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Are LED Grow Lights Harmful to Humans?

Modern technology has made plantation and farming quite easy. After the introduction of LED grow lights, we can easily mimic the sunlight and provide a fruitful spectrum that can help in the growth of plants.

These grow lights have taken indoor farming to the next level.

Undoubtedly, LED grow lights have numerous benefits, but many people are confused about their safe use.

If you are concerned about whether these lights are harmful to humans or not, you are not alone; it’s frequently asked.

In this article, we will answer some common questions related to the safe use of LED grow lights and clear all your doubts.

What Types of Light Can be Dangerous?

Overexposure to any light can be dangerous, even if it is natural sunlight. This is why people use protective sunblock when they are overexposed to the sun for a long time.

On the basis of wavelength and frequency, electromagnetic radiations are classified and named. It is essential to understand the type of electromagnetic radiations to know which could be dangerous for humans.

Look at the table below to observe the classification of electromagnetic radiations.

led grow fixtures

White light is composed of various electromagnetic radiations, but principally it is composed of UV, Visible, and IR radiations.

These three radiations combinedly represent white light, whether it be artificial or natural sunlight.

The above classification clearly shows that only one band of light is visible to us, and most of the portion of white light, IR and UV, is invisible to humans.

Although the portion is invisible, it could be dangerous to eyesight.

The wavelengths that are below the wavelength of the visible spectrum are dangerous. It means UV rays and other radiations having lesser wavelengths are quite harmful.

The intensity of harming humans increases as the wavelength decreases. On the other hand, the visible portion and radiations having more wavelength do not harm humans.

UV rays can be further classified into three types as UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVC has the shortest wavelength amongst all; therefore, it is the most dangerous one.

Luckily, the atmospheric layers of Earth do not allow UVC radiations to pass, so the sunlight that we receive does not have the UVC radiations.

Similarly, LED grow light bulbs and other types of LED grow lights do not emit UVC radiation as they are not designed to do so.

led grow lamp

Image Source: https://www.darkniteglow.com/ 

UVA and UVB radiations are present in the sunlight and the light produced by LED grow fixtures. These two types of radiation are dangerous to humans. They can also cause various skin diseases, including skin cancer.

Moreover, our cornea cannot filter UVA rays, so it is also harmful to our eyes.

UV rays are harmful; however, these are only dangerous if the skin is overexposed to the light for a very long time and at a very high intensity.

There is no need to worry about these radiations as protective measures can be taken. With the correct safety measures, these radiations do not harm the skin.

Sunlight also gives off these radiations, but with the correct measures, the hazards can be prevented.

We already know the effects of UV lights, and now, let’s see whether the LED grow lights emit UV rays or not.

Do LED Grow Lights Emit UV?

When it comes to indoor farming, it is essential to provide the required spectrum to the plants. Otherwise, the photosynthesis, growth, and level of nutrients can be affected.

Plants need various radiations to continue the processes, which is why LED grow light strips and lamps emit various radiations.

Plants do not require UV rays for photosynthesis; however, the presence of UV light offers some advantages.

Some of the benefits of UVA and UVB lights include quicker photosynthesis, protection from pests, more nutrients, and better yield. Thus, UV lights are excellent for indoor growers.

For more details on the benefits of UV rays on plants, you can read this article

led grow light strips

Image Source: Wikipedia

Now, we understand that UV rays are good for plants, so the answer to the question would be quite clear.

LED grow lights also emit UV rays to provide more benefits to the indoor farmer.

There are different types of LED grow lights available, and they produce different types of spectrum. Indoor farmers need to select the right LED grow lights for their crops.

Are LED Grow Fixtures Dangerous for Humans?

For a better understanding of this question, we would like to ask another question.

Do you think mobile screens are dangerous to humans?

Your answer would probably be YES if you know mobile phones emit blue radiations that are harmful to eyesight.

But does it mean we should stop using mobile phones?

Absolutely not!

Everyone would prefer to use mobile phones with some preventive measures. The screen time must be controlled, and radiations should be as low as possible. You can also use UV and blue light protective lenses to protect your eyesight.

led grow lights vs mobile screen radiationThere is no doubt that mobile screens can also cause various issues; therefore, we need to take suitable steps to mitigate and eliminate the cause of harm.

The same is the case with LED grow lights. LED grow lights also emit harmful radiation, just like the sunlight, so we need to take preventive measures.

Preventive Measures

The workers working in the environment with LED grow lights should wear protective dresses. They also need to control the time they spend under the LED grow lamp or any other fixture.

These lights could harm humans, but it depends on the nature of the radiation emitted from the fixture and the duration of the exposure.

Obviously, prolonged exposure to such lights is harmful; therefore, it must be controlled.

Moreover, the workers should wear fully covered clothes, such as full sleeve shirt or any other protective dress, to protect their skin.

The radiations from LED grow lights are also harmful to the eyes as they contain UV rays. However, you can easily find suitable glasses for LED grow lights.

These glasses provide the ultimate protection from such harmful rays, and there won’t be any harm to the wearer.

Another important safety measure is the distance of the LED grow fixture from the worker.

You cannot place these light fixtures too far as they won’t provide the required radiations to the plants. However, there should be a minimum clearance of 3 feet between the fixture and the worker.

Some LED grow lights could even provide excellent results at a clearance of more than 3 feet, but some must be placed at 3 feet from the crop.

Long story short, we can say that LED grow lights can be harmful to humans if not used correctly.

There are some standards and safety measures that must be considered to avoid any harm. People can use LED grow lights in their indoor farms with the required safety measures.

Tips for Indoor Growers

Create a Suitable Indoor System

The first important thing for indoor growers is their indoor system.

Everything depends on the indoor system they have created for farming. The system or area must be packed with light and should have the required ventilation. 

The LED light fixtures must be properly placed at an efficient and suitable distance to offer better yield. Similarly, the whole system must be adequate and suitable for the farming of the crop.

led grow light bulbs

Take Safety Measures

We have already discussed the hazards and dangers of LED grow lights. These lights need safety measures that every indoor grower needs to keep in mind.

The workers should wear glasses that are designed for LED grow lights. Moreover, other precautionary measures should be kept in mind.

In all indoor farming systems, it is important to educate the workers and display the signs to keep everyone aware.

Better Understanding of Radiations and Spectrum

Indoor growers need to understand which spectrum and radiations are suitable for the plants and how they can control the radiations.

For instance, UV lights are beneficial for plants if used correctly. The correct intensity, type of radiation, spectrum, and every aspect are important to understand.

Moreover, for the safety of workers, it is also necessary to understand the hazards and dangers of various radiations.

Choose the Right LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights must be chosen according to the plant you are growing indoors.

These lights come in various types and offer different radiation spectrums. Indoor farmers need to understand what the plant needs.

After that, they need to select suitable LED grow lights. It is important to have a look at the review of LED grow lights before making a purchase. 

Other Common Questions

Are HPS Lights Bad for Your Eyes?

Yes, prolonged exposure to HPS lights is bad for the eyes. HPS lights emit a high level of UV rays that are quite harmful to the eyes, as the UVA cannot be filtered by the cornea.

Thus, it is better to take safety measures while using HPS lights.

Can LED Grow Lights Cause Cancer?

LED grow lights emit UV rays (UVA and UVB) that can cause cancers in the case of prolonged exposure and no safety measures.

It is important to understand how much time is suitable to spend under these lights, and you need to take all safety measures, including clothing.

Are LED Grow Lights Safe for Pets?

LED grow lights are completely safe for your pets. There is no evidence or report of any harm to animals and pets. LED grow lights are just like other lights we use, and they have the same effect on pets as others.

Do Grow Lights Damage Furniture?

Grow lights are not meant to damage furniture; however, the UV rays in grow lights can fade the colors, but this is only possible if the furniture is exposed to high-intensity UV rays.