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Salty_Snack

LED reef lighting dangerous?!

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Salty_Snack

I was doing a significant amount of research into constructing my first DIY LED reef lighting and came across a post on a different forum questioning whether or not LED reef lights were safe since they produce a great deal of light in the blue spectrum. After spending many hours reading about this topic I've learned that the alleged hazard of LED's are two fold.

 

1. A substantial amount of light emitted from LED's is in the blue end of the visible spectrum, mid 400 nm. This light is not energetic enough to ionize molecules but does present some sort of long term exposure risk. (I'm a Chemist, not a Biologist so if there are any biologist out there reading this please chime in)

 

2. The light emitted from an LED, unlike the light emitted from a CF, PC, MH, is a point source similar to a laser with the exception that it is not a coherent beam.

 

The hazard from light sources is broken down into Risk Groups 0 through 3 (RG-0 to RG-3). RG-0 and RG-1 carry no warning since they have no or limited exposure risk. RG-2 has the warning "Do not stare at operating lamp. May be harmful to the eyes." and RG-3 has the warning "Do not look at operating lamp. May result in eye injury."

 

For a detailed explanation see: http://www.dominant-semi.com/userfiles/fil...nt_LED-VerB.pdf

 

Looking at Cree's own XLamp eye safety publication, http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/XLamp_eyeSafety.pdf there LED's actually have between an RG-1 and RG-3 rating for Blue Light (BL) and Blue Light Small Source (BLSS) that varies by model.

 

The XR-E CW, RB, and B all are RG-2 for BL and the CW and B are RG-2 BLSS while the RB are a RG-3 for BLSS. THE XP-E CW, RB are both RG-1 for BL and the XP-E B and XP-G CW are RG-2 for BL. Nothing was given for the XP series with regards to BLSS.

 

So the hazard from powerful reef lighting is real? It seems to be that way. The warning do exist but rarely are they discussed and I have not seen a single distributor bring this up on their site.

 

Does anyone have any real insight into this mater, not just conjecture.

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FireCorals
I was doing a significant amount of research into constructing my first DIY LED reef lighting and came across a post on a different forum questioning whether or not LED reef lights were safe since they produce a great deal of light in the blue spectrum. After spending many hours reading about this topic I've learned that the alleged hazard of LED's are two fold.

 

1. A substantial amount of light emitted from LED's is in the blue end of the visible spectrum, mid 400 nm. This light is not energetic enough to ionize molecules but does present some sort of long term exposure risk. (I'm a Chemist, not a Biologist so if there are any biologist out there reading this please chime in)

 

2. The light emitted from an LED, unlike the light emitted from a CF, PC, MH, is a point source similar to a laser with the exception that it is not a coherent beam.

 

The hazard from light sources is broken down into Risk Groups 0 through 3 (RG-0 to RG-3). RG-0 and RG-1 carry no warning since they have no or limited exposure risk. RG-2 has the warning "Do not stare at operating lamp. May be harmful to the eyes." and RG-3 has the warning "Do not look at operating lamp. May result in eye injury."

 

For a detailed explanation see: http://www.dominant-semi.com/userfiles/fil...nt_LED-VerB.pdf

 

Looking at Cree's own XLamp eye safety publication, http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/XLamp_eyeSafety.pdf there LED's actually have between an RG-1 and RG-3 rating for Blue Light (BL) and Blue Light Small Source (BLSS) that varies by model.

 

The XR-E CW, RB, and B all are RG-2 for BL and the CW and B are RG-2 BLSS while the RB are a RG-3 for BLSS. THE XP-E CW, RB are both RG-1 for BL and the XP-E B and XP-G CW are RG-2 for BL. Nothing was given for the XP series with regards to BLSS.

 

So the hazard from powerful reef lighting is real? It seems to be that way. The warning do exist but rarely are they discussed and I have not seen a single distributor bring this up on their site.

 

Does anyone have any real insight into this mater, not just conjecture.

 

I am going to look into this and see if there is anything in specific my customers / users should be worried about. If there are any findings I will start including them with our products and display some type of warning on our website.

 

One thing is making money and having a beautiful display, another is risking yours or others health without warning.

 

Thank you for sharing this!

Mike C.

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iball1804

Looking at the sun is worse, and we've lived with that problem for a gajillion years.

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bizzarro

Anything intense can be a problem if you look at it a long time even MH has a warning not to look directly at it.

 

Flourescent lights don't seem to have that type of intensity.

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Trick

Yeah, doesn't seem like something people shouldn't already know.

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Whys

Warning: any advice I give is potentially erroneous with consequences up to and including complete system failure. And also, you might go blind.

 

There, now I'm protected. :D

Edited by Whys

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Rome

Looking directly at the sun can cause damage to your eyes, hell using a cell phone may cause brain tumors, although that hasn't been proven. My point is I think we sometimes worry about things we shouldn't, as long as you don't look and stare directly at your LED's everything will be fine.

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PwnMe
Looking at the sun is worse, and we've lived with that problem for a gajillion years.

 

+1

 

Why is this even here? Almost everything about this hobby is dangerous. You gotta wash your hands after putting them in the tank. Fish stores readily sell deadly corals and poisonous fish. We mix saltwater and electricity. If people are staring at the blue lights in their LED fixtures, they are plain retarded and shouldn't be allowed to have a reef tank.

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supernip

im not too sure a lot of you are even qualified to speak on this subject. I know Im not, and find it to be extremely relevant. There are no long term studies of consequences from reef related hazards such as long term exposure to synthetic sea salts, UV radiation, etc.

 

To blatantly disregard it is both ignorant and does an injustice to others. Just because you assume something to be safe doesn't mean it is, especially when you lack the background to understand whats going on.

 

But neither is fear mongering when you have no idea what you're doing either. so keep bringing the lulz

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iball1804
Looking at the sun is worse, and we've lived with that problem for a gajillion years.

Sounds pretty legit to me. Can't understand an argument that says it's good for us to look directly at the sun.

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supernip

or you know, we actually haven't lived with it for a gazillion years and constantly try to find ways to protect ourselves from the sun's damaging effects, directly staring at it or not. and now we're bringing those hazards into our homes.

 

cant understand how you think your statement is any sort of argument at all

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iball1804

The very first recorded inhabitants here on Earth was about ~6,000 years ago. That's a loooong time. I'm assuming they tried to look up at the sun, and it hurt them. So, they didn't do it again and eventually it became common sense. Fast-forward thousands of years to our present time.

 

I believe people now-a-days don't stare at lights for fun. Even if they had no idea it could hurt them, it does.

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supernip
The very first recorded inhabitants here on Earth was about ~6,000 years ago.

 

Okay

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miniwhinny
The very first recorded inhabitants here on Earth was about ~6,000 years ago.

 

:huh:

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iball1804

According to the Bible and google :P

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Captain Hook

....try welding for a living lol

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asting
2. The light emitted from an LED, unlike the light emitted from a CF, PC, MH, is a point source similar to a laser with the exception that it is not a coherent beam. [/indent]

Do you know what else is a point source? The sun.

 

 

As far as damage to eyesight, have you ever looked directly at a 400w metal halide?

  • Haha 1

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neonstingray

I feel at least slightly qualified to comment, having a graduate level bio education and having originally started as a physics major, and having done research in both fields, but honestly I'm a bit confused by the thread. Are we discussing the hazards of staring directly at LED lights, or just the diffusion of light around the aquarium or to people near it?

 

Clear waters,

Austin

Edited by neonstingray
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supernip

staring at it is irrelevant, but diffusion of light is the part of interest

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almost

i look at them and im fine lol, the ambient light has hurt my eyes after 3 hours, same with MH not so much with t5s , same pain from starring at my laptop for 6 hours

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Fel
or you know, we actually haven't lived with it for a gazillion years and constantly try to find ways to protect ourselves from the sun's damaging effects, directly staring at it or not. and now we're bringing those hazards into our homes.

Interesting that you bring up constantly trying to find ways to protect ourselves from the sun's damaging effects. That is a perfect example of people freaking out and over reacting to a danger. Yes, burning your skin to a crispy brown (assuming your normally pale) is bad. That's why a sunburn hurts. Avoiding sunlight like the plague is bad too. Do some quick research on vitamin d deficiency. Rickets is making a come back because people think sun light is damaging, and not realizing it is necessary for good health.

 

staring at it is irrelevant, but diffusion of light is the part of interest

Um, no, if the read the article the OP linked to, the dangers and warnings specifically reference staring and looking directly at the light source. So staring at it is very relevant. You'll notice they mention skin damage, but talk about the eye because for the skin "severe pain occurs before the skin can be damaged."

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supernip
Interesting that you bring up constantly trying to find ways to protect ourselves from the sun's damaging effects. That is a perfect example of people freaking out and over reacting to a danger. Yes, burning your skin to a crispy brown (assuming your normally pale) is bad. That's why a sunburn hurts. Avoiding sunlight like the plague is bad too. Do some quick research on vitamin d deficiency. Rickets is making a come back because people think sun light is damaging, and not realizing it is necessary for good health.

 

 

Um, no, if the read the article the OP linked to, the dangers and warnings specifically reference staring and looking directly at the light source. So staring at it is very relevant. You'll notice they mention skin damage, but talk about the eye because for the skin "severe pain occurs before the skin can be damaged."

 

 

alright, lets play this game. you can get vitamin D in other forms, ie milk. biosynthesis is not the only way you get it. Furthermore, you only need a short period of time in the sunlight to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. I linked you an advisory by the american cancer society below. Scroll down and read the paragraph on vitamin D. Don't make this out to be such a huge issue as you're grasping for straws. Sun burns are a protective mechanism and symbolize damage, it's your body killing off potentially cancerous or otherwise damaged cells. Sunlight is likely good for morale and the circadian rhythm, with short periods "required" for vitamin D but please show me some evidence its needed for other functions.

 

in fact, go ahead and find any sort of research that advocates any extended period of sun exposure without sunscreen, eye protection etc. I doubt you'll find many.

 

As to the staring at the lights thing. I don't stare directly at my lights and I bet few people do. Those that do for any period of time probably deserve a darwin award. That point is irrelevant as no one does it. What is relevant is the amount of light exposure from staring at the tank.

 

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/...-u-v-protection

Edited by supernip

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iball1804
Sounds pretty legit to me. Can't understand an argument that says it's good for us to look directly at the sun.

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supernip

was that your only point? if so I concede.

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iball1804

Yes.

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