Are LED Strip Lights Bad for Your Eyes | What Are The Risks

LED strips have become increasingly popular everywhere. Many businesses and companies use them intending to lift the mood and atmosphere of their store. People place them in their vehicles and homes in prominent spaces.

With their increasing popularity, it is worth investigating, “are LED Strip Lights Bad for Your Eyes?”

The blue light found in LED strips can interrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm as the blue light signals to your brain that you should be awake. The LED lights found in strip lights are the same LEDs found in laptops, TVs, and mobile screens. This article will break down all the potential dangers portrayed by LED light strips and how they can be avoided.

Do Led Lights Cause Eye Damage?

The blue light in LED lights can damage the eye’s retina and disturb biological sleep rhythms. The retina converts light into impulses that turn into the images we see. Short-term exposure to LED lights causes phototoxic effects and increases the risk of macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that affects a person’s central vision. The part of the retina called the macula becomes damaged. 

Children risk facing childhood myopia, digital eye strain, or poor sleep from LED strip exposure. Continual exposure to LED lights speeds up the aging of retinal tissue. This leads to a decline in vision and an increased risk of eye diseases.

Eye strain is another negative effect of LED lights. Those with existing medical conditions such as migraines or seizures are more susceptible. That is because the fast flickering of LED lights can disrupt the eyes of those who are prone to these issues.

There are three ways that light-induced damage can occur known as photomechanical, photothermal, and photochemical. Photomechanical happens when the rapid increase of energy is obtained by the RPE of the retina. It depends on the amount of energy absorbed and on the composition of the light.

Photothermal happens when short, intense bursts of light affect the RPE of the retina and the outer segment of the photoreceptors of the eyes. Photochemical is the most common type which occurs when the eyes are exposed to high-intensity light. 

There are two types of photothermal damage, one occurs with short intense light affecting the RPE and the second is associated with longer and less intense light exposure.  

Harmful Effects Of Led Lights On Eyesight

There is the possibility of developing cataracts from looking at LED light strips for too long. Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy and decrease vision. 

It is also possible that LED strip lights can dry out people’s eyes. The blue light found in LED lights stimulates melanopsin. This is a hormone in the eyes that promotes alertness. It also helps the body regulate circadian rhythm.

This release of melanopsin especially late at night causes the body to feel awake and makes it difficult to sleep at night. 

Retina Damage From Bright Lights

When the retina’s light-sensing cells become over-stimulated due to bright light exposure, they release large amounts of signaling chemicals. This causes damage to the back of the eye. Blue light exposure slowly damages the retinas over time.

Blue light has shorter wavelengths than warm light, meaning that it has more energy and is more dangerous. 

Can Led Light Strips Cause Cancer?

Most studies show that LED light strips will not cause cancer. UV radiation can cause skin cancer from tanning booths and the sun. LED lights do not contain mercury or produce ultraviolet rays.

Since LED strips require very little amounts of power to operate, they don’t cause high amounts of UV radiation. By affecting circadian rhythm, LED strips do cause changes in hormones. Changes in hormones are possibly related to certain types of cancer. The possibility of actually getting cancer from LED light strips is very low.

Do RGB Lights Damage Your Eyes?

RGB LED lights are red, blue, and green LEDs. These three colors combine to create over 16 million hues of light. These are the lights used in LED light strips.

The blue light found in them can damage the eye’s retina. The brain confuses blue light for photoreceptors and affects sleep. 

Safest Led Light Color For Your Eyes?

LED light strips can be purchased in many different colors. Some even change colors. So which is the safest LED light color for your eyes?

White LED lights have been shown to suppress melatonin 5 times more than other colors. Melatonin adjusts the body’s biological clock and produces anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous properties. 

They produce wavelengths between 440-500 nanometers, which suppress the production of melatonin.

Greenlight can actually aid in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm. However, overexposure can negate these effects. Warmer colors are the best before bed. This is because they have longer wavelengths and don’t strain the eyes as cooler colors do.

Place the LED strips on the lowest brightness level possible at nighttime. The color yellow is the safest and warmest color for the eyes. 

How To Protect Your Eyes From Strip Lights?

Reducing screen time is an easy way to reduce strain on the eyes. Simply go on your devices less. You should not use anything with blue light an hour before bedtime. If you have LED strips in your bedroom, do not use them an hour before bed or leave them on while sleeping.

Using LED strips in the daytime is better as it will not harm the sleep cycle. Purchase warm white LED lights as they emit less blue light and protect the eyes. Keep lights on a dimmer setting. If the strips have a flashing or strobing effect, it is best not to use this feature.

Sit further away from devices. Watching a TV from your couch is a lot safer than holding your phone a few inches away from your face. Try to keep a distance between LED strip lights as well. Do not put your face near them. 

The placement of your LED strips can save your eyes. Place the strips somewhere so that your eyes are not staring directly at them. Placing them along the tops of walls, under cabinets, or behind any object that will prevent you from seeing the strip itself is a smart move.

This still allows the lights to glow and give off their light. However, if you aren’t exposed to the strip itself, there is no way to damage your eyes. Purchasing LED strips with a lower watt rating is safer on the eyes and will reduce the likelihood of eye strain or discomfort.

Symptoms Of Eye Damage From Bright Lights

Photokeratitis is a temporary eye condition caused by exposure to UV rays. You’re at greater risk if you spend a lot of time in the sun, use a sunlamp, tanning bed, or are exposed to UV lights frequently.

Symptoms of photokeratitis include painful eyes, watery eyes, blurry vision, swelling, temporary loss of vision, and headaches. The symptoms may last from 6 to 24 hours and usually disappear after 48 hours. Extended periods of exposure cause more severe symptoms.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, go indoors and give your eyes a break from the light. It is best to stay in a darker room and place a cold washcloth over the eyes. Photokeratitis is preventable by wearing sunglasses, wearing a hat or visor in sunny weather, and getting an eye exam every year.

FAQ’s LED Strip Lights Bad For Your Eyes

Here are some commonly asked questions by customers regarding LED light strips and their safety

Verdict: Are LED Strip Lights Bad for Your Eyes

LED light sources have proven to be beneficial in many ways. They emit more efficient light, are safer, and have a longer lifespan. The functionality of strip lights makes them convenient, and LED lights emit a considerable amount of light while also using less power. Having an array of pretty, vibrant colors can brighten the vibe of any room. 

If you take the proper precautions, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits of these lights without disrupting sleep patterns or potentially harming your eyes.