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What are Advantages and Disadvantages of Fluorescent Lighting?

Fluorescent lighting is less expensive than traditional lighting, but there are also drawbacks to using fluorescent lighting.
Fluorescent lighting is about 66% cheaper than regular lighting.
A fluorescent light bulb.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 July 2014
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Fluorescent lighting is a type of electrical lamp choice that works through the use of mercury and neon gas, producing a chemical reaction; standard incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, work by reacting to heat. This type of lighting used to be used only in offices, but is now becoming more and more popular in homes because of their many advantages. If you are considering it for your home, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of lighting to help you decide if it's right for you.

Advantages

  • Fluorescent lighting is 66% cheaper than regular lighting while providing the same brightness. When you consider that a quarter of any home's electrical consumption is done through light bulbs, the savings can add up considerably.
  • Fluorescent bulbs last longer. On average, a bulb or tube has a lifespan six times longer than a regular incandescent bulb. They tend to burn less after continuous use, and can be turn on and off without being afraid of burning it.
  • The lights do not give off heat, which makes them great for area lightning and for areas where additional heat can cause equipment to malfunction or bother the users.

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Disadvantages

  • The initial cost of fluorescent lighting can be up to three times higher than other types of bulbs. Many people see this as meaning that fluorescent lights are more expensive, but the truth is quite the opposite, since they last longer and save money in the long run.
  • Some lighting may require professional installation the first time around, as the electrical connections are more complex.
  • Some fluorescent bulbs can flicker noticeably and produce an uneven light that may bother some users. Once the flicking becomes obvious to the eye, there is no choice but to replace the lamp.
  • Fluorescent lighting is often less attractive. Unless you invest in special decorative ways to hide the lamps, they are often visible and can take a lot from the visual aspect of the room. Traditionally, fluorescent bulbs only came in bright white, although a wider range of tones is now available.

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Discuss this Article

anon356882
Post 12

I'm just learning in school about the fluorescent fixtures and bulbs and this helped me a lot. There is still much I need to learn but it is a great way to better understand the physics and how they save money but don't look trashy.

anon338054
Post 11

Will a fluorescent lamp work in cooler temperatures for a long period of time?

OeKc05
Post 9

Fluorescent lighting may only come in white, but that doesn't mean it has to be ugly or plain. I have a beautiful fluorescent lighting fixture in my dining room, and it is prettier than some of my incandescent light bulb fixtures.

It is shaped like a square bowl and totally covers the lights. The glass on the fixture is frosted, so it diffuses the light a little. Decorative metal twists around the edges and adds an elegant touch to it.

The light is bright enough that we can see the food on the table, but it isn't bright enough to hurt anyone's eyes. I love the fact that I save money with this type of lighting without having to sacrifice appearance.

shell4life
Post 8

@StarJo – I don't know for sure, but crackling would worry me. Maybe you should have an electrician check it out, just to be safe.

Now, I think it is normal for fluorescent lights to take a few seconds to work properly. When I turn on the ones in my carport, I have to wait awhile for them to light up to their full potential, especially when it's cold out. In the wintertime, it can take several minutes for them to work.

My dad has a fluorescent lamp on his desk, and it also has to have time to warm up. The awesome brightness it provides is worth the wait, though.

StarJo
Post 7

I have some fluorescent kitchen lighting, and this is probably the only room in the house where I would consider using this kind of lighting. It provides some serious brightness, which is good when I'm preparing food.

I like to be able to see the salt and spices as I sprinkle them on things. That makes it easier to tell when I've sprinkled enough. With fluorescent lights, I can see details like this, and I think that my food tastes better because of them.

There is just one weird thing about my fluorescent light. When I flip the switch, it takes several seconds for the light to come on, and when it does, it makes a crackling sound. Is this normal?

Perdido
Post 6

My office uses fluorescent lights, and most of the time, they don't bother me. Sure, they don't cast a very flattering light on my hair and skin, but they are plenty bright enough for me to see my work well.

Every now and then, they will begin to flicker quickly. When this happens, I have to let the maintenance man know. He will come out of the supply closet with a couple of new fluorescent lighting tubes in hand and replace the flickering ones.

Once they begin to flicker, they usually produce an annoying humming sound. I take this as a sign that they are on their way out.

anon43903
Post 2

Fluorescent lights are destructive to the human eyes, skin, blood and hair. Have been for many, many years, according to the most highly respected physicians in the world. Pay attention while you can!

anon14916
Post 1

i have heard that turning fluorescents on and off many times during a day will burn them out. is this true or not?

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