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Thread: LED safety - a warning

  1. #1
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    Default LED safety - a warning

    A warning about LED safety.

    I'm now about to regard LED's as MORE dangerous than lasers after my recent experience.

    As many of you know a club I go to regularly exposes its crowd to a 1w 532 laser from a distance of 15-20 feet although I'm usually probably nearer 30 feet away. That said the laser could be making as much as 1.4 watts.

    I've never suffered any problems.

    Now for my recent experience with LED's - I've had a car key ring LED for some time. As it had started to go home and as Morrison's had some white Ever Ready Chromed LED ones on offer for £3.49 I think from memory, I decided to buy a replacement.

    My impression of the key ring LED was that it was much brighter than its previous key ring counterpart. However, it appeared much dimmer in a room than even a modest torch so nothing to fear brightness wise. Now the stupid part - wanting to see how bright it was compared to the previous one, I looked into it with it held below my waist at arms length of course - 2-3 feet away. A stupid thing to do maybe but you wouldn't expect an LED that looked dimmer than a torch to pose a serious hazard.

    Big Mistake. I suffered an aversion response then found myself with a very dense burn't in image in the centre of both of my eyes consisting of 3 round elements - presumably the LED is a cluster of 3 emitters. The burnt in area was very dense and brown but unlike most after images didn't fade. I started to panic as th image was large and dead centre in both eyes. After around 2-3 minutes it finally started to fade to a lighter shade of brown and after maybe 5 minutes finally disappeared altogether.

    Moral of this story is that LED's aren't safe, even quite modest ones and I'd have to say that compared to the lasers I've been exposed to, a low mw LED has caused more damage than a laser in the multiwatt range.

    Obviously no-one should look into an LED after this! However, more to the point, I now question LED safety. We have restrictions on the safe use of lasers but no-one has even questioned LED's yet it appears from this that the potential to cause damage is even greater than for lasers.

    Thank goodness my eyesight seems to be back to normal now.

  2. #2
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    Default

    .
    - There is no such word as "can't" -
    - 60% of the time it works every time -

  3. #3
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    I believe there is European legislation that includes LED's in the same safety classifications as lasers.

    I will try and find it later.

  4. #4
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    ^^^ It does, it covers all high engergy optical radiation ^^^
    http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/3985/laser.gif

    Doc's website

    The Health and Safety Act 1971

    Recklessly interfering with Darwinís natural selection process, thereby extending the life cycle of dim-witted ignorami; thus perpetuating and magnifying the danger to us all, by enabling them to breed and walk amongst us, our children and loved ones.





  5. #5
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    You get that if you look into a regular flashlight/Torch with the old style bulbs. Heck, get close to a 100 light lightbulb and look at it. It's not as intense but you get spots in front of your eyes there too ... not to mention what you get when you look at the sun.

    I have a small LED flashlight on my keychain for the lock for the barn door at home. It has a sticker on it that is very similar to the one posted above. LOL!

    BE CAREFUL.
    - - Adrienne

    No trees were harmed in the production of this message; however, a few electrons were temporarily inconvenienced.

  6. #6
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    All high-intensity light is dangerous. It doesn't matter if it's coherent or not.. From what I've heard the red LEDs from the DLP projectors are scary bright, I'd imagine they're easily as dangerous to look directly at as a laser source.

  7. #7
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    I have 3W RED Luxeon LED, and there is CLEARLY warning labels on the led that says "Do not stare into the LED" !!
    After playing with my 3W RED luxeon led for 5-10 minutes, all I see the next 10 minutes is green lol :-)
    it`s your mind trying to invert the RED colour so you see clearly, and the opposite of red is green.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
    All high-intensity light is dangerous.
    this15 characters

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaserBabe View Post


    You get that if you look into a regular flashlight/Torch with the old style bulbs.
    This was far more intense than that! When I say dark brown it was almost totally opaque and took up the entire centre part of my vision in both eyes. I've looked into many a flash light including LED ones in the past from a similar distance but never experienced anything like this. I've evn caught a million candlepower flashlight in the eyes before and that paled in comparison! The burn in wasn't transient in the usual sense of the word as in looking at a light bulb or the sun, it was far more intense and long lasting - literally a full 5 - 6 minutes as measured on a clock (not perceived) before normal vision returned.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaserBabe View Post
    BE CAREFUL
    Lol. Lesson learnt. Stupidity over!

  10. #10
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    mmmm
    "When I say dark brown it was almost totally opaque and took up the entire centre part of my vision in both eyes."

    I have never experienced an effect like that from Leds or lasers , i will try it out later , but i promise to close one eye so i can report back and still type a report later

    Wish me luck , the things we do for Science

    Now wheres that new ~ ARCTIC ~ LED TORCH ? i just got delivered

    In the beginning there was none. Then came the light - #1 UKLEM - 2007
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