In what may be a serious blow to the compact fluorescent lightbulb industry, Scientific American recently published an article suggesting that the energy-efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs may cause skin damage.
Already criticized for their use of mercury, CFLs are now under new scrutiny for the latest finding which shows that ultraviolet radiation seeping through the bulbs may damage skin cells.
The research was led by Miriam Rafailovich, a professor of material sciences and engineering at Stony Brook. Rafailovich was inspired to investigate after reading an article about a spike in skin cancer on a communal farm in Israel where residents had switched to fluorescent bulbs.
The latest research at Stony Brook tested CFL bulbs from a number of manufacturers and the results across the many brands were varied, with some leaking a lot more UV than others.
The Family Dollar Stores recently announced the recall of about 280,000 decorative Mini Lights due to a fire and electrical shock risk.
The lights apparently do not meet the UL standard for that type of product, and as such they pose a fire and shock risk. Although there have been three reports of overheating, there were no reports of injuries or property damage.
The lights sold for about $8 at Family Dollar stores and were on the market between September 2011 and December 2011. Consumers who own a set should stop using it immediately and return the product for a full refund.
Over 83,000 Thomas Lighting ceiling flush mount light fixtures were recently recalled by the company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission due to a fire and shock hazard. 28 different models of ceiling flush-mounted light fixtures manufactured by the company between June 1, 2010 and November 25, 2010 were named in the recall.
The fixture's socket wire insulation can degrade, leading to charged wires becoming exposed, which can cause electricity to pass to the metal canopy of the fixture, posing a shock and fire hazard to the consumer.
There have been 11 reports of defective fixtures which cause the home AFCI to trip. So far no injuries have been reported to the firm.
Consumers who own one of the recalled fixtures should stop using it immediately and contact Thomas Lighting to arrange for a free in-home repair by a qualified electrician.
About 75,000 Heath/Zenith and WirelessCommand motion sensing wall switches were recalled by manufacturer HeathCo due to electrical shock hazard.
When the switches are in the auto mode and the light is off, a small amount of leakage current passes through the electrical circuit, including the socket. If consumers fail to disconnect the power at the circuit breaker and make contact with both terminals inside the socket while replacing the bulbs, there is the risk of an electrical shock.
Fortunately this problem with the wall switches was recognized before any incidents or injuries have been recorded.
Consumer should stop using the wall switches immediately and contact the company for a free replacement.
Want to save money by swapping out your light bulbs?
The new Light Bulb Finder app will help you do just that. The free smart phone app lets you check out light bulb images, cost, anticipated savings and environmental impact.
You can also create shopping lists and buy bulbs directly through the app.
We're sort of homed in on the lighting industry here at Renovate Your World, but there's good reason to be. The market is always changing and new technologies are hitting shelves with every quarter. The combination of federal regulations and market forces are driving the lighting manufacturers to churn out more efficient and longer-last light bulb options for consumers.
And the Light Bulb Finder will keep consumers apprised of the latest options.
Philips Lighting is running a Home Lightover Sweepstakes where one lucky fan can win a one-day consultation from a professional home designer as well as $5,000 in cash towards the purchase of Philips AmbientLEDs.
The AmbientLED bulbs are the company's latest and greatest in the green, energy-efficient bulbs, casting a white light and lasting thousands of hours longer than incandescent bulbs.
The experiment was conducted across four grade 3 classrooms in the Saltillo Elementary School in Saltillo, Mississippi. The 84 students who participated in the study were randomly assigned to two different lighting settings throughout the school year. The students who were exposed to higher light intensity and light temperatures increased their reading comprehension by 33 percent.
Philips used their "SchoolVision" system in the study, which adjusts color and light temperatures to mimic daylight and to influence student mood. The system featured four preset lighting systems, which a teacher could adjust depending on the activity and the time of day. They could choose from Normal, Energy, Calm and Focus.
What does the study mean for homeowners? Well, it should definitely impact how we light our homes for our kids, particularly when it's homework time. But it underscores the importance that lighting can play on our mood, ability to focus, energy levels and any number of additional behaviors.
How have you used lighting to improve life in the home in some way?