The Hidden Danger of LED Light Bulbs and How They Harm Your Vision and Health
The night falls, and you turn on the light bulbs, completely unaware of their effects. One theory which is gaining support in the past few years, claims that these light bulbs are real hidden dangers. But how can these lights affect your overall health?
According to the world’s photobiologist, Dr. Alexander Wunsch the LED lighting can cause many side-effects.
In the following video, Dr. Wunsch talks about the enormous impact of these light bulbs on the people’s overall health. He states that this video can help people prevent blindness and some serious health damage.
Because of energy saving, people started using LED lights as primary sources of indoor lighting. This has truly reduced the energy requirements by 95% in comparison to the incandescent analog sources of light.
Although more expensive, these incandescent light bulbs emit infrared radiation which is beneficial for the people’s health.
Let’s First Discuss The Notion of Light?
In relation to the artificial light sources, light has rather distinct definitions. The visible light ranges between 400-780 nm (nanometers), but light is more than the human’s eye can notice.
Wunsch explains that people have wider spectral range when looking at sunlight, from about 300-2,000 nm. This makes a significant difference when it comes to the broad natural range or the vision performance.
The fact that we look at the visible part of the spectrum has brought about the development of some energy-saving light sources such as fluorescent lamps and LED sources.
These lamps emit red light which can be used in medical therapies to improve blood circulation.
According to the physicists, the infrared radiation is merely a thermal waste, but physicians claim that this is absolutely a wrong fact.
The last 30 years have seen many scientific papers which pointed out the beneficial aspects of the specific part of the spectrum, called the infrared-A or the near-infrared.
Why is Near-Infrared Light So Special?
Near-Infrared can’t be seen nor felt as heat, but it has a significant impact on the people’s health. In fact, the non-thermal artificial light sources such as LED are missing this near-infrared.
Another complexity is the difference between the digital and analog forms of light sources as well as the wavelength differences.
Let’s start with the wavelength differences. When looking at the rainbow spectrum, the red-light ends are the only visible parts. The near-infrared or infrared-A is the beginning of the invisible spectrum which follows red. This is further followed by infrared-B and infrared-C.
The infrared-B and the infrared-C can’t be seen, but they can be felt as heat. However, this does not relate to infrared-A since it has a wavelength between 700-1,500nm.
Wunsch also claims that people have lower absorption by water molecules and that why radiation has high transmittance. Further on, it enters deeply within the tissues, and the energy spreads in a large tissue volume. Because this near-infrared does not heat up the tissue, so you won’t feel any direct effect of the heat.
However, when the wavelength increases for example to 2,000 nm, this significantly changes. At this point, we are in the mid-infrared or infrared-B range, and the heat can finally be felt.
From 3,000 nm on, there is higher absorption due to the water molecule, and this is experienced as heating.
Infrared-A Affects Eye Health and Mitochondrial
The infrared-A range has a significant effect on your well-being in many ways. For instance, it helps the cells in the retina to regenerate and repair.
Why LEDs are harmful to the overall health and especially eyes is the lack of infrared and plenty of blue light that emits reactive oxygen species.
The molecules which absorb light are called chromophores. The optical tissue window ranges from 600-1,400 nm, and the near-infrared part completely covers it. This optical window enables the radiation to penetrate a few centimeters, an inch or even more into the tissue.
These molecules are found in the activated water molecules and the mitochondria. In the mitochondria, there is cytochrome c oxidase, the specific molecule which takes part in the production of energy within the mitochondria thus producing cellular energy or adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
This cellular energy is what the cell need for performing different functions including ion transportation, metabolism and synthesizing. So, as the body can’t survive without oxygen, so it does without ATP production.
Lighting – Crucial for Energy Production
The issue of lights is highly important for energy production, particularly at mitochondrial ATP level.
Infrared saunas are one way to provide the body with the needed infrared-A light. However, make sure it is not any sauna. Some of them provide infrared-C and are not full spectrum. Other produce dangerous non-native EMFs. You need the one that produces non-native and low EMFs.
Analog Lighting vs. Digital Lighting
Incandescent light bulbs are forms of analog thermal lighting while LED lamps are digital non-thermal light sources.
There are three LEDs a red, green and blue LED. These colored channels change their intensity to obtain different color use which is perceived by the human eye. The intensity output of a LED is controlled in a digital manner because it is difficult to have a low intensity in different steps.
The dimming of LEDs is achieved by pulse-width modulation, or there are constant on and off frequencies with highest and lowest intensity. Our eyes find these frequencies difficult to discriminate but our cells can.
They can cause a flicker which is difficult to perceive but is biologically active as well as harmful for the body.
The older TVs had such an intense and visible flicker unlike the current flat screens, but they are switching on and off.
The scientists try to develop a system which is able to transmit information via high-frequency flicker and replace the wireless LAN system.
However, Wunsch claims that from a health perspective, this is not a good idea. He also points out that people started using these LEDs because they are practical, have many advantages and save energy. However, people are not aware that these side effects can harm the human biology, the mental, retinal, endocrine and hormonal health.
Unluckily, the federal policy of Europe and the U.S has mandated the use of these LEDs in order to conserve energy. However, the biological impact of these bulbs has been ignored.
The Dangers of LED bulbs
The first notion of the harmful effect of these LEDs is that they emit light that is of a different quality than the natural light source. In fact, the natural source emits all kinds of wavelengths in a different manner.
LEDs are fluorescent lamps which consist of a driver LED, a blue LED, and a fluorescent sheet over the blue LED. This sheet transforms the blue light into longer wavelength and produces yellowish light. Further on this yellowish light combines with the blue light and gives a large portion of an aggressive blue light.
This blue light is characterized by high energy in the spectrum which promotes the production of ROS or oxidative stress. This oxidative stress should be balanced with infrared-A which can’t be found in LEDs.
Unfortunately, there is no regenerative spectrum in the blue and the short wavelength and that’s why people need more regeneration. This can be found in the long-wavelength part, in the near-infrared and the red one.
Such a blue light in the evening hinders the production of melatonin in the pineal gland. However, there are cells in the retina that stimulate the production of melatonin during the night.
So, when using LED lights after sunset, you lower the restoring and regenerative capacities of your eyes. Consequently, this reduced regeneration leads to degeneration and degeneration to AMD, the main reason of blindness among the older generation.
Unfortunately, many people fail to realize this fact.
So, to conclude, the main problem with these LEDs is that they produce blue wavelengths which do not have the regenerative and healing infrared-A frequencies.
Can We Find Some Healthy LEDs?
Nowadays there are different LED lights on the market including cool white, warm white, and many others. The cool white light emits harmful blue light while the warm one can be a little deceptive.
Although they emit a warm light, they do not have a red wavelength. This warmth is a result from higher amounts of orange and yellow light that mask the blue one.
There are LEDs which emit less blue light and are somewhat closer to the incandescent lamps, but people won’t know what they are buying unless they measure it with proper tools.
To conclude, there are better and worse types of LEDs. What people are interested into is the R9, information which is sometimes labeled on the package.
How to Choose the Right LED?
When choosing the right LED, take a look at the CRI. Look for those labeled with a CRI of 100 as the incandescent bulbs and candles. If you want to have a LED which is closer to the natural light you need a light with R9 and CRI of 97.
When buying LEDs, the color temperature is another important thing to consider because there are two types:
1. Physical Color Temperature
The temperature of these bulbs is in Kelvin (K), and when touched, the source of light is as hot as the given color temperature. These sources include sunlight, halogens, incandescent light, and candlelight.
For example, the sun has 5,500 K color temperature and the same temperature at its surface. Incandescent lamps have maximum 3,000K because if the temperature increases, the filament would melt.
2. Correlated Color Temperature
The temperature shows how the human eye perceive the light. For example, if the source has a 2,700 K correlated color temperature, it looks the same as the source with a physical color temperature of 2,700.
Although the light looks the same as the natural light, it does not have the same quality regarding cellular level. On a cellular level, this light is cold and bluish white despite the apparent and visible warmth.
The incandescent light bulbs have 2,700 K color temperature while the LED ones can have up to 6,500. So, make sure you chose the ones which are closer to the incandescent lights.
At last, you should take into consideration the digital component. To find out whether a LED is good or bad you should measure if the LED produces flicker or not.
A few years ago, with the older smartphones, it was much easier since the camera was not that equipped as today and you were able to detect the flickering.
Another, much simpler way is to buy a flicker detector or just use the slow-motion mode on the camera. All you have to do is record the light source in slow motion and look for some visible flickering.
Unluckily, this method does not always prove effective because most of the recent smartphones have an algorithm that detects the flicker frequency. Further on they change the speed, improve the recording and do not record any flickering.
As we have mentioned before, people replaced all those incandescent light bulbs with LED lights, unaware of the health consequences they can provide.
Fortunately, people realized the seriousness of this LED light exposure, especially in spaces that lack natural light. In case you have plenty of sunlight, the risks are significantly lower. LEDs pose a serious danger at night no matter whether there are windows or not because there are no near-infrared lights.
When opting for incandescent lights, make sure you take crystal-clear ones which are not coated with white. So, you need 2,700 K incandescent light source or even some fragrance-free candle. However, make sure you use these lights only at night and use some blue-blocking glasses.
Also, do not switch on many lights due to their high level of intensity but some candle would serve as an excellent source of light for orientation.
When reading in the evening, switch on some low-voltage incandescent halogen lamp which operates on DC transformed. The direct current will eliminate the dirty electricity and the flicker.
According to Wunsch, there are some halogen lamps with transformers which can adjust the light between 6-12 volts. If it is direct current, there won’t be any dirty electricity, no flicker and a color temperature similar to candlelight. In fact, this is a perfect light that people can get at this point.
These low-voltage halogen lights are energy efficient sources since they save 100% more energy than the standard incandescent lamps. But make sure they operate on DC because when operating on AC, they generate dirty electricity.
Comparison of Lights
The following graphic compares the differences in the color spectrum between daylight, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, warm white LED and cool white LED light. you can notice a significant difference between the warm LED and the incandescent light.
Although they look as if they were the same, there is a striking difference in the actual qualities of light.
Opt for Incandescent Lights if You Want to Protect Your Vision and Health
LED lights are the perfect example how people harm their health with some apparently useful technology. So, if you want to limit your exposure to blue light, replace the LEDs with clear incandescents bulb or low-voltage incandescent halogen lights that operate on DC.
Also, after sundown it is highly recommended that you use blue-blocking glasses even though you use incandescent bulbs. Without these changes, the LEDs and other electronic screens will promote the production of ROS and will reduce the production of melatonin in the retina and the pineal gland.
Further on, this will prevent regeneration and repair thus speeding the degeneration of the eyesight.
To conclude, it is not the blue light from the sun that that leads to degeneration but the light that c
omes from cold and non-thermal light sources.
Additional Healthy Alternative
Candles are much better light sources compared to the incandescent light bulbs. This is because they do not involve electricity but produce light that our bodies are adapted to.
However, you should pay attention to the type of candle because some of them can be toxic such as paraffin candles. Paraffin is a by-product of petroleum which is produced when crude oil is turned into gasoline. Along with the paraffin, there many other toxins and carcinogens that increase burn stability.
Many candles, both soy, and paraffin are loaded with fragrances and toxic dyes. Limited exposure to these candles can’t cause problems, but a long-term exposure can bring about many health consequences.
Fortunately, there are many soy candles that are non-GMO, free of dyes, free of pesticides, herbicides and are not tested on animals.