How long can someone stare at the led flashlight of an iphone while being filmed before the eyes can get permanent damages of any kind?

All of the other answers out there take for granted its about a photo flash (0.15 seconds), but what about a video? Im talking about the persons who take video of themselves, so quite close range.

  • There’s a lot of questions here. Are you looking for medical advice? That should probably happen elsewhere. Once you have a medical standard, editing that in might help us help you measure based on what you consider harmful. There’s nothing Apple has to say about this today - support.apple.com/guide/iphone/… so let’s see if this can be refined by removing all questions but one. – bmike Apr 17 at 0:22
  • Thank you for editing this for clarity. – bmike Apr 18 at 10:13

In Europe, every electronics product marketed to consumers must pass a battery of tests, one of them for the photobiological safety of any included light source according to IEC/EN 62471:2008, a slight revision of IEC 62471:2006. This is mandatory since September 2011, so almost any iPhone in existence must have qualified in order to be marketable.

Since all major electronics manufacturers design their products for worldwide sales, Apple has to subject all iPhones to this standard. If any eye damage is to be expected, a warning label needs to be present (see below, source).

IEC 62471 warning label

In the absence of such a warning, eye damage from exposure to the flashlight is extremely unlikely.

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According to WebMD, anywhere from 3 to 12 hours after exposure to ultraviolet light, you can begin to see symptoms of damage.

The damage is called a Corneal Flash Burn and is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light from various sources including a photographer's flood lamp.

How long or how much light will cause damage?

It depends. A few seconds of looking at a welding arc or direct sunlight can cause damage. Looking at a bright LED may take a few minutes to a few hours depending on the brightness and intensity.

You aren't supposed to be staring into the light itself, it's supposed to light your subject.

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  • Good general advice about UV - do you think the LED on iPhone emits spectrum like halogen / high intensity flash units? I would expect the flash to highly constrain output to the visual range of radiation, but haven’t taken an iPhone to a lab to actually measure it. – bmike Apr 18 at 12:40
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    @bmike - I would love to have access to a lab like that! Oh the toys!!! 🤓 Brings out the nerd in me. I found this chart comparing the various spectrums of light sources and includes human eye sensitivity for comparison. – Allan Apr 18 at 22:53
  • This was the year I got serious about a lab. web.mit.edu/8.13/www/index.shtml especially the work in the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory – bmike Apr 19 at 1:41
  • You're at MIT? Nice! We had nothing like that at UT-D back in the day and it was an engineering school founded by Texas Instruments. – Allan Apr 19 at 2:00
  • Not any more, I convinced them to give me a piece of paper so they could be rid of me. I don’t get back nearly as often as I should... – bmike Apr 19 at 2:46

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