I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) with skin involvement and associated photosensitivity. I also suffer from photo-aggravated rosacea. Following the imposition of energy-saving bulbs and other newer forms of artificial lighting including LEDs, I became increasingly aware of their detrimental effects on my health and wellbeing.
In 2004, I began working in an environment that had barely any natural lighting but was instead illuminated by very powerful fluorescent lights. I suffered a major flare requiring hospital admission and treatment. In 2010, shortly after leaving a shop where I had been obliged to stand beneath energy-saving bulbs at very close quarters, I developed a sunburn-type rash to my face, neck and chest with spontaneous bleeding to my lip.
Despite taking precautions, it is virtually impossible to escape the harmful effects of newer forms of modern lighting, which truly are ubiquitous. Access to good medical care for those with chronic and serious conditions is an ongoing challenge, with more recently built and modernised hospitals the worst offenders with regards to unsuitable lighting systems. In such places lighting is usually all on one circuit making it impossible to isolate small areas in order to render them safe for light-sensitive patients.
What greatly concerns me is the absence of a specific and coherent policy that serves to protect specific groups from the harmful effects of artificial lighting.