Non Toxic Light Bulbs – Non Toxic LED Light Bulbs With Safe Blue Light Levels

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Non Toxic Light Bulbs

Non Toxic Light Bulbs – Which LED light bulbs are safe?

 

You may have heard that using a smart phone device or a computer interferes with your sleep.  Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and LEDs emit blue light.  This blue light emitted from LEDs can actually have negative effects on your health.  However, I never knew that this blue light is also emitted from house lighting.  While researching for a chandelier for our dining room, I have learned that LED lights are the most commonly used light bulbs these days and they can emit a lot of blue light.  Then what light bulbs are safe to use?  In this post, I will share with you how lighting can be harmful for our health, environment and what non toxic lighting options are available. 

 

 

Health Effects Of Blue Light

Blue light is one of the light rays from light and can be seen by the human eye.   We are exposed to blue light from sunlight, fluorescent and LED lighting, and electronic devices such as flat-screen televisions, computers, laptops and mobile phones.  Exposure to blue light can cause negative health effects such as fatigue, eyestrain, headaches, sleeplessness or vision loss.   

Blue light has the shortest wavelengths and highest energy.  Since blue light has the shorter wavelengths and high energy, it creates a flickering or a glare that weakens visual contrast.  It also affects clarity and sharpness for your eyes.  Eyes will have to work harder to see.  This can cause eye strain and you can experience symptoms such as headaches, mental & physical fatigue, blurred vision, or dryness of eyes. 

Exposure to blue light can also cause damage to the retina, the inner lining in the back of the eye. The human eye is not good at blocking blue light and all visible blue light passes through the eye and reaches the retina.  Prolonged exposure to blue light may lead to macular cellular damage and loss of vision. 

Blue light also has been shown to suppress the production of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that regulates night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles.  In darkness the body will produce more melatonin and signal the body to prepare for sleep.  Blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin and this can disrupt sleep and wake cycles.  Exposure to blue light and lower melatonin levels may be associated with negative health effects.   In a Harvard study, the blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).   A Harvard study also showed that circadian rhythms of people who started night shifts changed during the study. Their blood sugar levels increased to pre-diabetic state, and levels of a hormone that make people feel full after eating went down.  A Harvard sleep researcher, Stephen Lockley suggests that even dim light can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.   He also mentioned that light at night is a part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep.  Short sleep is linked to increased risk for diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular problems. Harvard researchers have also linked working the night shift and exposure to blue light at night to several types of cancer.  Exposure to blue light can cause greater risks to heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, certain types of cancers.  Therefore,  exposure to blue light prior to sleep should be minimized. 

 

 

What Lightings To Avoid

There are several types of light bulbs.  Some light bulbs contain hazardous substances like mercury.  Some light bulbs also emit harmful UV or blue light.  Some light bulbs contain lead.  Let’s take a look what type of light bulbs should be avoided. 

 

Fluorescent Lighting 

Fluorescent lighting is a gas-discharge lamp that uses gases and mercury vapor interacting.  It is often used at schools, office, hospitals, etc.  It is cheaper than LEDs and more energy efficient than incandescent and halogen light bulbs. Fluorescent lights last longer, use less energy and save money.  However, fluorescent light bulbs emit higher blue light energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Also, a study by researchers at Stony Brook University found that fluorescent light bulbs emit high levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation which can lead to premature aging and cancer.  According to The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), UV radiation from compact fluorescent lighting can increase an individual’s exposure to carcinogenic radiation by 10 to 30 per cent per year, and also increased probability of contracting squamous cell carcinoma by 4 percent.  Their study also reported that compact fluorescent lights worsen or affected some medical conditions. 

Fluorescent lightbulbs not only emits blue light and ultraviolet radiation but also they contain small amounts of mercury.  Mercury is essential for a fluorescent bulb to work.  However, mercury is highly toxic.  According to the World Health Organization, exposure to mercury (even small amounts) may cause serious health problems, and is harmful to the development of fetuses and children.   In addition, mercury may have toxic effects on the digestive, nervous and immune systems, on kidneys, lungs, skin and eyes.  When a lamp is broken, mercury can come out and people can be exposed.  Therefore, it is important to dispose a fluorescent light properly since it is a hazardous waste. 

 

 

LED Lighting With High Kelvin Color Temperature

Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs are very popular these days and widely used.  They are also known as eco-friendly since they consume so much less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs.  (30 times lower annually) They also generate less heat which leads to less cooling costs.   According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential LEDs — especially ENERGY STAR rated products — use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.  LED lights also reduce greenhouse emissions from power plants and have low carbon dioxide emissions.  In addition, LED bulbs do not contain hazardous mercury, while compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) do.   

Despite all of these advantages, LED lights emit blue light.  However, not all LED lighting emit high amount of blue lights. There are LED lights that are close to the sunlight which has low blue light.  Kelvin color scale measures color temperature of a light bulb on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000.  With the Kelvin color scale, you can guess the look and feel of the light produced from a light bulb.  Light appearance includes warm white (orange to yellow white 2000-3000k), cool white (white light with a slight blue tint 3100-4500k) and daylight (blue white light 4600-6500k).  A warmer light is often used for bedroom, dining room or living room.  A cooler light is often used for kitchen or bathroom.  

Color temperature of 2700 K are higher on the red end of the spectrum and have warm colors.   Incandescent bulbs have color temperature of about 2,700 K and emit very little blue light. A LED bulb with color temperature of 2700 K has similar light color to an incandescent bulb.  Cool white LED bulbs or high-intensity LED light bulbs, on the other hand, have higher color temperature and emit a high amount of blue light that appears white to the naked eye.  

Color Rendering Index (CRI) also affects the amount of blue light emitted from a bulb. CRI is measured 1-100.  80+ is considered to be a good CRI value for a LED light bulb.  You can find a LED bulb that has CRI value up to 97.  A LED light bulb that has a color temperature of 2700K or lower and a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI) will have low blue light.  If there are two LED bulbs with the same color temperature of 2700K, the one with higher CRI will have less blue light.  Therefore, a light bulb with high color temperature and low CRI is not a good option if you are looking for a light bulb with low blue light.

 

 

Red LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs are energy-efficient and have some advantages but there is another risk other than blue light.   Red LED lights are made with a semiconductor material, aluminum gallium arsenide (AlGaAs).  Aluminum gallium arsenide can be toxic and direct contact of AlgaAs can be hazardous.   It can cause acute and chronic toxicity of the lung, reproductive organs, and kidney. Although there is no evidence of the carcinogenicity of AlGaAs, there is a clear evidence of carcinogenic potential according to a study. It is considered a known carcinogen in animals.  California, International Agency for Research On Cancer and European Chemical Agency classifies gallium arsenide as a carcinogen.   However, toxicology of aluminum gallium arsenide has not been fully investigated.

Red LEDs can also be hazardous since they contain heavy metals such as arsenic and lead.  Red LEDs supposedly contain up to eight times the amount of lead allowed by California law.  White LEDs contain high amount of nickel and copper.  If you are allergic to these heavy metals, direct contact should be avoided.  Direct exposure to these substances happens when the bulbs are broken.  If light bulbs are broken, you should wear a mask and gloves when cleaning it up.  

 

 

What About Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are traditional light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are similar to daylight and they emit very little blue light.  Incandescent bulbs also emit small amounts of UV radiation (only UVA rays), but less than fluorescent bulbs.   However, UV radiation from incandescent light bulbs won’t cause sunburns.  Incandescent light bulbs have very little blue light, low UV radiation, contain no mercury or have no constant flickering.  Some experts say incandescent light bulbs are healthier lights than compact florescent or LED light bulbs because they have life-giving infrared light, particularly near infrared light. According to an article by Holland Franklin, Dr. Wunsch, a photobiology expert, the lighting spectrum from incandescent bulbs includes infrared light. Infrared light, especially “near infrared” light, is healing by promoting tissue repair. We need near infrared light for our bodies to be repaired.  Blue light in LED bulbs, on the other hand, promotes aging and does not emit near infrared light according to Dr. Wunsch.  

Incandescent light bulbs, however, use significantly more electricity than other light bulbs and last a shorter time.  Incandescent light bulbs lasts about 1,000 hours whereas LED light bulbs last 20,000 to 50,000 hours.  Incandescent light bulbs use up so much power and also generate a lot of heat.  They release 90% of their energy as heat.  (only 10% of what is produced is light.) CFLs also release about 80% of their energy as heat.  However, LED light bulbs emit very little heat.   For all of these reasons, incandescent light bulbs are not good for the environment.  ENERGY STAR residential LEDs, on the other hand use at least 75% less energy, last 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.  Currently, LED light bulbs dominate the market and by 2027, USA will have a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices by using LEDs.  Incandescent light bulbs are healthier than other types of light bulbs but they cost a lot more, use up so much more energy, generate a lot of heat,  and not good for our environment.

 

 

Halogen Light Bulbs

Halogen light bulbs which are improved versions of incandescent light bulbs have a lifespan of about 2000 hours.  They emit a lot of heat and can get very hot.  Although they are more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs, they are less energy-efficient than CFL or LED light bulbs.  Halogen light bulbs emit UV but has little blue light.  They also have near infrared light and do not contain mercury.  Due to the energy-efficiency, halogen light bulbs are banned in Europe.  The ban is to cut down on the CO2 emissions caused by halogen bulbs.

 

 

What To Look For When Buying A Light Bulbs

Color Temperature

Cool white LED bulbs emit a high amount of blue light.  What you want is warm white LED bulbs. Warm white LED bulbs have  a color temperature of 2700K. As the color temperature increases, the color of the light appears to be more white than yellow and the amount of blue light emitted also increases.  When color temperature is around 5000k or higher, the light appears bluish white. If you want to minimize blue light, you can look for a bulb that has color temperature of 2700K and lower.  

 

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

Color Rendering Index (CRI) shows color accuracy.  The color rendering scale goes from 0 to 100.  A 2700K incandescent light bulb have CRI of 100.   Natural light also has a CRI of 100. For LED light bulbs, higher CRI has less blue light.  A CRI value of 80 is considered to be good for LED bulbs currently.  Most CRI value you can get with a LED bulb is 97.

 

Lumen

Lumen is light output, the unit of measuring for brightness.  For reference, a typical incandescent 60 W bulb emits approximately 800 lumens.  Blue light is not measured in lumens.  However, when a LED light bulb has higher lumen and lower wattage, it offers the best lighting and its energy cost is the lowest.

 

 

Wattage

Watts measure power consumption.  With traditional incandescent light, higher the wattage, the brighter the light will be. However, with LED light, higher wattage doesn’t necessarily mean brighter light.  Same wattage LED bulbs can have different brightness (lumens).

 

 

Light Bulb Base Type 

E 26 base bulbs are all screw base bulbs commonly used in standard light fixtures and primarily used in North America. (E27 in Europe)

E12 base bulbs look like a candle flame and are commonly used in chandeliers, Christmas lights, etc.

 

 

Light Bulb Shape

Depending on a type of a bulb, the shape name will have an alphabet letter, then a number after for a different size.  For example, A15, A 17, A 19, B10, G25, etc.

A light bulbs are the most commonly used light bulb in home lighting. 

B  light bulbs look like a flame.

CA light bulbs also look like a flame but in a different style. 

G light bulbs looks like a circle.

There are also other styles.

 

 

Dimmable

You may want an option to dim lights when needed depending on where you use lights for.  You can save money and change mood of your space by dimming lights.  While you can use a dimmable LED in a non-dimmable circuit, using a non-dimmable light in a dimmable circuit may damage the light or circuit. Therefore, you should check if the lights you are getting are dimmable or not dimmable.

 

 

Non Toxic Light Bulbs – Non Toxic LED Lighting

 

Sleep or Nursery Light Bulbs

The best light bulb for a bedroom is a blue-light-free light bulb, which doesn’t emit waves from the blue-green spectrum. Blue light prevents melatonin production which is a hormone to help you feel sleepy. Blue light-free light bulbs are great for nursery and kids rooms.  You can also use these light bulbs in the bedroom a few hours before sleeping.  They aid your body’s natural melatonin production and helps to promote a healthy circadian rhythm to sleep naturally.  They will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.  These light bulbs have even lower color temperature than 2700K. 

 


Lighting Science FG-02263 Goodnight Sleep LED Light Bulb

This light bulb eliminates up 95% of the blue light spectrum.

Color Temperature: 2175

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 70 

Average Life: 15000 hours (22.8 years)

Wattage: 8.5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 65 watts)

Lumens: 600 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V

Base: E26

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Sleepy Baby LED Nursery Light

Non Toxic Light Bulbs - Sleepy Baby LED Nursery Light

Non Toxic Light Bulbs – Sleepy Baby LED Nursery Light

Color Temperature: 2100

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 85 +

Average Life: 13.7 years

Wattage: 4.5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens: 275 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V 

Base: E26 

Dimmable: Yes 

More Info

 

 

Nite-Nite Light Bulb

 

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 3.5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  630? lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V 

Base: E26 

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

Hooga Sleep Light Bulb

99.94% free of blue spectrum light 

Color Temperature: 1600K

Average Life: 25,000 hrs

Wattage: 7 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 45 watts)

Lumens:  595 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 110 – 265 V 

Base: E26

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

LOHAS Bug Light Bulb 5W Yellow LED Bulbs

 

Color Temperature: 2000K

Color Rendering Index (CRI):  80+

Average Life:  30,000 hrs (Over 28 years)

Wattage: 5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  450 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V 

Base: E26 

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

2700K Color Temperature/ Incandescent Equivalent Light Bulbs

 

These light bulbs have color temperature of 2700K which is the same color temperature of incandescent light bulbs.   Their color rendering index value(CRI) is 80+.

 

Philips LED Non-Dimmable A19 Frosted Light Bulb 

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Soft white

Color Rendering Index (CRI):  80+

Average Life: 10,950 hrs

Wattage: 8.5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  800 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V 

Base: E26 

Shape: A 19

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

Philips LED Dusk-to-Dawn A19 Frosted Light Bulb

There is a built in light sensor that turns the lights on automatically when the sun goes down and turns the light off when the sun rises.

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Soft white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80 +

Average Life: 22,000 hrs

Wattage: 8 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  800 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V 

Base: E26 

Shape: A 19

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

G25 LED Vanity Light Bulb Hansang 5W – good for vanity mirror

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Soft white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  500 lumens of brightness

Voltage: AC85-265V

Base: E26 

Shape: G 25

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

Ascher 60 Watt Equivalent, E26 LED Filament Light Bulbs

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI):  80+

Average Life: 20,000 hrs

Wattage: 6 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  750 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E26 

Shape: A 19

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

SYLVANIA General Lighting 74469 Sylvania

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Soft white

Average Life: 11,000 hrs (10 years)

Wattage: 8.5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  800 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E26 

Shape: A 19

Certification: 

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

Hansang Dimmable LED Edison Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80 +

Average Life: 20,000 hrs

Wattage: 6 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  750 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E26 

Shape: A 19

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Comzler 9 Watt G25 LED Bulb

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Soft white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 9 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 72 watts)

Lumens:  900 lumens of brightness

Voltage: AC 85 -265V

Base: E26 

Shape: G 25

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

CRLight Dimmable LED Edison Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 4 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  400 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E26 

Shape: ST 64

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Candelabra Chandelier Light Bulbs

 

Here are some candelabra and chandelier light bulbs with 2700 K color temperature and color rendering index of 80 or highter. 

 

Ascher Classic E12 LED Candelabra Light Bulbs

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 20,000 hrs

Wattage: 5 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  550 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E12 

Shape: E14

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

Gordon And Bond LED Vintage Candelabra Light Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 90 +

Average Life: 20,000 hrs

Wattage: 4 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  400 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E12 

Shape: CA

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Hizashi 12 Pack Fully Dimmable E12 Candelabra Filament Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 90+

Average Life: 35,000 hrs

Wattage: 4 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  450 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E12 

Shape: B10

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Keymit C32 4W LED Candelabra Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 4 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  400 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120V

Base: E12 

Shape: C32

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Hansang LED Candelabra Round Light Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 6 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 60 watts)

Lumens:  600 lumens of brightness

Voltage: AC 86-265 V

Base: E12 

Shape: A15

Dimmable: No

More Info

 

 

CRLight Dimmable LED Candelabra Bulb

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 6 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 65 watts)

Lumens:  700 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V

Base: E12 

Shape: B11

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

BRIMAX 4W Candelabra Dimmable Bulbs 

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Color Rendering Index (CRI): 80+

Average Life: 30,000 hrs

Wattage: 4 watts energy used (Incandescent equivalent 40 watts)

Lumens:  400 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V

Base: E12 

Shape: B11

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Incandescent light bulbs

 

Moonrock & Co. Old Fashion Edison Light Bulbs

 

Color Temperature: 2450K

Color: Warm white

Average Life: 3,000 hrs

Wattage: 60 watts

Lumens:  230 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V

Base: E26 

Shape: ST58

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Nalakuvara Globe Vintage Incandescent Edison Bulb Set

 

Color Temperature: 2700K

Color: Warm white

Average Life: 3,000 hrs

Wattage: 60 watts

Lumens:  210 lumens of brightness

Voltage: 120 V

Base: E26 

Shape: G25/ G 80

Dimmable: Yes

More Info

 

 

Final Thoughts

Incandescent light bulbs are the healthiest light bulb because they have no mercury, very little to no blue light, low UV light and no constant flickering.  However, they use up most of its energy (90%) generating heat and only 10% of energy is used to produce a light.  They become very hot and that can also generate cooling costs on top of high energy consumption.  Government and industries are moving towards using more energy-efficient LEDs to cut down on energy consumption and costs.  LED light bulbs, on the other hand, are very efficient and cost effective.  LED light bulbs use a lot less energy than incandescent light bulbs so this reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.  However, LEDs with high color temperature which has cool white color will emit high amount of blue light that is not healthy.  Red LED light bulbs also can contain lead and arsenic.  If you would like to eliminate exposure to blue light, look for a LED light that has a color temperature of 2700K and CRI value of 80 or more.  You can also go back and choose to use traditional incandescent light bulbs. They do have infrared light, especially “near infrared” light which promotes tissue repair of our body whereas LEDs do not have infrared light.  However, when incandescent light bulbs waste the electricity in producing heat and emit the substantial amounts of carbon dioxide to our environment, I am not sure if they are the best light bulb choice for your home.  At least with this information, I hope you can choose the best lighting option for your home.

 

If you want to find out which bottled water brands are safe, please read my post ‘Safe Bottled Water Guide: Which Bottled Water Brands Are Safe?

For non toxic sofa companies that you can shop from, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Sofa Guide – Which Sofa Brand Is Non Toxic?

If you are interested in non toxic, solid wood platform bed frames, please read my post ‘Solid Wood Bed Frame – What To Look For When Buying A Solid Wood Platform Bed‘.

If you are interested in organic latex mattress, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic, Organic Mattress – The Best Organic Latex Mattress Brands‘.

If you are interested in non toxic rugs, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Rugs – What Non Toxic, Natural Rugs Are Best?

 

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