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In order for a fluorescent light to function, it must create UV radiation. Of the UV it creates, 20% is converted to visible light, while the other 80% is emitted as either UV radiation, or is radiated as heat. According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol.135 No. 7, "exposure to fluorescent lights may result in ultraviolet B doses much greater than that from the sun." Ultraviolet B and C causes what is called "direct DNA damage", a process which mutates a DNA strand which can lead to cancerous growth. Many skin cancers have been linked to UVB radiation by the signature DNA mutation caused by UVB exposure. UVA causes "indirect DNA damage", making it the culprit for malignant melanoma, as 92% of melanoma cases are missing the signature DNA mutation found from UVB radiation damage. All UV radiation can damage collagen fibers and therefore age the skin. UVA and UVB can also destroy Vitamin A in the skin.

UVB radiation occurs between 280-320nm. Our premium F685 and F885 filters absorb nearly 100% of UV radiation up to 380nm, leaving the user virtually completely protected from UVB radiation and most UVA radiation, which occurs between 320-400nm. 81-99% of UV radiation is absorbed between 380-390nm and 50-80% is absorbed from 390-400nm. Overall, 98% of all UV radiation is absorbed by our filters.

Although a standard clear prismatic lens may offer some protection against UV radiation, none come close to the protection offered by our filters; and the standard lens will offer no color correction. While full spectrum bulbs may offer color correction, in some cases they actually emit more UV radiation than a standard fluorescent light, leaving the user more vulnerable to the damaging effects of UV light!

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SpectrumsThe color rendering index (CRI) is a system derived by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). It is measured by viewing a standard set of colors under both a reference source (which has a CRI of 100, such as midday sunlight) and the light source which is being measured. A light source which shows no color difference to the reference source would have a CRI of 100. The more difference there is, the lower the color rendering index, and the less accurately it will render color.

A color rendering index of 90+ and a temperature of between 5000-6000K is essential if you want to view color accurately. The CRI is achieved by balancing the wavelengths emitted by a light source. A cool white standard fluorescent light is unbalanced, with more light being emitted in the yellow and some green wavelengths. Our filters greatly improve standard fluorescent lights by reducing specific wavelengths so that the result is a more balanced output of all colors. Our filters will also increase the color temperature to move many lights into the optimal temperature for full-spectrum. Even high quality fluorescents can be improved by our filters. Our filters boosted the Kelvin temperature from 4979K up to 5424K and elevated the CRI from 88.4 up to 95.3 on the Sylvania OCTRON 5000K lamp.

The need for accurate color rendering is essential in many fields of work. Artists, photographers, graphic designers, printers, curators, craftsmen, inspectors and quality assurance personnel, textile workers—in fact numerous professions where color accuracy is paramount can only benefit from our filters. It is necessary in order to view products such as clothing, drapery, carpeting, furniture, and paint as their true color. In addition, natural daylight used in retail sales venues increased sales as much at 40% according to a study from the Heschong Mahone Group, making full-spectrum light a benefit for any sort of retail environment.

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Glare is also known as specular and veiling reflections.  Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light off of polished surfaces such as computer displays and metal objects.  Veiling reflections are the light rays that bounce off of ceilings, walls, and virtually every surface in their path. An example of veiling reflection is the reduction in contrast between paper and print caused by light reflecting off the surface of the paper.

While many think of carpal tunnel syndrome as the leading workplace complaint, vision-related problems are reported by 61-80% of those who work on computers for 6 or more hours per day.  Consider the visual stress we put our eyes through each day.  If bright, glary lighting is present your eyes are continually forced to distinguish the glare from the visual tasks. We tend to squint our eyes, causing our facial muscles to contract.  Over the course of the day, this can lead to a tension headache, eyestrain and visual fatigue.

Glare in the visual environment is usually due to an overabundance of light.  According to the American Optometric Association, NIOSH, the Illumination Engineering Society (IES), the Human Factors Society, General Electric Corp., and others, the average office environment requires only 20-70 foot-candles (fc) of light in order to perform computer and computer/paper tasks. Yet, in stark contrast, most work sites measure 80-120 fc of light.

You can reduce the effects of bright, glaring fluorescent light by using our F685 tube filters or F885 flat sheets. When using a flat sheet, you not only reduce the over abundance of light to more acceptable levels; you also reduce the veiling reflections from the ceiling area. A study by the Southern California College of Optometry also concluded that "computer screen reflection was shown to significantly decrease" with our filters.

In an open lighting fixture, such as those found in grocery stores, warehouses, etc., the F685 filters also reduce the volume of light to acceptable levels, while converting the cool white light into color-balanced light.

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Light energy, both UV and visible light, is absorbed by molecules within an object. This absorption of light energy can start many possible sequences of chemical reactions, generally called photochemical deterioration. Photochemical deterioration will occur in any organic material including wood, paper, fabric, dyes, leather, etc. It causes colors to fade, varnish and paint to check, wood to bleach, fabric to "sun rot", etc.

Each molecule in an object requires a certain minimum amount of energy to begin a chemical reaction with other molecules. This is called its activation energy. If the light energy from artificial light equals or exceeds the activation energy, the molecule is "excited," or made available for chemical reactions. Once this happens, the excess energy may show up as heat or light; the energy may break bonds within the molecule; the energy may cause atoms to rearrange within the molecule; or the energy may be transferred to another molecule. One of the primary photochemical reactions is oxidation, in which the "excited" molecule transfers its energy to an oxygen molecule, which then reacts with other molecules to initiate damaging chemical reactions.

UV light has a greater frequency as well as more energy than visible light. It bombards an object with more energy in a shorter time, and its energy is likely to meet or exceed the required activation energy for many different types of molecules. Thus it causes photochemical deterioration to happen more quickly.

Light Absorption

UVB radiation occurs between 280-320nm. Our premium F685 and F885 filters absorb nearly 100% of UV radiation up to 380nm, leaving items virtually completely protected from UVB radiation and most UVA radiation, which occurs between 320-400nm. 81-99% of UV radiation is absorbed between 380-390nm and 50-80% is absorbed from 390-400nm. Overall, 98% of all UV radiation is absorbed by our filters. It is important to remember, however, that even longer wavelengths of light can cause damage. In addition to UV radiation absorption, our filters are also designed to reduce the visible light rays for further protection.

Not only will all this help protect irreplaceable items such as paintings and some photos, paper, and textile items, but it can also reduce the costs of replacing retail items that are affected by fading.

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According to the American Optometric Association, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is defined as the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work which are experienced during or related to computer use. These symptoms include: headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eyestrain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes.

The majority of video display terminal (VDT) workers (most studies indicate 50-90%) complain of these symptoms during their daily routine. Contrast that with those who complain of musculoskeletal disorders such as wrist problems (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), bursitis, and muscle strains. A study released by NIOSH indicates that only 22% of VDT workers suffer from musculoskeletal problems. In terms of the scope of this problem, a survey of optometrists indicated that 10 million eye exams are provided annually in the United States due to the visual problems caused by VDT use.

A study that was performed by the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, CA shows that VDT users experienced a "decrease in the frequency of eyestrain and eye fatigue, sensitivity to light, and blur with computer use, among the participants of the study" after installing the our filters.

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A team of research scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), headed by Dr. Sam Berman, Ph.D., has scientifically shown that light enhanced in the blue-green portion of visible light is superior to regular white light.  Scotopic peak response is found at 507 nanometers.

Dr. Berman's studies demonstrated that rod receptors, which are widely thought to be important only for night vision, also contribute actively to vision processes at typical office light levels. At these light levels the studies found that pupil size and brightness perception are strongly affected by rod activity. These results suggest that light sources with scotopically richer spectral content need less photopic luminance to enable a given level of visual performance, visual clarity, and brightness perception.

Although our filters will decrease the amount of light received from the fluorescent light, no visual acuity is lost due to the fact that by filtering the excessive wavelengths and therefore enhancing the blue-green portion of the spectrum, both a full-spectrum and a scotopic effect is created. This is especially useful for environments such as libraries, museums, the food industry and textile industry, where UV and visible light rays may be damaging, but visual acuity is still an absolute requirement.

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