Can The Brightest Flashlights Harm Your Eyes?

The short answer is yes. Remember when you were a kid? When you thought that shining the beam of the flashlight to your eyes could blind you? Well, it could be true at some point because when you do that, it kind of hurts your eyes, doesn’t it? Well, according to eye experts, it does the damage when the intensity of the beam exceeds the tolerance of the eye. 

So if flashlights do harm our eyes, how does it happen? Would all types of light have the same effect on the eyes? Before we delve deeper into that, let us first understand that there are two (2) different kinds of flashlights: the incandescent bulb, and the LED bulb.

The incandescent bulb

Older flashlight technology utilized incandescent bulbs to generate light. This type of flashlight can be considered as the turning point of flashlights becoming an important thing. They’re less bright than the modern LED ones so their effects aren’t as intensely bright. 

However, if you proceed to look at the bulb, it could create black spots on your vision. This phenomenon can last for a few seconds to a couple of minutes depending on how long you settled your eyes to the bulb. 

LED bulbs

LED bulbs or the newer technology of flashlights can cause your eyes to see those black spots in lesser time. Just staring at the bulb for a few seconds can temporarily impair your full vision. 

For instance, if you try to look at the bulb at arm’s length can momentarily blind you. The more lumen, the higher the intensity of it if you try looking at it. 

The temporary blindness it gives you makes you feel that momentary ache and strain on your eyes. Trying to stare at it directly for even a short amount of time can even wet your eyes, causing your vision to be impaired. 

So can bright flashlight beams of light damage our eyes?

The simple answer is yes, staring at bright lights does not only momentarily impair your vision, it can cause permanent retinal damages, too. Furthermore, even if you stare at a light to moderately bright light, it can also give you a problem with your retina.

Blue light exposure was proven to heighten the risk of age-related macular degeneration or AMD. In the data from the Chesapeake Bay Waterman study, it was proven that fishermen who were exposed to bright lights, which is the type of light reflected from the water, has caused permanent retinal damage to their eyes. 

In another experiment, though, mice were exposed to bright light having the same intensity of the sun. After just a short exposure, the mice developed permanent retinal damage. Now you know why our parents always tell us not to stare directly at the sunlight. 

Tactical flashlights true power

Unlike your regular everyday flashlight, tactical flashlights are more lightweight; meaning, it can be maneuvered easier than older bigger flashlights. Keeping one in your household is recommended as it can temporarily blind an intruder. 

With the bright beams of tactical flashlights, you can disable your intruder by just shining it to their eyes even for just a few seconds. 

People with blue eyes are more sensitive to LED Flashlight damage

Based on the study, if one large factor of AMD is light exposure, then it would mean that people with lighter-colored eyes would be more susceptible to this risk. Why? Because their irises allow more light to enter their eyes, therefore, making them the people with the highest risk of AMD. 

People with the eyes of color blue were reported to have the highest risk for AMD. With the light shade of blue coloring their irises, it allows more light at a faster rate than those who have darker eye colors.

Protecting Your Eyes From Powerful Flashlights

If you are expecting the sun to be out, it’s better that you come prepared. What you can do is to wear sunglasses to lessen the intensity of light bouncing back to your eyes. If your indoor lighting is too bright, try to change it down to warmer colors such as greens and reds.

Setting the brightness of your indoor light doesn’t only keep your eyes safer; it’s also an atmosphere where reading and writing would be comfortable. Plus, it’s energy-efficient as it does not exert too much energy in producing warm, dimmed lights. 

If you end up purchasing a super bright powerful flashlight like we have listed in our top flashlights comparison, please make sure to take care not to look directly into the beam.

To conclude, though, yes, directly looking at bright lights, even if it’s just under a 150-lumen setting, can be bothering to the eyes. Even indoor artificial light, when set to a bright level, can be damaging to the eyes. What more if the flashlight had 1000 lumens? Well, this is one good reason why tactical flashlights can be used as a defense weapon in your household. 

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