How Many Lumens Can Damage Eyes

How Many Lumens Can Damage Eyes

Flashlights help you get around in the darkness when out in the wild or during a power outage. The brightness of flashlights is measured in lumens. The higher the flashlight’s lumens, the brighter its power.

Therefore, you need to use a flashlight with higher lumens for purposes that require more brightness, like search and rescue operations.

Flashlight lumens start as low as below 20 and can extend over 100,000. Have you ever thought about how many lumens can damage the eyes?

This article gives you enough information about how flashlight brightness can impact your vision and how much it is dangerous to your eyes.

How Many Lumens Can Damage Your Eyes?

A flashlight with very intense brightness could cause damage to the retina. Extreme brightness could harm the retina, which impacts eyesight and can lead to more problems related to eyesight over time.

Flashlights don’t cause permanent blindness just by looking into the light directly. However, prolonged exposure to very bright lights could permanently damage the eyes over time.

Can A Flashlight Cause Blindness?

A flashlight wouldn’t cause permanent blindness just by directing it at someone’s eyes. However, it could cause temporary blindness that can make you prone to falls and accidents due to vision loss.

Eighty lumens is proven to be enough to cause temporary flash blindness in the dark. Therefore, if you direct a flashlight of eighty lumens at someone’s eyes in the dark, it will cause that person to lose vision for a few minutes. 

However, this is only temporary and will not cause permanent damage to the eyes or the person’s vision.

In daylight, a brightness of 200 lumens will cause temporary blindness. This condition will also subside after a few minutes and will not cause significant damage.

Can A Tactical Flashlight Cause Blindness?

A tactical flashlight is a very bright flashlight that is used for more than just everyday tasks. It could be a part of a survival kit used during an emergency, by the police, or during search and rescue operations.

Tactical flashlights won’t cause permanent blindness by directly looking at the bright light. However, it could cause a transient retinal lesion.

Transient retinal lesion or transient vision loss is a temporary blackout, gray out, or blur out of the vision that lasts between five and fifteen seconds. They can be monocular or binocular and are often aggravated by postural changes.

What Is Flash Blindness?

Flash blindness occurs when you take pictures using a camera, and the flash goes off. It happens more often in portrait studies than in regular or mobile phone cameras.

The same concept occurs when flashlights or bright headlights shine directly into a person’s eyes.

In such instances, the light briefly reaches the retinal pigment, which causes flash blindness. You’ll get back your normal vision once the bleaching has worn off and the color has returned to its original shade. 

In daylight, the bleaching will last only a few minutes. It will continue for longer if you are in the dark since your pupils are already more limited and open.

Does Eye Color Make A Difference In Damaging Eyes Exposed To Bright Light?

Eye color does have an impact on people being blinded by flashlights. People with lighter-colored eyes are more sensitive to light than others. They are already careful about being exposed to sunlight and spotlights.

Constant exposure to bright lights poses a significant risk to those with lighter eyes than the harm that people with darker-colored eyes do. Individuals with watery eyes should also be careful when exposed to stronger light. 

Being exposed to bright, shining light for a short period does not pose any significant risk to people of any eye color. However, exposure to the same for an extended period could pose significant risk and damage to the eyes.

How Far Can 100000 Lumens Go?

100000 lumens is a bright flashlight used for particular tasks, not everyday use. The light can travel up to 1350m, making large areas bright.

A flashlight of 100000 lumens is ideal for particular tasks like search and rescue operations. The flashlight can illuminate ample space and make it easy to locate anyone lost or hidden.

MS18 is one of the brightest flashlights available, with a brightness of 100000 lumens. 100000 lumens is a very bright light that you should not be exposed to for an extended period.

Can A Concentrated Beam Light Cause Blindness?

Visible light does not cause permanent blindness in people. However, a concentrated beam of high-intensity laser could be enough to permanently damage the eyes, including blindness.

Visible light wavelengths don’t usually cause permanent blindness. It’s the ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and artificial lamps that are the reason for causing permanent damage to the eye.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid laser lights and any ultraviolet light to prevent causing permanent damage to the eyes.

Laser Pointers And Permanent Eye Damage

Laser points can cause permanent damage to the eyes. The more powerful a laser pointer is, the more it harms your eyes.

Laser pointers stronger than five milliwatts can cause severe and permanent damage to the retina, obstructing your vision.

The primary optical hazards of laser lights include the following.

  • Flash blindness
  • Glare
  • After-images
  • Laser burns such as retinal burns

Laser or retinal burns cause severe damage to the eyes. Symptoms of laser burns include the following.

  • Excess eye watering
  • Headache
  • Rapid onset of eye floaters

The laser’s impact on your eyes increases with strength and exposure time. The higher these values are, the more damage they could cause to the eyes.

Follow the below points to prevent eye injuries when using laser pointers.

  • Avoid pointing a laser directly at a person’s eyes.
  • Keep laser pointers away from children. 
  • Only use laser pointers labeled as Class 2 or Class 3A. These are no more than five milliwatts in strength.

The FDA provides information and tips on the safe use of laser pointers.

How Many Lumens Is A Weapon Light?

Flashlights meant for self-defense purposes have 60 lumens. However, double that number is a better place to start.

This brightness is sufficient to temporarily blind an attacker or to search a building in daylight. If it’s not bright enough for the intended purpose, you can always multiply it from 120 to 240, 480, and so on until you find the correct brightness.

Eye Problems Related To Excess Light Exposure

Excess light exposure, especially exposure to sunlight even during an eclipse, could cause the following eye problems and conditions.

  • Photokeratitis or snow blindness

It is a painful and temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It’s essentially a sunburned eye or sunburned cornea.

  • Photophobia or light sensitivity

Photophobia is intolerance of light from sources including sunlight, incandescent light, and fluorescent light, which can cause discomfort and the need to squint your eyes.

  • Welder’s flash or arc eye

It is a condition that occurs when unprotected eyes are exposed to ultraviolet rays. Welder’s flash is a painful condition that gives a feeling of having a sunburn in the eye.

  • Solar retinopathy

It is sun-related damage to the macular, which is known to be the most sensitive part of the eye. It’s also known as solar maculopathy and could cause permanent damage to your eyesight.

  • Cataract

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It can affect one or both eyes and is common among older adults, especially after age 40.

  • Pterygium or surfer’s eye

Surfer’s eye is a wedge-shaped, elevated bump on the eyeball which starts from the white part of the eye and can extend to the cornea. It can permanently disfigure the eye or cause blurry vision and discomfort.

  • Pinguecula

Pinguecula is a growth that can form on the conjunctiva of the eye. It has a yellowish or light brown color and a triangular shape. It occurs due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays.

  • Stargardt’s disease

It is a disease that can affect both the young and the old. It’s characterized by central vision loss early in life. However, peripheral vision is retained. This condition affects one in 10,000 people.

  • Macular degeneration

It is an age-related disease that starts from vision change leading to blurry vision over time. It affects the retina’s central area, which maintains the sharpest vision.

These problems usually occur when you expose your eyes to ultraviolet rays such as bright sunlight. Always wear sunglasses when you go outside and know you’ll be exposed to sunlight.


A brightness of eighty lumens will cause temporary blindness in the dark, while 200 lumens will cause the same in daylight.

Basic visible light from a flashlight won’t cause permanent blindness. Prolonged exposure to light could cause some damage to the retina. 

Exposure to laser pointers and ultraviolet rays such as sun rays could cause permanent damage to the eyes, leading to blindness over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Lumens Is Good For The Eyes?

Anywhere between 200 to 400 lumens is sufficient for everyday tasks like reading.

Are 1000 Lumens Too Bright For The Eyes?

A flashlight of 1000 lumens is very bright and can light up a distance of 200 m. It should only be used for a specific purpose, like searching in darkness. You should avoid directing this light to a person’s eye for a long time.

Which Light Is Harmful To The Eyes?

Laser lights and ultraviolet rays are harmful to the eyes and can cause permanent damage over time.

How Many Lumens Can Damage Eyes

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