Photobiological Safety Standards in Lighting Applications
by Leslie Lyons MPhys
The era of lamp photobiological safety standards coincided with a proliferation of solid state lighting applications, which led to much discussion on the retinal blue light hazard posed by these sources and much confusion in the interpretation of the EN 62471 standard.
Driven by the desire to circumvent issues encountered in applying this standard, and to reduce the measurement burden of luminaire manufacturers, a new approach to the evaluation of the photobiological safety of luminaires is now in place, according to the latest edition of the luminaire standard, EN 60598-1.
Whilst the new approach includes techniques to perform an analysis based on readily available information, in accordance with the reduction of measurement burden, it will be seen that this approach may lead to overly conservative results. It will also be shown that, in the analysis of sources with high blue light radiance, the determination of hazard distance may in many cases be over-estimated.
Hazard distance is rarely readily calculable for extended sources and determination by measurement can be cumbersome but can give a well-defined framework of assessment which will dispel the interpretations and uncertainties that has plagued lamp photobiological safety standards hitherto. A simple measurement-based approach is proposed.
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