Fluorescent bulbs were the go-to option in commercial lighting for many decades. Their use became so commonplace that many people fail to recognize more recent - and more effective - alternatives. Yet more and more savvy business owners are turning to LED bulbs to meet their commercial lighting needs.
For those who understand the drawbacks of fluorescent lighting, making this switch is an easy choice. If you would like to learn more about some common - yet long overlooked - problems associated with fluorescent bulbs, read on. This article will outline three compelling reasons to make the switch to LED.
1. Electrode Wear
Fluorescent bulbs utilize electrodes to cause the lamp to turn on each time you flip a light switch. The bulb requires a jump in electrical current in order to supply the electrode with the necessary energy. In other words, the energy it takes to start up a fluorescent bulb tends to be significantly greater than that required to keep it running.
Not only that, but each time a fluorescent bulb turns on, part of the electrodes are burned off. Once a critical amount of coating has disappeared, the bulb will no longer come on at all. The more frequently a fluorescent bulb turns on and off, the more quickly it will reach this threshold and need to be replaced.
If your business allows you to keep your fluorescent bulbs running for long periods of time, these things may not matter. But for those with automated lighting systems, it can pose serious problems. Ultimately, it will mean that you spend more on both electricity and bulb replacement costs. LED lights, by comparison, do not require extra energy to start, nor do they suffer from being turned on and off.
2. UV Radiation
For many years, fluorescent bulbs were considered a perfectly safe means of lighting. More recently, however, perceptions have begun to change.
Research has found that many fluorescent bulbs emit potentially dangerous levels of ultraviolet radiation. UV light rays possess enough strength to burn skin on a cellular level, which means that fluorescent bulbs may promote more rapid aging.
In addition, such cellular damage increases the chances of developing certain types of cancer, namely the skin cancer known as melanoma. The dangers of fluorescent bulbs stems from their use of phosphor to create light.
Technically, the phosphor in fluorescent bulbs contains a special protective coating designed to prevent UV rays from getting out. Yet time and again, researchers found that that protective was cracked, thus permitting dangerous rays from escaping. LED bulbs, by comparison, generate only a tiny fraction of UV light, far less than their fluorescent counterparts.
3. Temperature Limits
Fluorescent bulbs work best when used within a set temperature range. Yet when temperatures fall outside of this range - specifically on the low end - performance will take a noticeable drop.
Generally speaking, most fluorescent bulbs will begin to demonstrate performance decreases when used in environments with a temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A decrease in performance can pose a serious problem for businesses in the food industry, which often rely heavily on refrigerated work areas.
While special cold-temperature bulbs do exist, these can be hard to find. They also tend to carry a much higher price tag. Switching over to an LED-based system is a much wiser choice.
LED bulbs don't just maintain their performance standards in cold climates - they actually yield better results. An LED bulb will improve in terms of both its light output and its general efficacy as temperatures drop. That means you can ensure optimal lighting no matter how cold your work area happens to be.
LED bulbs have a plethora of benefits to offer business owners of every strip. For more information on switching over to LED bulbs, please contact Louisville's commercial lighting experts at Tocor Inc.