Health risks occurring when color is percepted under led lighting

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V.A. Kaptsov1, V.N. Deinego2


1 All-Russian Research Institute of Railway Hygiene, 1 Pakgauznoe Shosse Str., Bldg. 1, Moscow, 125438, Russian Faderation
2 New energy technologies, 100 Novaya Str., Skolkovo, Moscow region, 143025, Russian Federation


The article deals with problems of color perception under LED lighting. We revealed that inadequate perception of a signal color by a driver led to greater risks of transport accidents. We reviewed both Jung-Helmholtz three-color hypothesis and a modern one based on fiber-optical approach to functioning of "Mueller cells and cones" system. We made an attempt to explain a number of effects related to visibility curves and time delays when defining color of light signals. Our research on assessing influence exerted by LED lighting on functional state and working capacity of railway workers during which we applied occupational selection techniques revealed negative changes. We proved there was a decrease in functional resistance to color sense between red and green signals as well as longer response time for complicated sight-motor reaction and significant decrease in readiness to emergency actions (resistance to monotony) in examined individuals. The article also contains data on time peculiarities which are characteristic for defining signals color in relation to red signal (650 nm). We showed that when red color LEDs with wave length much shorter than 650 nm were used in signaling devices it caused risks of inadequate color detection, longer reaction to inhibiting signals, and greater possibility of transport accidents and negative events in everyday life. These peculiarities should be taken into account when designing traffic lights and other signaling devices which provide transport safety. We also proved that signaling traffic lights for transport systems should be designed allowing for physiology of color perception by a human visual analyzer; application of LEDs with wave length shorter than 650 nm should be absolutely excluded.

LED lighting, color, traffic lights, LEDs, Mueller cells, cones, red light, fiber-optical eye system
Kaptsov V.A., Deinego V.N. Health risks occurring when color is percepted under led lighting. Health Risk Analysis, 2017, no. 2, pp.16–25. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2017.2.02.eng
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