All LED lights at raves should be banned


By Ashley Change



When used correctly LED lights are safe and efficient sources of light. Light emitting diodes are an emerging technology because they are lightweight, small in size, have low power consumption and an amazing capacity to produce extremely bright light.

These tiny lights are used in a wide variety of everyday applications, such as automotive taillights, televisions, cell phones and flashlights. But they are also very popular at raves and concerts where they pose a serious health risk and should be banned from these events.

Raves are loosely controlled late-night parties featuring dancing, DJ’s playing electronic dance music and huge staged productions of flashing LED lights.  Also, many people attend raves under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.

Combining these drugs with staring at LED lights is part of the popularity of raves. There are often hundreds of lights emitting from the stage and people who attend these events normally bring personal LED light toys or gloves studded with LED lights.

But the images and feelings a person on drugs experiences when looking at the multi-colored lights moving rapidly in front of their eyes is what makes the lights dangerous. The combination of drugs and visual stimulation can increase your heart rate and can lead to seizures or heart attacks in susceptible people.

Recognizing the risk to public health, the Food and Drug Administration has banned many types of LED lights and toys from entering the United States and they are looking at banning many more types of LED light shows and other displays that use these types of lights.

Outside of trying to control the amount of drugs that get through security at these events, some rave organizers are trying to do their part by banning personal LED lights at the events.  A sign reading, “No LED lights or light toys” is now commonly seen at the entrance to professionally organized and monitored rave parties.

Insomniac, a popular rave production company that recently banned personal use of LED lights at their events, said in a statement, “Our intentions are to keep the dance music scene healthy and respectable so we can continue to produce unique and memorable experiences…For the time being, we ask that you please leave the light shows to us…”

But even professionally staged lights at raves are an emergency waiting to happen and should be banned because participants often stare at the lights, both personal and staged ones, while in a stationary position, like sitting or lying down.

Insomniac is trying to reduce those health risks with designated staff called the “Get Up and Dance Crew.”  Their job it is to patrol the audience and encourage participants not to sit or lie down on the dance floor while they are admiring the lights.

Only time will tell the outcomes of those efforts but, in order to reduce the number of drug-related emergencies at raves, all LED lights should be banned.



By Ernesto D Ayala


A recent decision by Insomnia, an electronic music event organizer, to ban personal LED lights at their events raised questions about a possible ban of the LED light shows they stage as well.

While the ban on personal LED lights may be a good decision, not all LED lights or visuals should be banned.

The company’s main reason for the decision is preventing inebriated individuals from sitting down and blocking the flow of traffic in the venue because they have gotten lost in light shows.

But this can easily be avoided by changing a few things. For one, having more security check people’s belonging for drugs and illegal substances before they enter the event can decrease the number of individuals under the influence inside.

Also, having better mapping and routing would surely help. At some point, people will need to find a place to rest.  At music festivals, like the ones Insomniac produces, places where one can rest can get overcrowded.

However, the lights should not be considered a safety issue. Lights are what can make or break an event, whether it is a music festival or just a simple concert. Their purpose is to enhance the artist or band’s performance and make the day memorable.

A good example of this was recently seen at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California. The festival’s organizers, Goldenvoice, teamed up with The Creators Project, which is a partnership of Intel and Vice magazine, to create an audio and visual experience for attendees.

The main focus of the project was to use new technologies and create something interesting and memorable through lights in artistic ways. Such organized forms of production can certainly help artists with their performances and increase publicity.

In live events of every music genre, the use of lights can help affect the way people react to certain songs or moments in the concert. From personal experience, I know I am more pumped when strobe lights are flashing around me during the buildup of a song rather than just hearing the buildup by itself.

Or the mood can change when all the lights dim during a certain part of a track and make it emotional. They can also help make a moment more personal or help focus all attention at a certain spot. LED lights can especially make something at night more interesting, like illuminating the grounds, making them beautiful or artistic.

LED lights are an important part of event, not just at raves. Raves just happen to use them in more intense and creative forms. They are what can create or break an experience. By allowing lights to stay, we are simply helping people have a good time.