As a result of the ban on incandescent lamps on the European market, alternative types of lamps (with a better energy efficiency) become available on the market. Because energy saving lamps work differently, one questions their possible radiation hazard. In this section we elucidate which types of electromagnetic radiation lamps can produce, and when there is a health risk.

Lamps exist in all sorts and sizes, for lighting the work place or the home (general lighting) or for specific applications such as infrared lamps for saunas or UV lamps in nail studios. In this section we only discuss lamps for general lighting.

Although intended only for lighting purposes, lamps for general lighting do not only produce visible light. As a by-product they also generate other types of radiation. Incandescent lamps radiate a lot of heat (infrared radiation). Energy saving lamps such as compact  fluorescent lamps, tubular fluorescent lamps or led lights produce UV light and blue light as a by-product – in different measures, as a result of the specific technology which is used. This may imply a risk, especially with persons with a particular sensitivity of the skin or with a certain eye disorder.

In the following sections we go deeper into the health effects of light, the regulation which applies to lamps and which additional precautionary measures you can take yourself. All information in this section you can download as a pdf document (info sheet “Lamps and radiation”).