Energy Answers: LEDs and Blue-Light Hazard

The benefits of LED outdoor lighting are undeniable: they improve visibility, decrease light pollution and they’re highly efficient. But is LED outdoor lighting dangerous?

This belief stems from awareness of blue-light hazard, the potential for short wavelength visible light to cause damage to retinas and throw off circadian rhythm. It just so happens that the shortest wave lengths of light visible to humans, measured in color temperature, includes blue.

But the risk of blue-light hazard is not quite as simple as blaming LEDs with high color temperature. All white light has blue light in it, but blue-light hazard is predicated on four main factors:

  1. The intensity of blue light
  2. The brightness of the light
  3. Distance from the light
  4. Endurance of exposure

Most people don’t tend to stare straight up into light for hours on end. If they did, pretty much every fixture would be a risk for blue-light hazard.

Proper lighting design with attention to light intensity and glare will reduce the risk of blue-light hazard in your outdoor lighting, even with high color temperature LEDs.