Are LED grow lights harmful to humans?

Are LED grow lights harmful to humans? The short answer is generally not, though there are occasions when it could pose a health hazard. We will discuss the rare times when LED grow lights could pose a health hazard and how to minimize those risks.

Are led grow lights harmful to human eyes?

There are several factors that affect the safety of any grow lights: intensity, wavelength and duration. Intense lights will always damage your eyes, regardless of what wavelength that the lights release and the duration. Intense lights can cause burns on the skin, and a “sunburn” on the retinas will interfere with your ability to see.

A good example would be staring at the bright light in your lamp. A brief glance may cause odd patterns in your vision as you blink. Stare for a long time, and it could damage your eyes. The same is true of any bright light, LED or conventional. At the same time, very bright lights too close to the plants could “sunburn” them, too. Have the lights at the right distance from the plants to avoid this.

Most wavelengths are not harmful. However, LED grow lights that put out ultraviolet light are harmful to your eyes. This includes but isn’t limited to fluorescent LED grow lights, HPS grow lights and metal halide grow lights. Any blue light could emit ultraviolet light. You can tell if the UV output is high if you’re getting a tan while working under your grow lights. On the flipside, pure red lights aren’t harmful unless at a very high intensity.

One way to protect yourself is to minimize the time spent under LED grow lights. Another is to wear protective glasses when under the lights or working around them. Yet another layer of protection is to keep the grow lights inside of grow tents that seal in the light.

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Can LED grow lights affect your overall health?

Exposure to bright lights of any kind late in the evening interferes with the natural sleep-wake cycle. The body reads this light as an indication that they should be awake, and that prevents people from sleeping well at night. This is why doctors advise turning off bright light sources like TV screens, cell phones and overhead lights two hours before bed time. This of course means not standing under a grow light right before you go to bed. And it means you may want to turn off grow lights in your living area two hours before you try to go to sleep.

Artificial heat lights are not harmful unless you’re touch one that is hot enough to burn you. Working in an enclosed, heated space could create the possibility of heat stroke. Note that LED grow light arrays with heat sinks create a different burn risk; if you touch the heat sink while the light is on, you could be burned, as well.

LEDs do not put out harmful radiation. It isn’t like you’re standing in front of a microwave generator that could cook your flesh if unshielded. Some LED lights put out minor radio frequency radiation that interferes with wireless controllers and cell phones, but that is not a health hazard to the owner.

As with any electrical device, LED lights could generate sparks or ignite. Don’t try to connect more LED lights to a power outlet. Be careful to only replace burned out lights with compatible light bulbs, since electrical system mismatches could cause electrical problems.

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Do LED grow lights contain hazardous materials?

LED lights originally contained potentially hazardous heavy metals like mercury. That created a biohazard if you were cleaning up a broken bulb, such that people wanted to avoid physical contact with the broken material and cover their faces when cleaning it up. The problem was originally so bad that pregnant women and children were advised to avoid broken LED bulbs. However, a burned out LED bulb that was intact posed no health hazard at all. And LED grow lights are not as fragile as glass bulbs in general.

More recent LED designs are both ecologically friendly and recyclable, and they don’t create a health hazard for the owner. LED light arrays consisting of bulbs encased in chips are almost impossible to break.


The latest generation of LED grow lights is safer than their predecessors. And they are safe for general use, though there are times you want to take precautions around them.

Author Bio

Headayet Kabir is a blogger. He likes to write about led grow lights. Blogging is his passion. He also like to write about indoor gardening. Visit:

Posted in Gardening on Feb 22, 2019


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