How Do Grow Lights Damage Eyes When LED Glasses Aren’t Worn?
People are wising up to the need to wear a good quality pair of LED glasses when using LED grow lights. However, some people are still choosing to go into these harshly lit areas without adequate protection, which shows that there is still a ways to go to convince everyone just how critical it is to have proper eye coverage.
We hope the compelling evidence in this article convinces you of the need to wear protective eyewear when in the presence of powerful LED grow lights. Before we do that, however, let’s begin by taking a look at the different types of light that you are subjected to in this kind of environment.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
The light that’s emitted by most types of LED grow lights contains the full range of visible light from the electromagnetic spectrum. This spectrum is made up of the range of electromagnetic radiation, or in other words, energy that radiates outwards. Radio waves reside at one end of the spectrum, while X-rays and Gamma rays reside at the other.
There are many different types of LED grow lights on the market, and it’s best to wear LED glasses with all of them, but especially with those that emit blue, infrared or UV light frequencies. As we’ll see shortly, each type of light can damage the eye in a different way.
So, How Exactly Do LED Lights Damage Vision?
Any type of light found in the electromagnetic spectrum can damage the eyes if it’s sufficiently strong, with the worst offenders being UVA, UVB and blue light frequencies. In this section, we take a closer look at various eye issues that can result from failing to wear LED glasses.
Not wearing suitable eyewear, you become vulnerable to:
Cataracts - which result in a clouding of your eye’s lens, which can permanently affect the way that the lens focuses light.
Macular degeneration - a progressive condition that’s a leading cause of age-related sight problems and impacts the central component of your vision.
Photokeratitis - a short-term issue that’s also known as ‘snow blindness’ or ‘corneal sunburn’ and is a common issue for skiers and water sport enthusiasts.
Pterygium - colloquially known as ‘surfer’s eye’ due to the number of surfers who get it, this condition manifests itself as a non-cancerous growth on the white of the eye.
Skin Cancer – affects the area in and around the eyelids, with exposed skin being at higher risk of developing skin cancer in the future
The Eye Areas Different Frequency Ranges Affect
Those not wearing LED glasses in the presence of the specialized frequencies emitted by grow lights greatly increase the risk of the issues shown above. The part of the eye that’s affected will depend on the specific spectral qualities.
Infrared light - typically exists in the 780-3000 nm range of the electromagnetic spectrum and doesn’t pass through the eye, so it tends to affect surface structures such as the cornea, iris and lens.
Blue light - occupies the 400-500 nm area of the spectrum, is able to reach the retina and can result in eye strain and premature eye ageing
UV rays - exist in the 100-400 nm spectral range, can pervade the entire eye and are associated with both cataracts and degeneration of the retina.
The severity and permanence of any of the conditions listed above will depend on the strength of the light and the amount of time spent in it. The longer you’re exposed, the more severe the conditions can become.
LED Glasses Are Important to Anyone Valuing Their Eye Health
The fact is that when you’re in a grow room bathed in this specialized lighting, it’s very common to feel eye irritation and watering, as well as experience mild blurring of your vision. This is because a variety of light frequencies are often present, which means your eyes are under attack from all areas.
You should absolutely take heed of what your eyes are telling you. If you don’t, eye health issues can turn from temporary inconveniences to longer-lasting and even permanent defects. So, do yourself a favor and make sure that you’re among the increasing number of indoor growers who take the necessary precautions to safeguard their vision.