Are Flickering Lights Bad For My Health?
If you have read my other blogs you will know that LED lights bulbs packed full of blue light are causing digital eyestrain, headaches and according to Harvard Health, disrupting our sleep. But what if I told you blue light isn’t the only problem with LED and even fluorescent light sources? There is another problem. A sinister issue with how they operate that could be damaging your health. Let’s talk about flicker and find out if flickering lights are bad for our health.
LED lighting is everywhere. LEDs are found in your smart phone, fridge light, office lighting, house lighting and TV sets. LEDs are low voltage and run on an alternating current. Sometimes the way some electrical circuits are wired means the power is insufficient to reduce the variation in the supply voltage which results in flicker.
The amount of flicker can vary. Some light bulbs can flicker visibly, some invisibly and others not at all. Almost all LED light bulbs will emit some kind of flicker, mostly invisible. Flicker is not good for your health!
Health Risks with Flickering LED Lights
Flicker has been known, even when invisible, to cause headaches and eyestrain and also disrupt natural eye movement. Flicker is a silent assassin. Blue light has often been stated as the only cause of digital eyestrain and headaches but it now appears flicker is also a major issue. Blue light glasses can help with the management of blue light from LEDs but blue light glasses cannot eliminate flicker. A flicker free light bulb is the only solution.
The way LED lights flicker is they change instantly between bright and black, basically they are switching themselves on and off at rapid speeds in order to save energy. You know this is happening even if you cannot see the flicker because you will see a trail of the image long after it has gone. Think car headlights. This phenomenon occurs due to the rapid movement of the eye when one changes depth of vision from one point to another. Some research scientists have also shown that this pattern can occur even in flickering house and office lighting.
The main issue with LED lights flickering comes from the ballast. More efficient ballasts are now becoming available which is reducing flicker by reducing the magnetism present in them.
In 1989 a study was conducted that compared lighting flickering at 100 times a second with lights that looked the same but did not flicker. The study found that office workers were half as likely to experience headaches under the non-flickering light.
We need to eliminate flicker from our light environments in order to prevent potential eye damage and headaches. The only way to do this is to eliminate flickering light bulbs. BLUblox has created a flicker free LED light bulb which may reduce digital eyestrain and headaches. The SummerGlo LED bulb not only reduces flicker they also reduce a lot of blue light as well which is different to other bulbs that still contain high amounts of blue light. Post sunset BLUblox has also created a red-light bulb that emits zero blue light and zero green light meaning no circadian disruption due to blue light hitting the skin and supressing melatonin.