is far less sensible than in a country like Cuba or Australia (both of which have largely switched over). Canadian homes (and offices) are heated spaces for over six months of the year (more than eight in my province). Since the "waste" of incandescent lights is in the form of heat, for more than half the year it is just as well to have the old-fashioned bulbs. This (due to length of days) is also the time of year when you'd be using them the most. If you are heating with oil and, as is the case right now, it's cheaper (and "greener") to heat with electricity, there's an additional bonus in using non-CFL bulbs.

Further, most CFLs I've seen for sale are shipped all the way from China, leaving a long and deep carbon footprint. And they are packaged in petroleum-derived plastic cases! More junk in the dumps. On the other side, old-fashioned bulbs are packaged in (compostable!) paper sleeves, and come from North American manufacturers.
This has already been discussed.

Oil heating is primitive and obsolete. (There are better alternatives - new heatpumps which actually do very well in cold weather)

Electric resistance heating costs twice as much as high efficiency gas furnaces/cold climate heat pumps to operate.

CFLs are available in cardboard packaging. (Canadian tire - noma brand and philips brand in bulk)

Most incandescent bulbs are made in 3rd world countries as well. (Take a look at the packaging next time you buy some - made in china or mexico)

Inefficient lighting increases the summer cooling load. (6 months per year of expensive heat when it isn't desired, and higher cooling costs in warmer climates)

I don't care about the "carbon footprint" - CFLs pay for themselfs in less than one year and reduce demand on aging infastructure. Ontario along with most of the US can bearly meet peak electricity demand as is; saving electricity is much cheaper than producing it.
 
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