“Flicker Risk” and its effects on kids
May 26, 2017
According to the study by Lux Review, four-fifths of UK children are facing health risks (including anxiety, migraines, headaches) from over-exposure to flickering lights at school.
School’s usage of old lighting systems (heavily reliant on Fluorescent Lamps) creates a ‘flicker’ effect. This effect is caused through a working process of the magnetic ballasts; the light produced can create flickers of a frequency up to 100Hz, approaching dangerous levels – harmful to human health, especially students working in this condition for an extended period of time.
How does it affect young children?
Young children’s eyes can detect light flicker with no negative effects level up to between 50 Hz-70 Hz, outside this limit it holds harmful implications on their eye-sight that becomes more significant and more severe over time.
For these young students, studies have shown that the flicker effect may reduce concentration and create anxiety, headaches, and dizziness. Students both in primary and secondary schools tend to spend about 6.5 hours per day and up to 1,170 hours per academic year being exposed to the effect, putting their health further at risk.
Why are these lights still in circulation?
According to the study, these outdated lighting systems facilitate more than 80% of UK schools. This is due largely to its popularity decades ago among new school builds, long before the introduction of LED panels.
Green Lighting – A long-term solutions for Schools
A guaranteed method of saving money is allocating parts of your budget to investing in green lighting or using Salix [Link] to save an average of 65% the cost – the older your systems, the bigger the savings (helpful for those with limited budgets [link to ‘cheapest revamp’ blog]).
Not only do higher-efficient bulbs help the environment (by reducing unnecessary heat produced from traditional heating elements found in older bulbs), new tech allows for an easier integration with your current systems through high-frequency control gear, which not only means a cheaper and less extensive transformation for your school but also reduced flicker frequencies that result in a healthier environment for students to learn and study in.
A step further
A bigger transformation generally leads to bigger savings. Technology has been widely used to develop various lighting systems that are more energy-efficient (longer life span, brighter) but also more environmentally friendly (less energy consumption). A full revamp then allows the running of your school to become more cost-effective long-term.
One more thing
Do not rule out however the ‘green’ culture that school’s should follow and promote in their management systems and policies. Put up reminders to turn off lights and reduce light usage during daylight hours when the sun is out and shining brightly, it helps more than you can imagine. Investing in green-energy gives you an economic advantage and can easily build up your reputation among students and parents (especially with the aesthetic appeal new technology brings), so can your attitude towards good lighting practice.