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Fluorescent lighting has come a long way since it was initially invented in the 1890s and has grown as a widely used light source across the world. Some advantages of fluorescent lighting are that they typically last 8-10 times longer, use about 75% less energy and produce 90% less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs. Energy efficient fluorescent lights save money and help to conserve energy, making this an ideal light source for large work areas.
For many years, fluorescent lighting had an associated stigma for harsh, low-spectrum light. These days, fluorescent light bulbs come in a larger spectrum output, so the light can actually be very close to natural light. These bulbs stay cool when they operate and are more energy efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs, making them a great choice for a workspace that is illuminated for a majority of the day. Some people even choose to use fluorescent surface mount lighting in their home.
Many fluorescent strips can be flush, stem or row mounted, so they are very versatile. If you are looking for a more decorative fluorescent light, you may want to look at fluorescent surface mounts or fluorescent recessed troffers, which have more options for casings and decorative elements.
You will need to decide if you want one or two bulbs in your fluorescent lights. This will depend on how much light you need in an area.
Some fluorescent lighting will need to be hardwired to a junction box while others require a power cord. If you wish to install multiple fluorescent strips, you may be able to connect them. Be sure to read the product description carefully so you can make sure your fluorescent strip will meet your needs.
To make sure you have the best possible light, choose a fluorescent bulb with a color spectrum between 2,700 and 2,800 Kelvin for warm white and between 3,200 and 4,000 Kelvin for cool white. Avoid anything over 5,000 Kelvin, as this light will appear bluish-white.
If you are replacing an old fluorescent light bulb or installing a new one, you will want to be extra careful. Fluorescent tubes contain mercury vapor, so they need to be handled carefully.
Check your local area to see if there are fluorescent tube recycling programs and the guidelines for disposing of fluorescent bulbs in your area. If you have to store your fluorescent tube until a recycling date, make sure you store it in a safe place where it cannot be broken.
Be careful to not break the fluorescent tubes while disposing or storing them. If one breaks, remove all people and pets from the room and take care not to inhale the vapors. Turn off central ventilation and do not use a vacuum to clean, as this may disperse the vapors throughout your entire home. Put on rubber gloves and carefully pick up the pieces. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and take care to dispose of the bulbs according to local regulations.
These lights are typically used in large commercial spaces. Because the light is fluorescent, these lights save energy which saves money and do not produce too much heat, a benefit in large areas. Also, these lights are easy to install and are available to be compatible with either 120 volts or multi-tap.
Fluorescent recessed troffers are installed into the ceiling so that the “light” element lies flush with the ceiling. This creates a “safe” light that cannot be easily hit by a ladder that is being moved or something else tall that would hit a light which hangs from the ceiling.
Fluorescent surface mounts are installed on the surface of the ceiling or hanging from rods or cables.
While most people think of fluorescent lighting for commercial uses, including in offices and warehouses, fluorescent lighting also has many residential uses. Fluorescent surface mount fixtures provide great general illumination, offering a low profile light ideal for high utility areas of the home. Consider choosing fluorescent when lighting your kitchen, utility areas or closets.
Fluorescent surface mounts are the most popular residential fluorescent lighting fixtures. As such, they tend to come in more styles and finishes than other fluorescent lighting types and arfe a great place to start your search.