compact fluorescent bulb question

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy Forums

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy forums - a peer support community for folks dealing (directly or indirectly) with seizure disorders. You can visit the forum page to see the list of forum nodes (categories/rooms) for topics.

Please have a look around and if you like what you see, please consider registering an account and joining the discussions. When you register an account and log in, you may enjoy additional benefits including no ads, access to members only (ie. private) forum nodes and more. Registering an account is free - you have nothing to lose!


Reaction score
I know that fluorescent bulbs can trigger seizures (I have been in stores when this has happened to me.)

I have them installed in my home. (I am photo sensitive). I have kind of been noticing that when I turn off the light in my bedroom the bulb kind of look like they are flickering or have a kind of wavy looking light - I don't think that they are really cheap bulbs (G.E. brand) and they aren't old.

Do the bulbs do this for a long time after you turn them off or just for a short time? I don't want to deliberately watch the light to find out - because I don't want to trigger a seizure, but I am wondering if the bulbs are doing this all night, if this is the cause of an increase in the number of nocturnal seizures that I've had lately.

things that make you go hmmm.
AH HA!! majority of my seizures at home occur in the bathroom or my hallway. both places we installed those swirly flourescent light bulbs. and yes, i do notice that they flicker when I turn them on or off.
I'm not at all fond of the compact fluorescents. In a few years, regular incandescent bulbs aren't going to be available, so I'm stocking up now. Check back then for my blackmarket deals...
Here in the U.S. we have yellowish-colored, instant-on fluorescent bulbs. They don't blink or flicker going on or off. They have the same color as the incandescent bulbs, too. They aren't exactly the same, but they are closer than the old fashioned fluorescent bulbs.
AH HA!! majority of my seizures at home occur in the bathroom or my hallway. both places we installed those swirly flourescent light bulbs. and yes, i do notice that they flicker when I turn them on or off.

I guess that I notice it in my bedroom, because (in other rooms) if I turn off a light I leave the room, but when you turn off the light to go to bed- you (obviously) stay there.
Does anyone know if the newer (or a specific type of) CFL is safer for those who may be photosensitive? Or, do LED or Halogen bulbs prove to be safer?

It seems ridiculous that they would consider outlawing (are they still going to do that?) incandesent bulbs if indeed the CFLs aren't safe for some people..
Not only that...the fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. Great for the environment when people accidentally break them or dispose of them improperly...NOT (totally 1980s high school, I know)!!!:soap:
Until I read this I never thought anything of the bulbs, but everytime I have my seizures they are in the bathroom and kitchen, brightess places in my home with these bulbs. Thank you for the post and the responses everyone!
Coincidentally I recently got a crash course in fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lighting consists of two main components - the bulb and the ballast. CFLs contain the ballast right in the base of the bulb. The flickering that we are all familiar with is historically a problem with using electromagnetic ballasts, which have been mostly replaced by electronic ballasts in much new lighting, but magnetic ballast lighting is still available. If you are getting flicker (or suspect as much), check to see that bulbs (or fixture) use electronic ballast.

But all the same, these are touchy things. They don't respond well to power fluctuations. So, for example, if the bulb is on a circuit that is "dimmed" by other appliances or whatever, this may be contributing to the problem. (I know this firsthand because I was recently hired to write software that controls a fluorescent lighting dimming solution - and I've found fluorescent lighting to be very temperamental .)
This sort of thing makes me tired. One more thing to have to consider..
Top Bottom