Headache? Maybe It’s Because of the Fluorescent Lights

You are in a room lit by bright fluorescent lights, doing your tasks as best as you can. Suddenly, you feel a pulsing pain in your temples. The pain distracts you from doing your tasks and instead of doing your best, you commit mistakes. Or worse, you are unable to continue working and go home and sleep it off, missing a day at work. But what if it happens again and again and those headaches keep hindering you? What if the problem occurs in your house while you are sitting in your fluorescent-lit kitchen, reading the bills? Or what if it happens while you’re just doing some reading in the living room? Maybe it’s time to make adjustments in your workplace and talk to your boss or change the lighting in your home to something that would cause you no such problem as headaches.


Fluorescent lighting has been pointed as the culprit of headaches of many individuals. Workplaces, schools, hospitals, and homes have been switching to fluorescent lights from incandescent ones because they are a lot cheaper and last longer, not knowing the side effects that fluorescent lights might bring to those who have to stay in its glare for hours.

Fluorescent lights start to flicker once they have been in use for a long time, or the ballast has already burnt out. This flickering may trigger headaches for those who have to work under fluorescent lighting. Though imperceptible to most, flickering can cause problems to some who are more sensitive to them.

The brightness brought by fluorescent lights may also cause stress to those who have Irlen Syndrome. Irlen Syndrome is an optical processing disorder. People who have this disorder have increased sensitivity to bright lights. Bright lights make them dizzy and make it hard for them to perform well and focus on tasks such as reading. Fluorescent lights then become something like a torture device to those who have Irlen Syndrome.

Companies, schools, commercial establishments, and hospitals are always on the hunt for energy efficient lighting to save money. They think that having fluorescent lights would save them money because they cost less than incandescent lights. But what they do not know is that they are also reducing the performance level of some of their people because instead of performing as best as they could, some of them may suffer from headaches caused by the flickering of fluorescent lights. These institutions and establishments should look for energy efficient lighting that does not have any adverse side effects such as headaches. It’s time to change for the better by switching to LED lights.

Light-emitting diodes or LED lights do not flicker when they become old, unlike fluorescent lights. LEDs do not need ballasts to function, either. Like fluorescent lights, LEDs make for energy efficient lighting, but they do not cause headaches. LED lights are also more eco-friendly because they don’t contain mercury and other harmful chemicals. What’s more, LED lights last ten times longer than fluorescent bulbs. LED lights only use 10 watts of electricity compared to the 14 watts consumed by fluorescent lights. Another advantage of LED lights is that they emit less heat. They are more durable and have fewer chances of getting broken — unlike fluorescent lights which are fragile and are not suitable for places where there is a lot of motion.

Fluorescent lights spread their glare in no particular direction and is often used to provide lighting in big areas or rooms. However, this may cause the problem to those who need efficient light to read, render, write, and do their work. LED lights are directional, and they bring focus to one direction without causing headaches and making you lose your concentration.

When you look at their prices, fluorescent lights are a lot cheaper than LED lights. But, in the long run, companies, institutions, and homes could save more if they switch to LED lights and ditch fluorescent lights. LED lights consume less electricity that would help cut down on electricity bills. Plus, they last longer than fluorescent lights. Fewer changes are needed when one is using LED lights. There’s no threat for mercury-poisoning too when the bulb gets broken unlike with fluorescent lights. LED lights provide steady lighting — something that most (if not all) people need to be productive.

People are always looking for energy efficient lighting. At first, it was incandescent light bulbs and then fluorescent lighting came along. The latest innovation and most likely to become a staple in homes and commercial establishments are LED lights. They have been in the market for a long time and are now becoming cheaper and more affordable to the public.

Ensuring Safety In An Ergonomic Kitchen

Ergonomics is seen as the science of getting a given environment designed in such a way that it will adapt to the movement of the person staying in that environment. The science is often applied in the workplace, and in the home setting, the kitchen is seen as a workplace area since a number of activities like cooking and dish washing are done. Based on this, the idea of an ergonomic kitchen came to be developed.

Ergonomics has long been an accepted concept, although an ergonomic kitchen is hardly given thorough discussion. This is a sad note given the fact that the kitchen is one part of the house abuzz with activity all year round. As such, an ergonomic kitchen is something that homeowners should seriously consider if only to make kitchen work safer and more convenient.

The solutions for designing a kitchen that is ergonomic can vary as this will depend on several factors. For starters though,  provide for storage cabinets that are completely flexible. This can be achieved by installing pullouts on the cabinet, the ones that can be conveniently pulled up or down depending on where the user is positioned.

The knee space built under the kitchen sink is another good solution found in many ergonomic kitchen designs. Both wheelchair-bound and able-bodied people can benefit from this as getting to wash dirty dishes becomes a lot easier and more convenient.

The kitchen counter, meanwhile, should be of the correct height. Arm movement is critical when doing kitchen work on the counter like cutting vegetables or mixing ingredients. For this reason, there is a need to determine the appropriate counter height, and this will depend on how close the elbow will be from the surface. In this regard, many expert cooks recommend a counter height ranging from 37 to 39 inches.

In cases where re-designing the kitchen area is seen as too costly, a common ergonomic kitchen solution is to come up with designated storage zones. Ideally, there should be one primary storage area in the kitchen. This is where kitchen items that are frequently used should be placed, Normally, this can be a cabinet about 30 to 60 inches high and composed of three different drawers, chief of which is the counter top shelf where common utensils can be stored.

When it comes to appliances, the idea of having an ergonomic kitchen can be a bit difficult to achieve. This is because many kitchen appliances like ovens and refrigerators are manufactured in such a way that people often have to bend just to make use of them. The refrigerator, for instance, usually has its freezer on top which is a hassle for some people especially in the case of very large refs.

A common solution is to settle for refrigerators with bottom freezers which can be found somewhere between the shoulder and the waist area. These models though are more expensive; thus as part of an ergonomic kitchen design, they are sparingly recommended.

A cabinet installed on the kitchen wall is one other thing that should be looked into when designing an ergonomic kitchen. Traditional kitchen cabinets with swing-out doors have long been the cause of many home accidents. An option is to settle for cabinets with sliding doors. Previously, these are more common in Asia and certain European countries but in recent years, they have experienced significantly greater demand. In time, they should become an ideal solution when it comes to ergonomics in the kitchen area.

How Do I Fix Exterior Water Leaks In My Home?

Has your monthly water bill increased drastically all of a sudden? If it has, even though you have not been using that much water, then it is very likely that somewhere in your plumbing system there is an exterior water leak. Your water usage can be significantly affected by water leaks. For instance, since the bulk of an automatic irrigation system is underground, so if it develops a leak, you will probably not even know about it. Huge amounts of water can end up getting wasted due to exterior leaks, so it is not surprising that your water bills are soaring.

An exterior leak in your home can occur because of various things and while fixing an exterior leak is not particularly difficult, to most average homeowners, fixing an exterior leak seems rather intimidating. You can manage to diagnose an exterior leak in your house and fix it by following the tips below.

1. First, the main waterline coming to your home from the meter should be traced. Your water meter is most likely at the street and your main waterline travels from there to the interior of your home. So, if there is a leak in the line, you will notice a portion of ground along the path of the waterline. It’s much softer and wetter than the rest of the yard if you walk along that path. Obviously, this test cannot be performed right after it has rained, but any potential exterior leak can be conveniently discovered this way. Once the leak has been discovered, the ground at and around the center of the area ground is moist will have to be dug up.

2. Next the exterior leak will have to be located. Once the earth around the pipe has been dug up and the leak has been located, then the repairing process can be started.

3. The main shutoff valve at the street should be turned to turn the water off. The valve can be turned with bare hands or using a pair of pliers. Once the water has been shut off, the pipe around the leak can be cut, and the repair can be made.

4. The damaging part of the waterline can be replaced using a compression coupling. A majority of homes building in the past 20 years, including probably yours, most likely have CPVC/PVC pipes, so this method can be effectively used to fix the exterior leak. It is possible to buy a compression coupling from any local hardware store, and it can be very easily attached to the waterline.

5. The water should now be turned back on, and the repair should be tested. Once the compression coupling has been completely installed and the water is allowed to run for a day or so, if there are no signs of any leaks within 24 hours, then the waterline can be re-buried.

Indeed, there are many other outdoor water sources that can silently leak and you may not even know about them until you are staring at your significantly high water bills. You can avoid this by regularly checking for exterior leaks, and you can use these tips to fix several other exterior leaks.

Cooking Infographic

For my first post, I thought I’d share this file I came across a while back that is a super handy cheat sheet for cooking and other kitchen info. How long will margarine keep in the fridge? At what temperature does the water boil? It’s all here!

Everest Kitchen Cheat Sheet

If you’d like to find a printable version of this cheat sheet, visit the Kitchen Cheat Sheet page.

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