I’ve always been a big fan of LED. It’s energy efficient, it’s nice and bright, and it lasts forever. Pair that with current technology, and you can get some amazing lighting (such as Philips Hue or LIFX bulbs). I’ve been using LED bulbs exclusively for quite some time now, and I’ve been enjoying them. Let’s back up a few years to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, or CFL for short. These bulbs were supposed to be more efficient and last longer, but complaints of health risks (such as a possible cause of skin cancer) quickly turned consumers away. For that reason, I’m inclined to love LED lights even more! The other day, someone told me to read an article they had found, which claims that LED bulbs are bad for your health. What? I thought LED bulbs were supposed to be the next best thing, and were supposed to have fixed the downsides of CFL! In the article, Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiography, explains his opinion on LED lighting, and how he believes it is bad for your health.
The Proposed Problem
“If you use LED lights after sunset, you reduce the regenerative and restoring capacities of your eyes. Needless to say, with less regeneration you end up with degeneration. In this case, the degeneration can lead to AMD, which is the primary cause of blindness among the elderly.”
“So, to summarize, the main problem with LEDs is the fact that they emit primarily blue wavelengths and lack the counterbalancing healing and regenerative near-infrared frequencies.”
The article goes on to explain that LEDs can also lower the immune system, which could be a trigger for cancer. I don’t trust just one article on the internet, so I researched it, and found a surprising amount of articles that all said the same thing. Of course, I was also able to find a plethora of articles claiming that LEDs aren’t bad for you at all, but my mind was still focusing on the negative articles. I immediately became paranoid about the LED bulbs in my room, and was seriously upset to learn this right after I bought 2 expensive LIFX bulbs. After some thinking, here is what I realized:
You Can’t Get Away From LED (or CFL)
According to articles, incandescent bulbs are the only type of light bulb that is truly “safe.” That being said, incandescent is a dead technology. Sure, you can still put it in your house fixtures if you so choose, but here’s the truth: most public places use CFL bulbs, and more places are starting to convert to LED. I began to look at the outside world around me, and realize how much fluorescent and LED light I am exposed to. Stores use big fluorescent lights, as does the gym I work out at. Street lights? Those are fluorescent or LED too. After thinking of it, there really isn’t a scenario where I’d come in contact with an incandescent bulb out in public.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Care
This article isn’t to debate if LED lights are truly bad for your health, it’s just to point something out. For the sake of my point, let’s assume that all of these claims are true, and LED bulbs are indeed bad for your health. You can switch out the bulbs in your house with incandescent, but unless you live under a rock, you’re going to be exposed to fluorescent and LED lights regularly. Your work place and/or school where you spend most of your time most likely is using one of those two types of lights. Your TV and smartphone more than likely use LED for backlighting. Why are you going to go bonkers and spend more in electricity costs and miss out on all of the perks of LED just to avoid a few hours of exposure. For most of your day, you’ll be out and about, and you’ll have no choice as to what type of light you’re exposed to! Incandescent bulbs are dead, and they’re not coming back. Honestly, I’d just make sure you’re spending a healthy amount of time in the sun each day to get near-infrared lighting (which is explained in this article) your body needs!
So Go, Enjoy LED
Don’t worry about it! Healthy or not, LED bulbs are the future, and you can’t change that. So go, enjoy the many perks of LED bulbs. Watch your electricity bill drop drastically, watch your room turn various colors with a simple smartphone app. Indulge yourself in the future lighting of our world.