A very interesting email arrived today, querying the effect of red LED lights on eyes.
It is all about the wavelength, not the type of light.
Red and near infrared wavelengths are not harmful to the eyes.
In fact, red wavelengths (especially 670nm, a deep red colour) are showing promise as a treatment for Age-related Macular Degeneration, a devastating progressive eye condition.
The lead researcher is Prof Glen Jeffery, professor of neuroscience at University College London.
Here’s a list of Prof Jeffrey’s publications.
And here’s a link to one of his articles.
If you are planning to make your own light hat device, make sure that you purchase red LEDs. There are LED strips available with lots of colours – avoid these as a rainbow isn’t helpful.
You just want red or near infrared wavelengths.
The item you need is plastic-coated wire mesh. It is available at most hardware stores and garden centres. Here is the brand that Michael used to develop his Cossack design.
Continue reading “Cossack – making the frame”
Be safe. Make only 12 volt light devices.
Just in case you have an urge to build an Eliza using 240 volts, then DON’T.
Light hats made with 12 Volt Direct Current work well. They are safe to make and use at home.
12 Volts DC is a safe way for us all to make and use light devices at home.
Remember the Goldilocks Effect. More power is not going to help, and if you start playing with 240 volts you are entering dangerous territory.
- Make 12 volt DC light devices
- Use it daily
- Email me through the blog and tell me how you are going
- Try using higher voltages
Red and near infrared lights are complex. We know only a little, but we do know about the importance of wavelengths, dose and comfort.
I’ve just added a new page – Caution .
Check it out as it collates some of the words of warning from various blog posts.
A few people have asked how long a light hat should be worn.
A previous post about the Goldilocks Effect is really important to read, as it describes the research on the odd effect of too much red light.
More red light is not better – it can make things worse. Neurones are finicky fellows and we must respect this.
So how long should you wear an Eliza light hat, or any kind of red/near infrared light on the head? As everyone’s light hat is different, it is impossible to give absolutely firm advice. But based on what I’ve observed over the time of making many and varied light hats, I’d suggest the following considerations.
I’ve had a number of people tell me that conversations with their GP or specialist about red and near infrared lights haven’t gone well. One chap took his newly-made Eliza to show his neurologist, who roared with laughter and said that it would be very handy at Christmas.
I remember my reaction when patients brought in newspaper clippings about the latest and greatest cure for something – I’d keep a smile on my face and inwardly groan.
If you are getting less than supportive noises from your doctors, don’t get cranky with them, because they are trying to protect you. There are lots of charlatans and snake oil merchants out there, and people with chronic diseases are easy targets. They are worried that you and your family are going to be taken in by costly rubbish. If you read about the beginnings of my learning about red lights, here, you’ll see that I was also very skeptical.
So what can you do?
Continue reading “How to help your doctor”