Professor claims Obama’s eco-friendly light bulbs are causing health problems

Professor claims Obama’s eco-friendly light bulbs are causing health problems
A professor in the United Kingdom claims LED light bulbs, which have grown in popularity since the federal government began to push consumers away from incandescent light bulbs in 2007, cause headaches and can create feelings of pain and dizziness. (2015 file photo/Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A professor in the United Kingdom claims LED light bulbs, which have grown in popularity since the federal government began to push consumers away from incandescent light bulbs in 2007, cause headaches and can create feelings of pain and dizziness.

Arnold Wilkins, a professor of psychology at the University of Essex, said LED lights dim by 100 percent, which means the turn on and off hundreds of times every second. This constant flickering is not noticeable to many people, but Arnold said the effects of the flickering can include headaches, feelings of pain, and dizziness, according to a report by the Daily Mail (U.K.).

Writing for The Conversation, Wilkins said, “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.”

“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.”

In 2007, the Democrat-controlled Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, a broad reform bill that was used by the Obama administration to phase out most traditional light bulbs. President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law.

Since the 2007 legislation was passed, LED lights have become the most popular alternative to traditional lights in many U.S. homes. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in June for the first time in history, LED-related revenue matched revenue for traditional lights in 2016, and General Electric estimates by 2020, at least 50 percent of all residential lights will be LEDs.

290 Comments