Are Grow Lights Bad for Your Eyes? [A Quick Guide]

indoor grow lights

As a grower, you may have heard that LED grow lights can be dangerous for your eyes.

With the rise of LED technology and their use in indoor growing gardens, it's incredibly important you understand the potential risks of working with these types of lights, as well as what precautions you can take.

Let’s take a look.


LEDs are very directional lights

First, it's important to note that in general, LEDs are much more directional than traditional light bulbs.

This means that they emit a much more powerful and narrow beam of light in a particular direction.

LED Grow Light directional lighting 

While you can look directly into a traditional light bulb without causing damage to your eyes, looking directly into an LED can cause serious damage to your retina due to the intense light given off in the direction you’re looking at.

To prevent eye damage, it's crucial to never look directly into an LED, especially when working with grow lights - grow lights are much more powerful than your typical street or indoor lights.

To protect your eyes, we recommend dimming the lights when you’re working with them. Or, you can use specialized glasses that filter out the harmful rays.

Additionally, it's probably a good idea to take breaks and give your eyes a rest from the intense light when you can.


UVB lights can also cause issues

Another type of LED grow light to be aware of are UVB lights.

UVB LED Grow Light

UVB lights emit a subtle purple light that may not seem harmful, but they can cause sunburn with prolonged exposure, as well as causing damage to your eyesight if looked at too closely.

For this reason, we recommend switching off UVB lights while working in the room, and avoiding direct exposure to the skin and eyes where possible.


Closing thoughts

In conclusion, while LED grow lights can be an efficient and cost-effective option for indoor gardening, it's important you understand the potential risks and take necessary precautions to protect your eyes.

So, the ley takeaways are: remember to never look directly into an LED, dim the lights or use protective glasses when working with LED grow lights, and switch off any UVB lights when you enter your indoor garden.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the benefits of LED grow lights while keeping your eyes safe.


Frequently asked questions

Do LED grow lights emit UV?

Yes, most LED grow lights emit UV light. Normal LED lights - like our LED Strip Light - do not emit UV light, but LED grow lights have been engineered specifically to allow for UV light to be emitted, as it aids plant growth.

It's important to note however that UV light can be harmful to human skin and eyes, even leading to cancer with repeat, prolonged exposure. As such, you should take precautions when working with these types of LED grow lights, as well as using protective gear such as glasses or gloves.

Last but not least, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Are grow lights safe for humans?

Generally yes, grow lights are safe for humans when used properly.

However, it's important to understand that some grow lights can emit high levels of UV light (such as UVB lights like we mentioned earlier), which can be harmful to the eyes and skin, leading to cancer over time with repeat exposure.

As well, grow lights can generate a lot of heat, which can cause skin burns if you’re not careful when tending to your plants while they are switched on.

We would therefore suggest either tending to your plants once your grow lights have been switched off and allowed to cool for a while, or wearing protective hand and arm gloves to protect against skin burns if you need to do your gardening while the grow lights are on.