Debate continues over the impact of light at night on human health (MAGAZINE)

Aug. 23, 2010
Organizations continue to research whether light at night has a serious impact on human health.
Advocacy groups such as the International Dark-sky Association (IDA) have claimed that blue-spectrum wavelengths found in sources such as LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) can disrupt circadian rhythms and potentially cause other health maladies such as cancer. Meanwhile, the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination and Technologies (ASSIST) has published a technical paper developed by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) that examines the impact of artificial light at night on humans. The report concludes that realistic night-lighting scenarios have small-to-no impact on humans, as measured by melatonin suppression.

Over the course of the past year, the debate over artificial light at night and its impact on circadian rhythms and human health has intensified. Back in October, IDA published a statement that began, “The rapidly expanding use of bluish-white outdoor lighting threatens visibility at night and jeopardizes the nocturnal environment worldwide.” The not-for profit organization, which is dedicated to protecting the night-time environment, suggested that lights with a correlated color temperature (CCT) above 3000K should no longer be used for outdoor illumination.


This article was published in the July/August 2010 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. You can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.