You say you want to go green for the New Year. At least you plan to be greener in the new year than you were last year. You’re already recycling newspapers, cans, plastic, etc. That’s all good, of course, but now you want to take the next step. You plan to pick up some of those compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs at the store so you can cut your electric bills and save precious natural resources.
Very good--as long as you pick up plenty of sunscreen while you’re at it!
Yes, I said sunscreen. Like all standard fluorescent lighting equipment, the CFLs you buy in local stores emit ultraviolet (UV) rays. Some fluorescent bulbs actually emit UVs at the rate of half the power of sunlight. That means an hour spent in direct fluorescent light has the same effect on your body as if you’d spent half an hour basking in full sunlight.
Okay, maybe you enjoy slathering on the sunscreen, even when you’re staying indoors. But what if you’re sensitive not only to UV rays but also to zinc oxide, the primary ingredient in sunscreens, even the hypoallergenic kind? That’s a problem I have to deal with. For a long time, switching to CFLs to save a few dollars and trees wasn’t feasible for me.
Then there’s that other common source of UV rays, the old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. You know, that big behemoth you’ve been itching to retire in favor of one of those sleek flat-screen computer monitors! Well, I’m happy to tell you that this upgrade is a real improvement, both energy and health-wise. Go ahead and buy that flat-screen monitor as soon as you can. It’ll cut your electric bills and your UV exposure.
But what about CFLs? It took some serious googling on my part, but I finally found a solution to my problem with the CFLs they sell in the stores. Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting is a company that manufactures lighting for medical use. Among their most popular products are those light boxes that people use to treat seasonal affective disorder, which is well-named by its acronym, SAD. That’s the temporary depression that many people get when they aren’t exposed to adequate outdoor, or at least bright, light during the darker winter months.
Because their products are designed for medical use, the folks at Blue Max know the importance of protecting people from exposure to UV rays. So they went to work on the problem with fluorescent bulbs and developed an entire line of lights designed to cut energy use without hurting the consumer.
Every fluorescent bulb made and sold by Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting is sealed against the emission of UV rays, so it’s safe for folks like me with lupus, and even those who have or are susceptible to skin cancer. That means they won’t cause you to develop any cancers down the road either.
But what about price? Well, an informal price comparison with name-brand CFLs in the store indicates that purchasing just a few bulbs from Blue Max does cost a bit more, especially when you add in the cost of shipping. But we buy a dozen or more at a time, so we get a cheaper rate per bulb and don’t pay shipping costs. That makes the cost for each bulb comparable to cheaper store brands. And the fact that I’m protected from dangerous UV rays, to paraphrase the commercial, is priceless!
If you’re still hesitant about investing in CFLs, remember that they not only save on your electric bills, they last about 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs. Perhaps our experience can show you how much energy--and money--you can save by using CFLs.
When we made our initial purchase of one dozen bulbs, we found that one 14-watt bulb gives off almost as much light as two or three 40-watt or 60-watt bulbs in our ceiling light arrays. When we buy another dozen or two, we might add one more 14-watt bulb to an array here and there, but things are pretty bright now. Just remember that like all fluorescent bulbs, CFLs take a short time to reach their full intensity. Then they stay nice and bright as long as they’re on.
Even though we need fewer CFLs than incandescent bulbs, we’re buying them not only for our house but for our rental properties, so our tenants can save electricity too. Each time I buy a dozen, we give two or three to each of the three families who rent from us. In time, I hope to replace all the lights in all our properties with UV-safe Blue Max fluorescent bulbs. This will not only save the tenants a lot of money, it’ll save a ton of energy all round.
If you want to save money and energy, and protect yourself from UV rays at the same time, you can learn all about the products offered by Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting from their web site at: www.bluemaxlighting.com.