Light from LED technology today is widely used not only for the primary purpose of lighting but also for decoration. Or contribute to the impression of art spaces, bringing to a more luxurious and modern architectural space.
However, many people scratch their heads whether LEDs emit UV radiation or not. If you have the same question about LED radiation, do not worry, we’ll clear the path for you.
What is radiation?
All objects emit electromagnetic radiation due to temperature fluctuations of the molecules or atoms or particles that make them up. Radiation (or electromagnetic radiation) is a combination of oscillating electric and magnetic fields perpendicular to each other, propagating through space-like waves. Electromagnetic waves are also quantized into “waves” that behave like moving particles called photons.
UV radiation in fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen lamps
Although UV rays are harmful to the body, they still have specific functions. For that reason, there are many manufactured sources of UV rays, including fluorescent lamps, halogen lamps, incandescent lamps, etc.
Accidentally in the process of glowing, the lamp has generated UV rays. For fluorescent tube lamps, when the capacitor discharges, the generated current will excite the gas that has been injected into the lamp (neon or mercury), causing them to emit ultraviolet light. After contacting the fluorescent powder inside the tube shell, these radiations will be absorbed and emit visible light.
Although it is absorbed by fluorescence and is blocked by a glass cover, a small amount of radio radiation still escapes. In the operating principle of incandescent lamps, when the electric current makes the tungsten hot at a high temperature, the lamp glows and produces a little ultraviolet light. The hotter the filament, the more radiation is produced.
Similarly, a halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp filled with an inert gas, which generates a lot of heat in its operation. High operating temperatures combined with inert gases emit different light spectrums, ultraviolet rays being part of them.
However, the amount of UV radiation emitted by the bulb is negligible. Nevertheless, it can still cause inevitable damage to the skin and eyes. Therefore, to minimize the effects of UV rays, it would be better if we use LED lights (pure blue light) instead of lighting devices containing UV rays.
What is an LED bulb?
LED (short for Light Emitting Diode or Light Emitting Diode) is a semiconductor device that emits visible light (wavelength 380 nm-760 nm) when an electric current is passed through it. You can understand it as a semiconductor device that works in contrast to a solar cell (a device capable of absorbing light to convert it into an electric current).
Depending on the structure of the semiconductors, this device will emit light with different wavelengths, which means producing monochromatic light of different colors.
LED is an advanced technology product today, requiring an extremely complicated production process, so many suppliers have different quality of led products on the market. To produce a high-quality LED light bulb requires investment in machinery and equipment with high standards.
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Do LEDs emit UV radiation?
LEDs do not produce harmful UV radiation because the wavelength of the light is precisely controlled in the visible light spectrum. In contrast, fluorescent tubes require UV reabsorption of phosphates to emit white light.
According to research by the Federal Government of Canada, at a distance of 30 cm, LEDs do not present any significant risk of acute injury to the eyes or skin compared with traditional incandescent lamps.
4 Fact about LED Radiation to the human eye
Many people think that radiation from LED lights is as harmful as radiation from electronic devices. However, in reality, it was a misunderstanding.
#1. LED lights are harmful to eyes only when viewed directly and continuously for a long time
The publication of research on the harmful effects of LED bulbs by Complutense University said that the light of LEDs originates from the long blue-violet. These are the high-energy and short-wavelength colors of the visible spectrum. Therefore, continuous and prolonged exposure will damage the retina of the human eye.
Because the retina is a part made up of light-sensitive cells, it helps the human eye see around and distinguish colors. So any factors affecting the retina will also affect the human’s ability to see.
The claim has been proven through research, so it can not deny the persuasiveness of LEDs. However, research indicates that LED light is harmful when exposed to direct and continuous human eyes for a long time.
No one looks directly at the lamp and looks at it for too long. Ordinary people use lights to illuminate and observe, not look directly at the light bulb.
#2. Any light will harm your eyes, not just LEDs
Artificial light from lamps only helps people see more clearly the surrounding objects rather than look directly at the lamp. So if you look directly at the lamp, any type of light is harmful to the eyes, not just the LED.
In fact, while looking directly at the fluorescent, compact, or incandescent light bulb, we might have eye pain, eye fatigue, and even blurred vision. Similar to when we look at LEDs on billboards.
#3. Poor quality LED lights produce most of the high blue light
Blue light is the most damaging type of light. Research from Harvard University has shown that overexposure to this type of light can have serious health effects; alter the body’s circadian rhythm.
Blue light causes the brain to perceive blue light from the sky and think it’s daytime. At that time, the brain will reduce the production of melatonin, the neurotransmitter that controls sleep, leading to insomnia, sleep disturbances at night. This makes the user feel unfocused and tired. Cheap LEDs produce most of the high blue light in the visible spectrum. Therefore, you should choose quality products, reputable and long-term brands; to avoid adverse health effects.
#4. LED in electronic devices is the most significant cause of eye damage
Most current electronic devices such as computers, phones, laptops,… use LED technology in screen design. Blue light from electronic devices using LED technology is harmful to the eyes.
However, to increase the screen’s clarity, most devices use LEDs with a high color temperature of over 5000K. Radiation and blue light in these devices significantly affect humans due to the habit of using the phone too much or working long hours in front of the computer screen. From that, it is understandable that most people are affected by electronic devices, not by the harmful effects of LED light bulbs.
The solution to this problem is to minimize exposure to electronic devices for too long. For example, you should use glasses with a blue light filtering effect if you have to work.
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What kind of lights are not harmful to the eyes?
You need to understand the factors of lights that are harmful to your eyes before choosing:
Lights contain a lot of blue light. As mentioned above, blue light affects the nervous system, circadian rhythms and causes light pollution. Therefore, when choosing to buy a lamp, you should avoid lamps with many blue light components.
Note: the light with many blue components is blue-white. The color temperature is 5000k or more.
The lamp must have a high color rendering index. The color rendering index reflects the fidelity of an object’s color when illuminated by artificial light. If the color rendering index of the lamp is low, the human eye will misperceive the color of things and become blurred, which will eventually lead to fatigue and blurred vision.
5 Benefits of LED light for health
Research shows that LEDs have better overall health and safety characteristics than fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen lights. Therefore, LEDs always prevail when considering general lighting features that may affect Health, such as flickering, noise, fires, heat, and hazardous materials.
#1. No flicker
LEDs have little or no flicker because they are powered by a fixed DC voltage (or use a converter to convert from AC to DC power). In contrast, lighting fixtures running on AC (alternating) systems flicker at 120 Hz (cycles/second), or twice the typical US current frequency (60 Hz). Fluorescent lighting and fluorescent lamps (AC appliances) are subject to such flicker, which is difficult to see with the human eye but causes health problems. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), common illnesses associated with the flickering of electric lights include “headaches, eye strain, and general eye discomfort.”
As a result, LEDs reduce the adverse health effects and safety risks associated with flickering incandescent and fluorescent light.
#2. Flicker on fire
Most LEDs last up to 50,000 hours, while most incandescent bulbs fail in less than a year. The slower burning rate of LEDs allows for longer colorfastness. Combining colors on a group of light fixtures reduce eye strain, and a slower failure rate means that the fixtures will retain their color shine for an extended period.
The LED stays relatively calm (around room temperature) even when left on for long periods. However, fluorescent lamps can reach temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius, halogen lamps and bulbs can reach 90 degrees Celsius. In addition to the safety problems that arise from touching hot bulbs, these temperatures can also make the room hotter.
#4. Does not emit UV rays
As mentioned above, LEDs do not emit UV radiation and are therefore safe for desktop, close-up applications. However, fluorescent bulbs emit ultraviolet radiation, which can cause premature aging and skin cancer, eye pain, and headaches.
#5. Does not contain mercury
LEDs do not contain mercury and can therefore be handled safely and efficiently. Mercury is a hazardous and toxic substance in most light bulbs – fluorescent and compact lights except for LEDs. The presence of mercury makes disposing of other light bulbs dangerous and time-consuming.
7 Outstanding applications of LED lights
No harm to eyes, no radiation; LED lights also bring proper light for other applications in life. Here are the significant applications of LED lights:
#1. Office lighting
LED lights fully meet all requirements for office lighting: inspire work, increase concentration and creativity for employees. In addition, LED lighting creates a good viewing environment while enhancing the elegance and modernity of the space while ensuring safety, saving electricity, and being environmentally friendly.
The office environment uses completely artificial light, so vision problems are fundamental. When using LED lights, you can rest assured that you will not have any eye problems. They are designed with moderate projection intensity, and glare is minimized, creating a very comfortable feeling. This lamp also has a high color rendering index, wide projection angle for natural, honest light.
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LED lights are not only the ideal lighting solution, but they are also a great decorative light for our living space. LED lights help highlight the room to create luxury and mystery. Diverse design with many models from recessed lights, wall lights, ceiling lights, etc., can adapt to many different spaces. It has created a new, unique light combination on the page. Interior decoration satisfies all needs and the creativity of users.
#3. Applications in education
Educational institutions or schools will significantly benefit from the use of LED lights. It helps improve better light levels for teachers, students, and students and creates more effective learning. Provide natural, honest light, moderate light intensity, soft, steady light continuously, no flicker during use, long life, … create a pleasant feeling, no pain eye strain, increase concentration and interest in learning.
#4. Applications in healthcare
In hospitals or medical facilities, LED lights are for lighting and bring many other benefits. LED lighting contributes to patient comfort, allowing doctors and other medical staff to work with greater concentration. Warm, gentle light helps our nerves to reduce stress, relax to fall into better, deeper sleep, and wake up in a state of alertness and refreshment.
In cosmetic medicine, LED technology has also made a significant breakthrough. It is used to rejuvenate the skin, treat jaundice, cure psoriasis, treat acne, and use it to detect and treat cancer.
#5. Application in agricultural production
LED light is very useful in improving crop productivity without causing any harm to the product and at the same time reducing investment costs. Therefore, they are used for greenhouse cultivation and high-quality agricultural products.
#6. Applications in advertising, sales
For shops to advertise, applications such as logo lights to highlight the products on display, the light color, durability, radiant temperature, and illuminance of the lights are very important. Light has a significant impact on psychology, the rate of customers entering the store, and closing orders. The luminous efficiency is high. It helps highlight the product and attracts the customers’ attention.
#7. Industrial applications
The advent of LED technology has provided the ideal solution for factory lighting. With inherent advantages that help cut lighting costs thanks to new energy-saving technology. The design of good, uniform light distribution helps improve workers’ vision and ability to focus on work. Moreover, it can light for many hours with stable lighting performance and is very energy-efficient. With that, thanks to modern technology in lamp production, damage or fire are doubtful. Therefore, you can be assured of the safety level in the factory.
Through the information above, hopefully, you recognize the misconceptions about LED radiation. From there, it is possible to make the best judgments when choosing to buy lighting products.