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Are LED Bulbs Safe?

By NOPEC on  March 12, 2020

For as long as anyone can remember, the emergence of LED bulbs has been hailed as the best energy-efficient alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs and even CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps). However, recent rumblings both online and in-person suggest that LED bulbs could be bad for your health.

Sure, LED bulbs are planet-friendly and save energy, but does that matter if the technology is hurting you? Learn how safe LED bulbs really are for us:

Are LED Bulbs Dangerous?

This question started being asked a lot more after a newsletter by Harvard University said excessive exposure at night to blue light may throw your circadian rhythms and melatonin levels out of whack. And that means your sleep is adversely affected, which may contribute to illnesses like diabetes, certain cancers, and depression.

So the conclusion of the study in question was that being around lots of blue light before bedtime affects your sleep and stress levels. And less sleep and more stress could have negative effects on
your body. While it’s true that certain LED bulbs emit blue light, standing outside on a sunny day exposes you to far more blue light than any LED bulb.

But if exposure to blue light is a concern, there are many things you can do to protect yourself. First, there are blue light-blocking glasses that can be worn to minimize its effects. Since blue light can
affect your sleep, you would only need to wear blue light-blocking glasses at night. Another tip to minimize blue light exposure is to turn off computers, tablets, and phones 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Many electronics now even have screen darkening functions that turn on automatically at night. And a final tip to minimize blue light is to use cool white LED bulbs since they emit far less blue light than standard warm white LEDs.

LED vs. CFL

When comparing bulbs selections, some people think that LEDs are a bit too pricey. So they opt for CFLs, thinking they’re a great replacement for energy-hogging incandescent bulbs. And while they
may save more electricity than incandescent bulbs, CFLs also have mercury (a neurotoxin) in them. That’s why extra precautions need to be taken when cleaning up after a broken CFL bulb.

CFLs were a great option before LED bulbs were introduced, but now that LED bulbs are readily available everywhere, the high prices of many of them have gone down. And considering that LEDs
use 5X less power than incandescent bulbs, the clear winner for the environment and your health is an LED bulb.

Most Dangerous Light Bulbs Ranked with Energy Efficiency

While CFL bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent lights, the fact that they contain mercury means they are less safe than other bulbs. And even though incandescents are safer than CFLs, they don’t dissipate heat so they get very hot to the touch and be a potential burn risk.

Why LEDs are the Safest Light Bulbs

Considering that LED bulbs contain no mercury like CFLs and can’t get hot like incandescent, LED bulbs are the safest light bulbs. If blue light absorption is a concern, simply avoid blue light a few hours before bed or get a pair of blue light-blocking glasses.

What really makes them stand out among other bulbs is how much energy and money you can save with LED bulbs. They use 75% less energy and last up to 25% longer than incandescents. To find out how much money you can save on your electricity bill, here’s an LED vs. Incandescent savings calculator.

When deciding which type of lightbulb is the safest for your family, it’s essential to make energy savings a part of the equation. After all, the safest thing you can do for your family is to ensure a
a healthy, clean world for future generations.

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Tags: NOPEC, Energy Tips, Energy Efficiency
Categories: Consumer Questions

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