Statement Of Position Of The International Commission On Illumination (CIE) On The Hazards Of Blue Light

- May 23, 2019-

Statement of position of the international commission on illumination (CIE) on the hazards of blue light

In March 2019

Many media reports have claimed that the use of light sources such as light-emitting diodes (leds) can cause harm to human health. Such harm is commonly referred to as "blue light hazard (BLH)", which generally refers to the actual risk of eye damage and its impact on general health.

The term "blue light hazard" is used only when considering the photochemical risk of retinal tissue in the eye (technically known as "macular degeneration") and is usually associated with staring at bright light sources such as sunlight or welding arcs.The term includes "blue light" because the risk of photochemical damage depends on the wavelength and peaks in the blue light spectrum between 435 nm and 440 nm.The international commission on non-ionizing radiation protection (ICNIRP) has published the "blue ray hazard function" and specified the wavelength dependent weighting function and the guiding exposure limit [1].This function has been standardized by CIE as part of CIE S 009:2002 "photobiosafety of lamps and lamp systems" and is now published as IEC/CIE 62471:2006[2].There is no evidence that the occasional exposure of humans to limited levels of light radiation has any adverse health effects.

White light fixtures, such as leds, usually contain light associated with blue light hazards.It appears that "cold" or high-temperature lights may contain more blue light than "warm" or low-temperature lights.In conventional lighting, the blue light exposure limit of incandescent lamps and LED lamps with the same color temperature is the same.Practical evaluation indicates that the luminaire will not exceed the exposure limit of blue light hazards under reasonably foreseeable service conditions.In addition, the blue light exposure is often lower than the blue sky exposure.

It is very important to consider the exposure of human eyes in the actual situation [3].Numerous studies and media reports have claimed that white light sources have adverse effects on human eye health.Most of these studies are based on unconventional states, including:

Long exposure

High color temperature LED lamp (blue light component is very much)

Exposure that significantly exceeds the ICNIRP exposure limit

Concentrate on the light

Use nocturnal animal models or human cells in vitro

When white light sources emit blue light that is close to the exposure limit for blue light, they emit very bright light, creating an uncomfortable glare.Staring at such a light source would be considered abnormal behavior.In addition, high color temperature lighting is unpleasant and uncomfortable for most people, especially as home lighting.For people who behave normally, there are large amounts of temporary exposure to high doses of light each day.However, these exposures do not accumulate over the course of a day to exceed the exposure limit.

Although CIE believes that "blue light hazards" are not a problem for white light sources used in general lighting or even for sources rich in blue light, caution is recommended for situations such as multiple days of continuous exposure to light close to the exposure limit of blue light hazards.In fact, such exposure should be avoided.This kind of exposure is unlikely for white light sources, but possible for sources that mainly emit blue light.

It should also be recognized that exposure to children's eyes from the use of primary sources of blue light is also a concern.Although not exceeding the blue light exposure limit, such light sources are too bright for children to experience dizziness.Therefore, it is not recommended to use blue indicator lights for toys and other devices that children may see.If blue light is used as the primary light source in such products, the blue light exposure limit should be reduced to one-tenth.This is especially important for sources of violet and deep violet light.

It has been suggested that blue light exposure may be associated with the risk of age-related macular degeneration.This is speculative at the moment and is not supported by peer review.

The term "blue light hazard" should not be used when referring to circadian rhythm disorders or sleep disorders.However, CIE is aware of the public's concerns about the non-visual effects of blue light on human health and has issued a position statement in this regard [4], and will consider issuing an updated document of this statement in due course, such as CIE S 026:2018[5].


[1] ICNIRP Guidelines on exposure to incoherent visible and concentrated radiation. Health Physics. 105(1):74‐96;2013 (available from

[2] Sliney, D H, Bergman, R and O 'Hagan, j. Photobiological Risk Classification of Lamps and Lamp Systems - History and Rationale comment. LEUKOS, 3, 213-234, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/15502724.2016.1145551.

[3] IEC 62471:2006/CIE S 009:2002 Securite photobiologique des lampes et des appareils utilisant des lampes/Photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems (bilingual edition).

[4] CIE Position Statement on non-visual Effects of Light -- priests Proper Light at the Proper Time, June 28, 2015.

[5] CIE S 026/E:2018 CIE System for Metrology of Optical Radiation for iprgc-influenced Responses to Light.

Statement on CIE and its position

International Commission on illumination, also known as the CIE, derived from the French name for "the appointed the Internationale DE l ´ Eclairage", is committed to global cooperation, and is related to light and lighting, color and visual, an image of a light biology and technology of science and art of all communication.

The CIE has a strong technical, scientific and cultural foundation and is an independent non-profit organization serving member states on a voluntary basis.Since its establishment in 1913, it has been recognized by the international organization for standardization (ISO) as the highest authority in the relevant field.Therefore, CIE is recognized by the international organization for standardization (ISO) as an international standardization body that publishes global standards for basic research on light and lighting.

The CIE position statement first ensures agreement with the relevant CIE technical committee and is approved by the CIE executive board, which includes the directors of all CIE departments (bodies that carry out CIE's scientific work).

Editor: yan zhixiang