If you know anything about LEDs (from this blog or not) you’ll also know the many advantages that they can bring to the table.
For example, standard LED fixtures can be up to 80% more energy efficient than conventional lighting and waste far less energy than other styles of lighting.This is because they use a vast majority of their energy as light and only waste 5% as heat. The planet-loving light is non-toxic too, so fewer toxic chemicals like mercury leak out and contaminate the environment when they reach landfill.
LEDs are also longer lasting – around 50x more than traditional lighting. They, therefore, require less production and don’t need to be replaced as often. Therefore, fewer resources and parts are required for manufacturing, transportation and packaging, a big win for the planet.
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Nevertheless, LEDs are once again surprising us with their wider benefits. Recent discoveries have now enlightened us to a new hand-held device that even has the power to treat mild cases of Covid-19.
Now, before we run to our kids’ bedrooms and bathe in the trendy glow of their ceiling strip lights, look instead towards a North Carolina company called EmitBio responsible for creating this medical miracle.
It directs precise frequencies of light towards the back of the throat to kill the virus and provoke an immune response. The LED light, the very same technology that you can find in most homes, is especially useful for people with milder symptoms, saving a potential trip to the hospital.
EmitBio’s chief science officer, Nate Stasko, explains that there are two ways in which the device can achieve positive results. Either from the LED shining directly on the virus to prevent it replicating, or from triggering the production of nitric oxide which the immune system uses to fight infectious disease.
But wait, LED’s superpowers don’t end here. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a light-activated drug to kill cancer cells and – you guessed it – this light can come from LEDs. The list of uses for photodynamic therapy is longer than you’d think, with the list of success stories even longer.
We’ll try not to dim down this post too much talking about illness, but we must give credit to the potential photodynamic therapy has.
Bowen’s disease is a very early form of skin cancer and is one of the sicknesses that PDT can hold captive. If neglected, it can turn into a more serious type of skin cancer which is why the light source of LEDs is very important. The two stage treatment combines light energy with a photosensitizer designed to destroy precancerous or cancerous cells once activated by the LED.
Another condition tackled by the light source from LEDs is macular degeneration, this can lead to vision loss if not treated properly. The retina – the bit in the back of your eye that converts light into vision to your brain – also contains a macula. The macula is the sensitive central part of your retina and is responsible for your detailed vision. Age-related macular degeneration is something that damages your macula and it can become thinner as a result, this can prompt blood vessels to start growing beneath your retina and cause fluid to leak. The excess fluid is what causes vision loss.
Anyways let’s leave the science behind and get back to why we’re actually here: how do LEDs fit into any of this?
Before the photodynamic therapy procedure occurs, an ophthalmologist (or an eye doctor to most people) injects you with a medicine that is incredibly sensitive to light and makes itself at home with the abnormal blood vessels under your macula.
The light from this laser activates the medicine, which can now create blood clots in your blood vessels. The clots act as a barrier which seals off your vessels, and now this can prevent you even further from any vision loss.
It doesn’t stop here, photodynamic therapy shows promise in treating other kinds of cancer too, perhaps not as serious but nevertheless shouldn’t be shoved under the rug. According to MedicalNewsToday, a review of more than 70 studies suggests that PDT for acne produces favorable results. Research found that participants experienced a 68% decrease in inflammatory lesions 12 weeks after treatment.
Along with this, it can improve the entire facial area by creating a more even colour, texture and tone compared to traditional methods. This in turn reduces the amount of fine lines and wrinkles visible on the facial area. There’s no doubt in saying that LED lights show promising results in wound healing and human tissue growth. The different wavelengths in LED lights, including blue and red, penetrate the skin at different depths which can trigger biological processes and help the skin rejuvenate and heal.
This post may be a bit different to others, however it’s interesting to see the different capabilities that LEDs have. We know how good they are environmentally and economically, but now we can see how they impact us socially. Not only do they lend a helping hand to us on the scientific side but aid us, well the people who choose to join, in the ever-changing beauty standard.
Ready to take the step into the future of lighting? Contact Cube Lighting & Design here to see if you qualify for free LED lighting!