Evaluation of Major Brands of LED Headlights: Color Distortion and Blue Light Hazard

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ErgoPractice News – August 2020

Years ago, SurgiTel created the color-balanced, true-color LED headlights for clinicians using patented true color optical technologies. Other brands have been trying to imitate SurgiTel true color LED lights with optical systems that do not infringe SurgiTel patents, but SurgiTel is still the only company that can offer true color LED lights.

We often receive the question: “How are your LED headlights different from other brands?” We have recently done an evaluation of various LED headlights marketed by Designs for Vision, LumaDent, Orascoptic, Q-Optics, and UltraLight Optics. It is noted that these lights were supplied by our customers who switched to our true color LED lights.

Cool LED Headlights and Blue Light Hazard

Research indicates exposure over time to cool LED headlights with strong blue light can cause serious long-term damage to human eyes, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD).1,2 Figure 1 shows the light spectrum, including the Blue Light or High-Energy-Visible (HEV) range. It is noted that the color (or color temperature) of beams will be different from the color of LED chips if the LED beam-forming optical system does not use the true color optical technology.

All dental professionals know that curing lights, which use the same blue light components of cool LED lights, are dangerous and that they should take precautions for both themselves and their patients. However, LED headlights that emit blue light in the same range are not only being used without protection but are focused through loupe magnification on the clinician’s retina! (See “The Blue Light Hazard in Medicine and Dentistry” for more information at: https://youtu.be/VfCmL4Kz2iw )

Because of this SurgiTel developed true color LED headlight for clinicians to see the true color and work safer. SurgiTel’s true color LED headlights were proven to have the best color accuracy and be the safest to eyes.3

Evaluation of Major Brand LED Headlights

To show differences between LED lights for comparison with SurgiTel true color LED lights, we took images of a dental model by illuminating the lower arch teeth with SurgiTel’s true color LED and the upper arch teeth with LED lights under evaluation. With these photos, we can easily see the differences by comparing the qualities of the image, side-by-side. Figure 2 shows a dental model under room light and Figures 3-5 shows image comparison photos of various LED headlights.

 

These comparison photos show that images taken under the illumination of all other popular brand LED headlights are strongly blue-tinted due to the stronger blue spectral content. This not only distorts object color but also can be the cause for early-onset, age-related macular degeneration (AMD).1,2

While other brand LED headlights have stronger blue spectral components—which can create the unwanted appearance of blue-tinted teeth and damage retina—SurgiTel lights offer the best color accuracy and are safest for your eyes.2

SurgiTel Free Evaluation Service: Working Postures and Blue Light Hazard
As the results of continued research and development during the last quarter-century, today SurgiTel is able to provide any clinicians with truly ergonomic loupes and color-balanced LED headlights that help you work in comfortable postures that prevent chronic neck pain and see more clearly without exposure to blue-light hazards.

If you or a peer want to evaluate working posture and the safety of LED headlights, contact your local representative for a free evaluation service at www.SurgiTel.com/MyRep

Summary:
  1. An evaluation has been made by comparing images under the illumination of LED lights evaluated with the image under the illumination of SurgiTel color-balanced, true-color LED lights and room light
  2. Images under all evaluated LED lights of major brands are strongly blue-tinted. It is noted that all evaluated LED lights were provided by clinicians who switched to SurgiTel true color LED lights
  3. Strongly blue-tinted images make it impossible to see the true color of objects and expose you to the long-term hazards of blue light
  4. It is challenging to see the blue tint of a dangerous light without a comparison light, because eyes are very insensitive to the blue wavelength
  5. If you wish to evaluate your current LED headlights with a true color LED light, contact your local representative for a free evaluation service
References:
  1. Stamatacos C, Harrison J, The Possible Ocular Hazards of LED Dental Illumination Applications. Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association, Vol. 93 No. 2, 2013.
  2. French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, 2019. On The “Effects On Human Health And The Environment (Fauna And Flora) Of Systems Using Light-Emitting Diodes (Leds)”. Available at: <https://www.anses.fr/en/system/files/AP2014SA0253EN.pdf> [Accessed 28 August 2020].
  3. Clinicians Report, Cordless LED Headlamps: A Bright Idea? A Publication of CR Foundation, May 2017, www.cliniciansreport.org.