DEBUNKING THE 'DANGERS' OF LED LIGHTING

LED products have been the market leaders of the lighting world for many years. But, there are still questions being asked as to whether or not LED lights are safe to use. More often than not, LED lights are praised for their incredible energy-efficiency and are now being used in public infrastructure around the USA. The question still arises– how safe are LED lights?

There are pros & cons of everything, whether it's choosing one brand over another, going to a particular restaurant, and even using a specific type of light. Now, we are not claiming that LED lights are perfect. But we can claim that LED lights are the most efficient and effective type of illumination available.

Of course, its biased opinion on the matter, however, we are here to debunk & explain, the 'Dangers' of LED lights.

UNDERSTANDING BLUE LIGHT

Blue light is naturally occurring, by sunlight is the primary source of blue light. However, there are also many human-made sources of blue light, the most notable happenings in the LED screens of TVs, phones, laptops, and more. The amount of blue light emitted by specific devices is only a small part of what is emitted by the sun. Even though it is the amount of time people use the devices, along with the proximity to the user's face, that's what causes these common issues.

What does that have to do with LED lights, however? Well, many LED bulbs emit blue light, & the misconception here is that because LED lights radiate blue light, they will affect your vision. That is not the case. LED Lights are used to see, not to be directly looked at, which most do not do with their lights anyway. The issue is how often and how close people use their screens, which does the majority of the damage. That is why LED bulbs should not be synonymous with this problem, as they are not a significant factor as to why people suffer from eye problems.

Do not forget that not all blue light is terrible, and it is necessary for essential cognitive function. High-energy visible light, boosts alertness, elevates mood, aids memory, and more.

SUFFERING FROM HEADACHES

One of the main reasons many suffer from headaches & migraines is due to lighting. It is commonly known that the old-fashioned bulbs were prone to triggering a problem due to the slight flicker they produced. This flickering is generally invisible to the human eye, but the eyes do pick up on it even if you don't notice.

The most important benefit of LED lights is that they do not flicker, helping those who are experiencing light related headaches. So why do people make the switch & still suffer? The most common reason we find is that people do not fully understand wattages vs. lumens.

As LED lights are much more efficient, they use fewer watts to produce the equivalent level of light as a halogen, for example. A 5W LED replaces 50W halogen. That means that you can shop following the lumen count,  which is how bright the light is, rather than the wattage, that is what so many have done for years.

Shopping that way has meant that people have been buying bulbs which are far way bright for everyday use. To fix the issue, you can either purchase a lamp with a low lumen, which will also decrease your lighting bills. Alternatively, you could place a trailing edge dimmer & dimmable bulbs, that allows you to control the brightness.

ARE THEY TOXIC?

It is commonly known that CFLs contain mercury, a toxic ingredient that has damaging effects on the human body. That is the reason for having to go to careful measures to dispose of these bulbs & to be careful when installing them & uninstalling them.

That is not the case with LED lights as you can dispose of them usually, but you can also recycle them while LED lights do contain trace amounts of hazardous materials. it is nowhere near as hazardous as CFLs, nor are they concentrated enough to have a hazardous effect on you.

THE IMPACT ON SLEEP

Our body runs on a circadian rhythm, which is essentially our internal body clock where all of our behavioral, physical plus mental changes are based on a 24-hour cycle. Why do LED lights affect this, though?

LED lights emit artificial light just as any other light bulb does. However, they also emit altering levels of blue light, as mentioned above. The argument here is that the blue light interferes with your circadian rhythm, which in turn causes sleep issues leading to unhealthier lifestyles.

What many don't realize is that LED lights have an incredibly high CRI count, higher than any other form of lighting. That means that LED lights produce an artificial light which very closely replenishes natural light, that is why they have been used to help plant growth. Overall, that means that while LED lights do produce artificial light, they are the best option out of all as they provide somewhat realistic light.

but there is the problem of blue light. As mentioned above, LED lights indeed produce blue light, but the bulk of the sleep issues stems from screen usage before bed. Despite, using cool-toned blue light does disrupt your circadian rhythm as it suppresses the production of melatonin in the pineal gland. That is the chemical that helps us sleep & is produced when there is no longer any stimulation from the light.

As our eyes are sensitive to blue light, it can keep you wide awake for longer & disrupt that 'sleepy' feeling. The easy way to get your circadian rhythm back on track, however, is by turning off LED devices before bedtime.

You can also make a little change in your home by taking advantage of the color temperature. Cool white light, which often has a blueish tone, should be used within kitchens and bathrooms as that can improve your concentration & also aid productivity. Areas such as the living area, bedroom, or spaces you choose to wind down in, should use warm white light. Warmer hues have a low level of blue wavelengths, indicating they are less likely to disrupt your circadian patterns. Warm white light aid the cycle, helping your body to wind down to allow you to have higher quality, longer sleep.

If you have any questions regarding LED lights or need us to debunk any other myths, feel free to contact our team. You can contact us at (214) 774-9866, or you can send us an email to info@hitechledhvac.com.