Interior design can sound like something exclusively for the one percent, a luxury that most folks can’t afford. Imagine, having someone come into your home to tell you what color to paint your walls or what kind of lamp to put in the corner! But interior design can also be done with a little ingenuity and creativity on any budget. One of the easiest ways to transform any room is with a well-selected decorative fluorescent light cover. So if you haven’t thought of it before, this is your invitation to try out fluorescent light design for your home and office spaces.
Why Is Fluorescent Light Everywhere
Let’s be honest. No one loves fluorescent lights. They were never installed because their light was pleasing or attractive. Nobody designed a building and thought, “what would be the most beautiful light I could use?” and came up with fluorescent lamps.
So why are they so prevalent?
To understand why fluorescent light seems to be everywhere you look, you have to consider what came before it. Before fluorescent lights, the only type of lamps regularly used for interior lighting were incandescent bulbs. Incandescents provided a pleasant light, but they were wildly inefficient. An incandescent bulb creates light by heating a filament until it glows. This produces light that is soft on the eyes but wastes a lot of energy. If you’ve ever tried changing an incandescent bulb just after turning it off, you know that they get really hot. All that heat is wasted energy.
In addition to the heat waste of incandescent bulbs, they had a limited lifespan. But when fluorescent lights came along, they had a much longer lifespan and were much more efficient. The light in a fluorescent bulb is not the result of heat. Instead, the tubes are filled with mercury vapor. When a current is applied to the vapor, it releases photons in the UV frequency. The UV rays hit a phosphor coating on the inside of the tube and make the phosphor glow with visible light. The resulting light was cheaper to produce and required less frequent replacement of bulbs. So the reign of fluorescents began.
Due to their relatively lower cost, fluorescent lights became a favorite of commercial buildings. Soon millions of buildings were lit up with fluorescent light. Fluorescent light even made it into some residential settings. None of this was based on quality. It was all a matter of cost efficiency.
The Problem With Fluorescent Lights
Fluorescent lights became popular because they were cheap, not because of any quality of the lights themselves. In fact, once the world became full of cheap fluorescent lighting, people began to discover that the lights had some significant downsides. The problems with the lights have to do with the spectrum of the light, which tends toward the blue range. Another problem is how the light is generated, which results in an almost imperceptible flicker. Finally, the bright glaring light from the mostly unfiltered fluorescent lights proved to be harsh on the eyes and body.
Health Effects of Blue Light
The human mind and body have evolved to work well with the cycles of the sun. Our body carries its own sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. It helps to tell your body when to do all sorts of things, like releasing particular hormones, on a cycle of about 24 hours. A significant part of that cycle is the release of hormones that tell your body when to be asleep and when to wake up. Much of this information comes from the sun. When the sun is shining high in the sky, with a bright blue-ish light, the body knows it is time to be awake. When that light goes away, sleep is sure to follow.
The problem with this cycle began with the introduction widespread of artificial lighting. With light continuing well past the time the sun sets, the body’s rhythm was thrown off. This is made worse by fluorescent light, which tends toward the blue end of the spectrum. Because it is blue, it simulates the midday sun, which represses the production of sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin. By disrupting this cycle, a whole host of hormones and body functions can be thrown off, with potentially serious health effects. These effects include obesity, lowered immune system, and anxiety, among others.
Effect of Fluorescent Light on the Eyes
Because of the way fluorescent light is produced, most fluorescent lights have a very fast, nearly imperceptible flicker. This flicker is hard to see with the eye, but the mind registers it. It makes it hard for the eyes to relax and can induce anxiety. In addition, for people who suffer severe headaches or migraines, the flicker can induce these headaches. In addition to the flicker, unfiltered fluorescent light can have a harsh glare that makes it hard on the eyes. While the glare may not be noticeable at first, it forces the eyes to adjust, putting extra stress on the muscles in and around the eye. Eventually, that stress can result in headaches, emotional stress, and feelings of anxiety.
Fluorescent Light Covers for Interior Design
All of the problems with fluorescent light mean that you really have no choice but to cover it up somehow. Fluorescent light filters can do a lot to improve the light you get from a fluorescent light fixture. They can even out the flicker, shift the color away from the bright blue tint, and cut the glare that causes eye strain and headaches. But why stop there? Fluorescent light covers are a must-have for health reasons, but they can also do more. With decorative fluorescent light covers from Octo Lights, you can transform any room.
Quite often, the types of rooms that have fluorescent lights are also not the most inviting rooms. They can be windowless, drab, and uninteresting. If you are feeling cramped in a room, try installing a fluorescent light cover with a sky image on it. Some of our most popular covers are images of blue skies and fluffy clouds. In some cases, these images include trees and other features. Installing one of these decorative light covers in a cramped space can simulate the effect of a skylight. And the best part is that no matter what the weather, your artificial skylight will always open up to a cheery blue sky.
Beautiful Images for Your Light Covers
If you want something a little more fanciful, we have some undersea themes that children and adults both love. Looking up at these scenes is sure to bring a smile to your face. Enjoy the magic of sea tortoises, bright tropical fish, dolphins, and more. Or if you prefer the view from outside the ocean, we have a whole selection of beach images. You can glance up at your light cover and practically feel the ocean breeze on a gorgeous secluded beach.
Another very popular theme is our night sky images . With beautiful, richly colored images of stars, galaxies, and nebulae, you can let your imagination run wild. Both the scientist and the dreamer can appreciate these majestic, real images.
If you can’t find the image you want, you can always upload your own image, and we’ll print it in bright, beautiful color on one of our heavy duty fluorescent light cover films.
Ordering is fast and easy. Most orders ship in one or two days and arrive just a few days after that. So go ahead and browse our collection today and pick your favorite!