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Do LEDs cause eye strain or make it harder to see?  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
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We switched out most of our lights to LEDs during the summer, since we didn't really want incandescents creating heat when it was already hot. But, even though they are supposedly just as bright as our incandescent bulbs, it always seems like the lights are never bright enough.

It's plenty bright--it's not like it's dark--but I always feel like the lights just aren't bright enough, my eyes feel tired, and I want more lights on so I can see better. Are my eyes just getting old, or is it something about the LEDs that make it hard to see? Maybe the fact that they blink plays tricks on my eyes? Or maybe it's because they get dimmer with age while still working?
Or maybe it's the spectrum? We have them in the "yellow" spectrum, so that the light looks like incandescents, but maybe there's something slightly different that makes it harder to see?

Does anyone else experience this phenomenon, or have any ideas as to why it might be happening?

Thanks!
 
Jarret Hynd
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Nicole Alderman wrote:
Does anyone else experience this phenomenon, or have any ideas as to why it might be happening?


I've heard of it with Lighting, since there are studies about florescents lights used in schools and causing a similar phenomena where some students would feel more tired in that lighting. I have this LED in my main room which is on about 8 hours a day. Bought it 2 years ago, so I figure it's worked around 4,000+ hours minimum. At the start I noticed I was squinting a lot, but after about 2 weeks I adjusted, though again this may just be that I'm used to them over the course of my life as they seem similar to florescents.

Take this graph and info with a grain of salt, as the internet is a wild place



The argument against LEDs is that sunlight has all of the spectrums in proper intensities which help keep things, such as our body, in balance. I assume that the lack of (infra)red spectrum in LEDs and Florescents is a potential issue here. Since infra-red is thermal radiation(heat), you could get it from many places though, but it wouldn't help much with lighting, if you want to keep the house cool. Not sure what the answer would be besides to put the incandescent lights back in and see if there is a change and if the amount of heat is worth the amount of change you feel.

I won't do anymore guess-work and leave the science to someone else

---

It's hard to determine what is the cause of your tiredness as there isn't enough information that could conclude it's 100% the LED bulbs. For me, when it starts to get cooler and the days shorter, I simply feel more tired - which is noticeable now that October is around the corner.

 
Roberto pokachinni
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There may be something to this idea:  Natural light, that our bodies have evolved to deal with, is usually fire based (stars, sun, fire), and producing heat even if only at a distance.  The odd man or woman out here is the moon, which is reflective light from the sun, but it is warm light as it comes from the sun.  I have a fluorescent bulb in my room which I don't particularly like the look of, but it came with the lamp my mom gave me... so I turn the whole lamp so that it faces a stained wooden shelf, and all I get is the reflected light off the wood.  Even though it is not running in the same spectrum, having the light reflect off the wood, makes it far warmer, less harsh, and less tiring on the eyes.  Back to the fire idea:     An incandescent bulb's light is produced by an electrical current heating a fine filament enough so that it glows super bright without self destructing. <-a marvelous invention as far as I'm concerned.  At any rate, the infrared might be something that we humans need as part of our light spectrum, particularly if we are not spending a lot of time outside, and thus it might be harder for one person to deal with, while another person-who gets his or her regular dose of heat light, might not feel as affected.  
 
R Scott
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There is something to it.  Cutting edge research on some of it.

Our mitochondria (the things that make energy in our cells) are light sensitive.  So even having a light on while you sleep affects them.

And both the spectrum and the flicker affect us in ways we can't perceive.

Paul was right to use incandescent bulbs for way more reasons than he realized!
 
Stacy Witscher
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As I age, I find that nothing helps me see better than more light. I got glasses a few years ago. I've worn them half a dozen times, useless things. More light is always better, especially right where I need it, like spotlighting.

I haven't used incandescents in decades, our weather is way too warm for that, but I used to be able to use less wattage than I do now.
 
Greg Martin
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We switched to all LEDs and haven't noticed any effects at all.  I love them.
 
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