A bright light can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue in some people, and in some cases can even cause cancer.
But it’s not all bad.
Researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found that when a light source is used for illumination, it can help clear the dark from our eyes and reduce the risks of eye disease and other problems.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have long been used in lighting in homes and offices.
They can be used to brighten up rooms, provide a natural light source and improve visibility in dark areas.
They’re also popular in schools, offices and factories.
The Harvard and MIT researchers analysed data from more than 1.3 million workers in a study of light-emitted LED light bulbs.
Their findings were published in the journal Light in the Environment.
The researchers looked at data from 2,541 workers who had been exposed to a dim, warm, incandescent light bulb and asked whether they reported experiencing headaches or eye pain.
They also looked at how many of the workers experienced light sickness.
Researchers found that workers who worked in the bulb for 30 minutes or more a day had a reduced risk of developing light sickness compared with workers who were exposed to dim light only.
The workers also had a lower risk of eye pain, but they also had lower levels of light sickness and eye strain.
The findings could help scientists design new treatments to help people with chronic light-related health problems.
“It’s important that we get the best bang for the buck from lighting in order to have the best chance of having a long-term benefit,” says lead author Alex Tardieu, a researcher at Harvard’s Institute for Materials Research.
“The more light you get in a room, the more you can help light the room.”
One of the key findings of the study is that there are different types of light.
“You don’t see it as light from one bulb being absorbed into the skin, the skin absorbs it,” Tardien says.
“Light is a much more diffuse light, meaning that it penetrates deeper into the tissue.”
Light also interacts with other molecules in the body, such as fat and proteins.
When light hits a protein, it releases chemical messengers that can cause problems for tissues.
“When you have a chemical mess like this, it causes inflammation, and that inflammation is associated with more eye pain and light sickness,” Tardsie says.
The light-sensing protein called melatonin is also involved in helping regulate the function of light, so light exposure could help reduce the symptoms of melatonin deficiency, he says.
Researchers also found that the higher the levels of melonine, the less the light-induced inflammatory response.
Light can also help regulate our immune system, Tardie says, so exposure to dim lighting can help with that.
“There are a number of different wavelengths of light and they can interact,” Tarsie says: “There’s a wide spectrum of light that you can see that can affect your immune system.
And then there’s also the wavelengths that you’re not seeing.”
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