How phytolamps affect health and vision: myths and truth

By Yraa #absence, #absolutely, #absorb, #absorbed, #absorption, #according, #additional, #advantages, #affect, #afternoon, #agent, #air, #allow, #allowed, #although, #angle, #any, #appear, #apply, #areas, #around, #asleep, #associated, #attractive, #available, #avoided, #bacteria, #basis, #becomes, #begins, #believed, #benefit, #block, #blue, #bright, #called, #cases, #cause, #causing, #check, #chosen, #coating, #comes, #common, #component, #computer, #contact, #d, #deal, #depends, #destroy, #detail, #develop, #devices, #different, #direct, #directly, #distance, #distinguished, #disturbances, #dry, #drying, #due, #earlier, #easily, #effect, #effective, #efficiency, #either, #emotions, #enough, #entire, #even, #everything, #example, #excess, #expensive, #exposure, #extreme, #Eye, #Eyes, #fact, #fall, #familiar, #fear, #field, #found, #gadgets, #gets, #getting, #go, #greatly, #green, #grow, #hard, #harm, #health, #healthyinfo, #Heat, #help, #herbs, #himself, #house, #however, #huge, #influence, #insomnia, #interesting, #interfere, #irritability, #itself, #journal, #just, #key, #leaves, #LED, #length, #less, #level, #Light, #limit, #long, #look, #lot, #mass, #matter, #maximum, #may, #medium, #minimum, #models, #monitors, #moreover, #much, #must, #myths, #narrow, #nature, #needed, #negatively, #new, #night, #nothing, #notice, #now, #off, #old, #ones, #operation, #opinions, #our, #people, #personal, #plant, #point, #potential, #Power, #practically, #preference, #production, #provoke, #pure, #quality, #radiation, #range, #rays, #reach, #reaction, #real, #really, #reason, #recently, #recommended, #red, #remember, #remove, #required, #rhythms, #risk, #room, #safe, #scientists, #see, #seeds, #series, #several, #Skin, #sleep, #smartphone, #Soft, #solution, #sources, #special, #stable, #strong, #stronger, #sunlight, #symptoms, #t, #technology, #tension, #theory, #therefore, #thing, #those, #throughout, #tired, #too, #truth, #turn, #two, #ultraviolet, #under, #understand, #unpleasant, #unusual, #us, #used, #uses, #using, #uv, #various, #viruses, #visible, #vitamin, #wake, #was, #watch, #waves, #White, #who, #why, #will, #winter, #worse

Fito­lamps have a lot of advan­tages — they help to grow mini-gar­dens with herbs and strong seedlings in the win­ter in the house. How­ev­er, the light from them is unusu­al for the eye, and many fear harm to vision. Healthy­in­fo tells about the harm from phy­to­lamps — imag­i­nary and real, how dif­fer­ent spec­tra affect a per­son and which phy­to­lamps should be cho­sen.

Key Concerns

Key Concerns

What scares most those who are not famil­iar with the fea­tures of plant lamps? The most com­mon con­cerns:

    Harm from ultraviolet radiation;
    Dangerous blue spectrum;
    Pulsing light.

To under­stand exact­ly, two impor­tant con­cepts must be dis­tin­guished:

    Rejection of the light of the phytolamp. If this red-blue spectrum (which glows either as a stable pink-violet or changes throughout the day) just irritates the eyes and doesn’t like it, this is a matter of personal preference, more towards psychology and emotions. If there is such a problem, there is only one solution — to remove the lamp from the field of view;
    The real potential harm from phytolamps, which we will deal with in detail.

Dangerous ultraviolet

UV rays can real­ly be dan­ger­ous — they cause burns to the skin and cornea, pro­voke can­cer­ous changes. But to under­stand harm, you need to remem­ber the the­o­ry.

The sun­light itself (which, in the­o­ry, phy­to­lamps should imi­tate) is not white, it has sev­er­al col­ors — green, red, blue, as well as ultra­vi­o­let and infrared rays invis­i­ble to us. We notice the influ­ence of ultra­vi­o­let by tan­ning, infrared rays — by the sen­sa­tion of heat.

In ultra­vi­o­let there is a gra­da­tion of radi­a­tion:

    Soft, 315–400 nm;
    Medium, 280–315 nm;
    Rigid, 100–280 nm.

The most dan­ger­ous is, of course, hard radi­a­tion. Although there is more dan­ger­ous, extreme. It and hard radi­a­tion are called “vac­u­um”, since in nature they are absorbed by the atmos­phere and do not reach us.

But even medi­um-length UV rays with direct expo­sure can cause corneal burns.

Hard UV radi­a­tion is used in lamps for dis­in­fec­tion, quartz­iza­tion of rooms from virus­es and bac­te­ria. UV rays with a range of 240–260 nm destroy any DNA.

Of all the the­o­ry, you need to remem­ber the main thing: real­ly harm­ful ultra­vi­o­let has a length of 10–400 nm. How­ev­er, human­i­ty also uses such rays with ben­e­fit — of course, in the absence of direct con­tact with the per­son him­self. But in phy­to­lamps, every­thing is dif­fer­ent.

What spectrum do plants need?

What do plants need from the entire spec­trum list­ed above and how can this light affect a per­son?

In a series of exper­i­ments, sci­en­tists found that not all spec­tra are real­ly need­ed by plants. Effi­cien­cy was assessed by the lev­el of pho­to­syn­the­sis.

If the plant is under red and blue-vio­let rays, then the max­i­mum absorp­tion of car­bon diox­ide begins.
The green spec­trum with­out addi­tion­al rays has prac­ti­cal­ly no effect (for this rea­son, green green­house film is just a mar­ket­ing ploy). Plants do not absorb green rays, but reflect — in fact, that’s why they are green in our eyes.

That is, from the entire spec­trum, plants need blue waves (range 440–460 nm) and red (635–665 nm) the most.

It is inter­est­ing!

Under the rays of blue, plants grow bet­ter — green mass, stems, leaves increase.
Red is nec­es­sary for seeds to ger­mi­nate, plants to bloom, and fruits to ripen.

In the morn­ings, the sun emits more blue spec­trum rays, and in the evenings — red ones. There­fore, peo­ple wake up more eas­i­ly (and fall asleep worse) in blue light, and we watch sun­sets in red. This is how our bio­rhythms work.

LED phytolamps: is there any UV?

LED phytolamps: is there any UV?

Most LED fito­lamps just have peaks in the blue and red areas. Unlike the sun, their spec­tra do not change dur­ing the day (this is only in expen­sive mod­els of phy­to­lamps).

Fact!

There is no UV radi­a­tion in LED phy­to­lamps. Nei­ther sun­bathing, nor dry­ing var­nish, nor get­ting vit­a­min D or corneal burns under such lamps will work.

Soft UV rays with a range of 380–390 nm are in spe­cial­ized LEDs that are not used in crop pro­duc­tion. For exam­ple, recent­ly sci­en­tists from Israel (Jour­nal of Pho­to­chem­istry and Pho­to­bi­ol­o­gy B: Biol­o­gy) proved the effec­tive effect of ultra­vi­o­let LEDs on a new coro­n­avirus — the causative agent of COVID-19. What is attrac­tive is that this tech­nol­o­gy is cheap and avail­able for use in com­mer­cial premis­es and pri­vate homes. But it is not used in phy­to­lamps.

So LED phy­to­lamps can only irri­tate — but not harm health with UV rays.

Ultraviolet in fluorescent phytolamps

How­ev­er, this state­ment does not apply to flu­o­res­cent lamps: they just emit ultra­vi­o­let light. It is the basis for the oper­a­tion of such devices.

Flu­o­res­cent lamps are not rec­om­mend­ed for homes. In them, UV rays are reflect­ed from a flask coat­ed with a phos­phor and con­vert­ed into the vis­i­ble spec­trum. And even in a new lamp, coat­ing inho­mo­geneities or micro­c­racks are pos­si­ble, through which the rays go out.

Over time, the phos­phor ages and cracks, UV radi­a­tion becomes more. In crit­i­cal cas­es, radi­a­tion can reach the same lev­el as expo­sure to the bright rays of the sun. Unless, of course, look direct­ly at the lamp. At the same time, the red-blue spec­trum, which is unpleas­ant for many, comes from such phy­to­lamps less.

When using flu­o­res­cent phy­to­lamps, there is a risk of harm to the eyes. This can be avoid­ed by using them in ducts that lim­it the beam angle and only allow light to reach the plants.

Is blue light harmful?

In most phy­to­lamps, the red spec­trum pre­dom­i­nates — so as not to grow huge plants in the house, but to help ger­mi­nate or har­vest. But the blue spec­trum is also need­ed, and now it can harm if it gets into the eyes — from a min­i­mum dis­tance and for a long time.

Lamps with only a blue spec­trum neg­a­tive­ly affect the reti­na — the pupil does not nar­row to the required diam­e­ter. But if there is a red com­po­nent, then the reac­tion of the pupil will be cor­re­spond­ing to the radi­a­tion.

How­ev­er, an excess of blue light in the after­noon can inter­fere with cir­ca­di­an rhythms, caus­ing sleep dis­tur­bances. So phy­to­lamps can cause insom­nia — although TVs, smart­phones and oth­er gad­gets are much stronger.

So, an excess of blue is harm­ful, but this does not apply to bicol­or phy­to­lamps or, more­over, to pure red lamps. If there is a sus­pi­cion that sleep was dis­turbed pre­cise­ly because of the lamps for plants, block them or turn them off ear­li­er.

pulsating light

The biggest nui­sance of phy­to­lamps (although oth­er light­ing devices too) is the pul­sa­tion of light. To a large extent, it depends on the pow­er sup­plies or lamp dri­vers. It is believed that a light pul­sa­tion of 2–3% is absolute­ly safe, and accord­ing to the norms, a range of up to 10% is allowed.

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food, cooking, herbs
man, face, psychosis
apple, fruit, food
nurse, hospital, health

The pul­sa­tion of light is not vis­i­ble to the naked eye, but if you point a smart­phone cam­era at the lamp, you can notice this flick­er (as on old com­put­er mon­i­tors with­out cam­eras).

Due to the fact that we see, but do not real­ize this flick­er, our eyes get tired, a ten­sion headache, irri­tabil­i­ty may devel­op. Such a defect can be in many light sources, not only phy­to­lamps. The solu­tion is the same — to fence off the bulbs and not use them at night (12 hours is enough for plants, and you can use spe­cial timers that turn on the lamp ear­ly in the morn­ing).

So, phy­to­lamps have dis­ad­van­tages. How­ev­er, they are asso­ci­at­ed with the qual­i­ty of devices, and the harm even from the cheap­est is great­ly exag­ger­at­ed. And, of course, opin­ions about corneal burns, a dan­ger­ous blue spec­trum, or a pul­sa­tion that is detri­men­tal to the psy­che are noth­ing more than myths.

Well, if the light from the bulb for plants is unpleas­ant for you, and in addi­tion var­i­ous symp­toms appear — dry eyes, sleep dis­tur­bances, ner­vous­ness — then you should not only remove the phy­to­lamp, but also check the room for air humid­i­ty and oth­er sources of blue or pul­sat­ing light. There are much more of them around us than in phy­to­lamps.

By Yraa

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