Projectors and eye safety in the classroom

classroom-projectors-eye-safety

 Create eye safety in the classroom when using projectors

Projectors are an excellent resource for teachers and professors allowing them to present subject matter in new ways. While projectors are quite a flexible tool for education purposes but you’ll need to create a culture of eye safety in the classroom.

One of the key health and safety concerns about using projection equipment in the classroom is preventing unnecessary exposure to the extremely bright UV light that projectors give off.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure your classroom stays safe and avoids any potential for eye damage:

  • Remind students not to stare directly into the beam of the projector.
  • Remind students never to look directly into the projector lens.
  • At a distance of 4 feet, the recommended exposure limit before eyesight strain or injuries is 20 seconds. Try to keep the amount of time spent inside the beam at a minimum.
  • Encourage students to keep their back to the projector beam when working at any interactive board.
  • Never turn to face the class when in the beam but step out of the beam to interact with the audience.
  • If students spend a great deal of time in front the projector beam consider investing in a neutral density filter than allows for brightness adjustments.
  • Supervise younger children at all times when the projector is being used.
  • Close the windows blinds instead of increasing the projector brightness.
  • Use a maximum of 1,500 ANSI lumens for your projector. This is adequate for most classroom environments.
  • If possible, mount the projector onto the ceiling or some other inaccessible location so it’s hard to step into the beam or to look directly into the projector lens.
  • Make sure the screen or whiteboard is the proper size for the classroom. A small board in a large classroom will make viewing text or other visual difficult in a large classroom. Increasing brightness is NOT the way to correct this problem.
  • Post health and safety reminders in the classroom close to projectors to remind everyone of the rules for projection use.
  • Keep a bit of ambient light in the room to prevent eyestrain for happening. A perfectly dark room with a large projected image can create eye fatigue.

Learn more tips on making your classroom projector healthy:

Be sure to visit our School Projector page for more teacher resources.

 

4 comments on “Projectors and eye safety in the classroom
  1. avatar M. Frank says:

    Those of us who teach in small university classrooms find the laser projectors way too bright to conduct a power point slide presentation for more than a minute at a time. I’m four feet away from the direct beam of projector under which my students sit at a table. Can you recommend any eyewear I can wear to protect my eyes? The school posted no notice of the switch from tungsten to laser and we are forced to work creatively as best we can.

    • avatar Shelagh McNally says:

      Hi M.Frank,
      Currently there are no industry recognized eye wear for the projector. You could try Anti-reflective glasses to reduce the blue light hitting your retina. Can mount the projector on the ceiling to ensure it’s the proper distance and not in the direct line of sight? You can also reduce the beam intensity by reducing ambient light levels. Avoid entering the beam using a laser pointer or stick. Probably the most important thing you can do is not buy any counterfeit projectors or lamps. Especially the lamps. The OEM lamps and projectors are equipped with special filters that reduce the harmful light and protect eyesight. Counterfeit lamps don’t use these protective coats on so the light not filtered and you get the intense beam directly into your eyes. If you are experiencing light that is too bright, check the lamp installed. It might be a counterfeit lamp bought because of the savings. Sorry I can’t recommend anything else.
      Regards,
      Shelagh

  2. avatar MW says:

    Our school is thinking about purchasing LED Boxlight interactive panels for the classrooms. While they seem cool we are concerned about protection everyone’s eyesight. Any safety info for kids with those?? Thank you!!

    • avatar Shelagh McNally says:

      Hi MW,
      There are concerns about the blue light spectrum with children. Basically not enough research has been done. This organization is the primary research body: https://eyesafe.com/research/children/
      France put out a study that has been disputed by some
      https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-05-eyes-health-authority.html
      To quote the article: LED cellphone, tablet and laptop screens do not pose a risk of eye damage because their luminosity is very low compared to other types of lighting, Francine Behar-Cohen, an ophthalmologist and head of the expert group that conducted the review, told journalists.But these back-lit devices—especially when they are used at night or in a dark setting—can “disturb biological rhythms, and thus sleep patterns,” the agency cautioned.Because the crystalline lens in their eyes are not fully formed, children and adolescents are particularly susceptible to such disruptions, the ANSES reports noted.
      There is another article backing up the science: https://qz.com/1620931/blue-lights-from-led-screens-do-not-hurt-your-eyes/
      Here is another article basically saying no enough research has been done on the effects of LED” https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2019/05/19/worried-about-led-oled-blue-light-eye-damage-dell-is/#81fd2c434d41
      So to answer your question — the LED Boxlight panels are probably not dangerous on their own but they will increase the amount of screen time. Considering that most kids also spend time on cell phones, computers and gaming consoles, will also getting exposure in school contribute to eye fatigue?
      The other thing to check is if this panels are used with projectors there is still the usual precautions around looking into the lamp.
      I hope this is helpful.
      Regards,
      Shelagh

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