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    Does indoor LED lighting
    have a dark side?

    Straightening out the facts of
    indoor LED lighting

    Indoor LED lighting can have various positive effects on people besides its natural obvious energy-saving characteristics. Browse through this page and educate on LED lighting’s various benefits with indoor applications.


    What do experts say, what are scientists telling us, what facts and benefits are out there?

    Be mindful in situations where (poorly controlled) LED light might potentially cause issues. At Philips Lighting we tailor-make LED lighting for all applications that ensures the delivery of the desired quality.

    What experts say

    "LED products are no more hazardous than other lighting technologies that have the same CCT."

    • U.S. Department Of Energy

    View paper


    "The idea that LED lamps emit dangerous levels of blue light, is a misunderstanding."

    • LightingEurope

    View paper

    Health Effects of Artificial Light


    View paper

    Light and Health

    • U.S. Department of Energy

    View paper

    Philips Lighting expertise

    We believe in developing innovative indoor LED lighting solutions that improve and enhance people’s lives and well-being. We aim to provide lighting products that increase the general well-being while also being mindful of our social responsibility and the need to preserve our planet.

    With the right expertise, light can be limited to when and where it’s needed – helping homes/offices/buildings to preserve and enhance natural rhythms and stimulate the body and mind. We use our expertise to develop indoor lighting that can positively contribute to the right indoor lighting needs - light is important. Our innovations deliver impressive energy savings and CO2 reduction with high quality light to make home more comfortable and welcoming. And this is what Philips Lighting does - applying our expertise to tailor our lighting to the needs, delivering light beyond illumination.

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    More info on LED:

    Maurice Donners

    In order to provide accurate information, we always work closely with our own in-house research experts/scientists. 


    One of our capable experts is Maurice Donners, who has more than 15 years of experience in lighting. 

    What factors can potentially be harmful to the retina under unfavorable circumstances?


    Level of luminance


    Spectral distribution


    Exposure time

    light bulb

    Staring straight into a strong LED Light with a high color temperature (expressed in Kelvin) at a close distance for a long period of time can possibly damage the retina. Normally, the discomfort experienced will require to avert or close the eyes, preventing any damage.

    Other trivia

    What you might want to know

    Structured overview of lighting characteristics


    • What is Blue light hazard?
      IEC defines blue-light hazard as ‘the potential for a photochemical-induced retinal injury resulting from electromagnetic radiation exposure at wavelengths primarily between 400 and 500 nm (short wave-lengths)’ 
    • “LEDs can be damaging to retinas.”
      The journal article (Photochem. Photobiol. 89, 468-473) shows the experiments exposing human eye cells to light intensity of 5 mW per square centimeter for twelve hours, which leaves noticeable damage behind. However, for a typical white LED spectrum, this intensity level corresponds to staring directly into a 100-Watt-equivalent light bulb from about 10 centimeters away, for twelve hours straight.
    • Some say LEDs are damaging to preservation of collections and other objects – this is not the case. LED lights do not emit ultra violet radiation. Consequently, they are safer for collections preservation than fluorescent lights.
    • Fading as a damage factor could apply to short-wavelength lighting, which could relatively damage/discolor, depending on the exposure time, illumination level, and object sensitivity. Mostly due to UV radiation. 
    • Besides the benefits that come along with LED lighting, the potential negative effects only persists in case of repetitive excessive (direct) exposure under unfavorable circumstances.
    • Apply the right light, with the right spectrum at the right time during the day is highly beneficial, one of the reasons what makes LED lighting so valuable.