The Effects of LED Lights

June 09, 2018

LED light   
LED lights are known to be the more energy saving successor to the standard yellow lights previously used in streetlights, home lamps, and car headlights. The more affordable blue LED bulbs emit a colder glare not unlike the blue light emitted from our smartphones. Smartphones and computer screens are a known deterrent to a good night’s sleep, disrupting our circadian rhythms at an hour when we should be winding down our day. The unexpected result of this modern lighting is that it is less pleasing to human needs that economic advantages don’t account for. 
   
The blue light emitting from street lamps more closely resemble the cold, sterile glare of a grocery store than the cozy ambiance of an old Paris street. LED lighting has also moved into art galleries and museums, where their harsh glare has put art in a less flattering light. While a step towards a more sustainable future, LED has, in many ways, removed the romanticism from much of public life. It’s hard to argue in favor of reverting back to a more gentle glow when economics are a factor. However, there is a case to be made for the effects of LED lighting on sleep. 
   
Residents of homes and apartments living on streets where the glare of LED street lights is peeking through their window have experienced poorer sleep. Lower energy costs are gained at the expense of a more tired, less productive population. Powering down your devices near bedtime is no good when you’re exposed to bright blue lights from other sources keeping you too alert to fall asleep. 
   
What we need is greater consciousness about the effects of this advance in technology. There must be more discernment applied to the use of warm-white and blue-minimized bulbs you’d find in a restaurant patio, holiday lighting, or at a theme park. There are warmer lighting options available to implement in our homes that still fall under the LED label. These can be applied in our streets and especially in places like offices, art galleries, and other private spaces. 



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