One Study Space Mistake You Are Likely Making When You Study For Your Firefighter Promotion Test

Not everyone has a lot of options for study spaces when it comes time to begin your firefighter promotional exam prep, but one thing you must avoid is studying under fluorescent lights. It might seem silly, but studying under fluorescent lights can have a negative impact on you, here's why. 

What are Fluorescent Lights

“Fluorescent lighting is light produced in a glass tube with electrical current passing through it, which reacts to the mercury vapor to create light.” Fluorescent lights are popular in the home and workplace because they are energy efficient and last longer than other types of light bulbs. 

Why Fluorescent Lights Should Be Avoided 

  1. Eye Issues

Studying under fluorescent light bulbs can lead to eye strain. This may present as dry or watery eyes, excessive blinking, sore, or burning eyes. In addition to eye strain, you may end up with some blurred vision after studying under fluorescent lights for an extended period of time. Studying or working for extended periods under these fluorescent lights can even lead to eye disease, according to a study published in 2011. This is all because of the high levels of UV light that fluorescent lights emit. Remember, you may experience eye issues even if you are not studying for extended periods if fluorescent lights are used in your environment, home, work etc.

  1. Headache

Another common problem associated with studying under fluorescent lights are headaches, and even more severe, migraines. Headaches happen when you are exposed to fluorescent lights because fluorescent lights flicker at an extremely fast pace. They flicker so fast, you don’t even register it, but your brain does, which is why some people experience headaches in office and school settings where fluorescent lights are prevalent because they don’t burn out as fast as other types of lighting. So to avoid the headache, maybe check the lights in your own home where you can control them, and switch to non-fluorescents. 

  1. Disrupted Sleep Patterns

Fluorescent lights have the potential to interrupt a person's sleep pattern if they are exposed to them for long periods. This disruption occurs because the fluorescent lights mess with your circadian rhythms which are, “the natural cycle of physical, mental, and behavioral changes that the body goes through in a 24 hour cycle.” Fluorescent lights contain blue light which is the cause of the disruption in your sleep. It can make it harder for you to fall asleep or even make it so you wake up earlier than you’d like. Remember these blue lights are also prevalent in cell phones, laptops, and tv screens. So it is best to avoid these fluorescent lights in the evening, which means likely not studying before bed for your firefighter promotional exam if you do so under fluorescent light, so your sleep is not negatively affected. 

  1. Heavy Metal Exposure (if broken)

Fluorescent lights contain small amounts of mercury, which is not a big deal when they are lighting your home, but become a big deal if they break. When broken the light bulbs emit a mercury vapor that is not safe to breathe in. So as long as the light bulbs remain intact you are in the clear. While the risk is small, this is another reason to switch out any fluorescent lights you may have access to.

The Takeaway

When creating a study space for your firefighter promotional exam, do your best to leave out fluorescent light bulbs. This will save you a headache, a lot of them, and keep your eyes healthy and body energized so you can make the most of each study session. As an alternative to fluorescent lighting try incandescent and LED, even better study by a sunny window or on a park bench and use natural light.