LED Lightbulbs Can Quickly Make You Feel Sick
I thought I was crazy when the new lights in my office made me feel sick, but it's actually a common problem.
Many businesses and homeowners are ditching old, fluorescent lighting fixtures and replacing them with energy-saving LED light. Unfortunately, scientists now say that while LED bulbs can money, they can also make you feel sick.
This morning I walked into my office like I do every day and flicked on the light. Immediately I knew something was different. The room seemed to flicker in a dim, bluish hue. Thinking a bulb had burned out, I looked up to find that my fluorescent fixtures had been replaced with new, recessed LED lighting.
I decided to give the new light a chance since this was apparently part of a lighting upgrade project that is being done at our office. Newer is always better, right? I sat down at my desk and started to prepare for the day when I noticed that I was having trouble reading some papers on my desk. After quickly moving my head I began to realize that the light was flickering very quickly, making me feel a little disoriented. By the time I was through reading my morning emails my head was spinning and I was starting to feel car sick.
It turns out that this is a very common side effect of LED lighting. Professor Arnold Wilkins, professor of psychology at the University of Essex, tells the Daily Mail that people who are exposed to LED lights can start feeling dizzy and ill within 20 minutes of exposure. Much of the problem, he says, comes from the very quick flickering of the bulbs. Because they are digital, LEDs quickly turn on and off hundreds of times a second. This flutter causes our brains to work harder, disrupts the movement of your eyes and can cause headaches, dizziness and even nausea.
The type of light emitted by LEDs is also concerning many health professionals. Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green, and blue wavelengths. Energy-saving LEDs, however, emit a much larger amount of light in the blue spectrum which many scientists believe can cause negative health effects. While the bulbs are saving money and energy, they could be negatively affecting sleep patterns, productivity and general well-being.
While I'm not sure what I can do about the new lights installed in my office, you may want to consider the effects of the LED lights before upgrading the fixtures in your home. It's best to test out any lighting before installing them to avoid being stuck with bulbs that make you feel sick.
For now, I guess it's just another excuse for me to go home early today.