Are LED Lights Bad For Cats?

As LEDs gain popularity, some cat owners wonder if LED lights are bad for cats eyes? Can you both enjoy a new setup safely? We’re here to answer these questions since we’re sure you want the best for your furry buddy!

Are LED Lights Safe?

So, are LED lights safe for your cat or not? The short answer is yes, they’re safe, but it’s not that simple. These days, we use LED lights in many devices, from TV screens to Christmas lights. Some types of these LEDs could be harmful not just to your cat’s eyes but to yours as well!

When Can LED Lights Be Harmful?

Prolonged exposure to blue light found in LEDs is potentially harmful to the retina, both for you and your cat. We can find blue light mainly on the screens of computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Luckily, your cat doesn’t have to work a 9-5 shift or binge-watch shows on Netflix. So long exposure to blue lights shouldn’t be a problem. You, on the other hand, need to be careful with your screen time.

Why Do People Assume LED Lights Are Bad for Cats?

If LED lights are mostly safe for humans, why do we assume they’re any different for cats?

Well, biologically, cats’ eyes are different from humans; their eyes are more sensitive to light. That’s why some pet parents worry that exposure to those modern, bright lights might be causing cats harm.

Cats have eight times more rods (receptors in the eyes) than humans. These rods allow more light to enter the cats’ eyes and help them see in darker settings. This is also why cat pupils are significantly wider than ours and can expand to a larger size.

Can’t My Cat Just Look Away?

The answer is actually yes! When it comes to safety, cats are hard-wired to take care of themselves. Cats are intelligent creatures and will know if something is harming them. So, if exposure to a particular light is causing a burning sensation in their eyes, they will simply not continue to look at it.

Apart from being smart, cats are also mischievous. So, it’s rare for a cat to stay in one place for too long or stare at one light for a long time anyway.

cat in front of computer screen
Luckily, your cat doesn’t have to work a 9-5 shift in front of a computer screen 🙂

Why Bother Installing LED Lights?

LED lights are now considered the go-to lighting system for many people. They are a much better alternative to the older fluorescent and incandescent lighting systems.

Here are some of the perks that LED lights have to offer:

  • Higher longevity
  • Energy saving
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Less heat emission
  • Adaptation to cold temperatures
  • Flexible designs

With all those economic, health and environmental benefits, it’s only natural that people will want to use LED lights. However, these aren’t the only reasons why a cat person might favor LEDs.

What Makes LEDs Good for Cats?

On the bright side (pun intended), LED bulbs can also be considered a safer option for your cat. This is because the light of many bulbs isn’t concentrated and is rather diffused. On the other hand, focused or concentrated light could be harmful to your cat’s extra-sensitive retinas. This is also why you should never point a laser at your cat’s eyes.

Since LED lights are unlikely to heat up excessively and cause skin burns, they should be safer when your cat is playing around the house. Plus, LEDs also provide almost no UV radiation, which is considered dangerous for the eyes.

Where Should You Place LED Lights With Cats in the House?

Just because LEDs won’t harm your cat doesn’t mean you get to be careless with the light placement. Since cats are playful, you could quickly end up with a few broken lamps around the house.

If you use small table lamps, try to put them on high shelves. Alternatively, you could opt for sturdy floor lamps. It’s also better to keep fairy lights away from the floor; we all know cats love playing with those cables!

How to Choose the Best LED Lights for Your Cat?

We’ve found out that LED lights are generally safe for cats. Yet, there are plenty of options out there on the market. So what should you choose so that your cat is happy?

Don’t Skimp on Quality

One thing you can do to be extra sure that your cat is safe is to invest in good, high-quality LED lights. This step ensures that your cat’s eyes are comfortable with the setup and helps you avoid problems that might come with cheaper lights.

For one, low-quality bulbs might not last long enough. Plus, their light could flicker, which could strain both your eyes and your cat’s eyes over time.

Explore Your Options

Another thing you could do is experiment with different types of lights since LEDs come in various colors and brightness options. There is no telling what type your cat will like.

Usually, LED lights come in three colors, which are warm white, cool white, and daylight. Most people like to use a specific color for each room, but some prefer one color for the whole house. The brightness of LED lights is measured in lumens, and you will find a wide range to choose from.

Of course, you can always ask if you can try them at the store to check the brightness or if there is an exchange and return policy. These policies will come in handy in case you don’t like the one you bought or if you notice that your cat is avoiding it.

Pick Easy-to-Install Lights

Most LED lights are easy to install, but you want to pick setups that are easy to move around in case your cat tries to fidget with the wires. For instance, LED light strips usually come with adhesive tape that can stick to any wall without hassle.

Use a Dimmer

You could also purchase an LED lighting setup that comes with a dimmer. This way, you’ll be able to adjust the brightness according to your cat’s sensitivity.