View Full Version : Confused about light

09-14-2006, 09:34 AM
I am currently shopping for a task/desk lamp going in the office of my boat. It's belowdecks and, well, cramped, so really good light is vital.

In shopping for lamps I have come across all these "full spectrum" lamps that provide natural looking light and they are flourescent.

There are all sorts of claims with these lights about using them to treat, yes, lupus.

But everything I have read about lupus says to stay away from UV spectrum light.

I avoid ALL sun. I never go out without sunscreen on - even if it is cloudy. I recently got back from Alaska, of all places, with lesions on my face and I was wearing sunscreen and it was overcast.

So what is with the conflicting claims? How do you know what is the correct thing to do if the advice is at polar opposites?

Thanks in advance.

09-14-2006, 01:57 PM
A lot of the hype about full-spectrum lights is just that - hype - it started out as a marketing gimmick for companies claiming to bring "sunlight" indoors. In fact, in 1986 the Food and Drug Administration issued a health fraud alert against several companies because of false and misleading claims that these lights offered health benefits and could improve eye strain, etc. The FDA found no evidence to support these claims, and actually found that these lights increased the risk of developing cataracts, in a study involving office workers who used full spectrum or "daylight" task lighting. Since these lights cost 4-5 times more than regular lights, a lot of people are getting ripped off by these claims.

It's true that light therapy is used to treat some medical conditions such as seasonal affective disorder and psoriasis, but this is done under a doctor's supervision, and usually involves white light which does not contain UV or infrared. Some doctors use infrared light therapy to treat arthritis.

Since you have a clear history of photosensitivity, you are probably safer avoiding these lights, and just using white incandescent bulbs. The only real advantage to the full spectrum lighting is for artists or graphics designers who need "true color" lighting.

09-14-2006, 09:31 PM
Hi Ariel,

I can't answer the light bulb question for you; however, I have been told by my dermatologist that you are more at risk for sun exposure on cloudy days because the UV rays are more intense because of the clouds;
so I play outside early early before the sun makes a full peek at me in the morning :wink: He also told me to stay as far away from flourescent lamps as possible.

So, there's my two and a half cents worth!!

Take Care.

Much love,

09-15-2006, 05:40 AM
Thanks guys! That is exactly the kind of info I needed!

I already have cataracts (from diabetes) so I'll look for a different light. I hardly ever go outside anymore when the sun is up. It makes me sad. :cry:

Lately I've seen a bunch of vacation-type ads with people on the beach, in the water, on boats, etc. I can't do that without a burka and waterproof 36+.

09-15-2006, 10:44 AM
Hi Ariel,

When you look at those photos of the beach playing out on the beach. Let's see what that picture looks like in about 30 years - with leathered faces and looking ten years older than their actual age.

Like you, I occassionally miss playin in the sun; but I also realize that taking good care of myself, feels even better!!

Hugs and kisses.

Much love,

p.s. I have narrow angle glaucoma - so the bright sun isn't my friend.
Let your heart know how much we all care for you. Take care.

09-18-2006, 07:17 AM
I found an LED desk lamp that should provide enough light. It also has the advantage of being cool.

Does anyone know of a resource for average UV for a given area? Like early morning versus late afternoon, winter versus summer, etc.? That would be very handy.

09-18-2006, 07:24 AM
YES, try the Environmental Protection Agency's website - they publish a Uv index


They also have information about protecting your eyes and skin from the effects of UV.

09-18-2006, 07:28 AM
I forgot to mention you can also sign up on the EPA's website to receive UV alerts by e-mail when the UV level ia forecasted to be high.