I have heard that fluorescent lights are generally bad for you. The explanations range from the light being in the blue area of the spectrum:
The signature "glow" of fluorescent lighting is created by sending an electrical charge through a special gas enclosed within the fluorescent light tube. This glow, which is "cold" compared to the rather "hot" burn of an incandescent bulb, gives off light that often falls into the blue-green end of the spectrum. It is a color that is very different from the spectrum color of natural sunlight or incandescent lamps. The problem with this blue spectrum light is that it is so completely unnatural and may likely affect mood in human beings. Exposure to fluorescent lighting over long periods of time has been known to cause depression.
... to the "flicker effect":
Because of their construction, fluorescent light fixtures flicker on and off very rapidly during normal operation. While this flickering is not obvious to most workers it is a modulation that is noted by the brain on a subconscious level. This flickering effect is believed to cause "fluorescent light headaches," tension and even hostility in workers in the same way flickering lights often cause bad reactions in people suffering from epilepsy.
Everyone's favorite purveyor of "alternative medicine" (i.e. "quack"), Dr. Mercola claims:
Even back in 1980, scientists reported that cool-white fluorescent lighting produced increased levels of the stress-producing hormones ACTH and cortisol. They noted that their findings explained the agitated mental and physical behavior of children sitting all day under artificial lights, and recommended a change to illumination similar to that of natural light.
The eHow.com article references a study that indicates that exposure to sunlight is beneficial:
The Wilkins-Nimmo study showed that employees exposed to natural sunlight suffered far less depression than employees exposed to fluorescent lights during the work day.
However, I don't believe that can be extrapolated to "fluorescents cause depression".
Does exposure to fluorescent lighting have a real risk to mental or physical health?