About a year ago, I started feeling like headlights were getting brighter. I started to flick the little switch under the rearview mirror when newer cars with LED headlights pulled up behind me. They made me wince.

Recently, I ordered a product that is meant to be used as a type of liquid welder. It is a device that spreads resin onto a surface and cures the resin with LED light. In the instructions, it clearly tells users to not stair into the light directly because it could damage eyes.

So, at what level are LED lights safe and what studies have been done on automobile headlights to ensure they are safe for eyes? My guess is, not enough.

From a product development standpoint, I think it is pretty clear that automakers need to include an option to either redirect or turn off LED lights in favor of less bright options. I totally get that drivers should want to see as well as possible and that is a good thing for driver safety. But, at the same time, the driver in front of that car needs to be safe and not feel like they are being blinded by the LED lights.

I think that auto makers could have three light settings. The first could be comparable to current low intensity but historically adequate lights. The second could the the regular short range brighter LED lights that also last longer and use less power, from what I’ve read. The third could be the high beams that would be for longer stretches of roads where streetlights may not exist or no other cars are nearby.

Using AI or smart technology, the car could possibly adjust the lighting automatically based on the surrounding environment. The smart lights could account for nearby cars, lighting conditions, time of day, weather and other condition. And, there could be an automatic or manual setting. The lights could also possibly use return or reflected light off of surrounding surfaces to determine if the amount of light coming back is high and therefore the amount of light emitting might be too high.

Of course, extensive research should be done with live persons to determine optimal settings for both the driver of the care and surrounding cars.

I am quite surprised this hasn’t been done already. Maybe it has. But, it definitely needs to be put in place.

Surely, if these LED lights are found to cause accidents or distract other drivers or pedestrians, legislation needs to be written to get some guidelines in place for auto makers to follow.

This is a question I posted on Quora.

In reading a product manual for a product with LED lightbulb, the warning label said to avoid direct eye contact to prevent damaging eyes. So, that being said, could LED headlights damage people’s eyes? If so, how? If not, why?

That if my input for today. Have a great Tuesday.


I grew up in Baltimore and currently live in the Rodgers Forge community just north of Baltimore City.

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