Can Full-Spectrum Lighting Save Your Marriage?

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs use about 75 percent less power than incandescent bulbs. Their current market share in the United States is roughly 6 percent, which is a leap up from less than 1 percent prior to 2001.

But that still is small compared to CFL use in other countries such as Japan (80 percent), Germany (50 percent) and the United Kingdom (20 percent). Australia and the Canadian province of Ontario are planning to eliminate incandescent bulb use completely in coming years.

Resistance to CFLs in the United States probably stems from the look and quality of earlier generations of fluorescent lights. They were bulky, expensive, generated an annoying hum, and cast a flickery, poor-quality light.

The greatest resistance seems to be coming from women, usually on aesthetic grounds. Because it has caused arguments on the subject between husbands and wives, CFL manufacturers have called this resistance "the wife test."

New CFL bulbs, however, are smaller, cheaper, and often pay for themselves in reduced power consumption costs. The hum and flicker are gone, and the light quality is significantly better.

Washington Post April 30, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

You may have gotten a chuckle out of this article's headline, but the problem with indoor lighting is no laughing matter for one arguing Oregon couple in this clever Washington Post feature.

Certainly, it's a topic that's attracted far more attention since a California Assemblyman introduced legislation earlier this year to enact a statewide ban on incandescent bulbs within five years (right now, the California legislature is still considering the measure).

The environmental benefits for making such a switch, however, haven't swayed the differing opinions fueling this couple's dispute, and a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll may explain why. Women may be more likely than men to admit they're willing to change their behavior by replacing ordinary bulbs with fluorescents, but, when push comes to shove, females are less willing to use them at home.

In the case of that Oregon couple, the husband has replaced nearly every conventional bulb in the house over the past nine years. Even though his wife has replaced them with incandescents whenever she found them, over the long haul, the husband appears to be "winning" the struggle.

I believe it makes perfect sense to move to a far more cost-effective form of lighting and I've converted every fixture in my home to this form of lighting. However, I can assure you that every bulb also emits full-spectrum light as the health benefit of a traditional fluorescent bulb, either compact or tube version, is actually worse than an incandescent bulb.

However, I believe the evidence is very compelling that full-spectrum bulbs provide far superior health benefits. It is my belief that the ill mood in many households would improve greatly if they opted instead for full-spectrum lighting.

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