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P1789 - IEEE Approved Draft Recommended Practices of Modulating Current in High Brightness LEDs for Mitigating Health Risks to Viewers

Presently, there are no standards or recommendations on safe modulating frequencies for High Brightness LEDs. Various driving frequencies are being suggested by vendors, some at very low frequencies and others at high frequencies. Past work for fluorescent lighting in the late 1980's and early 1990's have shown that modulation at low frequencies for office and residential lighting can cause health related problems, such as headaches, eye strain and epileptic seizure. The detrimental effects depend on factors such as brightness, angle of viewing, wavelength, depth of modulation, among others. The purpose of this propose standard is to 1) describe some possible health risks, such as headaches, eye strain and epileptic seizure, associated with low frequency modulation of High Brightness LEDs in different applications and 2) provide recommended practices to aid design of LED driving systems to modulate at safe frequencies for their particular applications in order to protect against the described health risks.The scope of this standard is to: 1) Define the concept of modulation frequencies for LEDs and give discussion on their applications to LED lighting, 2) Describe LED lighting applications in which modulation frequencies pose possible health risks to users, 3) Discuss the concept of dimming of LEDs by modulating the frequency of driving currents/voltage 4) Present recommendations for modulation frequencies for LED lighting and dimming applications to protect against known adverse health effects.
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