FES View: Making Smart Energy Easy

Daniel Gold
By Daniel Gold on February 27, 2020

Ensuring the Health and Safety of Employees with LED Lighting

Providing a safe work environment for employees is imperative. According to OSHA, 5,250 workers died on the job in 2018. They report that more than 14 work-related deaths occur every day. Reasons cited for these fatal accidents range from misuse of equipment, gross negligence, miscellaneous impairments, and poor lighting

Our partners, specifically those that own parking structures, educational institutions, or manufacturing businesses, all have similar pain points when it comes to safety. Well-lit environments are crucial in maintaining the safety of their employees and/or customers. 

  • Parking Structures: Safety is paramount here. More than 50,000 people are injured in accidents in parking facilities every year, and 10% of property crimes occur in parking structures and lots. Because lighting can be adjusted and controlled by motion sensors and smart devices, areas stay well-lit without resulting in huge expenditures.
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  • Educational Institutions: Proper lighting can have a positive impact on concentration, alertness, and safety. Research shows that poor lighting can not only affect student’s health and safety, but it is also detrimental to teachers as well. Flickering fluorescent lighting can trigger headaches, increased stress levels, poor sleep cycles, lethargy, eye and vision problems, and even skin aging. 
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  • Warehouses and Industrial Spaces: Most warehouse and industrial buildings are running on antiquated lighting technology that uses 3 times the amount of energy, burns out 10 times faster and emits a high-pitched buzzing sound that negatively affects employee health and productivity. When warehouses upgrade their lighting, employee productivity increases and work injuries decrease. Having limited visibility is one of the top reasons workplace injuries happen. 

Traditional Fluorescent Lighting is Not a Bright Idea 

CFLs are one of the top culprits that trigger stress reactions, nervous system dysregulation, or physical sensitivity in the workplace. A common misconception is that Compact Fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) save on energy costs. However, if these lights cause mental and physical burdens on your employees, the collective cost is significant.  

CFLs emit a flicker which can trigger nervous system events in individuals. They cause jitters, fragmented focus, and irritability. Additionally, the spectral pattern of CFLs create a stress response. The effects are non-visual, meaning they are caused by light signals that hit the eye’s retina but do not travel from there to the visual cortex (where we perceive images), but rather to the circadian pathways. High temperature of fluorescent light stimulates stress hormones, emotions, and muscle tension. Essentially, CFLs trigger a fight or flight response in the brain. This can affect the nerve system including heart rate variability, blood pressure, body temperature regulation and sleep architecture.

But fluorescent lights are the only outdated lighting technology plaguing businesses. This guide gives a great breakdown of the pros and cons of LED vs. other types of lights.

guide to commercial led lighting

 

Why Does LED Lighting Promote Good Health? 

LED lighting is flicker-free. The more stable the source of lighting, the better employees feel. A recent study by NASA revealed LED lighting suppresses melatonin, which leads to better management of the circadian rhythms in the human body. Thus, LED lighting actually helps people with sleep and stress. 

LED lighting does not emit any noise. The constant buzzing sound of incandescent bulbs can cause lack of concentration and workflow disruption in employees. LED lights bring much fewer, if any disruptions.  

LED lighting does not emit heat.  Individuals in northern climates who have limited exposure to sunlight can experience the benefits of LED lights more than others during the winter months. Because LED Lights emulate the light from the sun, they are the next best source of lighting to maintain a healthy body temperature and circadian rhythm. In the summer months, LED lighting can also keep working environments cool. This can promote workplace health by maintaining a comfortable setting. 

Promoting the Health of Everyone 

Commercial LED Lighting promotes health and safety in working environments as well as being environmentally friendly. All people will benefit from your business making the switch to LED. 

Traditional lighting, such as fluorescent and incandescent, emits harsh radiation into the atmosphere and contain toxic and/or hazardous materials, like mercury. The mercury in a fluorescent bulb can be released as both dust and vapor if the light is broken. This heavy metal is dangerous to people and animals and easily migrates through the environment. 

In a research study from Stanford University, the amount of mercury from one standard CFL “is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels.” A separate EPA funded study found that improper disposal of 200 average CFLs deposited in a 20-acre lake is enough to contaminate the fish and make them unfit to eat. In the long run, the many environmental hazards associated with CFLs mean that a different type of energy-efficient bulb may end up dominating the market, reducing the risk to contractors and occupants alike. 

Don’t Get Left in the Dark 

Safe lighting is the new industry standard. We know your employees and the well-being of people is a priority for you and your business.

You may not think that a lighting upgrade is in your budget right now. But you can't afford the consequences of not upgrading. That’s why FES has developed a solution that will help you upgrade your lighting for zero capital cost. Find out if you qualify for a zero capital upgrade today.  

 

Published by Daniel Gold February 27, 2020
Daniel Gold