To make LED light safe for your environment, there are certain precautions that need to be taken, regardless of the type of bulb you install in your outdoor space.
Take safety measures
To keep LED light safe for your environment, it is advisable to treat any broken LED bulbs as hazardous waste. Always wear gloves and a mask when you clean and dispose of the debris. In most cases the amount of toxic substances may be negligible, but it is best to take this precaution.
Check your wiring
The chances of getting a fire caused by LEDs is considerably lower than with any other type of lighting, because LEDs don’t get heated. Bad wiring, however, may cause fire. It’s always a good idea to have an electrician assess the wiring. Electrical projects can be dangerous. DIYers should proceed with caution and ideally seek professional advice.
Buy high quality bulbs
You may be tempted to buy cheap LED lights, which are not uncommon on marketplaces like eBay, but there are at least several disadvantages to doing so.
Firstly, some manufactures are not aware of the need for IEC62471 compliance. This standard measures photo biological safety of all lighting products, and all LEDs must comply with it. For example: LED maker Cree has safety tested all its products. According to Cree’s safety document:
“The results of this testing show significant health risks from some of Cree’s visible light LED lamps when viewed without diffusers or secondary optical devices. These risks warrant an advisory notice to indicate the potential for eye injury caused by prolonged viewing of blue light from these devices. To date, the testing shows that Cree’s blue and royal blue LEDs (450-485 nm dominant wavelengths) pose a higher potential eye safety hazard than its white LEDs. Other colours of LED lamps, such as green and red LED lamps, do not pose as significant of an eye safety risk.”
Below are some of the top companies producing LED bulbs:
Secondly, a great deal of LEDs are produced in China and are cheaply priced on eBay. Thus you are not getting a warranty or a local support desk if the product does not live up to your expectations.
Finally, if LEDs are supposed to last 20 years and they go out after 12 months, it may not be easy to get your money back as they may be out of the marketplace’s return period. It is in your best interest to pay slightly more and find good quality LEDs with proper warranty and safety precautions.
Protect your eyes
LEDs that are too bright can harm eye retina, as well as cause disruptions to circadian rhythm. One obvious precaution that can be taken is ensuring that you, and especially your children, never stare at LEDs for really long durations of time from close proximity. To help keep LED light safe, always have a gap of at least 20cm between unprotected eye and light source. If needed, use dimmer switches to reduce the intensity of the light emitted by them. More information about blue LEDs and UV can be found in an earlier article Are LED lights safe?
Use safe heat radiators
LED bulbs have several major housings (or heat radiators):
Plastic coated aluminium
They are all insulated except aluminium. It is best to choose the insulated ones to keep LED light safe for you. Ceramic bulb bodies lack conductibility, expand the cooling capacity of LED bulbs and are safe for people and environment.