A professor in the United Kingdom is claiming that LED light bulbs, made popular under policies that pushed consumers away from incandescent light bulbs in 2007, are causing headaches and creating feelings of dizziness.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Professor Arnold Wilkins of Essex University’s psychology department said that the manner in which LED lightbulbs save energy also causes onlookers irritation, and even headaches and dizziness.
In order to reduce total energy output, LED lightbulbs dim by 100 percent, turning on and off imperceptibly hundreds of times a second. But this “flickering” could be responsible for a disorienting effect.
“We know from earlier work on fluorescent lighting that even though the flicker is too fast to be visible, it remains a likely health hazard. In 1989, my colleagues and I compared fluorescent lighting that flickered 100 times a second with lights that appeared the same but didn’t flicker. We found that office workers were half as likely on average to experience headaches under the non-flickering lights,” Wilkins said in scientific magazine The Conversation.
In 2007, a Democrat-controlled congress under the Obama administration passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which began the phasing out of traditional light bulbs.
“No similar study has yet been performed for LED lights,” Wilkins continued. “But because LED flickering is even more pronounced, with the light dimming by 100% rather than the roughly 35% of fluorescent lamps, there’s a chance that LEDs could be even more likely to cause headaches. At best, it’s likely to put some people off using LED bulbs because of the annoying, distracting effect of the flickering, which we know can be detected during saccades.”
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.