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Saturday, August 1, 2015

LED and CFL bulbs hard to see with blue-orange-yellow color blindness due to their higher color temperature

test image for blue-yellow color blindness

PHOTO: Test image for "Blue yellow color blindness" taken from accessed Aug. 1, 2015. When I look at the above image, the colors in each can on the left look the same as the colors in the corresponding cans on the right. When I showed this image to other people, I could not see, versus other people: yellow paint in left image can vs. pink paint in the right image can; orange paint vs. dark pink on right image; dark green paint vs. dark gray paint; blue paint vs. blue green paint in right image. Similarly, I can no longer see bright yellow Post-It Notes as being anything other than just white, and the orange, school colors, headlines that are printed in my college alumni newsletters are virtually invisible to me.

One burned out bulb in a row of ten old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs over bathroom vanity mirror

PHOTO: One burned out bulb in a row of ten old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs made with clear glass, which exposes their glowing red hot wire filaments inside, as they were installed over the top of my bathroom amity mirror about twenty years ago. Replacing these designer bulbs when they burn out is becoming harder and harder for reasons other than the fact that are unfashionable today -- new State and Federal laws are mandating new bulbs be more energy efficient and most retailers are now selling only compact fluorescent CFL bulbs or the newer light-emitting diode LED bulbs. Yes, there are some new LED bulbs that imitate this old exposed filament look, but so far they are too dim for me to see anything. I have not yet figured out what to do with this bathroom light in the future because I hate the look of the common white replacement bulbs. I will probably end up changing the fixture to one designed to take advantage of LED lights, such as I have done in other parts of my house, such as my laundry room where I changed to a superior LED flat panel lighting. (See previous post LED Pixi flat panel light replaces my laundry room light (4/10/15))

As my exposed filament incandescent lightbulbs over my bathroom vanity mirror have been slowly burning out over time, it has become harder and harder to find replacement bulbs, especially as both State and Federal laws are mandating the phase-in of more energy-efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent CFL bulbs and the newer LED bulbs.

The newer LED bulbs consume a fraction of the energy of old- fashioned incandescent lightbulbs and LED bulbs can be touched without burning yourself, all while putting out the same number of lumens of light brightness.

Unfortunately, most CFL and LED bulbs put out most of their light energy in the higher frequencies (a.k.a. higher color temperatures), which makes the light look bluer and colder instead of more red and warm. This higher color temperature light is very hard for me to see due to me being blue-orange-yellow color blind.

Fortunately, I have been able to buy some lower color temperature LED bulbs (described on the package as having a color temperature of 2700K or 2700 degrees Kelvin), but in my experience none of these bulbs have as full a range of color as incandescent bulbs and I require they have more lumens than the equivalent incandescent bulb for me to see the same, based on my side by side testing of these bulbs.

One of the 100-Watt-equivalent (equivalence is based on lumens of light output) LED bulbs I own actually uses only a few Watts of power and as a result puts out very little waste heat, which allows me to use the bulb close to my face without feeling like I am going to burn myself.

There are LED bulbs that have been designed to imitate the look of these exposed filament clear bulbs, but they are not bright enough for me to see very well. There are also white round LED bulbs, but they that look ugly to me and the coating on their surface smells funny when they heat up.

Even though I am going blind, I still care about the art and aesthetic of interior lighting design, as well as the lighting functionality I need to see with my low vision blindness and color blindness, it is clear to me that my vanity mirror lighting is dated looking and begging to be replaced with a newer design that might look totally different, but I've have not seen it yet for a bathroom vanity mirror lighting. For example, LED lights don't have to be round and can be shaped into something more elegant as well as being practical too. I've seen LED auto headlights that are not round. Another example is the flat-panel LED light I used to replace my laundry room light fixture. It fits flat against the ceiling and even looks better from an aesthetic standpoint. (See previous post LED Pixi flat panel light replaces my laundry room light (4/10/15))

Here are some links of interest concerning my color blindness that was caused by ischemic strokes in my brain: