How safe are LED lights?

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LED technology like any other breakthrough in technology has a set of myths surrounding it. Doubts have been raised about disadvantages or health risks that come with it – Whether or not they are safe or do they emit hazardous vapors are the logical concerns. Automotive lighting is fast switching from incandescent lights to LEDs. The advantages of LED headlights over any other form of automotive lighting are unmatched. Nevertheless, any new technology faces its share of resistance when introduced. Let’s examine the myths, merits and demerits of LED lights compared to the rest.

A survey recently conducted by the Israeli Ministry of Health reveals that there is insufficient scientific evidence to establish a correlation between exposure to LED light and a negative impact on public health. Nevertheless, LEDs do have a dark side. A study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology in late 2010 revealed that LEDs did contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances. LED makers could however easily reduce the concentrations of heavy metals in their products or even redesign them with genuinely safer materials, especially if state or federal regulations require them to do so.

Perhaps they already have. A French agency for Health and Safety of Food, Environment and Employment expressed concern about the damage that could be caused to the eye due to direct exposure to sources emitting highly intense light. Health ministries in other countries however, do not define any such or other risks with regards to LEDs. To emphasize that LED lights are potentially safe, other than the risk of damage to the eye due to direct exposure to high intensity light, no causal relationship has been established between exposure to light or any other adverse health effects, including cancer.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health reiterates its position that, according to current scientific knowledge, the use of LEDs does not pose a danger to human health. In light of the contradictory and negative information recently disseminated in the media about the safe usage of LED lights, the CIE, the Israel Committee for light engineering, decided to publish a communiqué.

The main conclusion of the study was that LED-based lighting sources are as safe to humans as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and that the amount of blue light emitted from them is no different than that emitted from non-LED light sources. The Department of Energy (DOE) has determined that LED lighting is no more harmful than other light sources and that there is nothing to prevent the usage of LED-based bulbs in compliance with relevant local and international standards.

Examining the economics of LED bulbs, it’s well known that the savings from this form of lighting is no less than a 60-80% reduction in power consumption relative to incandescent bulbs. Consumer savings in electricity per year are significant and more than justify the initial expense of the investment. In public places and business complexes, savings are greater in multiples. LED light bulbs are characterized by an unusually long life span capable of up to 50,000 operating hours. This is 50 times more than any incandescent bulb and 25 times more than a halogen bulb.

We can safely conclude that LED lighting is safe to use and does not create any health hazards. So, just relax and upgrade without fear.

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