Using LED as a light source certainly isn’t considered new or novel in 2021. By now you’ve most likely heard of the many ways this illumination is superior and the energy efficiencies that using LEDs can afford. Perhaps what is less familiar are the numerous wellness implications that this source of light can offer. In this article, we will explore six major health and safety benefits that LEDs can provide.
Aiding sleep-related issues
LEDs can support healthy sleep patterns by mimicking the transition of natural colors that are responsible for driving our intrinsic sleep/wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm.
To help illustrate this, think for a moment of the spectrum of observable colors of the open sky as the day transitions from dawn to dusk. While also beautiful to enjoy, exposure to the progression of these colors helps to regulate the production of the hormone melatonin within your body, which signals to your body that it is time to rest. Depending on their color, these hues provide cues to either suppress or stimulate the production of melatonin to prepare us for either focused alertness or restful relaxation.
For example, the blue wavelengths of light we see at high noon curbs the production of melatonin, which results in our peak alertness state for the day. Conversely, the warm amber shades at sunset turn on our melatonin production in the evening in preparation for sleep. This is also the science behind why exposure to the blue light our devices emit before bedtime can create problems with the quality of our rest.
Fewer headaches or migraines
The lack of proper illumination for focused work is the foremost cause of eye strain, which is a major contributor to many simple headaches. At its most basic function, brilliant LED light provides the necessary added lumens and contrast for comfortable task-related work, lessening the likelihood of overworked eyes.
However, LEDs can also be beneficial for people who are prone to experiencing more severe headaches or even migraines. Individuals who are susceptible to migraines can be triggered by the barely perceptible flicker that traditional fluorescent overhead lighting can emit. Quality LEDs provide a consistent, non-flickering light that does not contribute to this issue.
Further, LEDs are superior in that they can be paired with lighting controls, such as dimming, which allows the user to adjust to their level of comfort, ensuring the perfect amount of light for their specific needs.
Lowers stress levels and anxiety
The same disruption to circadian rhythms mentioned above can also be attributed to anxiety and depressed moods. We see this most commonly in individuals who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to shortened exposure to daylight in the winter months in the northern hemisphere. When the body doesn’t get to experience the full range of warm-to-cool light transitions, LED light can be used in light therapy to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and/or depression by helping to regulate the body’s ability to also produce the “happiness hormone” known as serotonin.
Another way LEDs contribute to lower stress is attributed to their silent nature. In addition to the flicker mentioned earlier, fluorescents can also emit a distracting low buzz and subconsciously add to tension levels in the body. Individuals who are sensitive to irritating noises will appreciate the noiseless quality of LED light.
LEDs are non-toxic
Shifting our focus to safety, we find a major benefit in that LEDs do not contain mercury like their fluorescent and incandescent counterparts do. Mercury is a toxic element that even in small amounts can cause serious health problems impacting the digestive and nervous systems, as well as our skin, lungs, and eyes.
LEDs’ non-toxicity is healthier for our planet as well. Lighting fixtures that contain mercury cannot be simply sent to the landfill after their useful life is up. To recycle products that include mercury, you must contact your local recycling center for resources in your area.
Eliminates burn and fire risk
Today’s incandescent lightbulbs are constructed in basically the same manner as Edison’s original model from the 1880s. The primary output of this wonder of glass, filament, and gas isn’t light—it’s heat! 90% of the energy an incandescent lightbulb produces is expressed in heat, with only 10% yielding actual light. Such heat produced close to a glass shell results in one very hot bulb. In fact, the surface of a 60W incandescent bulb can reach temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
LEDs not only don’t convert most of their energy into heat, but they are also constructed in a way that draws the heat from the semiconductor away from its outer shell, so their surface never gets hot. An LED bulb will stay at room temperature even if left on for hours at a time—making them safer to handle and eliminating the risk of serious burns or potentially even causing a fire.
Finally, LEDs can play an important role in reducing accidental injuries around the home or office. Due to their small size and ability to work with controls, this light source can provide necessary illumination in dark, accident-inclined areas such as stairwells or blind corners. When paired with a motion sensor or timer, LEDs used for these safety purposes can do so in an energy-efficient manner by only coming on when someone is present, or during certain times of the day or night.
As you’ve read, LED is not only a sustainable, earth-friendly lighting choice but it can be beneficial for your overall health and wellness, too. See our selection of focus-enhancing task lights for home or office at LightCorp.com.