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Designing to mitigate effects of flicker in LED lighting: Reducing risks to health and safety

Lehman, B and Wilkins, AJ (2014) 'Designing to mitigate effects of flicker in LED lighting: Reducing risks to health and safety.' IEEE Power Electronics Magazine, 1 (3). 18 - 26. ISSN 2329-9207

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Abstract

© 2014 IEEE. How often has this scenario happened? You are driving at night behind a car that has bright light-emitting diode (LED) taillights. When looking directly at the taillights, the light is not blurry, but when glancing at other objects, a trail of lights appears, known as a phantom array. The reason for this trail of lights might not be what you expected: it is not due to glare, degradation of eyesight, or astigmatism. The culprit may be the flickering of the LED lights caused by pulse-width modulating (PWM) drive circuitry. Actually, many LED taillights flicker on and off at frequencies between 200 and 500 Hz, which is too fast to notice when the eye is not in rapid motion. However, during a rapid eye movement (saccade), the images of the LED lights appear in different positions on the retina, causing a trail of images to be perceived (Figure 1). This disturbance of vision may not occur with all LED taillights because some taillights keep a constant current through the LEDs. However, when there is a PWM current through the LEDs, the biological effect of the light flicker may become noticeable during the eye saccade.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2015 10:50
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2018 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12645

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