House and Windows
Unit 3, Salterns Lane Industrial Estate, Salterns Lane, Fareham, Hampshire PO16 0SU
Tel: 01329 222299 Fax: 01329 822768
Tel: 0800 011 2630
It is possible to purchase sheaths that are very easy to fit over fluorescent tube lights to screen out UV; this film tube is easy to cut, to shorten or to overlap to extend length. It is the duty of the employer to provide these for light-sensitive employees who have to work under fluorescent lights.
Tel: 0845 077 9007 or 01243 826441
LightbulbsThe following are suggestions to help people affected by UV and blue spectrum light to choose the most appropriate LED lightbulbs. Sadly, some have reported adverse reactions to all LEDs, irrespective of colour temperature, so this advice will not apply to them (except perhaps as being 'the lesser of the evils').
The current regulations for energy efficiency will soon result in only LEDs being available on the market.
1. Choose LED lightbulbs with a colour temperature of 2700k.
(Special "Heritage" bulbs are available at some stores with an even warmer colour temperature.)
2. These LED light bulbs are usually called Warm White and have a lower output of the blue light spectrum. (Avoid Cool White and 'superbright' which have higher blue emissions).
(Be careful - the lower the kelvin number, the warmer and less blue; the higher the kelvin number the cooler and more blue.)
3. If possible choose a filament design. This will generally be stated on the packaging. (Usually a filament LED is comprised only of a glass bulb with a brass lamp holder so avoid plastic based lamps or those with a plastic segment between the glass bulb and metal base).
- Although filament bulbs usually emit warmer light, you may find cold looking filament LEDs that are worse than some non-filament LEDs
- Cheap LED bulbs of all types are prone to flicker
- This is still a difficult market with insufficient product information so you will need to trial what you buy to find something tolerable for you.
UV Photo-protective window film
The following chart shows that although this film provides a total block of UV rays up to 380 nm, the level of light transmission steadily increases with the longer wavelengths of visible light. It is important to note that almost 80% of visible light at 500 nm is being transmitted through Dermagard. (Manufactured by Sun Guard, Florida, USA)
Wavelengths (nm)Transmission (%)
If you need protection beyond UV, there are window films offering further protection, which can be found in the Bonwyke catalogue, though these may result in colour distortion or a very dim interior.
A simple way to add extra protection is to add blinds to pull down when the windows are not in deep shade.
If your local blind company cannot provide what you want either in blackout or anti-glare blinds contact the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) and they will put you in touch with a range of companies who will:
British Blind and Shutter Association
42 Heath Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7JH
Tel: 01827 52337 Fax: 01827 310827
A portable, extendable black-out blind. The versatile Gro Anywhere Blind has been designed to 'go' anywhere with you, and can be put in place in minutes. Attaches directly to the glass using suction cups, ensuring a close fit that really does block light properly. These blinds can be adjusted to window size by horizontal and vertical drawstrings.
Tel: 0844 557 2960
or from baby product stockists.
Absorbs 87% of harmful UV rays. Simple to install – just press it against your window and static will ensure it remains in place with no need for adhesives. Can be cut to fit any size or shape. Can be obtained from the mail-order company Coopers of Stortford.
Coopers of Stortford
The Despatch Centre
Haslemere Industrial Estate
Bishop Stortford CM23 3HG
Tel: 01279 656551
It is equally necessary to screen car windows against UV with something like DermaGard. It is necessary to have your car screened by an expert technician and it is not permissible to apply yellow film to car windows as this is against safety rules. It is illegal to apply darkened film to the windscreen but it is allowable to darken front side windows to an extent. Rear side windows and the rear window may be darkened to the full extent.
If you have to have your vehicle fitted with window film due to light sensitivity, we have established from the Deputy Prime Minister's Office that there are no dispensations due to medical grounds. The windscreen must allow at least 75% of light to be transmitted through and the front side windows 70% VLT otherwise you are committing an offence. Anywhere behind the driver's seat (rear windows) can be as dark as you like! There is, however, a recognised difference between "light window tints" which may be considered safe for road use and "excessively dark window tints" which are not.
These precautions may still be insufficient to protect you from sun shining into the car window and in such circumstances you may need to cover yourself (face included) and travel as a passenger.
For fuller advice see Travelling Safely.
Some people may find sunscreen is insufficient and need fabric face shields. These are available from suppliers of sun-protective clothing, notably:
Sunsibility in the UK
Sunprecautions in the USA
Under "Practical Aids" there are instructions on making a transparent visor which will screen out UV.
Face Shields and Masks
Ski Masks or Balaclavas - for some of us sunscreen is not sufficient and we need more solid face shields. In winter you can get away with ski masks or balaclavas from sports outlets. These are especially useful if it is windy.
Face Shields and Head Wraps - in warmer weather it is possible to use a face shield obtainable from Sunsibility in the UK or the Sun Precautions Company in the USA. Details below
You can view/order items available on www.sunprecautions.com
You can make your own head wraps and face shields by using sun-protective fabric.
De-mister for Dermagard Mask
Prevent or lessen the misting up of your Dermagard mask by using household washing-up liquid or a product especially for this purpose such as: Salclear D-Mist+
Address: P.O. Box 9, Castletown, Isle of Man, IM99 5XY
Tel: +44(0)1624 838507
Hats and Clothing
Tel: 0208 224 2299
UV protective leisure and swim wear
Tel: 01932 230907
Litton House, Saville Road, Peterborough PE3 7PR
Tel: 01733 765030 Fax: 01733 765210
30 Maryland Road, Tongwel, Milton Keynes MK15 8HN
Tel: 01908 517900
Rohan Direct Tel: 0870 6012244
Tilley have several SPF 50 hats that look good. They are practical, durable and well made. They now also sell SPF 50 clothes.
6 Tresprison Court, Helston, Cornwall TR13 0QD
Tel: 0800 374353
106 Avro House, Havelock Terrace, London SW8 4AS
Tel: (order line) 0870 600 1601
• Simply adding one cap to your wash, considerably increases the protection of your everyday clothes.
• A plain t-shirt provides protection between SPF 5 and 15
• After a wash with You&UV your clothes will have a protection factor of 50+.
* Developed and manufactured by You&UV in the Netherlands
• Tested for efficiency by an independent test institute
• Meets stringent European NEN standard for UV-resistant textiles
• Environmentally friendly and safe for everyone
• You&UV will keep your clothes SPF +50 protected for several washes
ORDER ONLINE HERE
Solumbra - if you are struggling to find a shady hat, the Solumbra range from America is aimed at people like us who need real protection. They have a variety of products marketed under the name Sun Precautions and a wide range of sun protective clothing called Solumbra. Their products can be ordered:
By internet: www.sunprecautions.com
Place your order and a few days later you will receive a reply detailing the amount required for payment, which includes postage. For my first order I was required to obtain a bank draft; the second time I was allowed to use a debit card.
By Fax: Fax order to 001 425 303 0836 include a fax number where you can receive a reply about payment.
It is of course possible to purchase by mail: Sun Precautions, 2815 Wetmore Everett, Washington 98201 USA
Solarweave Fabric - Screens out UV. Can be purchased online and sent to the UK if you want to make your own headscarves or clothes.
418 8th Street SE
Loveland CO 80537-6477
Facekinis are made in the USA but can be bought on-line for £7.64 plus postage which is minimal as they are very light. They can be pruchased on Etsy. These somewhat ghoulish-looking garments are all the rage in China where umpteen numbers of people can be seen sporting them on beaches and in the sunshine. It strikes me as quite ironic that in China, healthy people are wearing these masks without a qualm, while here light sensitive patients wearing medical masks are semi-criminalised. We really need to promote our plight as widely as possible.
ParasolsSilver UV Protective Umbrellas - One-hand AutoRetract long or compact.
Rob McAlister Ltd
Tel: 015255 219794
The Umbrella Shop
45 James Watt Street
Tel: 0845 475 9848
Smartphones, Computers and Televisions
This can be detrimental to those with moderate to severe light sensitivity, making everyday tasks like typing a text message or using the computer difficult.
BlueShields by LowBlueLightsis a line of one-of-a-kind 100% blue-blocking filter designed to be fitted over smartphones, tablets, computers and TV screens to eliminate blue light which other filters on the market cannot provide.
The LowBlueLights filters can be applied and removed without using any adhesive or leaving a residue on a device’s screen. Also, the filters are approximately 14mil thick allowing for full touchscreen capability.
For more product information or to purchase a filter, click here: https://lowbluelights.com/product-category/screen-filters/
Depending on your degree and type of sensitivity, one, or any combination of the following may be worth trying:
• Dimming your device’s monitor/screen.
• Adjusting the colour, reducing the blue.
• Extending the keyboard and mouse cables, so as to be able to sit further away.
• Wearing light-proof masks and clothing and dark glasses.
These non-filter methods can be ideal for when watching TV (with a big enough screen). However, they may not work with computer screens because although you can increase the size of the font to be seen at a distance, you cannot necessarily increase the size of a toolbar or some online content.
As reflected light is better than direct light, and a large enough screen makes even computing from 5 metres quite possible, some use a projector to do all their computer work, watching of TV and films. You can get a portable stand-alone TV/DVD projection machine. However, these do need to be aimed centrally at the wall/screen (taking up a lot of space) and may not be suitable for computing. More expensive projectors can be ceiling-mounted and can be used for everything you would otherwise use a television or computer screen for but can cost a lot of money and tie you to one space for everything - certainly not as convenient as a tablet! If you wish to try this, contact a local computer dealer who also deals in projectors/multimedia.
Sony has brought out an e-ink tablet. We hope these will eventually be a marvellous computing device for the light sensitive. As yet however they are hugely expensive and only available in the USA and China.