Are Grow Lights Bad For Your Eyes | Our Answers to Your Concerns!

by Morgan

May 5, 2022

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You will probably enjoy working in your garden during the summer if you're like me. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you feel the warm soil between your fingers. It's a great way to relax and unwind after a long day.

But what about when the sun goes down or when it's raining? Or when you live in a place with long, dark winters? Then it would help if you had grew lights. Grow lights are artificial lights that help plants grow. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing: they're bad for your eyes. Continue reading to find out why.

What Are Grow Lights?

Grow lights are artificial lights that help plants grow. Grow lights emit a type of light called blue light. Blue light is a short-wavelength light scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. It means that blue light is less focused than other colors and is more likely to be scattered in all directions.

Blue light is harmful to the eyes because it penetrates the eye's back and can damage the retina leading to vision problems. Blue and UV light can also cause cataracts. Moreover, the blue and UV diodes in grow lights can cause eye fatigue and dryness.

Types of Grow Lights

There are many different types of grow lights, but the most common are fluorescent, incandescent, and LED grow lights.

Fluorescent lights are inexpensive and emit a lot of light. But they're also very bright and can be hard on your eyes.

Incandescent lights are not as bright as fluorescent ones, but they're still brilliant. They're also less expensive than LED lights.

LED grow lights are the most expensive, but they're also the most energy-efficient and emit the least heat.

Reasons Why Grow Lights Are Bad For Your Eyes

To understand why growing lights are harmful to your eyes, you need to know how the eye interprets light.

When you look at something, light reflects off it and enters your eye through the pupil. The pupil is the small black circle in the center of the eye. It gets bigger or smaller to let more or less light in.

The lens of the eye focuses the light onto the retina. The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. It's covered with light-sensitive cells called rods and cones.

Rods are responsible for black-and-white vision and low-light vision. Cones give you color vision and high-light vision.

When light hits the retina, it stimulates the rods and cones. They send electrical signals through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain then interprets these signals as images.

Grow lights are harmful to your eyes because they emit blue light. Blue light is a short-wavelength light scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. It means that blue light is less focused than other colors and is more likely to be scattered in all directions.

When blue light hits the retina, it stimulates the rods and cones. But because blue light is less focused than other colors, it doesn't stimulate them as much as such can cause damage to the retina over time.

Damage to the retina from blue light exposure can lead to vision problems. Here are some of the ways that blue light can damage your eyes:

They're Very Bright

Grow lights are so bright that they can damage your retina. When you look at something very bright, like the sun, your pupils constrict to protect your eyes. But when you're looking at a grow light, your pupils can't constrict enough to block out all light. It can lead to retina damage and even blindness.

Moreover, grow lights emit too much blue light, which is the most harmful light to our eyes. Blue light can cause vision problems like macular degeneration, where you lose your central vision. Prolonged blue light exposure can also cause cataracts and cloudy spots on your eye that make it hard to see.

They're Not Natural

The light from the sun is natural light, and it's the best kind of light for your eyes. Artificial lights, like grow lights, can be very harsh on your eyes. They can cause eye strain, headaches, and even dizziness. So if you can, try to get your cannabis plants in natural light.

If you can't, be sure to take breaks often and wear sunglasses or some other type of eye protection.

They're Bad for Your Sleep Cycle

Grow lights can also disrupt your sleep cycle. They emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime. It can make it hard to fall asleep at night and lead to insomnia. Be sure to turn them off a few hours before going to bed.

How to Choose a Grow Light

When choosing a grow light, it's important to consider the following:

Brightness: The brighter the light, the more harmful it is to your eyes. So be sure to choose a grow light that's not too bright.

Color: Look for a light that emits more red and yellow light and less blue light. Red and yellow light is less harmful to your eyes than blue light.

Heat: Some lights emit a lot of heat, which can harm your plants. Be sure to choose UV lights that don't emit too much heat.

Energy efficiency: Choose an energy-efficient light. You'll save money on your electric bill, and you'll be doing your part to help the environment.

Price: Be sure to compare prices before buying a grow light. The price should be based on the quality of the light and not on the brand name.

What are the Benefits of Using Grow Lights?

Grow lights can be beneficial for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Indoor plants

Grow lights can help indoor plants grow and thrive by providing them with the light they need to photosynthesize. They can also help plants grow faster and produce more fruit or flowers. Plants were grown under grow lights are also less likely to experience problems with leggy growth, etiolation, and stunted growth.


Outdoor Plants

You can also use grow lights to extend the growing season for outdoor plants. They can provide plants with the light they need to grow in the winter months when there is less sunlight. When used with a greenhouse, grow lights can provide plants with the ideal growing environment year-round.

Other benefits include:

  • It's possible to control the amount of light your plants receive.
  • You can adjust the light to meet the needs of different plants.
  • You can choose a light that emits less heat, which can be beneficial for heat-sensitive plants.
  • You can save money on your electric bill by choosing an energy-efficient light.

Can Grow Lights Give off Radiation?

Grow lights can emit harmful UV radiation. The radiation can cause skin cancer and eye damage. The UV rays are not filtered by the atmosphere and can reach the ground. When the radiation hits your skin, it can cause damage to the DNA. This damage can lead to skin cancer. However, the lights emit little or no ultraviolet light if properly shielded. 

Some plants, like cannabis, thrive under the right kind of grow lights. It helps the plant to produce more THC. However, too much light can reduce the THC levels in the plant. So it's important to find a balance.

Effects of UV Radiation on Humans

UV radiation is harmful to both humans and animals. The sun is the main source of UV light, but it can also come from artificial sources like tanning beds, mercury vapor lamps, and welding torches.

Exposure to UV radiation can cause several health problems, including:

  • Skin cancer
  • Eye damage
  • Cataracts
  • Immunosuppression

Are LED Grow Lights Harmful?

LED grow lights are becoming increasingly popular, but there is some concern about their safety. Some people believe that the blue light emitted by LED grow lights can harm the eyes. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. The blue light emitted by LED grow lights is no different from the sun's blue light.

Grow lights can benefit both indoor and outdoor plants. However, it's essential to use them safely to minimize the risk of eye damage. If you are concerned about the safety of LED growing lights.

How to Use Grow Lights Safely

There are a few things you can do to use grow lights safely:

1. Wearing Sunglasses

Sunglasses will also help reduce the amount of light exposed to your eyes. It will help reduce the risk of eye damage. The sunglasses should block both UVA and UVB rays. There are many different types of sunglasses available that offer different protection levels. When buying the sunglasses, consider the following: 

The size of the sunglasses. The larger the lenses, the more protection they will offer.

The material of the sunglasses. Glass or polycarbonate lenses offer the best protection.

The darkness of the tint. A darker tint will offer more protection than a lighter tint.

The color of the lens. Gray or green lenses offer the best protection from UV rays.

Wraparound sunglasses offer the best protection because they cover more of your eyes.

Sunglasses are just one way to protect your eyes from grow lights. You should also take breaks often and keep the light at a distance from your eyes.

cannabis and sunglasses

2. Turning Off Grow Lights When Not in Use

Grow lights should be turned off when they are not needed. It will help reduce the amount of light exposure and minimize the risk of eye damage. If you need to use grow lights for an extended period, take breaks often and wear sunglasses or other eye protection.

a person using the switch for lights

3. Keeping the Light at a Distance

The further away you are from the light, the less exposure you will have. If the lights are on for a long period, keep them at a distance from your eyes. Other measures include:

1. Position the grow light to shine on the plants and not directly into your eyes.

2. Use a timer to turn the grow lights off and on so that you're not staring at them for long periods.

3. Move the grow lights around often so that you're not always looking at the same spot.

cannabis growing equipment

FAQ

Q. Do grow lights cause eye damage?

A. Grow lights can cause eye damage if they are not used safely. It's essential to take breaks often and keep the light at a distance from your eyes. Wearing sunglasses or some other type of eye protection will also help reduce the risk of eye damage.

Q. Can growing lights cause skin cancer?

A. Grow lights can cause skin cancer if they emit UV radiation. It's essential to use grow lights safely to minimize the risk of skin cancer.

Q. Is it wrong to around grow lights?

A. It is not wrong to be around grow lights as long as you take breaks often and keep the light at a distance from your eyes. Wearing sunglasses or some other type of eye protection will also help reduce the risk of eye damage.

Q. How often should I take breaks when using grow lights?

A. You should take breaks often when using grow lights. It will help reduce the amount of light exposure and minimize the risk of eye damage. If you need to use grow lights for an extended period, take breaks every 20 minutes or so.

Conclusion

While it’s not clear whether or not grow lights are harmful to your eyes, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from potential eye damage. Some people say that the high-intensity light from grow lights can cause long-term damage to your vision. Others maintain that as long as you take precautions and avoid looking at the light directly, there’s no reason to be concerned. It’s up to you whether or not you want to take the risk. But if you do choose to use grow lights in your garden, make sure to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses or goggles when working with them.

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About the author 

Morgan

I discovered the benefits of Cannabis at a young age in 2002, with years of trial and error, my knowledge grew just like my plants. As my love for cannabis unfolded I began to teach and learn, trying to gain as much information and practical growing experience.

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