LED lights are growing in popularity, offering reduction in energy consumption, longer-lasting bulbs and bright lighting. For 99% of people, LED light sensitivity won’t be an issue. But others may experience sensitivity that includes:
Can LED Lights Make You Sick?
Maybe. The bulbs go on and off hundreds of times a second, but the flicker is so quick that you don’t notice that it’s occurring. Some people are more sensitive than others to the flickering, which can cause a person to feel unwell or dizzy.
The symptoms subside when away from the light and don’t pose any serious, long-term risks.
If you’ve ever went from a dark space and walked outside into the sun, you may experience symptoms similar to that of LED light sensitivity. The light is bright, hurts the eyes and you may just have to look away from it.
Think you have light sensitivity? Look for these common symptoms:
- Eye pain
- Eye discomfort
- Watering or burning eyes
- Excessive blinking
- Light intolerance
Any light source can cause these symptoms, but you can make subtle changes that can help eliminate or limit the light sensitivity that you’re experiencing.
3 Factors That May Be Causing Your Symptoms
What causes you to be sensitive to some lights and not others? The light source may have numerous contributing factors that can lead to your symptoms:
- Flickering. LED lights always have flickering that you can’t see with the naked eye, but the issue is made worse if the light is malfunctioning in some way.
- Brightness. One of the main factors for people with light intolerance is the brightness of the light. If you have migraines from your lights, it may be best to choose a lower brightness level or to dim the lights if necessary.
- Cooler bulbs. Light temperature, primarily cooler light, which is closer to daylight, may be an issue. Warmer temperatures may help reduce the light sensitivity that you’re experiencing.
A simple solution for anyone with LED light sensitivity is to change out their bulbs to a bulb that offers a warmer temperature and lower brightness level. For example, if you have a 40W equivalent bulb, you may need to lower the equivalent wattage to a 25W option.
Smart bulbs make this easier by allowing you to dim or brighten the bulb as necessary. This is a great option for home use when trying to find the right level of brightness or the right color of light that won’t cause your symptoms to worsen.
If this doesn’t help, you can still enjoy all of the great benefits of LED lighting by making a few changes.
Take Additional Steps to Reduce LED Light Sensitivity
You can take steps, starting today, to reduce your own light sensitivity. A few of the recommendations that can have a dramatic effect on your symptoms are:
- Remove LED night lights. LED bulbs emit a blue-whitish color when they’re cooler in temperature. The light can disrupt your circadian rhythm, impacting your health in the process. The same issue can happen when looking at your phone’s screen before bed and should be avoided.
- Reposition the bulbs. If you use an LED lamp next to your television and stare at the light while watching TV every night, you may want to reposition the light to your side or behind you. A reposition may help limit the flickering your brain is seeing and causing your symptoms.
- Glasses. If you’re sensitive to light and still need to focus on bright lights, you may want to invest in tinted glasses. Specialized glasses can be purchased that will reduce the light’s brightness and blue light, which is likely causing your issues.
- Look away. Again, while a special use case, you may want to look away from the light periodically. Every 20 minutes or so, avert your eyes from the light and see if it makes any difference in the symptoms that you’re experiencing.
LED light sensitivity won’t impact many people, but for those that do experience the symptoms outlined above, small changes in your behavior or in the lighting that you choose can help. The condition is not serious and is manageable if the recommendations above don’t alleviate your symptoms.