Decorative Fluorescent Light Diffuser Panels
24th May 2022
Fluorescent lights are everywhere. From the CFLs that we install throughout our homes to the fluorescent tubes that light our offices and stores, fluorescent light is inescapable. Most of the time, the only barriers between us and the tubes are the decorative fluorescent light diffuser panels. They are intended to soften and “diffuse” the naturally harsh light of fluorescent lighting tubes, but they usually fall short. While they may protect our eyes from the harshest glare, they do little to reduce the harm of fluorescent light. But there is a way to protect yourself. By adding decorative light covers on top of the fluorescent light diffuser panels, it is possible to correct many of the problems with fluorescent light.
Plastic Fluorescent Light Covers and Diffuser Panels
In our modern world, we are exposed to many harmful influences. Form the food we eat to the technology we use, our lives are far from all-natural. But what many people don’t realize is that the light we use is just as important. Natural light–that is, light from the sun–is the healthiest light. Natural sunlight is never the same. It changes throughout the day. From the red skies of sunrise to the clear blue of midday, our bodies track the changes in sunlight to order their internal clocks. When we remove those changes, our bodies are left without the calibration they need to run smoothly. Body systems that deal with mood, stress, digestion, the immune system, and other essential functions are all disrupted. Perhaps the most worrying is the effect of artificial light on sleep.
All this is to say that artificial light doesn’t provide all the “nutritious” light that our bodies need. But fluorescent light is by far the worst sort of artificial light. That’s because fluorescent light provides light that is strongly skewed towards short-wavelength blue light. It may not look blue, but the light of fluorescent tubes is most similar to the midday sun. Sitting in “midday sunlight” all day long throws off all of the body’s systems and disrupts sleep.
Despite the danger that fluorescent light poses, most types of light diffusers for fluorescent lights are nothing more than cheap plastic fluorescent light covers. Some are cloudy to soften the light. Other types of light diffusers for fluorescent lights may have a texture that aims to make the light less glaring. But they do little to solve the underlying problem of blue-tinted light.
Replacement Fluorescent Light Covers
The best solution to the problem of short-wavelength fluorescent light is to use replacement fluorescent light covers. It’s not necessary to completely remove your old fluorescent light diffuser panels. But installing decorative light covers over your existing fluorescent light diffuser panels can correct the harmful blue shift.
Octo Lights produces decorative light covers that can be laid over your fluorescent light diffuser panels. They are made of a thin film printed with decorative images. This film is designed to cure the “bad” light that comes from fluorescent tubes.
In addition to correcting the blue shift, decorative fluorescent light covers can transform the mood in a room. We print vivid, full-color images from nature on all of our decorative light covers. Depending on the effect you want for your office, business, school, or home, you can pick the perfect image or upload your own.
Some of our most popular covers for fluorescent light diffuser panels are our cloud and sky-themed decorative light covers. These beautiful images of blue sky and white, fluffy clouds can bring the indoors outdoors. Even a small, windowless room can feel like it has been opened up to the clear sky. As an added bonus, the skies on our covers for fluorescent light diffuser panels are never cloudy or gray. It’s always a sunny day under Octo Lights cloud themed fluorescent light covers.
Decorative Fluorescent Light Diffuser Panels for Pediatric Office Décor
We often hear about offices and businesses that are using our decorative light covers to cover their fluorescent light diffuser panels. Some do it to brighten the moods of their employees. Others do it for health reasons. But one use that we keep hearing about is in the medical field. Many people are fearful or nervous about doctors. Decorative light covers can contribute to a more natural feel in a doctor’s office and help put people at ease.
Nowhere is the need for relaxing lighting in a doctor’s office more critical than in pediatric office décor. Children may be naturally apprehensive about visiting the doctor. Many pediatric medical offices use bright colors and playful décor to lighten the mood. Unfortunately, many offices are still lit with the ubiquitous fluorescent light fixtures we find in so many commercial spaces. Using decorative light panels in pediatric office décor is one more way to combat the jitters and complete the medical office makeover.
Another type of medical office that greatly benefits from decorative light covers is dental offices. While children may be more prone than most to fear of doctors, fear of dentists cuts across all ages. Even many adults are scared of the dentist. Of course, the more stressed a patient is when they walk in the door, the more pain they will perceive, even with the exact same procedure. There are many ways for dentists to combat this undeserved fear. Some offices are experimenting with the use of aromatherapy to relieve tension. But before going to extremes, it is worth looking up. That is, after all, what dental patients spend most of their time doing. By installing Octo Lights decorative films over their fluorescent light diffuser panels, dentists can provide a focal point and prevent the added stress of unhealthy light.
LED Diffuser Panels
There is some research now that has linked LED lights to similar blue light problems to fluorescent light. Unlike the long history we have with fluorescent lights, LED lights are only now becoming widespread. But health professionals who study the effects of light on the human body are already showing concern. Due to the way that LED light is produced, there is a blue shift similar to fluorescent light. We have known about this problem for a while with our LED screens, but only now is ambient LED lighting becoming popular enough to warrant further study.
In some places, LED lighting is being used in place of older fluorescent lighting. One of the main benefits of LED lighting is its extreme energy efficiency. LED lights that produce a comparable light output to fluorescent lights use only a small fraction of the electricity. Another attractive feature of LEDs is their longevity. They need to be replaced much less often than fluorescent bulbs. But replacing fluorescent lights with LED lights may not solve the significant disadvantage that comes from blue light.
LED diffuser panels are demonstrating the same problems as fluorescent light diffuser panels. Luckily, the solutions that work for fluorescent light diffuser panels seem to also work for LED diffuser panels. Installing Octo Lights decorative light covers can correct the unhealthy blue shift and save our eyes and our bodies.
If you’re ready to save your body from harmful fluorescent or LED light, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our full collection of decorative light covers. We’re sure you’ll find one you love. Or you can upload your own. The choices are limitless, so start feeling better today!
Fluorescent Light Diffuser - FAQ
What is a diffuser on a fluorescent light?
- The diffuser on a fluorescent light is is the clear plastic panel that covers the fluorescent bulbs. The diffuser helps to spread the light evenly around the room. It also tones down the brightness and reduces the glare. However, sometimes the plastic diffusers aren't enough and an additional cover or filter is needed.
What can I use to cover fluorescent lights?
- There are a few different options on covering your fluorescent lights. The best way is to use a fluorescent light cover made from a backlit film. These are fire safety certified and will last several years. They also insert into your existing fixture and provide a beautiful image. You can also use fluorescent light filters made from cloth that attach with magnets. However, these tend to droop from the ceiling and don't provide a clear and sharp image.
How do you replace a fluorescent light diffuser?
- Most fluorescent light diffusers have a clear acrylic plastic panel that can be replaced. However, there are different styles on the market such as parabolic fixtures and U Shaped Fixtures. To replace the standard flat panel fixtures you'll need to open the fixture as if you were to replace a bulb. Then unscrew the frame holding the diffuser in. And carefully remove the panel.
What are fluorescent light covers called?
- Fluorescent light covers are referred to by a few different names. You may hear them called "fluorescent light diffusers" or "fluorescent light panels most commonly. However, some people will refer to them as "fluorescent light filters".