Lack of Toxic Materials in LED Lighting and Human Health

Posted by Rob Gemmell on Aug 18, 2014 6:31:00 AM


Most consumers, lighting designers and architects already know that LED lighting is a fantastic option for energy efficiency, making Mother Nature and your bank account quite happy. However, one of the most underreported facets of LEDs is the collection of benefits that these fixtures can bring to our well-being.

In the past, the lighting industry had one goal: illumination. However, since LED and lighting fixture technology has advanced so far (and continues to become more and more innovative), many lighting manufacturers are creating LEDs that return the focus to health and wellness.


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Lighting: Vode BoxRail LED 907


Harmful Substances Drastically Lower in LEDs

In a practical sense, LEDs are a much cleaner option for illumination, as they contain significantly less toxic material than their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts. Both of these bulbs contain not insignificant levels of mercury, a chemical that has been linked to birth defects and other health concerns. Although there are only small amounts of mercury found in these lights, why wouldn't you want to choose a fixture that’s friendlier to your health?

Light made from dangerous or toxic materials is something that we should leave in the past, especially given the growing rates of cancer and other medical issues that arise due to accumulated exposure. LEDs are a much cleaner and greener way to illuminate. We thrive in environments that stimulate healthy behavior, and LEDs can definitely be a big part of that in the future.


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Lighting: Vode ZipOne LED 707 for under cabinet task lighting and over cabinet for wall washing.


Lack of Flickering Saves You From Headaches … Literally

There’s another attribute of LED lighting that’s extremely beneficial in lowering stress and anxiety. Flicker reduction, flicker is a common problem with common fluorescent of lighting, which has been linked to increased levels of annoyance and stress. Because LEDs are connected to a constant DC voltage, there is little to no flickering. Having fixtures that run on AC currents can cause eyestrain and headaches. While we all know that work can leave you feeling a little overtaxed from time to time, adding to this problem with flicker could only compound the situation.

Having fixtures that encourage better performance and workflow is beneficial for employees as well as the host business. While LEDs can definitely have a greater relaxing effect on when you come home after a long day of work, they can also have lasting positive effects while at the office when they are properly controlled for brightness, anti-glare and appropriate color according to daytime and context. LEDs have also been found to boost productivity and alertness while lowering stress and anxiety at the same time - who doesn't want to have that kind of experience at work?


LEDs Can Reduce Your Exposure to UV Radiation

Because of their unique DC current, LEDs emit no UV radiation, which is also a positive characteristic considering the vast amount of the populace that deals with threatening skin issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., and the disease is directly linked to your exposure to ultraviolet light sources. You remember to put on your sunscreen every day, but did you ever stop to think if your fixtures could also pose a health threat to your skin? Even the most ecologically friendly CFL bulbs will carry some degree of UV radiation output. Investing in fixtures that promote your health now could contribute to you saving thousands in health care costs down the line.

While LEDs can save businesses money and give architects and lighting designers more creative freedom to showcase their work, the impact that these fixtures can have on human health in the future is more than enough reason to include them in your next design.





Topics: LED Lighting, lighting and health, architectural lighting, inspiration, human-centered design, lighting safety

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