The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety has published a 400-page report warning that “exposure to an intense and powerful [LED] light is ‘photo-toxic’ and can lead to irreversible loss of retinal cells and diminished sharpness of vision,” according to an article published by the Agence France-Presse.
Even chronic exposure to lower intensity sources can “accelerate the [aging] of retinal tissue” and cause a loss of vision and contribute to “age-related macular degeneration,” the study concluded, with the AFP adding that LED lighting is set to “top 60 percent” of the general lighting market next year.
Noting the proliferation of cellphones and other devices with backlit screens, the report said these “do not pose a risk of eye damage” because of the low luminosity of the light.
But it cautioned that when used at night or in a dark setting, such gadgets can “disturb biological rhythms” and so disrupt sleep patterns. Prolonged exposure to the lowintensity light can also lead to headaches and fatigue.
With regard to general lighting, the French government agency recommends use of “warm white” LED bulbs. As for backlit devices, the agency said to avoid viewing LED screens before bedtime.