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Responding to the ANSES LED Study PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 June 2019

ANSES, the French national agency for food, enviornmental, and occupational health and safety, have published an updated report on the health effects of LED lights, and it contains material and recommendations directly relevant to all of us in the vehicle lighting community. 
Namely, it confirms the toxicity of blue light to the human retina, as well as blue light's disturbance of biological rhythms. Fair enough, but there are problems with where the report goes from there. This week we've got analysis of that report; it's up to us to speak up when less-than-fully-informed recommendations are published—and by the same token, if there are things we can do to reduce the negative effects of the lights we design, engineer, specify, and make, then it is our moral responsibility to do them. It might put us in something of a difficult conflict, because the blue light that causes health problems is favoured by today's car stylists.

In any event, the vehicle lighting community really must get involved on this. The ANSES recommendation to limit headlamp intensity is not fully or accurately informed; it's beyond doubt that night drivers need as much light as we can give them. ADB is a proven way of vastly improving the seeing/glare compromise, and there are surely adjustments that can be made to the quality of light—its blue content, for example—that will reduce the bad health effects without the safety degradation that would come from reducing headlamp intensity.
Once again, we must make up our minds what to say and how to say it, then all paddle the boat in the same direction if we're to make forward progress.
Let's get to work on it!

Sincerely yours

DVN President


In depth...

Limit Blue Light, Headlamp Intensity: French Gov't Agency PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 June 2019

Report & Analysis by Daniel Stern, DVN Chief Editor

Solid-state lighting—LEDs, mostly, but also laser diodes—are quickly shoving all other kinds of illumination light sources to the margins of the market, in every area: domestic lighting, architectural lighting, street lighting, task lighting, and vehicle lighting. ANSES, the French national agency for food, enviornmental, and occupational health and safety, have published a revised, updated version of their guidance on the health effects of LEDs, based on scientific knowledge that wasn't yet available in 2010 when the report was first put out. The new report confirms that blue light—which many white solid-state light sources produce in abundance—is deleterious to the human retina and disturbs circadian rhythms and other biological processes. Sleep disruptions and other negative effects are correlated with blue-light exposure, so the health and safety agency recommends limiting the use of LED devices that are the richest in blue light—including phones, tablets, computers, and other suchlike—and reducing light pollution as much as possible.

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