How LED Lights Can Affect Your Eyes

By Patricio Flores
JUN. 1, 2021

In the last year, having LED lights has become a big trend. People have put them on their walls, in their rooms, around desks, and really anywhere that it may look cool. Many people enjoy the ability to change the mood of their room with the simple click of a button, whether it be a blue, to relax; a green, for when you have more energy; or any other color for all types of scenarios. That being said, these bright light sources in your room, or any other place, constantly hitting your eyes can have adverse effects on your eyes.

According to a Medicalxpress article, LED Light can damage your eyes, LED lights can affect you in two different ways. When exposed to brighter LED lights, such as street lights and lights in schools and workplaces, this causes acute exposure to high-density lights. These are the less dangerous, more regulated lights, seeing as they have taken up more than half of all lighting production in the last decade. Longer exposure to less bright LED lights can cause chronic exposure to your eyes, and this leads to a faster aging in retinal tissue in your eyes. 

If aging tissue in your eyes doesn’t sound bad enough, there are also other strong side effects, including interference with your precious sleep. This is because the technology used in producing LED lights emits blue light wavelengths. Blue light does not literally mean “a blue light,” but is an emitted light wave that is released in LED lights, no matter the color of the light. This “blue light” wave messes with your natural circadian rhythm, which is basically your body’s biological clock that sets your natural sleep schedule. This can cause a lack of melatonin, meaning less sleep. The blue light also affects how long you sleep, and how you feel when you wake up.

From here, you may think that it can’t get much worse. You would be wrong. Messing with your circadian rhythm causes a whole variety of other problems. A screwed-up circadian rhythm can make pre-existing diseases and conditions worse, such as metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and some types of cancer.

However, there is a silver lining. There are many possible solutions to the problem of extended exposure to LED lights. One simple solution would be to just turn down the brightness on your LED lights, or simply to just turn them off periodically, giving your eyes a break. Make sure to rest your eyes before turning them back on. Another solution, for those too stubborn to turn their lights off, is to purchase “blue-light glasses.” These glasses block a majority of blue-light wavelengths hitting your eyes. Although this may seem like the best solution, there is also a downside. Many scientists and researchers highly doubt the effectiveness of blue light glasses, and getting your hands on a tested, proven, and well reviewed pair of glasses may cost a hefty sum of money.

There are many problems, but there are also many solutions. Always be sure that you are taking care of your eyes as much as possible.  Cutting out chronic LED light exposure is the first step.