LED lights have become increasingly popular in the recent past thanks to their durability and energy efficiency. They are well-known for being a much more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs. On top of being environmentally friendly, an LED light will save money on energy bills, and you will replace the bulb less frequently. Sounds too good to be true, right?
LED lights’ financial and technological perks are undisputable, but do these LEDs impact your eyes?
What are LED Lights?
Light-emitting diode (LED) lights are a type of lighting that differ from traditional incandescent light bulbs in the way they produce light. LED lights use semiconductors to convert electrical energy into light, while traditional light bulbs pass electricity through a thin wire filament. They are well-known for their fast-switching capabilities, durability, and energy efficiency.
Are LED Lights Bad for Your Eyes?
The retina in your eye changes light into impulses that translate into the images we see. This part can be greatly affected by prolonged exposure to light sources. There are also concerns that exposure to LEDs can lead to eye problems. However, this doesn’t concern the average user. You will need to be exposed to high levels of LED light to have eye problems.
An average LED bulb uses the same amount of blue light on your computer, tablet, and smartphone. If you feel comfortable using these electronics, you won’t have problems with your LED lights.
However, LED strip lights emit blue light that can cause headaches and eye strain with prolonged exposure. They can also affect the release of melatonin hormone, leading to low energy and interrupted sleep. Fortunately, the effects can be minimized depending on the light color.
Do LED Lights Cause Eye Strain?
Unfortunately, LED lights can cause eye strain due to prolonged exposure to light. They can also trigger issues in people with existing medical conditions linked to seizures and migraines. This is because LED lights emit an extremely faint flicker so fast that you may fail to notice it.
Therefore, most people won’t be affected and will not suffer from eye fatigue, strain, seizures, and headaches unless they are prone and susceptible to these problems.
Are LED Lights Better for Your Eyes Than Traditional Incandescent Lights?
Fluorescent bulbs emit UV radiation that can cause great damage to your eyes, more than the blue light produced by LED light bulbs. LEDs don’t produce UV rays and are available in various colors, and also produce warm light.
Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs produce fewer UV rays than fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs. CFL bulbs come with mercury, which can have negative effects; however, it’s smaller than fluorescent bulbs. LED lights have fewer damaging effects on your eyes and health if you pick warm-colored lights over cooler ones. LED lights have less blue light and do not produce UV rays.
Does LED Lights Disrupt Your Sleep?
It is evident that blue light can affect our eyes. Blue light is similar to sunlight and can signal your brain that it’s time to “stay awake.” This means prolonged exposure to LEDs, especially at night, can influence your sleep and cause eye strain.
As mentioned previously, blue light is also available on computers, smartphones, and tablets. It is well-known that staying up late browsing social media and watching TV can cause difficulties sleeping. Therefore, you should shut all lights and electronics before going to bed to enhance your sleep quality and eye health.
Are LED Lights Safe?
Generally, LED lights are safe when used for short periods, but the same cannot be said for prolonged exposure. Long-term exposure to low-level blue light can also accelerate retinal tissue aging, reducing visual acuity and some degenerative diseases. Always be aware of the spectral content and the flicker metrics to reduce the risks of LED lighting on your eyes and well-being.
What is The Safest LED Lighting Color?
The safest colors for your eye health are close to the middle of the visible light spectrum, which ranges from green to yellow. If you choose white, go for warm white that resembles a yellow color than a cool-white blue. A cool white-blue light will keep you energized during the day, but it is very bright for long hours. Lights closer to orange-red will also make your visibility poor. A good balance of all wavelengths is ideal but stick to yellows, greens, and warm whites if you want the safest colors with minimal effects on your eyesight.
How Can I Protect My Eyes and Health From LEDs?
There are various ways you can use to minimize the effects of LED lights on your eyes. Here are some of the methods you can use:
Going to bed early
Light from incandescent bulbs, LEDs, or fluorescent bulbs will affect your sleep schedule. The body’s circadian rhythm adapts to the amount of light it’s exposed to. If your body receives light at different hours of the night, your body becomes confused, and the natural processes are affected. This leads to health problems and mood swings. Therefore, ensure you switch your lights off and go to bed early daily.
Use 20-20-20 rule
This rule is an effective tool for preventing digital eye strain and blue light damage. Ensure you look 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. This will help you to take a health break from your bright LEDs.
Regular eye exams
The most effective way to keep your eyes healthy is by attending regular eye check-ups. You should book an appointment with your optometrist at least once a year to ensure your eyes are healthy. Being keen on your eye health will keep your vision strong and clear for years.
Invest in ‘warm white LED lights
It is advisable to purchase warm-white LED lights rather than cool white since these lights emit less blue light, which minimizes harm to your eye health.
Blue light eyewear
Blue light glasses are an excellent option for protecting your eyes from bright LEDs. Blue light glasses block blue light from reaching your eyes, but the effectiveness and quality vary from brand to brand.
LED lights produce a reasonable amount of blue light, more than other bulb types, like incandescent. This is one of its main drawbacks among LEDs’ numerous benefits. Always go for warmer colors to reduce the effects. Additionally, do not sleep with your LEDs on to give your body ample time to relax.