LED Lights: LEDs are used all over the world for lighting and a variety of devices. But according to one study, the blue light of LEDs can have widespread negative effects on human health and the environment. Academics from the University of Exeter have found that in European countries, the white light of LEDs is increasing instead of the orange light of the old sodium lights, from the analysis of photos taken by the International Space Station (ISS).
Researchers say that LED lighting is more energy efficient and costs less to operate. But the increase in radiation from the associated blue light is causing “substantial biological effects” across the continent. The study also claimed that previous research into the effects of light pollution may have underestimated the effects of blue light radiation.
Chief among the health consequences of blue light is its ability to suppress the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep patterns in humans and other organisms. Several scientific studies have warned that exposure to artificial blue light can disturb people’s sleep patterns. Which over time can give rise to many types of diseases. The increase in blue light radiation in Europe has also reduced the visibility of stars in the night sky. According to the study, this “could have an impact on people’s sense of nature.”
Blue light can also change the behavior patterns of animals, including bats and moths, as it can alter their movements towards light sources. The UK is one of the countries most affected by the effects of transition to LED night lighting, particularly the risk of melatonin suppression, the study noted. Fifty-one percent of street lights in the UK were powered by LED in 2019. Italy, Romania, Ireland and Spain were also identified as countries most vulnerable to the effects of blue light radiation.
The effects are less felt in countries such as Austria and Germany, as old gas and fluorescent bulbs are still used here. This research is published in the journal Science Advances. Darren Evans, Professor of Ecology and Conservation at Newcastle University, has called the study an “extraordinary work” and says it confirms his own findings of how local street lighting has dramatically reduced the abundance of nocturnal insect moths. has reduced. Another expert has said that light pollution can dramatically affect the animals.
He said that we should consider lighting from a wider biological perspective than just humans and focus on better quality lighting that is in harmony with our natural world. Some city councils in England are already recognizing the impact of LED lighting. trying to reduce. Some are reducing the illumination during night hours and changing the bandwidth of their LED bulbs to produce less harmful blue light.