If you suffer from migraines, changing your home lighting might reduce the number of these headaches. Migraines produce a pulsating pain, making the person sensitive to light, and sometimes, sound. Migraines can cause nausea and interfere with daily activities. While there are many suspected triggers for migraines, including alcohol, stress, lack of sleep and hormones, one common cause is bright or flashing lights.
Here are some of the best home lighting bulbs to consider if you suffer from migraines:
Incadescent lights are traditional light bulbs that have a warm glow and don’t flicker, which is one potential migraine trigger. Unfortunately for migraine sufferers, incandescent bulbs have been phased out in the U.S. and many other countries, as they’re less energy efficient than other types of light bulbs. If you get migraines, you may find that the light from these bulbs is easier to tolerate than other types of home lighting.
LED lights are energy-efficient bulbs that aren’t made with filaments, and don’t have flickering problems. They also last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs and burn brightly, but are much more expensive. If you don’t have light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures in place, it can be more expensive to install them because you might also need a transformer in the ceiling if the fixture doesn’t have one.
Some people find flickering lights can trigger a migraine, especially from fluorescent lights. While long fluorescent bulbs are typically found in office settings, the compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) have captured much of the home market. The flickering may be undetectable — unless the bulb is burning out, in which case it’s more pronounced — but the brain can still detect it. Manufacturers of CFL bulbs are getting better about reducing the flickering, but some who experience migraines still have issues with them. In addition, florescent lights emit a blue wavelength that’s thought to trigger migraines in some individuals.
Halogen bulbs only use about 30 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and are much less energy efficient than LED or CFL bulbs. That said, some migraine sufferers don’t have an issue with halogen bulbs, so they’re an option to consider.
If you get migraines, it’s best to avoid fluorescent home lighting and see if you can eliminate it in your office. If you can’t, have an electrician change the magnetic ballast to an electric one, which can eliminate the flickering. In an office setting, you can also ask to disconnect the fluorescent bulbs above your desk and use desk lamps or natural sunlight instead.
Smart lighting can be particularly helpful for migraine sufferers. Vivint Smart Home connects with Philips Hue lighting control to work with your smart home system. This integration allows you to control your lights – including the ability to dim lights – from the Vivint Smart Home app, which can reduce strain on the eyes.
If you have a migraine, the last thing you want to do is walk across the room to adjust your lights. Smart home integration allows you to voice control the lights with a connected smart speaker.
Not all migraine sufferers have the same issues with home lighting, which is an important way to not only see in your home, but to set the mood and help you sleep. Pay attention to what triggers your migraines and keep a record of it, just in case lighting is an issue.