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#31 - LED

Today the computer has become an indispensable tool for carrying out our work.  And not only that, but smartphones, tablets or PDAs have been introduced into our lives in such a way that they are irreplaceable.

What these devices have in common is a system of LEDs to illuminate the display. In 2012, the EU urged the governments of member countries to replace traditional bulbs with a new generation of lamps, among which LED lighting systems stand out.

Its advantageous features in terms of energy saving and power have resulted in LEDs easily and massively entering the market, and there are more and more elements that they contain. However, the alarm just went off regarding the harmful effects that LEDs may have on us.

A study by the Complutense University of Madrid, led by Dr.   Celia Sánchez- Ramos, has been able to verify the fact that a 72-hour exposure to LED lights that emit blue light is the cause of damage to the human retina. To this we must add that 93% of the pigment epithelial cells die if they have no protection in terms of this type of lighting.

These findings join other similar investigations conducted by Israel’s University of Haifa, the reports issued by the Office of Food Safety and Labour of France, and the opinion of countless ophthalmologists and opticians who have long warned that the retina weakens due to continued exposure to unfiltered light.

Among the professionals who spend the most time under this type light includes dentists and surgeons who use lasers, computer technicians, lighting technicians and all the large bulk of people who have a job that constantly are using a computer. We cannot forget that the Spanish pass an average of 7.2 hours in front of the computer screen, sometimes for pleasure but for work in many other hours. We look at the screens directly and our eyes are eventually stressed. In the words of some eye doctors, our vision has not evolved to look directly at the light but to reinterpret it. Thus, our eyes end up being affected.

It is estimated that over 15% of workers have a nomadic job with which  laptop use is most common during their daily routine. Eye strain because of improper lighting or lighting contrast is a constant that also creates awkward postures to avoid glare and reflections.

The danger is also present in the offices that have these types of lamps for lighting. Even some professional transportation drivers have complained that the influence of these lights in vehicles can dazzle and blind the drivers we come across on the road.

If solutions are not put forth by means of   prevention measures, cases of myopia will increase by 70% due to high exposure to artificial lights to which we are subjected daily. The best prevention for avoiding vision damage is to apply an appropriate filter, which can reduce the deterioration of our retina by up to 90%. In addition, in the future the negative effect of LEDs will be counteracted by means of the use of glasses with screens with built-in filters.

We also recommend being about 40 cm away from the computer screen, taking short breaks, relaxing your eyes by looking at far locations and using screens larger than 14 inches. As regards spaces, we must regulate natural light with curtains or blinds to prevent glare and place the equipment parallel to the ceiling to enhance the lighting on the keyboard.


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