More and more, we have noticed offices using decorative fluorescent light diffusers. We see it in our own customers. Many of our best reviews are from customers who purchased Octo Lights decorative fluorescent light diffusers for their offices. But before we can discuss why offices use decorative fluorescent light diffusers, we should understand why they use unhealthy fluorescent lighting in the first place.
You can find fluorescent lighting in practically every office—although some offices are now switching to LEDs. There is one main reason for this choice, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the light. The driving factor behind the ubiquity of fluorescent light in offices is economy. Fluorescent lights are the cheapest option. And when you’re carefully watching your bottom line, fluorescents seem like the obvious choice.
Fluorescent tubes and LED lamps are the most energy-efficient light sources out there. They use less electricity than any other common method of lighting to produce the same level of illumination. Fluorescent tube lighting is the most common because of its low startup cost compared to LED lamps. Also, most offices were already equipped with fluorescent tubes long before LEDs were a viable option. Fluorescent tubes last a long time and rarely burn out. And changing them is very easy.
However, both fluorescent and LED lamps have one fundamental issue: the glare and harshness of the light. It is possible to purchase fluorescent tubes in a range of different color temperatures. Modern fluorescent tubes range from a warm yellow to a bright blue-ish light simulating the midday sun. However, once you veer away from the standard fluorescent tube, the price rises quickly. So most offices stick with the classic tubes. But harsh lighting can be unsettling in an office, and add to stress rather than help diminish it.
Fluorescent Light Diffusers
When it comes to economy, fluorescent lights are hard to beat. Due to the low quality of the light, offices tend to use fluorescent light diffusers. The diffusers—not the decorative kind—spread the light more evenly and partially reduce their glare. These diffusers are usually frosted or textured plastic panels that are fitted over one or more fluorescent tubes. In the case of LEDs, the diffuser may be part of the lamp.
Fluorescent light diffusers spread the light and offer a more even form of lighting than individual lamps. They can definitely reduce glare at least a little, but this form of lighting is still harsh to the eyes. In fact, standard diffused fluorescent light is one of the harshest types of lighting in everyday use. It is used in offices, schools, hospitals and even in some homes. They continue to be used because there are no cheaper alternatives available.
This is why decorative fluorescent lighting covers were designed: to reduce the glare and offer a more pleasing way to spread the light and reduce glare. Octo Lights decorative light covers are designed using thick film that has been printed with a photographic image. The film lays on top of the current diffuser and further modifies the light. It makes the light more pleasing and less stress-inducing. Decorative fluorescent light covers are available with a variety of images. Our wide selection includes images of blue skies with fluffy clouds, night skies, waterfalls, flowers, ocean scenes, sunsets, images from deep space, and more.
Decorative Fluorescent Lighting Covers
When used in schools, decorative fluorescent lighting covers can halve a calming effect on children. The verdict on the exact impact of fluorescent light on children is still out in medical and educational research journals. Some studies indicate that the glare, flicker, and quality of light from fluorescent tubes can affect hyperactive and autistic children. Other studies show a broader effect on children of all learning types. This cause and effect link is not conclusively proven, but many teachers who use our products have provided anecdotal evidence that decorative light covers increase students’ ability to learn.
That is what decorative fluorescent light diffusers can do. Rather than a flickering light, decorative fluorescent lighting covers printed with a view of the night sky will seem like a view of twinkling stars to children and adults alike.
The same is true in offices, but for a different reason. Flicker in office lighting can set the teeth on edge and lead to stress. By covering it with a waterfall scene, a flickering fluorescent tube can be converted into a calming force.
It is true that fluorescent lighting is an inexpensive means of lighting office spaces. But the downsides are significant. Decorative fluorescent lighting covers can relieve stress, and also provide a more even form of lighting throughout the office. Good managers know that a stress-free environment is conducive to productive and error-free work. Fitting decorative covers over fluorescent light diffusers is one cost-effective way to improve working conditions. And happy workers are the key to success in any business.