Fluorescent lamps can cause stroboscopic effects! 

During lighting surveys, we have come across a new tendency that may have serious implications for you. Fluorescent lamps are prone to flickering, and when installed in workshops, may cause a dangerous phenomenon referred to as the stroboscopic effect.

Stroboscopic effect is when a turning work piece on a lathe or bench grinder appears to be standing still as a result of a flickering lamp above.

Most turning machines have an adjustable “reading” lamp that is positioned directly above the turning work piece. An old fashioned incandescent lamp must be fitted in the adjustable “reading” lamp to cancel any flickering from fluorescent lamps above.

With energy saving uppermost in our minds, incandescent lamps are disappearing from the shelves and have been replaced almost everywhere with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Unfortunately, CFLs fit in the bayonet or screw type sock of the “reading” lamp above turning machines and we now find that they are used to replace the incandescent lamp, which refutes the whole purpose.

Please inspect all lamps mounted above turning machines and make sure that they are fitted with an incandescent lamp, a CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) will aggravate the problem because they also flicker. Where incandescent lamps are not available, consider the use of halogen or LED.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance in this or any other matter.

We will make our experience work for you.

Contact Aircheck, our associated occupational hygienist: Piet Marais 082 444 8713


Article written by: Piet Marais (Aircheck)