Lighting may affect quality of life

Visual sensitivity to lighting can impact your quality of life.

Lighting sensitivity can incite anxiety that a person strives to avoid.  This sensitivity can have a considerable impact on a person’s life affecting places they go (shopping, activities they do,  attending a concert, playing in the park, and engagement in social activities or participating in sporting events.

I told one of my adult children, also exposed to prenatal alcohol, that I was considering buying a pair of pink sunglasses for Liz.

She laughed and said, “Really, I have pink sunglasses. I could not afford them, but I loved them so friends actually helped me buy them. They just feel good to me, Liz can try them.”


Another adult said, “I have lighter red and amber lenses to match my outfits. I like them and I feel good when I wear them.”

Liz said, “The colored contacts make it easier for me to go outside.”

Did these adults discover something I should dig deeper into?

Fluorescent lights have been shown to double incidences of headaches and migraine attacks among office workers, and they are repeatedly cited as an issue for patients with a history of traumatic brain injury.1   Fluorescent lights have an invisible flicker that may not be seen by the naked eye but is picked up by the brain and may be the cause of headaches, seizures, migraine attacks, eyestrain, and light sensitivity.

We used full spectrum fluorescent lights, did they help?

My office desk needed to be off limits from the children in my home, and like an invisible fence we used fluorescent lighting over the work areas we needed protected and full spectrum lighting in areas accessible to all. This small enhancement proved valuable in keeping our children inside of areas where they felt more comfortable. 

I had no answer as to why the 4-foot bulbs of full spectrum lighting provided an invisible security fence around my office desk.

Was it because the lighting color more closely resembles natural lighting?

Did they send out less of a pulse?

I knew in addition to the color, that the pulse is significantly uncomfortable for my children and adults. Research has indicated that full-spectrum light sources do not provide better visual performance, however I can say, they did provide a place with better focus and calm for my children while homeschooling.  

According to Ottlite, whose founder was John Ott, researcher of full spectrum lighting, natural Daylight is healthier for your eyes because it has a more balanced spectrum of color that’s easy on your eyes, and no gaps for your eyes to fill in.

What about LED lights?

Electronic devices and smartphones are filled with blue light and motion triggers. Post-concussion syndrome patients have reported issues with the light associated with LED and LCD screen usage when working or playing on computers or mobile devices.  Children with sensory integration disorder are at risk for migraines, seizures, neck tension, and sleep deprivation.  LEDs are lamps consisting of a blue LED, a driver LED, and a fluorescent sheet that covers the blue LED, transforming part of the blue light into longer wavelengths, thereby creating a yellowish light. The yellowish light from the fluorescent layer combines together with the residual blue light to a kind of whitish light, a large portion of which is an aggressive blue light. Consider computer or gaming glasses available at

If you are buying LEDs, one way to get a healthier light is to look at the CRI. Sunlight is the gold standard and has a CRI of 100. So do incandescent light bulbs and candles. What you’re looking for is a light that has an R9 (full red spectrum) CRI of about 97, which is the closest you’ll ever get to natural light with an LED.

Screen time seems to increase each year with gaming, television viewing, computers, and mobile phones.  Does that increase contribute to our decrease in our ability to sleep? Was the decrease in energy cost due to LED technology increasing our energy?

Was there a correlation between the two for my adults? And how can I learn more about all those silly light bulbs?

From candles to LED lighting
Thank you to Hashit in Technology Blog
for your article on light bulbs.


  1. Wilkins A, Veitch J, Lehman B. LED lighting flicker and potential health concerns: IEEE standard PAR1789 update. Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition 2010;171-178.

Missed the Introduction – Go back and enjoy Light Sensitivity now.

“Once again, Liz and Jodee Kulp in Braided Cord, Tough Times In and Out, have handed us exactly the book we’ve been waiting for. Braided Cord is an unfinished story of resiliency, courage, and love. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life as it continues to unfold. Your honesty is a light for the rest of us.”

—Laura Nagle, Kentucky Bluegrass Prevention Center