LED Lighting - Questions About Safety

LED Lighting

LED lights are becoming the new trend. They are being produced in a widespread fashion and at lower prices than ever before. Their reputation for being the environmentally safer lighting method, over other types of bulbs, has sparked increased consumer demand, but there’s another side to the LED lighting issue that many consumers may not know. A closer look at the facts shows why LED lights are also causing concern.

Lighting Choices

Light-emitting diode (LED) lights were designed to create a more intense light with fewer pollution problems found in conventional incandescent light bulbs and in compact fluorescent lighting. Conventional bulbs use ten times the amount of electricity as other types of bulbs, making them a high carbon-producing method of delivering lighting. The CFL lights contained mercury that created problems with disposal and difficulty with cleanup in homes and businesses when they are broken. LED bulbs offered a high degree of energy efficiency and no problem with mercury pollution. However, the hopes for the safety and sustainability of LED bulbs have come into question.

A Better Lighting System?

A recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology found that LED bulbs contain arsenic, lead and a variety of other components that can be toxic to the environment and to human health. Nickel and copper are just a few of the elements found in these bulbs. The red bulbs appear to contain the most toxic elements, such as AGA (aluminum gallium arsenide) while the white bulbs contained the least.

When all types of LED bulbs break individuals should wear gloves and masks when cleaning up and dispose of the remnants in a method recommended by their communities. This is highly recommended when dealing with the red LED lights. Direct exposure to this material can be hazardous to your health. The known side effects of AGA learned from laboratory studies include kidney, respiratory, and reproductive problems. While red LED lights are the most toxic, white bulbs because of their high concentrations of nickel and copper can still be detrimental to the environment and should also be handled and disposed of properly. Most consumers are not aware of these dangers, believing LED lights to be the safest and the most environmentally responsible option.

Is There a Real Danger in Our Daily Lives?

With new technology, we are all being exposed to LED lighting more and more. We use LED lighting for our computers, smartphones, televisions, tablets and more. The question has been emerging as to damage to our vision due to the thought that these lights can have a direct impact on our retina. Different colors such as blue lights are thought to be more damaging particularly in older individuals who are prone to cataracts and macular degeneration.

At this time, we can only recommend individuals to develop their own safety measures to protect themselves from increased exposure. Learn to never stare at a LED light source. This concentration makes these lights more powerful which can be potentially dangerous. Learn to give your eyes a rest and take frequent brakes from looking at these screens.

Where LED Lights are Also Commonly Found

LED lights are becoming more widely available in a range of products. LED Christmas tree lights are becoming a popular choice because of their low energy usage. Vehicle headlights and taillights are often LED bulbs. Street lights, flood lights, garden lights and work lights are increasingly used in the home, industrial and commercial settings.

Although not a perfect answer to the problem of clean, sustainable lighting for our society and our own health, the LED design is a significant improvement over older lighting technologies. No doubt, future improvements will eliminate the negatives of LED lighting to provide an even better product. If you purchase LED lights for your home or business, be ready to take precautions to ensure that they are used and disposed of safely.


We hope you have gained valuable knowledge from reading our article “LED Lighting – Questions About Safety” and can use some of these helpful tips during your daily lives.