Many people are worried about any adverse effects of LEDs on their health. Frequently asked questions, especially in relation concerning the right task light, are for example:
- Does LED light with a high proportion of blue light rob people of sleep?
- Does the LED light confuse our inner clock?
But is this uncertainty justified? Do LED task lights be a risk for our eyes? To answer these questions, we need to clarify what effects blue light has on our body and how we can assess the risk of blue light from artificial light sources.
Bright, bluish and strong light slows down the release of the sleep hormone melatonin in our body. If we have lighting with a high proportion of blue light during the day, this strengthens the activity and stimulates concentrated work. In the evening, however, these blue tones are absent in natural daylight. The light appears to be more reddish than during the day – the melatonin level increases continuously, making us feel tired.
So while a high proportion of blue light is desirable during the day, it is certainly undesirable at night because it causes sleep disorders and can be harmful to health. The recommendation is, therefore, to use light with a lower colour temperature of around 3000 Kelvin.
Blue light exposure is the potential risk of photochemical damage to the retina caused by high-energy blue visible light. It preferably occurs in the wave range between 400 nm and 500 nm. This light can penetrate the cornea and reach the retina. The consequence can be irreversible damage to the receptors.
Some claim that the high blue light content of white daylight LEDs is dangerous for the retina and can be harmful to health. But do LED workplace lights pose a threat to our eyes?
A direct view of the sun (high proportion of blue light, extremely high luminance) can be harmful even with short exposure. However, it is possible to look into the blue sky (very high proportion of blue light, low luminance) without hesitation. The blue light component alone is therefore not responsible for possible damage to the eye! We also have to take into account very high luminance values and the duration of the exposure. If we use the LED workplace lights as intended, there is no risk to the eyes. The luminaire head and articulated arm technology are designed to avoid a direct view of the LED modules, thus preventing glare to the user.
Furthermore, the LED modules are covered by plastic panes so that even a quick look into the light is harmless. But which user is already doing this? Nevertheless, there are differences in the risk assessment of LED workplace lights.
We can assess the risk of blue light based on the European standard DIN-EN-62471 (in Germany, DIN EN 62471). The light sources are identified concerning different hazards, among other things, using various measurement regulations and evaluation standards. Photochemical retinal hazard (blue light hazard) assessed and divided into risk groups. The standard classifies light sources into the following risk groups (RG):
- RG 0 “exempt” Are safe under all circumstances. No risk to the eye, even if permanent Looking towards the light source.
- RG 1 “low risk” Low-risk View of the light source for several minutes without risk
- RG 2 “mod risk” Medium risk. Possibility to look into the light source within seconds without risk
- RG 3 “high risk” Eye damage possible even with short exposure
Note: We would classify the sun in the highest risk group 3 (RG3)
All our RMD Task-Lights belong to risk group 0 and are certified by Photometric GmbH. Therefore they belong to the group of artificial light sources with the highest photobiological safety. We can thus rule out health risks, sleep disorders and retinal damage.