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Author Topic: How safe is looking into the IR light?  (Read 4837 times)

douglas peng

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How safe is looking into the IR light?
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:22:07 PM »

I read on several internet posts that staring into the IR light is not safe as its actually really bright but you can't see it.  Is this true as I got young kids making funny faces into the camera and don't want an invisible IR spot light shining into their eyes unknowingly.  In addition, does that IR light automatically shut off during the day when there is plenty of visible light for the camera to operate? 
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dave w

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 12:34:04 PM »

I read on several internet posts that staring into the IR light is not safe as its actually really bright but you can't see it.  Is this true as I got young kids making funny faces into the camera and don't want an invisible IR spot light shining into their eyes unknowingly.  
You are asking this question to a bunch of X10 users? Not sure how many of us are opthomologists. Also I would think proximity would be an important criteria for any judgement.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 01:00:28 PM by dave w »
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richy2

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 01:07:53 PM »

I kinda wanted to know myself so i asked my friend GOOGLE and found this..

 But if you are talking about IR lasers or powerful night illumination systems, eye damage is certainly an issue and IR lasers cause more laser eye injuries than all other types of lasers.

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=566075
The below is a reprint of someones reply

Despite being inside of your eye, there are cells that normally never see light. When you go from a low light area to a bright area, your pupils are still dialated, the light entering is not focused onto the cells in the back of your eye that are designed for seeing, and light falls on these other sensitive cells causing the pain that you feel.

 Of course, it depends on what wavelength of IR you are talking about. The near IR (800 nm to 1400 nm) is focused on your retina just as if it were visible light. The only difference is your retina does not have receptors that detect it. If you look at a visible light that is too powerful, you will damage your eyes. If you look at a IR light in this range that is equally powerful, you will do nearly equal damage. And you do not have pain receptors on your retina to know you are burning it. Because you don't detect it, so you wont blink or look away like you would with visible light, IR light in this range is actually more dangerous than visible light. It does not matter that the photons are less energetic, since when you talk about light power, you talk about total energy and not energy per photon.

 If you look at light over 1400 nm, it will be absorbed primarily by your cornea. Since it is not focused by the lens (like the near IR is), it is much harder to get the energy density needed to damage your eye. Also, you can sense pain in your cornea, so you will know that your eye is getting burnt. And the cornea is one of the fastest regenerating tissues in your body, so damage to the cornea is not as catastrophic as damage to the retina. So, unless you are looking at a super powerful light source in this range, it's probably not a concern. They do, however, make lasers that are plenty powerful enough at these wavelengths to do damage.

 In general, it is hard to find light sources in the IR that are powerful enough to do damage, in either wavelength range. Diffuse sources, like the ones used to heat things, are not going to be powerful enough. And things in consumer products (laser mice, remote controls, etc) are going to be made weak enough to not cause damage for legal reasons. But if you are talking about IR lasers or powerful night illumination systems, eye damage is certainly an issue and IR lasers cause more laser eye injuries than all other types of lasers.
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dave w

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 09:10:22 PM »

Yeah I saw this also and was going to post. I noticed in the 36A instructions it says IR illumination up to 15 feet. So the LEDs are pretty standard, and not real bright. That said, I wouldn't stare at camera at close range. I could not find anything on whether the IR LEDs are on when camera is in daylight. 

Maybe "Depot" knows and will weigh in....  :'

My "CYB" answer to the OP would be: "Error on the side of caution. If you are concerned, don't let your kids do it." 
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richy2

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 10:08:10 PM »

Yes, i search around and mainly found that people who want to put these type of cameras as a baby monitor

SOULD NOT DO IT for obivious reason of a babys eyes.

My xx40a airsight has 64 little led's on the dome.. if i pan my camera to the wall its connected to, the leds shines bright on it, you would think someone was shining a light on the wall..
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Deemoore

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 01:09:58 PM »

Infrared is one of the many forms of light on the electromagnetic spectrum that is not visible to the human eye. The electromagnetic spectrum includes gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwaves, and radio waves. The Infrared signal transmitted by the Versus badge is similar in duration and power to the Infrared signals transmitted by ordinary remote controls that operate TVs and VCRs—signals which have never demonstrated any danger to humans during decades of use.

An independent study was conducted in August 2000 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services regarding the safety of Infrared light. The statement, issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, concludes that the Infrared emitted from such diffuse IR emitted by IR LEDs has never been an eye hazard. A copy of the two-page report is available upon request.

It's not like laser's or staring into a blast furnace.

Health hazard

Strong infrared radiation in certain industry high-heat settings may be hazard to the eyes, resulting in damage or blindness to the user. Since the radiation is invisible, special IR-proof goggles must be worn in such places
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dave w

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 02:36:22 PM »

the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, concludes that the Infrared emitted from such diffuse IR emitted by IR LEDs has never been an eye hazard. A copy of the two-page report is available upon request.
Well there you go Doug Peng. Our government sez "not a problem". We can put this to bed.
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douglas peng

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 10:27:41 PM »

Thank you all for your in-depth input.  

To @Deemoore, can you provide a link or name of that report as I would like to see that two page report.  If you have it, I would appreciate you email it to me at dougpeng@rogers.com

thanks again.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:48:01 PM by douglas peng »
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HA Dave

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 01:05:58 AM »

As I understand it, it isn't eye damage from the light that is the concern. Even with light being light... a far greater amount the ambient daylight is IR than visible light. So the human eye has adapted well to the availability of IR... even though humans don't use IR... to see things. Some have suggested that IR light may be used by people to help regulate the production of certain hormones. I don't know.

Light waves (visible and invisible), gamma waves, heat waves, radio waves.... does our government really know exactly how the human body (let alone a tiny little formative body) reacts to everything? I wonder.... who's baby's did they use in the double blind tests.

I think if I was watching a baby with a pan & till IR cameras.... I'd set the camera a few feet from the child. Then at bedtime I'd turn/pan the camera (and its IR LEDS) away from the child. I myself would never shine any light... even an invisible light.. into the eyes of a child.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 01:08:51 AM by HA Dave »
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dave w

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 09:51:32 AM »

.... does our government really know ....
rofl


I stick with the last line of my January 29, 2013, 06:10:22 PM comment.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 09:54:21 AM by dave w »
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richy2

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 01:30:17 PM »

who's baby's did they use in the double blind tests.

Babies Wanted for IR Double Blind Testing

Fast Forward...in the year 2050 The United States Government in the Interest of Public Safety has admitted now IR Leds does cause eye injury after years of saying it was safe after car crashes increased due to those IR red light cameras posted on every traffic signal across the united states to see drivers violating the speed laws at night time.

Are we now in-danger of 2nd hand IR Lights as we walk on the sidewalk? Will we now have to get up an physically change the channels when remote controls are banned in the homes? Will wireless technology soon become the next big LIE.
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dhouston

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 01:42:56 PM »

I think you can assume its safe  - at least until you start seeing TV ads from personal injury lawyers seeking blind baby clients.
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dave w

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 03:08:17 PM »

Babies Wanted for IR Double Blind Testing

 rofl

One factor to be considered: Since IR is longer wavelength than visible light, and does not bounce or reflect well, the subjects will have to stare at the sun for test validity. This may complicate test results.   
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HA Dave

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 07:19:37 PM »

I think you can assume its safe  - ......

I worked at a factory decades ago where we assumed that the asbestos we covered our product with [for heat protection] was safe... just a dusty mess. After all my Mom had asbestos oven mitts. Seems almost everyone has changed their minds about that now.

I have somewhat recently re-done my security camera setup. But for years I had a big clunky cheap IR camera balanced on an X10 pan & tilt base. The cheap IR cameras glowed a pinkish color... which I liked as any intruder would likely see the camera light and be warned... then hopefully leave. I also used a perimeter detection system that would alert me of activity around the (and still do). Once you get used to using an "invisible light" to look around... it is harder [at least for me] to think of it as not being a light source.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 07:42:23 PM by HA Dave »
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the other steve

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Re: How safe is looking into the IR light?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 08:17:24 PM »

How about a small, unobtrusive sign that says "WARNING!!  Camera infrared lights may cause permanent damage to your eyes!!"

Subtle enough?

Doesn't matter if you believe it or not, seems to me.
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