As LED lights have grown in popularity over the years, it’s hard to know if they’re as beneficial for your health as they are for your home and office.
Whether LED lighting is good or bad for you is a common concern when shopping around for new lighting; it’s a question many homeowners have begun wondering since it has become more commonplace at home and work.
LED lighting is surrounding us each and every day, at our homes, in our offices, and on our computers and smartphones… but what does that mean for our health?
Some studies have shown that LED lights could have adverse effects on your wellbeing, specifically regarding your eyes. Here we will cover the effects of LED lighting and some options that you can take to protect yourself.
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One of the biggest concerns about LED lighting is the fact that it emits blue light, even when not using blue LED lights.
However, traditional lighting (fluorescent) and LED lighting both emit blue light. They’ve both been studied from many angles, exploring the possible dangers of this light on your eyes.
Studies have shown that over-exposure to blue light may cause damage to the retina. This is especially concerning because it isn’t something that can be naturally restored by your body once it’s been damaged.
The Well Known Blue Light Issue
When your eyes take in blue light it can suppress your body’s natural melatonin production. This is a serious issue that can lead to not only a poor sleep but it can also throw off your circadian rhythm (your sleep and wake cycle), leading to further health risks.
Melatonin is part of your body’s collection of glands (in your endocrine system). These glands are responsible for the production of tissue, growth, metabolism, fertility, mood, and of course sleep. This is not a system that you want to disrupt or neglect as it needs proper care in order for you to function properly.
Thankfully there are many things we can do to prevent this damage from happening:
The average person spends up to 12 hours in front of screens every day.
This has left scientists predicting that we will eventually have a serious epidemic of eye issues in the future.
It’s important to try and minimize your exposure as much as possible to protect your eye health.
Protect Your Eyes
Limiting the amount of time you spend using screens is mostly common knowledge, yet most people don’t limit their screen time enough. It can also be difficult to limit screen time when you don’t have the option due to your job requirements.
Most people who work at an office deal with this issue every day at work, especially from tube lighting.
Here are some preventative measures you can take to reduce blue light intake:
If you’re at your computer all day, you can alter the blue light to filter it out (thus making your screen a warmer tone). This can be changed in your system preferences (you can also make this adjustment on your smartphone or iPad, it’s generally known as True Tone on Apple devices).
Physical screen filters can be another helpful option to filter out the nasty blue light. You can find them at some computer stores or online. They will cover your entire screen (and also protect it from wear and tear over time).
Eye Self Care
In order to protect your eyes from any unnecessary damage, there are a few simple tasks you can do throughout the day (and a couple of tools you can buy to help reduce strain).
Turning off your screens roughly 1-2 hours before bed is extremely important to ensure you get the quality sleep your body needs.
Taking breaks roughly every 30 minutes for at least 5 minutes can greatly help your eyes reset so they can then focus better. This will help avoid eye strain and headaches.
Having an eye exam every 1-2 years is what’s recommended to ensure optimal eye health. You can also talk to your eye doctor about getting glasses that block out blue light (they can add an extra blue light blocking filter to your eye prescription). This could be a good investment to ensure extra protection.
There are also many options for non-prescriptive blue light blocking glasses online if you don’t want to spend as much but still want some protection.
So, Are LEDs Dangerous For Your Health?
Since LED lighting hasn’t been entirely confirmed as being dangerous, it’s still good to do what you can to block out blue light that is one of the main culprits to eye problems and sleep issues.
Since LED lighting lasts roughly 25 times longer than traditional lighting (and uses around 75% less energy) it’s understandable that it’s become more and more popular over the years. With this ever-growing trend of LED lighting, we will only continue to see more conclusive evidence of its true health risks over time in comparison to traditional lighting.
In the meantime, remember to take care of your eyes by limiting screen time, turning off lights 1-2 hours before bed, and getting regular checkups at your optometrist.