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Thread: Sunburn from Fluorescent Strips?

  1. #1
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    Sunburn from Fluorescent Strips?

    My new shop has 64 4' fluorescent bulbs with no diffuser. I used 5100K to get a natural light appearance. I made sure that my strips and bulbs were made in the US (just trying to do my part). My wife tells me that my nose and forehead are red after spending some time in the shop.

    I've looked online to see that it is possible for those that have a increased photosensitivity. Has anyone had experience with this?

  2. #2
    Wear some SPF-30 and see if you're still red after spending time in the shop.

    Also, be aware that red cheeks can be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning. More typically found in those that are dead, I'd still make sure you are not exposing yourself.
    Last edited by Phil Thien; 04-24-2014 at 10:23 PM.

  3. #3
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    As far as I know, I am not yet dead. The redness is only on my nose and forehead, like the sun beating down on me.

    Wearing sunscreen is however a good idea.

  4. #4
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    You could try sunscreen on only half your nose/head. That would tell you if it's the lights.......
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale View Post
    You could try sunscreen on only half your nose/head. That would tell you if it's the lights.......
    That's a brilliant idea! I want to see pictures of the before and after. Maybe write something on your forehead with the sunscreen.
    -Lud

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Samuels View Post
    As far as I know, I am not yet dead. The redness is only on my nose and forehead, like the sun beating down on me.

    Wearing sunscreen is however a good idea.
    Right, you seem alive, although what do I know, I'm not a doctor.

    Nonetheless, if you do have a shop with a furnace or hot water heater or anything like that, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a carbon monoxide detector.

  7. #7
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    I have 44 fluorescent bulbs with no diffuser and most are 5100K. I haven't experienced any problems and I take a medication that makes me sensitive to sunlight.


    For a couple years I turned using a set of construction lights that have a halogen bulb and those did cause me to sunburn.
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 04-24-2014 at 10:30 PM.
    Ken

  8. #8
    Tanning results from exposure to specific wavelengths of radiation in the ultraviolet region. While these wavelengths are generated within the lamp they are blocked by the glass envelope so they are not emitted from the lamp. The short answer is no, you cannot get sunburn from a fluorescent lamp used for lighting. There are, however, special lamps made specifically for tanning that use a different formulation of glass that does pass the uv wavelengths.

  9. I run into something similar with the fixtures I've got in my garage (6 4' T5HO bulbs - approx 30k lumens apiece). After 3-4 hours of working in there, I'm itching to get away from them (I'm really sensitive to UV).

    After sending a note off to Phillips, they responded by telling me their tuffguard lights have a coating that cuts UV output by 80-90%. (No details on if this is compared to a 'normal' bulb, or a specific Phillips bulb) It seems that the UV of their bulbs degrades the resilient coating put on the tuffguard bulbs, so they need to be undercoated to reduce the UV output, and extend the lifespan of the tuffguard coating to acceptable levels.

    Finding specifics on UV emissions for fluorescent bulbs is very difficult: they do output UV, but a lot depends on the light levels you keep things at (which makes sense), and the bulb/brand used (ditto).

    (My next upgrade is replacing all the bulbs in my shop with Tuffguard, we'll see if it helps)

    [Edit: shuffling words into greater coherency]
    Last edited by Sean Murphy - Everett; 04-27-2014 at 11:21 AM.

  10. #10
    It is possible to get UV burns from HID lamps that had the outer jacket broken but the arc tube remained intact, the lamp manufacturers even put warnings on the lamp wrappers to that effect, but never have heard that about fluorescent lamps.


    HID lamps =metal halide, pressure sodium, mercury vapor.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Samuels View Post
    As far as I know, I am not yet dead.
    I think it might be time to get the moderators to change your title from Contributor to Zombie Contributor.

    (I spent long hours in a friend's shop with 1000 watts of daylight bulbs over a 25 x25 space and had no problems.)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Weaver View Post
    I think it might be time to get the moderators to change your title from Contributor to Zombie Contributor.

    (I spent long hours in a friend's shop with 1000 watts of daylight bulbs over a 25 x25 space and had no problems.)

    David, I've got at least 3 decades before it will be time for a change to my title. On a serious note, photosensitivity can effect people in different ways. Using sunscreen on half my face, we did notice a small difference. Guess you have tough skin.

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