Turning on the Lights to Subtle Reef Dangers... Palo-toxins step aside!

6TankReefer9

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Been seeing numerous articles lately all pointing towards the danger of LED lights to eye health, and it really got me thinking is this possible the single biggest overlooked danger in the reef community? I know Pali toxins from Zoas can be deadly, but many reef tanks don't have Zoas or even corals at that; however, EVERY reef tank has lights- usually LEDs- and most of those reef tank don't contain a light enclosure or canopy. That said, most reef LED lights also have UV settings and the like so I truly am curious if this is a danger that many of us have yet to take into consideration or have completely overlooked.
 
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ludnix

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I made a cover for my light, I wasn't too concerned about actual damage but the light spill is unsightly and annoying.
 

Reefs and Geeks

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I notice my eyes are a bit mad at me after working on my tank for extended times with the canopy open. I know my vision has gotten worse this last year, but I'm thinking me scratching my retina has more to do with it than anything. Still, I find my eyes feel a bit better after wearing yellow glasses when working on the tank than without.

I have no medical or biological background, but I think that since blue light seems darker to us than it really is, our retinas don't close as much as they would for the same intensity of white light. This could be letting in more of the high energy blue light than would get into our eyes if the light were a different spectrum, and could be causing more damage simply due to the lack of non-blue spectrum.

I also think chronic exposure is an issue. Same as not wearing hearing protection when cutting grass. Sure, it doesn't seem too loud, and the noise doesn't cause pain at the time you're using the mower, but done over and over, will cause hearing loss. Probably the same with our reef lights. Repeated exposure could be an issue.
 

cain720

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I'm not sure if I should be concerned or not. I know my fixture is designed to direct the light into the tank, but is the reflected light from the tank enough to be a concern when viewing for under 2 hours/day?

I'm glad you brought up this issue because I had never really looked into it. I've decided to start using the blue filters on my phone and work computer. For anyone wondering, IOS, Android, and Windows 10 all have built in blue filter features.
 

DesertReefT4r

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I remember seeing a post about how someone was having vision loss because of the blue LED lighting. Maybe it was "blind reefer" or something like that. There is also a lot of info out there about vision damage from computer screens and cell phone screens and the blue light they put off.
 
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Aardvark1134

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Staring into a metal halide isn't good for your eyes either.
The simple truth is any light bright enough to make a reef do go should not be allowed to spill over the sides of the tank or be where a kid can look almost straight up into it. This issue has more to do with the fad of people wanting topless, rimless, canopyless tanks than it does with the type of fixture. Put a proper top and canopy on your tank and it will be a non issue.
 

Aardvark1134

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Staring into a metal halide isn't good for your eyes either.
The simple truth is any light bright enough to make a reef do go should not be allowed to spill over the sides of the tank or be where a kid can look almost straight up into it. This issue has more to do with the fad of people wanting topless, rimless, canopyless tanks than it does with the type of fixture. Put a proper top and canopy on your tank and it will be a non issue.
 

Aardvark1134

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Staring into a metal halide isn't good for your eyes either.
The simple truth is any light bright enough to make a reef do go should not be allowed to spill over the sides of the tank or be where a kid can look almost straight up into it. This issue has more to do with the fad of people wanting topless, rimless, canopyless tanks than it does with the type of fixture. Put a proper top and canopy on your tank and it will be a non issue.
 

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