Does anyone have trouble with fluorescent lighting? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have trouble with fluorescent lighting?

I'm very sensitive to noise and light. I don't like to be, but that's how it is. I share desks at work and I work in a network of open cubicles. After I leave, there's a nightshift that comes in. I have the sets of fluorescent lighting turned off around my desk because of the glare and power of the lights. We recently had a change in the night team. The new people probably think it's just not bright enough. I come to work one day and the light above my desk is on. My boss took out the lights. Next day, the lights are back on and not only that, the other set is on too. This time, my boss doesn't take them out but sends an email somewhere.

I'm now on the 2nd day of this nightmare. I feel like I'm sitting in a stadium with all the flood lights on me....for the entirety of the 8 hrs I'm at work. I'm starting to get a headache. My boss is in an all day meeting. My other boss said he'll see what's up. So far nothing. I'm not sure how long I can hold up.

The bad thing is, no one else seems to have a problem so I seem like 'the one with the low tolerance' and 'complaining and making trouble'. Education is lacking in this country. One of my deskmates did not know that long term exposure to bright lighting will lead to cataracts, headaches, stress, eye fatigue etc. For Pete's sake, there's an entire wiki entry for this. Why does NO ONE seem the least bit concerned and NO ONE is experiencing any health issues except for ME?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 11:14 AM
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I hate the sound more than the light, personally! I have sensitive hearing, it drives me nuts....

Unfortunately, you might not have a lot of choice if some of your co-workers are older and just cannot see well in low light. But maybe some of these ideas will help: Small 'full spectrum' desk lamp, so at least your own workspace will be healthy for your eyes? I had the ceiling fluorescent bulbs changed when I was stuck in a tiny windowless space - it was quite helpful and pleasant. I could even keep a real live plant on my desk and have it survive! Or how about a radio or noise-canceling headphones to mask the nasty buzzing sound?

I hope you can find a solution. It's terrible when everything is fine at work and then someone comes along and mucks it all up!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 12:13 PM
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Sorry to hear. I have allergic reactions to some lighting. My eyes water and my nose runs. I have a lot of allergies and never knew you could be allergic to a light bulb? Hope your issue gets resolved!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 12:27 PM
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Here @ HP I kept seeing these giant nylon leaves on a long ..stick.... over people's computers.

When I asked a co worker told me they were to stop the glare from the fluorescent lights. I googled various titles and couldn't find anything but they actually look like big green leaves on a green stick (I guess to make them somewhat attractive) and you attach it to your cube so the leaf part covers you. Something like that might work.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Mowmow, never heard of that! But actually it's not just the glare on the monitors, for me, it's the entire lighting. I can't handle strong lighting in general.

Well, I kinda solved my own problem. I saw some empty desks in an area where the lighting is way dimmer and also they're NOT fluorescent. They actually have a defluser design where the light is facing the ceiling and then reflects back down indirectly so it's not bright nor glaring. Anyways, I requested for a desk change and it was granted. I'm cautiously optimistic though. You never know in this place. Although I already moved, there's a remote possibility I could get denied and moved back.

I had all sorts of ppl asking me why I moved. Imagine my disbelief at the ignorance and lack of education in the general public. They had no idea why the lights bothered me. I can't understand why no one is disturbed in the slightest. I feel like I'm working in a football stadium. Even though I am now sitting in a much dimmer area, when I look out at the rest of the office, it's still horribly blinding. I guess I'm just more sensitive than others. Also, continuous exposure to bright and/or glaring lights can cause cataracts. I certainly don't want any.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:14 PM
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Agree about the full-spectrum lights as better. I'm one of those that likes more rather than less light though. I get eye strain with not-enough light.

Get some UV filter glasses? - like driving glasses with no or a small amount of color, but UV-filtered. Or ask for a UV filter for your monitor (they are kind of expensive though) but they do help with glare.
Might look dorky, but wear a visor or baseball cap...


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 02:36 PM
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i have the same problem, allthough its slowly gotten worse over time. I have been working in an office for 5 years, and I now wear glasses, have headaches, neck pain, carpal tunnel in my right wrist, back pain, and eye strain. These are all problems i have slowly developed over the last 5 years and i can bet it's because I sit in a flourescent-lit cube and stare at a computer screen all day :-/ Not really sure what to do about it, but I hope to eventually break free from these cubicle walls
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:13 PM
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My hubby is very light sensitive too. In his case he got a doctor's note explaining his sensitivity and that he needs low light. Through the American with disabilities act they have to make sure his light is right. I realize that you are in Canada, but maybe there is something like that for you?


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:51 PM
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The flickering of florescent lights can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.
While I don't suggest you tell your boss/coworkers about you possibly having seizures, they do need to understand that lights do bother some people and you're not just trying to be a nuisance. Just in case they put up a fuss about you moving desk areas, tell them it's either that or they pay to install new lighting fixtures!

Personally, I couldn't sit by windows unless they had shades/blinds that were closed all day (and what's the point of having a window, if you're going to block it all the time?). I was taking a heart medication that made me sensitive to sunlight/UV. I could literally get sunburned from sitting next to a window for more than 5 hours! It also hurt my eyes and gave me horrible headaches. So my cubicle was in the middle of the room, with my back to the window.

Good luck with solving this issue!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 12:31 AM
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You got some good suggestions and it sounds like you are on a partial fix...for what it's worth you aren't alone, the noise drives me crazy and I cannot stand the constant flicker/shimmer of fluorescent lights - most people really do seem to tolerate them fine, drives me nuts especially the push for compact fluorescents - yikes no thanks. I often wear my prescription sunglasses at work - no one questions it anymore - I just say it helps prevent migraines from the lights (which it does) then nobody else has to sit in the dark, although when I'm alone in the office I just turn off the lights and keep working.
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