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LED light can damage retinal cells - added perspective

Awareness of Blue light is increasing but the consequences are not commonly known. The intent of these posts are to share useful factual information regarding Blue light impact, and benefit your health.

A recent article published by the “Deccan Chronicle” referenced…

  • “Kelvin” (i.e. measurement of Color Temperature) in relation to the amount of Blue light from LED lighting and potential damage the retina in the eye.
  • A quote from the American Optometric Association, “categorically stated that the Blue light damage to the retina is a cause of concern”.
  • A recommendation from the American Optometric Association “light’s colour must be less than 3,000 Kelvin”.

The Color Temperature of light is confusing to the general population, so we investigated the article. For anyone interested, we included additional scientific reference at the end of this article.

Our research found the “recent study” to be an article by the American Medical Association regarding health and safety problems from LED streetlights (link provided below).

The human eye sees three colors of light blue, green and red. While these LED lights are energy efficient and bright, they actually emit a significant amount of Blue light; the higher the Color temperature, the more amount of Blue light. The Blue light results in glare and veiled glare which causes vision impairment in the immediate term and may be related to retinal damage over the long term.

Effectively filtering Blue light is something we should all be concerned about.

We will always post the articles we review, and any other articles referenced.


In an effort to promote understanding, Blue light is a high frequency, short wavelength light (defined to be 400-500 nanometers) it scatters more than longer wavelength light, which is the cause of glare..

Color Temperature is a measurement of spectral content of light and generally the higher the Kelvin temperature (K) value, the greater the Blue light content; so artificial light sources that produce light greater than 3000 K, have a higher Blue light content.

There is an equation called Wien’s law that converts Kelvin to Nanometers, where Nanometers is the measurement of light wavelength /frequency. There is a less sophisticated calculation to convert color temperature (Kelvin) to Nanometers and it is simply nm=2,897,768 / K. So according to the article light should have a color temperature less than 965 nanometers.