If you suffer from any form of photosensitivity, do NOT watch the video below.
Instead, let me describe what you’ll see if you watch it. You will see a car park which was improperly retrofitted with LED tubes, and which are now breaking and flickering at an alarming rate.
If you watch it for any period of time you’re likely to feel unwell - but if you suffer from photosensitivity you could put yourself at risk of becoming seriously unwell.
This car park came onto the UrbanVolt radar after the operator approached us, asking if we could help them resolve the problem.
The reason it has become a pressing issue for them is because apart from being incredibly annoying, they have been told by some customers that they could no longer use the car park because of the high risk that the lights could induce a seizure.
While some might dismiss this possibility out of hand, Epilepsy Ireland told us that this is exactly what could happen. And flickering lights can even induce a seizure in someone who has not previously been diagnosed.
Geraldine Dunne, their National Information Officer, told us that the problem is that sufferers cannot control what is happening in the outside environment. For some people the flickering can be ‘uncomfortable’ but for others, the consequences can be life changing.
She described how someone who has a seizure cannot drive for a minimum of six months afterwards for safety reasons.
“It’s very serious for people who would have a specific response (to flickering lights).
“If someone is seizure free and holding down employment, they have a lot to lose.
“It’s the knock on effects, we’ve seen people lose their businesses because maybe their business was dependent on driving. It’s not typical but it certainly can happen.
“There are potentially serious implications.”
And even those who have never had a seizure before could be affected as some people are photosensitive without having any seizures.
“It can affect people with a diagnosis and people with other conditions. There are wide ranging health effects beyond epilepsy. Once you have a seizure there are legal implications (with driving).”
More and more companies are now looking to upgrade their old lighting to LED and they are opting for either replacing the entire fitting (which is what UrbanVolt does), or they are retrofitting an LED tube into an existing old fitting.
Both have pros and cons but at UrbanVolt we are seeing a growing number of clients who are seeking our help because the retrofitted LED tubes are causing major discomfort to staff and customers.
Do your research and bear in mind that the cheapest solution today can often be the most expensive solution in the long term.