Are strip lights safe? Safety features of LED strip lights
The popularity of LED lightbulbs has increased dramatically in recent years, often making them the standard lighting technology as opposed to traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. This is due to their greater energy efficiency and longer lifespan, which is beneficial for both the environment and keeping costs down. However, as with many newer forms of technology, some people have concerns about LED lightbulbs and LED strip lights, which are also very popular. Indeed, their cost-effectiveness cannot be denied, but are strip lights safe?
Why are LED strip lights so popular?
LED strip lights are now a firm favourite of consumers due to their flexibility and wide range of colours. LED strip lights are mounted on a flexible circuit board that can be fixed onto a range of surfaces in your home, whereas incandescent and fluorescent lightbulbs have to be placed inside specific fixtures and therefore cannot offer the same level of flexibility and customisation. You can also find LED strip lights in a wide range of colours, and there are even colour changing options.
Are strip lights safe?
As mentioned above, some people have concerns about the safety of LED strip lights. However, there are many reasons why LED strip lights can actually be considered safer than traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Firstly, like other LED lights, LED strip lights have lower heat emissions than other types of bulbs. In particular, incandescent bulbs contain a wire filament that is heated until it glows, which can make the bulb hot to the touch and therefore dangerous to handle. LED lights don’t use this technology and don’t reach these dangerous temperatures. Therefore, it is very unlikely that LED lights will overheat and thus cause a fire.
In addition, LED strip lights and other LED bulbs are less toxic than other lightbulbs. For example, fluorescent lightbulbs contain a small amount of mercury, meaning that they can’t just be thrown in the bin and need to go to an appropriate recycling or disposal site. While LED lights do contain some dangerous substances, they are only in very small amounts, so these lights can be disposed of with the rest of your rubbish. Just make sure to wear protective gloves and perhaps a mask if you need to clean up a shattered bulb.
What are the misconceptions?
Although these facts demonstrate the safety of LED strip lights, many myths and misconceptions remain. Let’s debunk some of the most common myths below:
1 - Flickering LED lights cause health problems
Are led strips safe if they’re flickering all the time? While it’s true that LED lights often flicker at high speeds, which can be invisible to the human eye, the link between flickering lights and issues such as headaches isn’t well established. However, if you do experience headaches, buying high-quality LED strip lights, such as those at Ultra LEDs, can reduce the flickering and potentially solve this issue.
2 - LED strip lights disrupt your circadian rhythm
It’s true that blue light, which is emitted by LEDs, can disrupt your circadian rhythm as it triggers melanopsin receptors in your eyes, which increases alertness. Therefore, if you’re exposed to a lot of blue light at night, you will become more alert at this time and may struggle to sleep. However, you can greatly reduce this issue by buying ‘warm white’ LED strip lights that contain less blue light. Additionally, as long as you’re not staring at your lightbulbs, most of the blue light you’re exposed to probably comes from LED screens on your laptop or phone instead. Luckily, many of these devices allow you to make the screen warmer, or you can avoid screens before bed.
3 - LED strip lights cause eyestrain
Since blue light exposure has been linked to eye strain and macular degeneration, are led strip lights safe for eyes? Ultimately, as mentioned above, most of the blue light your eyes are exposed to comes from screens, so regularly taking breaks from looking at your phone and laptop is advisable. If you’re still concerned about the effects of blue light from LED strips on your eyes, then warm white LED strip lights would be better for you. This includes lights with a colour temperature below 2700K. Avoid lights above 3000K if you want to reduce blue light exposure.
Final thoughts: are led strip lights safe for eyes?
So, are led strips safe? As demonstrated throughout this article, LED strip lights are safer than traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs in many ways, including heat emissions, fire safety and toxicity. Of course, concerns remain about the effects of blue light on our eyes and circadian rhythms, but these concerns are more relevant to screens than lightbulbs. If you’re interested in buying LED strip lights due to their superior safety, efficiency and flexibility, then why not browse the wide variety of lights available at Ultra LEDs?