Managing Photosensitivity with Light filters + A Giveaway!

Now that summer is here, most of us are starting to spend more time outdoors. Hello, summer! Hello, sunshine! With that extra time outside, most of us know to take necessary precautions against UV exposure and glare with appropriate clothing, hats, eye protection and skincare in order to avoid a flare caused by the sun.

But for many, photosensitivity is a year-round, indoor issue, too: fluorescent lighting at home or in the office can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches, and more.  I distinctly remember having a “lighting” conversation with my employer years ago when I worked in an office. It’s a real issue - one that I’m so happy to see now has a solution!

Last month I was contacted by Make Great Light about their filters for fluorescent lighting, and I think their products sound really interesting. I haven’t tried the filters yet, but here's what they do:

*Eliminate all fluorescent light glare, which is a major cause of eyestrain

*Absorb UV radiation, which is a known Lupus flare-up trigger

*Output full spectrum light

*Color balance and correct light

Make Great Light has a cute, easy-to-understand video that gives a great overview. Check it out:


The filters come in two options – tube covers that slide over a traditional fluorescent light tube, which would be great for an office or basement, and panel overlays, which are a big sheet that can be placed on the bottom of a fluorescent fixture cover, or actually cut to size for any light fixture at home!

I’m happy to announce that Make Great Light has offered to provide either a set of tube filters or an overlay panel to a lucky Despite Lupus reader!

Here's how the give-away will work: 

Leave a comment or send an email to, and give us details about your flourescent light exposure - where in your home or work it happens, how many hours per day, how it affects you, and your email address. We'll accept entries between now and Sunday, June 21st. We'll then pick the winning entry, and announce the winner later that week. 

And for those of you eager to try the filters right away, Make Great Light is offering a 20% discount on orders over $40 through June 30 with the code LUPUS20. Check out their website here, and be sure to send us your winning entry!


Anonymous said…
Thanks for this post! I recently broke out in a rash due to indoor fluorescent lighting while shopping for shoes in a department store! This is the only time I've put two and two together and realized that for me personally, I am sensitive to UV light from indoor fluorescent bulbs, not just UV light from the sun. I know it was the indoor lighting because it was evening when it happened and the sun was down already, so the rash couldn't have been caused by exposure to sunlight while driving to the store or walking from the car into the store. Anyway, since the incident, I've been wondering since when has exposure to UV rays from indoor lighting has been contributing to my lupus disease activity? It would be a shame if this were an ongoing trigger for me that I could have done something about a long time ago and that would have allowed me to control my lupus much better and avoid some of the flare-ups and complications I've experienced. I work in an office 4 to 5 days a week for 6 hours a day most days (not including lunch break) and the lights in our office have fluorescent bulbs! When I asked the building manager several years ago about the UV exposure, they sort of brushed it off and said it was not an issue. Now I am strongly considering making a request to have filters put on the fluorescent bulbs. I just need to figure out what exactly I need to request - I suspect I will need to provide exact product names and specifications to make sure the right filters are used. Perhaps I will look at the products made by the company you featured in your post. Please enter me in the drawing!
Unknown said…
Hi Katherine -

This is Erik from Make Great Light. I'd be happy to share some information with you, along with tips for approaching your building manager. Please send me an email at Erik AT Makegreatlight Dot Com. Hope to hear from you soon!

Erik, from Make Great Light
Debbie said…
I work 7-12 hours a day in a great office with lots of windows and eastern exposure of light. The windows appear bronze or copper color on the outside and probably do not let in much uv rays. The flourescent lights above my head are suspended from the ceiling - GE ecolux high effiecient it says where I can read it. I have no idea of the uv exposure, and I sit at one corner of a rectangle of suspended lights.

I often feel ill in large box stores, and thought it might be due to the wavelength used for high security tags. One store in particular, Kohls, affects me so strongly that I just cannot shop there. I feel dizzy and disoriented after a few minutes there. Sad because I like some of the clothes my daughter buys there.

One question I have is whether LED lighting also affects lupus. The lights are so bright and color under their lighting is often distorted. But other than the brightness, I have never had ill effects from LED lighting.
Sara Gorman said…
LED's, huh? Sounds like a good question for Erik. Here's his email address - he's been great about responding: I'm sorry your name was selected for the freebie, but perhaps your employer can help you out. I love that you have windows!!
Sara Gorman said…
Thx for your submission - hope you and Erik have connected. Sounds like your office space is perfect for the filters!
Unknown said…
Hi Debbie -

Please contact me through our website.

For LED, they do not generate UV rays. They are also becoming more economical for use in the home. The energy efficiency is another big draw for LEDs. However, as you noted, the color can be glaring at times. LEDs do come in the dimmable variety, which can help.

Helmi Piirainen said…
Great post, thank you for sharing this useful information

Popular Posts