Fluorescent lights

Hey All,

So this past week I was away from the office for two straight days and by the end of the second day (Thursday) my symptoms improved dramatically despite being in intense all-day meetings hashing out some project stuff. There were no fluoro lights in the board room where we all were (nor was I on a computer). On Friday, back at the office, I had OHS kill another block of fluoro lights directly overhead but slightly behind me. Today – Saturday morning – is the first Saturday in weeks where I haven’t awakened feeling like I’ve been thrown in front of the 8.15 AM train. At it’s worst and in the older work space flooded with F light, those lights were causing me to walk home every night weeks back with strange leg pain, back pain and a feeling as though my head was being compressed in a way I hadn’t previously experienced. Really sickly feeling waking every morning almost catatonic! I’ve never felt the impact of light like this before or noticed it like that. I’m gob-smacked.

I’m still having computer screen issues but hoping they will resolve slowly now that I’m free of the damned lights. F lights are still nearby, but far enough away I hope that there will no longer be any impact. I have to wonder how the other 180+ employees cope given that I am the only person on 3 floors with the lights switched off. There must be other migraineurs getting slayed in there that might be unaware or just haven’t said anything. I would love to get the word out in a way that wouldn’t get me sacked! This organisation is loaded … imagine if they put safe lighting up everywhere? The work output might pay for the swap within a few months.

David – you mentioned once that there are newer lights that operate on a different ballast and so there is less flicker? How can you tell what sort of lighting it is? Lastly, is it the flicker per se that triggers migraine headaches or is it the light wavelength itself? It’s not quite the full spectrum right?

Scott 8)

Hey Scott,
So Funny, Mike and I were at the Hogs breath for a burger the other day; they have lights that flicker all through the place, deliberately to make it look like burning candles.
Mike was so infuriated about it, he talked to the manager about Migrainuers problems with these types of lights, you should have heard him going off about it! :lol:
Mike is my hero… I tried to stop him but he was hell bent on making sure this fella knew how rotten they were for us.
My hubby is normally a quiet tight liped man.


Dammit, Scott, lost the message. I guess I’d best start again.

Generally, I’ve heard of frequency as causing neuro-related problems. Color/wavelength is easy; linear fluorescents, and probably even Compact Fluoresents (CFLs) come in Cool White, Warm White (more like incandescents) or Daylight frequencies. Older/cheaper linear fluorescents and cheaper, consumer-grade CFLs use magnetic ballasts, retaining the 60 Hz or 50 Hz (U.S. vs EU) line frequency, which to some is visible. Higher-end/more-modern fluorescents use electronic ballasts, resulting in operation at thousands of Hz, visually undetectable.

The people responsible for buying lighting fixtures or repair components will know which you have.

I work in an office without windows and i keep the door closed because of an air purifier. I have all the lights on my side of the office turned off but the other side where officemates come and go has the fluorescents :frowning: i’m glad they aren’t over my head. I went and bought 3 little incandescent lights so it’s pretty dark but the computer screen im sure bothers me too. When i work at home i just leave the blinds office and use natural light.

I’m really amazed though at how many people at work have sensitivity to them and if they have window offices they leave their lights out or turn off a lamp or two in the light.

I have never bought the new lights for home that are fluorescent and need to stock up more on the incandescent ones as they say they will be obsolete pretty soon :frowning:



I have recently found lighting to be a trigger for me. I’ve changed types of lights in order to try and resolve it and I found that incandescents will aggravate my symptoms just as much as a CFL. “Day Light” light bulbs as David commented on will cause the same affects, but much faster. Just about any bright light source will cause me problems. What I found works for me is several dim, soft, diffuse lights sources. The entertainment room in my house is currently lit by several lamps using the lowest power CFL’s I could find, with shades that diffuse the light as much as possible.

I think I was the only one who listed ‘lights’ as a trigger in Joe’s recent top 3 trigger poll. I was surprised I was the only one but it looks like I’m not after all!

Fluoro lights are a bitch. If they are on the blink (literally! Flickering as they are in their death throes) it makes me very uncomfortable and nauseous. The clapped out old trains here in Sydney seem to have, without fail, at least one flickering fluoro per carriage. Our tax dollars at work!


Vic – you’re still alive! The world is supposed to be ending today according to an American “profit”. Looks like the Armageddon concert was postponed again and we’ll have to put up with the damned fluorescent lights for another decade. :lol:

The only good thing about Armageddon was that I was maybe going to not have to worry about my Visa bill. Now, I have to pay those leeches and keep going to work. So, you know, happy to be alive and all but there’s a down side…

When I go postal the first things to go are the fluoro lights. You’ve been warned Lights of Australia!!

Yeh , I saved up all my valium too! darn stupid profit… they never come thru with the goodies… :stuck_out_tongue:

But you guys in Australia are half a day ahead of us in the UK, so how’s the work with the apocalypse? Would you all die half a day sooner? If so, would you mind if I borrowed all your credit cards and blew loads of your money for my remaining extra half day? I’d probably max out on migraine triggers just for the hell of it, knowing I could enjoy it all without having to suffer the next day :lol:

Seriously though, now some of these nutters are saying it was actually God’s test for them, making them think it was the last day and then it wasn’t after all. This is taking the art of deluding themselves to a new level!

Yeh … Shame they didnt drink the coolaide! :lol: stupid stupid people.


Oh, don’t worry everyone, apparently he’s revised the date to the 21st October, as he made a mistake in his calculations, so we have nearly 5 months left…

Hey Scott,
I spoke with my mum today about the lights bulbs, Mum also feels quite ill around some lights, she spoke with a man from a **lighting shop **about it, and he sold her some toshiba 9watt electric NEO BALL e warm white, she said she hasnt had any trouble since installing them in her home, they arent suitable for dimmer switches tho, she said they give off a soft yellow light that is gentler on the brain, they are supposed to have a 7 year life too.
hope this helps.

Ok, I’m going to make a sensible comment now.

Jen, that’s really interesting. I don’t like fluorescent lighting either, but I find it’s one of those triggers that I can tolderate fine on most days, and it only sets off migraines when I’m already feeling on the edge of one (if that makes sense). I also have a problem with natural light flickering. Outside my lounge window are some silver birch trees and in summer evenings the light dapples through them and throws a lovely pattern of moving light into my lounge. Quite lovely, but drives my head mental! I also find sunlight bouncing off a moving stream has the same effect. And I don’t like candles flickering either. So for me, it’s not just about artificial lights.

— Begin quote from "Victoria"

The only good thing about Armageddon was that I was maybe going to not have to worry about my Visa bill. Now, I have to pay those leeches and keep going to work. So, you know, happy to be alive and all but there’s a down side…

When I go postal the first things to go are the fluoro lights. You’ve been warned Lights of Australia!!

— End quote


Fluorescents can mess with me too. For a couple of years I have heard incandescents will be phased out in the near future, in the States anyway, forcing everyone to buy those damn energy-efficient, mercury containing, worthless, shitty bulb replacements (is it obvious what I think of them?), and I haven’t heard anything recently, but my guest room closet is full of incandescent bulbs I’ve been stocking up on. If they don’t get phased out, then I have a closet full of bulbs that will have any guest looking for a coat hanger wondering what kind of obsessive nutcase I am. :lol:

My job site is lit up with so many fluorescent lights I am sure of it that they cause havoc on my system. I read somewhere that wearing sunglasses indoors can actually do more harm then good so I ordered some of those FL-41 rose coloured glasses from the moran eye center in utah. I learned about them from another thread not too long ago. Looking through rose-coloured glasses? Anyways I’ll give it a shot I have nothing to lose.

Steve – apparently another way to deal with the lights is to wear a visor – like one of those things you wear out on the golf course. You might look nuts at work wearing one but who gives a toss if it keeps you from feeling ill.

I can tell you that sice I moved, the improvement has been remarkable. I’m still not out of the woods though. Since moving to the new location I haven’t been able to stop the visual vertigo induced by this LCD screen. This is the one I used to be fine on and was OK on 2 weeks ago. But then I moved and WHAM. I can’t figure out why things are worse here. No fluoro headache but now I’m dizzy all the time. It’s p**sing me off.