Watchdog safety alert on LED light

October 26, 2010

PARENTS have been warned to keep young children away from areas lit by new-style light-emitting diode (LED) lights and to avoid toys that use the lamps.

Public health watchdog Anses has just completed first tests on the lights, which are starting to be increasingly used in many different applications, and says it found that some were not suitable for public use.

LED bulbs can last for 25 years and give out an intense blue-white light. They give the same illumination as a traditional incandescent lamp, but use only a tenth of the energy. They are starting to replace traditional lamps and a report in the Daily Mail said London’s Dorchester Hotel had cut its £150,000 lighting bill by a third since switching to LED lighting.

Now they are used as car running lights, billboards, kitchens and on TVs.

Anses tested nine types of LED lights against the IEC 62471 standards and rated three in the second-highest risk band.

It says the intense blue-white light is a “toxic stress” on the retina, with a severe dazzling risk. Youngsters are particularly sensitive to this risk as their eyes are still developing and the lens is not capable of filtering out the light wavelengths.

Anses that the intensity of LED lights should be reduced and public use restricted to lamps that give off the same intensity as traditional ones. High-intensity LED lamps should be for professional use only.

Read the entire Anses report (in French).

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