Homeowners and office managers are increasingly choosing LED lighting over incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. With superior energy efficiency and longevity, they’ve been touted as a wiser choice. But researchers are discovering that the benefits of LED lighting might not outweigh the risks-particularly the risks to our health. LED light exposure is now implicated in multiple symptoms, including migraines.
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What is LED Lighting and Why is It So Prevalent?
LED stands for “light emitting diodes,” an electrical advance that is popular for energy efficiency superior to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. LED bulbs currently maintain half of the market space in the lighting industry because they use only 20% of the energy of their incandescent counterparts. They are also cheap to manufacture and purchase, offering an energy and cost savings, at least at face value.
While our eyes perceive LED light as white, it’s actually a blue, green, red, or amber light that’s converted to white. The “whiteness” of the bulb is determined by the amount of blue wavelengths it contains. And that “blue light” you’ve probably heard referenced in relation to screen usage can have a detrimental impact on our health. Increasing evidence suggests that LED’s advantages are outweighed by costly issues.
LED Lights Aim to Protect Nature, But the Effect is Unnatural
While LED lights are proposed as better for the environment, they use an unnatural technique that’s disturbing to the eye. In fact, a recent French study found LED lighting to be detrimental to the health of humans, as well as plants and animals.
The prevalence of blue light waves in both LED and fluorescent bulbs exposes us to unnatural levels of light. Blue rays have shorter wavelengths and more energy than light waves of other colors. While a healthy dose of blue light like we receive from the sun has some benefits, long-term proximity to intense blue light from LED bulbs and screens has harmful effects.
But it’s not just blue light that’s to blame. Red and white LED lighting also trigger migraines. And as noted above, the color in LED bulbs is converted, so the color your eye perceives will not alert you to the prevalence of these more damaging color waves.
In addition, LEDs use a flickering technology that triggers eye strain and headaches. Fluorescent bulbs also use the flickering system, but it’s more harmful in LED lights when used with a dimmer. Since LEDs can only be switched completely on or off, they flicker more prominently in order to simulate dimmer light.
LED bulbs switch on and off hundreds of times per second in a strobe-like effect, which causes our eye movement to function improperly, causing a host of symptoms. Both the spectral composition and temporal light modulation of LED bulbs affect our health. Take a look at some symptoms you might not suspect stem from your LED bulbs.
Common Symptoms Caused by LED Lighting
“Blue light has a dark side.” – Harvard Health Publishing
One of the reasons LED lights impact health, in particular migraine frequency, is the greater prevalence of blue light. Harvard Health researchers say that blue light has a dark side, noting, “…environmental concerns, and the quest for energy-efficient lighting, could be at odds with personal health.”
While the blue rays from LED lights improve alertness during the day, they pose problems, particularly at the end of the day, in the form of eye strain, migraines, and sleep disturbance. Here are some symptoms your LED lights can cause.
Symptoms Caused by LED Light:
- Headaches & Migraines
- Double Vision
- Eye Strain
- Visual Disturbance
- Eye Damage
- Retinal Damage
- Melatonin Suppression
- Circadian Rhythm Disruption
- Photo Toxicity or Light Sensitivity
LED Lighting Is the Migraine Trigger That’s Hard to Escape
“LED lights trigger migraines for some people, because they don’t emit a steady stream of light.” -Migraineagain.com
If you’re experiencing migraine headaches, you might be frustrated by trying to identify the cause. While you might have considered everything from your glasses prescription, to your caffeine intake, to seasonal allergies, chances are the problem is either right in front of you, or directly overhead.
LED lighting doesn’t just stream from the bulbs in your fixtures. It’s now routinely used in computer monitors, television screens, phones, and tablets. Essentially, it’s all around you. So, before you seek yet another doctor’s opinion on your persistent headaches, or try yet another medication, consider that the problem might stem from your lighting, not your biological or chemical makeup.
LED Light Is All Around Us:
- TV Screens
- Holiday Lights
- Car Lights
- Overhead and Tabletop Lighting at Home or Work
- Store Lighting
Some Populations Are at Particular Risk
While everyone is subject to the harmful effects of LED lighting, some people are at increased risk from LED light. If you or your coworkers or loved ones fall into these categories, it’s even more essential to take protective action.
- Those with a Head Injury
- Those with Traumatic Brain Injury
- People Who Work the Night Shift
- Pregnant Women (Risk to Unborn Child)
- Infants, Children, and Teens
- Those with a History of Migraines
How to Combat LED Lighting’s Impact on Migraines
While LED lighting is a migraine trigger, unfortunately, the alternatives aren’t much better. Fluorescent bulbs have many of the same harmful effects as LED bulbs, with additional environmental consequences.
And since LED and fluorescent lighting currently surround us, the best solution is to take protective measures. We can’t stop oncoming traffic from aiming fluorescent bulbs at our line of vision, and we can’t forego the use of computers, phones, or iPads. But we can shield ourselves from the deleterious impact on our lives.
Blue-light glasses are one such invention, but they aren’t always practical or effective, particularly if you wear glasses. And while they might help while you work alone in front of a screen, they aren’t the best solution for all-day wear. LED light streams in around the frames and shines down from overhead.
Current research actually negates blue-light blocking glasses as effective, and finds that many of the companies make false claims. The best solution is to block LED light at the source, by installing natural light filters on your LED and fluorescent light fixtures.
How Natural Light Filters Prevent LED-Induced Migraines
Natural light filters, like the NaturaLux products installed by Make Great Light, protect you from LED light damage at all angles. Since they fit snuggly against your existing lights, no harmful rays slip through. Whether you’re conducting a meeting, reading a bedtime story to your child, or working at your computer, you can save energy while also saving your health and eyesight with natural light filters.
Our harsh light filters are the quickest, most effective way to prevent LED-induced migraines, as well as the other harmful effects of LED lights. If your bulbs are fluorescent instead, the benefits are even more profound. Here are just a few ways our filters improve your environment.
Benefits of Natural Light Filters
- Reduce Headaches
- Improved Focus
- Enhanced Clarity
- Eliminate Glare
- Absorb UV Radiation
- Provide Full Spectrum Light
- Produce Natural Lighting
5 Tips to Improve LED Light Sensitivity
Since we can’t escape harmful lighting completely, it’s important to reduce its impact however we can. Everyone is exposed to LED lighting either through their job, their commute, or even their grocery store run. So, take steps to improve light sensitivity where you can. Here are some tips to try.
- Choose the best lighting when possible – for example, in your home.
- Use natural light filters wherever you are permitted.
- Use smartphone features and filtering programs on your devices.
- Take breaks from screens every 20 minutes.
- Avoid excessive use of LED-lit devices at night, particularly 2 hours before bed.
How to Protect Your Family and Employees from LED Health Risks
LED lighting remains a prevalent choice for now, due to the lower cost and energy usage. But it’s important to note that many manufacturers keep costs low by using cheap components and harmful engineering tactics, in addition to assembly processes known to lack quality control and structural consistency. The cost: benefit analysis is still underway, as the environmental benefits are offset by the risks to the people, animals, and plants inhabiting the environment.
It’s important to protect your coworkers and loved ones from health issues like migraines by creating a barrier against LED and fluorescent lights. Most people can’t work outside in natural light all day, or rewire their entire home or office. Instead, they can install natural light filters within minutes, for instant protection!
Our Affordable Filters Guard Against Migraines and So Much More!
Both LED and fluorescent lighting are proven to cause migraine headaches. They’re also implicated in multiple health issues, and the research is ongoing, with additional effects likely to be discovered. Stay ahead of the health curve by protecting your home and workplace with safe light filters.
Make Great Light installs filters in just 5 minutes, making safety fast and affordable. The long-term costs of LED light exposure include work absenteeism, reduced productivity, and multiple health concerns. Contact Make Great Light today for a simple solution to migraines and so much more!
1)”Light emitting diodes”: https://www.electronicshub.org/light-emitting-diode-basics/
2) “French study”: https://www.anses.fr/en/system/files/AP2014SA0253EN.pdf
3) “Blue light”: https://preventblindness.org/blue-light-and-your-eyes/
4) “Harvard Health”: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
5) “Negates blue light blocking glasses”: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29044670/
6) “Natural light filters”: https://www.makegreatlight.com/fluorescent-light-comparison
7) “Naturalux”: https://www.makegreatlight.com/products/fluorescent-light-covers
8) “Make Great Light”: https://www.makegreatlight.com
9) “Light sensitivity”: https://www.migraineagain.com/coping-with-eyes-sensitive-to-light/
10) “Lack quality”: https://www.eneltec-led.com/news/experts-say-the-led-will-cause-symptoms-such-as-headache-in-sweden.html
11) “Contact”: https://www.makegreatlight.com/about-us/contact-us