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are high power ir leds dangerous?

im experimenting with ir motion sensors and im think i have a working model, but then i realized i would have a ir led on at almost 150 ma and i didn't know if that was safe, so i managed to reduce it to 10 ma and still work, but then i realized that if i didn't know how dangerous ir leds are, then any level could be unsafe for all i know (i came to that realization after i changed the circuit because im smart like that) i couldn't find any safety info on ir leds, just ir lasers, is there a certain power to distance ratio or anything i should know? aside from not shining it directly into my eyes (im not that far-gone)

Grathio7 years ago
Infrared is much safer than visible light and has a lot less energy. Unless you're using it in an application where it shoots straight into your eye from very close range for very long periods you are entirely* safe.<br /> <br /> IR Security cameras use arrays of dozens, if not hundreds of IR led's to light the area and are considered entirely safe. Your LED is putting out only a very small fraction of the light that they do.<br /> <br /> * <small>Keep in mind that this "entirely safe" guarantee comes from a stranger on the Internet. But yeah, they're really no problem, they're just spooky because they're invisible.</small><br /> <br /> <br />
It would be important to know that your eyes don't respond to IR light the same way they do to the visible spectrum. Since you can't sense it, your brain doesn't know to tell your pupils to constrict. High-power LEDs would send a harmful amount of energy to your eyes without you knowing it immediately. That's why your eyes get tired when you're under one of those areas lit for security cameras by IR light for too long.
Its going to depend on the radiation pattern and power output of the LED.

Steve