For those sensitive to light bulbs (any type)

Strawberry

Senior Member
Messages
1,542
Likes
3,246
Location
Seattle, WA USA
I won’t even throw tinnitus into the discussion as I’ve had it all my life. But for anyone sensitive to any kind of light bulb:

How quickly does it start
How quickly does it go away once the light is turned off
What are your symptoms
 

xebex

Senior Member
Messages
453
Likes
818
Sensitivity to light bulbs or light? Does the same thing happen in sunlight?

If it’s lightbulb I wonder if it’s fluorescent lighting that is the worst?

Some migraines and other neurological disorders are triggered by fluorescent lighting.
 

kelly8

Senior Member
Messages
179
Likes
390
Hi @Strawberry ,
I was diagnosed as being electro sensitive by the same specialist that diagnosed my M.E. And he was totally serious. Turns out I am extremely sensitive to EMFs. That includes light bulbs. I had to replace everything with incandescent bulbs. I would feel nauseas and sick to my stomach with a writer headache standing near the light bulbs for no reason. The problem was turning the light off didn't stop the current going to the bulb. But it was much worse when they were on.

I also am really sensitive to blue light (specifically LED blue lights). Driving on a cloudy day would cause my eyes to tear up and I'd get an ocular migraine from the other headlights. Driving at night was impossible.

I could go on about the weird symptoms of EMF sensitivity but you might think I had lost my marbles... Let's just say it is not a fun sensitivity to have and I hope you don't have it.
 

Judee

Senior Member
Messages
1,689
Likes
4,094
Location
Great Lakes
Some migraines and other neurological disorders are triggered by fluorescent lighting.
Actually for me LED is worse. I can handle some fluorescent.

We're not suppose to see or be able to detect the flicker but I think my eyes/brain still does. I could tell the difference right away when I switched out 4 light bulbs late last year and had to change them back again to incandescent.

Even my computer monitor is an older LCD model. I had to take a laptop back to the office store because it was LED and I was getting headaches from that too.
 

PatJ

Forum Support Assistant
Messages
5,288
Likes
14,927
Location
Canada
How quickly does it start
How quickly does it go away once the light is turned off
What are your symptoms
1. LED is the worst for me, even a little LED flashlight can make me feel off-balance. A quick exposure doesn't have long effects but a longer exposure can leave me feeling off balance and nauseous potentially for hours after. I can tolerate some LED phone screens for short periods of time if they use dark mode.

LEDStrain.org is a forum for people with LED based screen sensitivity issues.

2. Blue tinted headlights are terrible. Years ago when I could drive I found that I had to stop driving at night because the blue-tinted headlights would affect my thinking clarity and physical coordination. I would walk as if I was intoxicated.

3. Fluorescent is bad for me but usually takes longer for the effects to kick in. I rely on an old (2007) laptop with a fluorescent backlight. I have the display set to a dark mode, including web sites (using Dark Reader on Firefox). I also have the display dimmed so I can tolerate it longer. I can use the display for 2-3 hours (with breaks) every day but have to wait until the next day before using it again since brainfog increases over those 2-3 hours.

Some fluorescent screens are especially bad. I have multiple laptops of the same make and model but there's only one that I can tolerate for regular use. Another gives me a headache, nausea, brainfog, and coordination problems within seconds.

4. I use all incandescent lights in my home.

5. Sunlight is no problem, even bright sunlight.

I have problems with CRT monitors and TV's too, even though they don't use fluorescent light.

Brightness plays a part. The brighter the offending light, the quicker the symptoms kick in. The longer I'm exposed, the longer the effects last. It takes far longer for the effects to fade than to arise.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
3,400
Likes
5,952
Location
Alberta
Turns out I am extremely sensitive to EMFs. That includes light bulbs. I had to replace everything with incandescent bulbs.
Except that incandescent bulbs also emit EMFs, and since they're less efficient than other types, you'll get even higher levels of the 60 Hz EMF field. If replacing LED bulbs with incandescent bulbs made you feel less bad, it's not because you reduced EMF levels, because you actually increased them.

The problem was turning the light off didn't stop the current going to the bulb.
Actually, it does. If it's a 'hard' switch (closes/opens AC conductor), then opening the switch prevents current flow. If it's an electronic switch, then it will always draw some AC current, but in the off mode it's milliamps or maybe microamps, so the EMF field from the wires would probably be below background EMF levels.

If you're convinced that you can sense the EMF field from the wires, you can wrap aluminum foil around them as an EMF shield. Of course, the wires in the walls are carrying the same AC current, but you could cover the walls and ceilings and floor with foil too. Alternatively, you can do a proper double-blind test to see if you really can sense those EMF fields.
 

kelly8

Senior Member
Messages
179
Likes
390
Except that incandescent bulbs also emit EMFs, and since they're less efficient than other types, you'll get even higher levels of the 60 Hz EMF field. If replacing LED bulbs with incandescent bulbs made you feel less bad, it's not because you reduced EMF levels, because you actually increased them.

Actually, it does. If it's a 'hard' switch (closes/opens AC conductor), then opening the switch prevents current flow. If it's an electronic switch, then it will always draw some AC current, but in the off mode it's milliamps or maybe microamps, so the EMF field from the wires would probably be below background EMF levels.

If you're convinced that you can sense the EMF field from the wires, you can wrap aluminum foil around them as an EMF shield. Of course, the wires in the walls are carrying the same AC current, but you could cover the walls and ceilings and floor with foil too. Alternatively, you can do a proper double-blind test to see if you really can sense those EMF fields.
So I have a meter and the EMFs were lower with the incandescent bulb. But I was still feeling nauseas even though they were lower which is why I checked it with the light out. Current is always going through the wires. I had to get special emf kill switches for certain outlets in the house.

I also was able to tell my husband with 100% accuracy when he left the wifi on because I couldn't sleep. I'd wake up feeling so sore and like I'd run a marathon. I also felt awake the whole night. I need to shut off circuit breakers in the house to get a decent nights sleep. I need to bring foil with me and my emf meters when we go on a vacation.
I know I am also sensitive to the LED bulbs as well as the current. But the current is definitely an issue as well.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kelly8

Senior Member
Messages
179
Likes
390
Here's a shielding paint. At the very least, if you used it in your bedroom you'd probably sleep better from the darkness. :D

YShield on Amazon
Thank you for the link. I've considered this but I was able to make my room a better environment by shutting off the breakers around the bed room. I had to put black out shades and secure them into the windows because the blue light street lamps that they put in two years ago made it impossible to sleep. I know, I'm a joy to be around..
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
3,400
Likes
5,952
Location
Alberta
So I have a meter and the EMFs were lower with the incandescent bulb
The meter might not be registering all frequencies equally. It might be measuring lower high frequency fields, but missing the 60 Hz field. For a given illumination level, an LED light will have higher HF fields, due to the switching supply, but the incandescent light will draw more current, thus creating a higher 60 HZ field.

Current is always going through the wires.
If the switch is open, the current will just be charging/discharging the capacitance between the wires, so it will be miniscule, at least at 60 Hz. The wires will carry some HF noise from elsewhere in the network. That's detectable by sensitive measuring instruments, but if you're able to sense that yourself, I can't see how you can not go crazy, since the whole world is filled with stronger signals.

I admit I'm very skeptical about EMF sensitivity. "able to tell my husband with 100% accuracy when he left the wifi on because I couldn't sleep' isn't a proper double-blind test; there are all sorts of possibilities for that accuracy that don't involve actual sensing of EM fields. Sensitivity to light spectrum or flicker seems much more likely as an explanation for bulb preference.
 

Dufresne

almost there...
Messages
1,009
Likes
1,326
Location
Montreal
My EHS has moved all over the place throughout my illness. At its worst, in a moldy house, I had to seriously limit either my sodium consumption or my use of lights. Moving from the moldy house reduced the problem by 90%. At that level it was hardly noticeable.

Now as I detoxify mycotoxins or I kill babesia the irritation flares up quite a bit. For me it's a swelling of the area around my eyes. I suspect it's mast cell mediated.
 

kelly8

Senior Member
Messages
179
Likes
390
I admit I'm very skeptical about EMF sensitivity. "able to tell my husband with 100% accuracy when he left the wifi on because I couldn't sleep' isn't a proper double-blind test; there are all sorts of possibilities for that accuracy that don't involve actual sensing of EM fields.
I'm really glad you don't have this sensitivity. Because having it is really terrible. It must be nice to not have to worry about these things. If I told you how upset my husband got after having it pointed out constantly when he left the wifi on... I don't need a double blind study, what I need is a good night of sleep and I've finally been able to figure this out after 12 years of this stupid disease.

I don't have a technical answer for you as to why my meter had a stronger reading with the energy efficient lighting. What I do know is that the incandescents are inefficient as you say and the energy level coming off of them isn't as strong or fixated. I know if you use a body voltage meter people get higher readings standing next to energy efficient bulbs vs incandescent bulbs. But the key is the distance. The further away you are from the source the less your body will be effected. And the incandescents are less efficient making it harder for them to affect you at closer range.

I hope this makes sense. Again, I'm really glad you don't have to deal with this. It is one of the things I wish would go away the most. It is the hardest thing to explain to people who have never experienced it.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
3,400
Likes
5,952
Location
Alberta
But the key is the distance.
Yes, EMFs obey the inverse-square law, which means that the power drops as the square of the distance. That's why you need to measure EMF strength where you spend your time, not by putting the meter close to a source.

And the incandescents are less efficient making it harder for them to affect you at closer range.
No, if they're drawing more AC current, the wires (from power line to bulb) will radiate more 60 Hz power than a lower-draw bulb. However, an LED bulb will radiate more power at higher frequencies, due to it drawing current in short pulses.

If I told you how upset my husband got after having it pointed out constantly when he left the wifi on...
I did think of one possible explanation for your accuracy: you might subconsciously notice when your husband goes to wherever the wifi power switch is before coming to bed, and thus whether he's actually switched it off. That may not be the correct explanation in this case, but such possibilities are why double-blind studies removing all possible other factors are needed.
 

kelly8

Senior Member
Messages
179
Likes
390
That's why you need to measure EMF strength where you spend your time, not by putting the meter close to a source.
That is what I did. And the incandescent measured less than the LED light.

However, an LED bulb will radiate more power at higher frequencie
Perhaps this is why it registered so high? And perhaps this is why it bothers me so much. I don't know but my body can tell the difference.

I did think of one possible explanation for your accuracy: you might subconsciously notice when your husband goes to wherever the wifi power switch is before coming to bed, and thus whether he's actually switched it off.
I'm not sure how I subconsciously notice when my husband stays up to watch tv at night (in another room) requiring our wifi to be on and I am asleep. I also usually have to be dragged out of bed in the AM. Plenty of time for him to turn it off and pretend as he has tried. Each time he's been caught and admitted to forgetting.

I'm sorry you don't believe it to be true but I am sensitive to this. You can explain facts about it as much as you want. It doesn't change the fact that it bothers me. My Dr's are aware that this is an issue I'm dealing with. I wish it wasn't so because life is really inconvenient and frustrating having to deal with this. I get sick at other people's houses and at work because of this.

Since you are so educated about electricity could you tell me why you think this might be happening? I thought copper levels could be it but I had mine tested and they were in normal range. I wondered about calcium levels in cells and if that might have an effect. I know calcium levels affect the charges of cells. Other than that I'm not sure why this is happening, but there has to be some explanation...
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
3,400
Likes
5,952
Location
Alberta
Since you are so educated about electricity could you tell me why you think this might be happening?
Last time I checked, I couldn't find any good theory for why a person be sensitive to EMFs at normal household levels, and all the scientific papers I read concluded that EMF sensitivity was not real. I remember checking the calcium channel theory, but didn't find the science behind it convincing. A lot of people are convinced they can sense when their cellphone is on, or other such thing, but it usually turns out that there's a rational other explanation, such as a faint sound or glow from the device, or they simply just remember the times they guess correctly and forget the ones where they are wrong. It's hard to identify these alternative explanations, but they do exist, and that's why properly-conducted experiments are required, and as far as I know, EMF sensitivity has failed all such experiments. If someone is aware of such peer-reviewed proof of EMF sensitivity, please point it out.
 

Pyrrhus

Senior Member
Messages
1,554
Likes
3,912
Location
U.S., Earth
Last time I checked, I couldn't find any good theory for why a person be sensitive to EMFs at normal household levels, and all the scientific papers I read concluded that EMF sensitivity was not real. I remember checking the calcium channel theory, but didn't find the science behind it convincing.
In a broader sense, there are plenty of epidemiological studies over the years that have failed to find any strong correlation between electromagnetic fields and human disease. These studies have largely formed the basis for the prevailing opinion that electromagnetic fields are perfectly harmless.

However, consider:
  • Researchers performing in vitro work have used electromagnetic fields to induce oxidative stress in living tissues, to study ion channels in cells, or merely to heat up tissues.
  • People with no history of electromagnetic hypersensitivity have reported neurological disturbances after undergoing an MRI using the experimental 7T machines, which use electromagnetic fields that are much more powerful than current MRI machines.
  • A friend of mine, who has never complained of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, went into a 3T MRI machine for a routine MRI, and had uncontrollable leg movements every time they switched on the machine.
  • Some animal studies found a slight increase in tumors in some animals exposed to electromagnetic fields.

I certainly don't have any answers. But I do have questions...