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LED lights at Marks PharmacyWhen it comes to LED lighting, most people will tout the low-power draw as a benefit to the environment and the pocketbook. If those aren't good enough reasons to switch, then consider the health benefits.


Let’s start with what is not in LED light bulbs – toxic materials. Traditional and fluorescent light bulbs both contain mercury. Exposure to high levels of mercury can be linked to health issues ranging from rashes to birth defects and even death. There’s not enough mercury in light bulbs to do this kind of damage but why expose yourself to it you don’t need to? LED bulbs contain no mercury.

Reading Light. Image by sashafatcat via flickrThe second health benefit of switching to LED lighting is reducing exposure to UV radiation. LED lights have no UV radiation – something that the eco-popular CFL lights can’t claim.  In August 2008, the Oxford University Press published a study that looked at UV emission from CFLs (those curly bulbs) and found that when used in desk or task lamps, these bulbs pose a risk of UV overexposure to the skin. All that avoiding the sun, and you could be doing harm just by reading a book. LED lights do not emit UV radiation.

But perhaps the most significant health benefit to going LED is the peace and quiet. LED lights have little to no flickering and that light-bulb hum that we’ve all become accustomed to is non-existent. Now you may be thinking that you don’t notice the hum and you’re used to a little flickering but these two things could be affecting you more than you know.

Flourescent light image by gurmsFlickering, for example can cause headaches, eye strain and discomfort. Studies have shown that offices with fluorescent lighting have 50% higher headache and eye strain complaints (even when flickering is imperceptible. Switching to LED is a good way to get rid of flicker-sickness.

As for that hum that we’ve all learned to tune out, that doesn’t make it harmless. Ever since fluorescents were introduced in the 70’s studies have shown that the droning hum of light bulbs causes fatigue and irritability. Not only that, it can also cause hyperactivity and attention deficits. LED bulbs emit no humming sound.

Office lighting. Image by Brian HenwoodCan you imagine increasing your productivity and attention, improving your mood, reducing your exposure to toxic materials and UV radiation and lowering your chances of getting a headache just by switching to LED light bulbs?

Plus, when people commend you for being eco-friendly and econo-smart, you can smile inside knowing that you’re also doing something great for your (and your family’s) health.

Photo Credits: Reading lamp by sashafatcat, Fluorescent light by gurms, Office by Brian Henwood. All images via Flickr Creative Commons.


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