As city planners move forward with swapping existing luminaires with cheap and long-life LED lights, British Health Authorities warned that these illumination devices might lead to eyesight damage. Public Health England stated that health risks include permanent jet lag and retina damage.
LED Street Lights Found to Be Uncomfortable and Potentially Unhealthy
For some time now, LED light has been found to cheaper and last longer compared to other illumination devices. This one of the reasons why many UK city planner have decided to modernize the public illumination system, using LED lights instead of conventional bulbs.
While this initiative translates into lower costs in terms of maintenance and energy consumption, Public Health England has warned that it’s too early to make this change, as the devices were found to be not only uncomfortable but potentially unhealthy.
In a recently published study, member of the PHE has demonstrated that LED street lights can physically create discomfort, as the light source can produce glare sources and, in the long run, add up to the city’s light pollution issue.
The study also revealed that although a LED street light solution might deal with drivers dozing off on the road, as the light source keeps them alert, it might dazzle elderly drivers or those with eyesight issues.
More than that, the more modern LED street lights have been discovered to emit a high quantity of blue light. Medical studies have revealed that prolonged exposure to a blue light source can negatively impact health, leading to issues such as obesity, insomnia, some forms of cancer, and a condition known as permanent jet lag.
Blue lights can also lead to eyesight issues such as permanent retina damage. For now, the PHE recommends city planners to stick with commonly-used illumination system until a better LED-based solution can be found.
Image source: Geograph