I'm setting up a 3'x 6' space in my living room to grow citrus trees. I'd like them to be able to fruit year-round.

I'm trying to decide between a few 200-400 watt CFL grow lights or LEDs.

LEDs are lighter and cheaper, but I'm worried about eye damage related to having them in a living space.

Is this something I should be worried about?


Neither lamp will use 200-400 watts, this is just the equivalent amount of light each will give off compared to an incandescent light of those watts.

Will it hurt or damage your eyes to look at a 200 watt incandescent light? Yes it will. As will both these equivalent lights. You should not look directly at either lights.

I use both LED and fluorescent lights for my plants. I prefer the LED, because it does not loose power as fast as a fluorescent. A fluorescent should be replace every one to one and half years. The LED not for many years. The LED also uses less watts than the fluorescent. For both of these reasons the cost of the LED will be much cheaper in the end. The cost of LEDs are coming down quickly, they are close to if not the same as fluorescent in most cases.

They both hurt my eyes when I look directly at them. DO NOT look directly at either of these lights.

  • Thank you, just wanted to make sure being under the light or exposed to it's indirect wouldn't be an issue. Dec 22 '19 at 5:29
  • You should wear protective eye wear if you work in a room full of them. If you are working under it and believe you might look up at them, you should wear protective eye cover. But, you don't have to worry about damaging UVB light, because your lights will not be able to produce that kind of radiation. If you happen to buy lights that included UV spectrum, it will be in the very beginning of the UVA spectrum. This is the black light spectrum. Black light is only dangerous if you look into the light, your eye will not react as it's looking at a light like it would at a normal light.
    – GardenGems
    Dec 22 '19 at 9:00
  • Your light will include other lights as well, so your eyes will react. It can be annoying at times sitting at the wrong angle, seeing the indirect light from the LED & the fluorescent. Not as bad as the sun being in the corner of your eye when you are trying to read or watch TV. I think you will get use to it.
    – GardenGems
    Dec 22 '19 at 17:02
  • Agricultural lighting will change your natural body clock and will disrupt your sleep! And hormones! Jan 25 '20 at 23:26

You shouldn't have either of them in your living space as it would disrupt your body clock full on worse then jet lag

LED is ment to be better in efficiency and running costs but not all led bulbs are created equal

I prefer led and I have had both CFL and LED

I used LED lighting in my living space and I can confirm that it is not advisable! a CFL would do the same.

  • This answer is not what the LED companies want you to know! If you believe it is safe to use in living space then comment below why I'm wrong! Jan 26 '20 at 0:36
  • That makes sense now Jan 26 '20 at 3:12
  • If you think its decent info Why not up vote it then ? Jan 26 '20 at 4:51
  • Thanks for the vote I'll awnser your question I was not attacking you I was saying it makes sense why you will not except that some things in gardening are just not natural, as those things make botany easy for you. And I can clearly see you are committed to plants, so I doubt you wish to change as it has been working for so long why change it right? Also it would be too much effort to change the setup you know Jan 26 '20 at 5:07
  • But, you did. The other day you took a down vote extremely personal. When there was nothing personal about it. I have given you only one down vote, but many up votes. Because I gave you that down vote you made a very personal attack. One that was uncalled for. I told you the system flagged two of your answers. Not me the system. Instead of deleting, I suggested you make changes to your answer. I agreed to change it to an up vote if you made the effort. But, instead I gave you the up vote after you made a personal attack. I am not sure why, but I did. I did not deserve those comments
    – GardenGems
    Jan 26 '20 at 9:43

Yes some lights will damage your eyes if you look directly at them and some just from the reflection

And I can promise you they would also affect your body clock.


LED technology is excellent but protective eye gear should be used.

Eyes are not designed to look directly at light - they are designed to see reflected light

The damage caused by artificial blue light is well documented and researched read more here

If you wanted to stare directly at the sun your eyes would stop you, the light some LED emit lack the intensity of the sun but nevertheless they are attempting to replicate an artificial sun using similar wave length and frequencys such as UV. Exposure to this light over long periods of time cause damage that would accumulate.

This type of damage is not reversible and the cells will never recover.

Agricultural lighting is not designed for lighting living spaces

more photons/second = larger artificial growth = more dangerous blue light radiation = eye damage

They are designed to barrage the plant with artificial photons, some of which would be emitting UV radiation!

That is why manufacturers always recommend using protective gear, because they know it will damage your eyes.

Ultraviolet light is what you should be worried about the most as eyes cannot adjust enough to protect you, so always use protective uv glasses especially when working with agricultural led technology as they produce very high levels of ultraviolet light from a small source point, a bit like a defused laser

All three types of ultraviolet light can damage your eyesight, but UVC does by far the most damage.

Limiting your exposure to UV radiation is advised as the damage is cumulative and irreversible.

  • This is incorrect. Unless you specifically buy a grow light that includes UV diodes, there will not be any UV emission from LED grow lights. See: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/290187/… Jan 22 '20 at 3:45
  • Currently people are buying "full spectrum" led grow lights and they tend to have uv diodes. Also LED grow lights, HPS grow lights and metal halide grow lights all give off UV rays Jan 22 '20 at 4:19
  • UV diodes are not common. If you buy one of those gimmicky full spectrum lamps on Amazon, you'll get a few hundred milliwatts of 405nm light, which is harmless. UVC from an LED lamp is also nonsense. Jan 22 '20 at 4:24
  • 1
    I agree with user. Most LED lights do not include UV lights. There are a few, but not most. Even the better ones are more likely to have IR, but not UV. IR diodes are cheaper to make.
    – GardenGems
    Jan 22 '20 at 6:06
  • Do you sell LED lighting? My eyes have been damaged by led lights as well as CFL @"250w" and they have changed my body clock before and that's not fun and I'm sure not healthy! Jan 25 '20 at 23:23

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