Home » Tips » Do LED Lights Give Off UV?

Do LED Lights Give Off UV?

If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.

Like many people, you are probably careful when choosing LED bulbs over other types of lighting. This is because some think LED lamps produce dangerous UV rays that can impact your health. So do LED lights give off UV? Keep reading to learn more.

Do LED Lights Give Off UV?

Yes, LED lights give off UV. However, standard LED lights only give off a small amount of UV, less than other lighting options. This is due to the phosphors within an LED lamp that convert the Ultraviolet light to white light.

We all know exposure to UV rays can cause several health issues such as sunburn, skin cancer, and eye problems. Fortunately, LED light bulbs do not produce enough ultraviolet light for this to be a concern. 

LED light bulbs

Ultraviolet Light and LED

Brilliant blue bulbs used in producing white light (ideal for general lighting applications) emit some UV radiation in the 400 to 425-nanometer range. However, the amount of ultraviolet rays generated is really small.

In fact, the final amount of UV rays emitted is too small to say that white light lamps do not produce any UV light. For this reason, LEDs are the bulbs of choice for museums that want to preserve artifacts and maintain their initial colors.

However, you should avoid using an unfiltered bulb in a room where some film types are very sensitive to UV radiation. This is because they can be impacted by light down to 415-nanometer wavelengths. 

Can UV Rays in LED Lights Put Your Health at Risk?

Standard LED lights emit ultraviolet rays in a too-small amount to be a concern. However, if the LED lights come with defects, these UV rays can damage your skin cells and cause cancer.

That being said, brilliant blue bulbs are the only LED lamps that produce a significant amount of ultraviolet light. Even so, the amount emitted is too little to be harmful because of the phosphorous present in the LED lamps. The phosphorous forms a coating around the brilliant blue lamps, which absorbs the blue light allowing white to come through. 

Some manufacturers also create white LEDs using ultraviolet LEDs. This means the phosphorous coating used converts UV light to white light. The only risk is that the UV light will be produced together with the white light if phosphorous gets damaged.

What Other Kinds of Light Produces UV Rays?

Apart from the natural source of ultraviolet radiation, other types of lamps that give off UV rays include:

  • Tanning lamps
  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Incandescent lamps
  • Reptile basking lamps
  • UVB rays

Tanning Lamps

These bulbs aren’t like regular light bulbs and are used in tanning beds. They emit UV rays that can damage your skin and cause cancer. Tanning lamps can also help with the production of Vitamin D.

Fluorescent Lamps

There are two types of fluorescent bulbs:

Man looking up at a fluorescent lamp

Unlike incandescent lamps, fluorescent bulbs emit more ultraviolet rays. However, this amount of UV light isn’t considered harmful either. Moreover, if you install the CFLs at a distance of 25 centimeters away from you, the UV light emitted by these bulbs shouldn’t be of concern.

Incandescent Lamps

Incandescent lights are the most common type of lamps used in homes. They produce a small number of ultraviolet rays that don’t cause sunburns or health problems. However, these bulbs can’t help you absorb vitamin D.

Reptile Basking Lamps

These bulbs function as a heat source, which is crucial for providing warmth to reptiles. The warmth mimics sun rays and helps the reptiles maintain their activities at optimal levels.

UVB Rays

UVB radiation can help prevent seasonal affective disorders and also help living organisms absorb vitamin D. However, excessive UVB lights can damage your skin. 

What About UV Light and Halogen Lamps?

A halogen bulb resembles an incandescent lamp. The only major difference is its design. Halogen lamps have small amounts of halogen gas, while standard incandescent lamps use argon gas. 

Since halogen bulbs operate at high temperatures, they produce a significant amount of ultraviolet light and emit less infrared radiation.

That’s why halogen bulbs feature special casings and filters to prevent harmful UV rays. Halogen bulbs can also cause fire hazards due to high temperatures. However, there are protection measures you can put in place like the metal housing of the bulb. 

What Bulbs Do Not Produce UV Radiation?

Although some bulbs do not emit UV rays, most lamps fall within the required safe limits. Below are the bulbs that do not emit UV rays.

  • Long fluorescent tubes
  • Sodium vapor bulbs
  • Traditional incandescent lamps
LED lights give off UV rays

Long Fluorescent Tubes

Although fluorescent bulbs can leak some ultraviolet light, the phosphor coating blocks the majority of it. Again, the phosphor cracking problem isn’t an issue with long fluorescent tubes.

Sodium Vapor Bulbs

Most street lights use sodium vapor bulbs that generate large quantities of yellow light. The light that’s produced from sodium vapor contains no UV rays because it’s concentrated in the yellow part.

Traditional Incandescent Lamps

Standard incandescent bulbs generate white light from tungsten filaments. The light from these lamps has a broad spectrum. However, it’s only a small part that has UV radiation. 

Generally, more UV rays are produced when the filament is too hot. Also, most incandescent lamps are designed to reduce ultraviolet light.

Related Questions

Before we wrap up this article, below are some questions you may find useful. 

How Much UV Do LED Lights Emit?

LED lights emit small amounts of UV. It depends on the design of the LED. However, the amount is less compared to other lighting sources For instance, a 365nm bulb emits a lower amount of UV light than a 395nm bulb. 

Do UV LED Lights Work?

Yes, UV LED lights can be used to disinfect surfaces in the hospital or home since the radiation passes through the air without producing ozone.

Conclusion

LED light bulbs emit some UV rays if the radiation is required in areas like medical treatment. However, standard LEDs produce a small number of UV rays, making them safe for use in homes.