Light-emitting diodes (LED) for domestic lighting: any risks for the eye?

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2011 Jul;30(4):239-57. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 May 14.


Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are taking an increasing place in the market of domestic lighting because they produce light with low energy consumption. In the EU, by 2016, no traditional incandescent light sources will be available and LEDs may become the major domestic light sources. Due to specific spectral and energetic characteristics of white LEDs as compared to other domestic light sources, some concerns have been raised regarding their safety for human health and particularly potential harmful risks for the eye. To conduct a health risk assessment on systems using LEDs, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), a public body reporting to the French Ministers for ecology, for health and for employment, has organized a task group. This group consisted physicists, lighting and metrology specialists, retinal biologist and ophthalmologist who have worked together for a year. Part of this work has comprised the evaluation of group risks of different white LEDs commercialized on the French market, according to the standards and found that some of these lights belonged to the group risk 1 or 2. This paper gives a comprehensive analysis of the potential risks of white LEDs, taking into account pre-clinical knowledge as well as epidemiologic studies and reports the French Agency's recommendations to avoid potential retinal hazards.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomass
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Light* / adverse effects
  • Lighting / methods*
  • Reflex, Pupillary / physiology
  • Retina / pathology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Semiconductors*
  • Time Factors