I accidentally pressed a button on the remote control while it was pointing towards my eyes. Could that cause any problems?


No. The infrared light is not intense enough. If it was, the controller would be labeled with a warning sticker.

I've been criticized for giving a short argument. But it was a choice between recommending a method to measure the IR intensity or giving a credible argument from a design perspective.

There are just logical barriers that make a dangerous intensity highly improbable; legislation and power efficiency are in 99.99% the prime reasons why it should be safe.

  • While I agree with the "No", that seems like a strange argument. For one thing, we don't even know whether the OP is in a country that would issue these warnings. Again, I agree with the conclusion, but "there's no warning on it" isn't a good explanation...
    – YviDe
    Mar 14 '16 at 22:44
  • -1 for the lazy answer. I also agree the answer is no but it should be trivial to find a better justification.
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 15 '16 at 1:12
  • @CareyGregory updated.
    – jiggunjer
    Mar 15 '16 at 1:15
  • @YviDe Feel free to suggest how OP can measure his remote control light. But in my opinion some things should just be written down to common knowledge.
    – jiggunjer
    Mar 15 '16 at 1:16
  • I wouldn't expect you to suggest measuring the device, but I would expect there are standards published on IR device safety. You can bet the manufacturers of those products know exactly what those standards are.
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 15 '16 at 1:22

Even looking directly into a 1 mW infrared laser beam would be safe. This article reports about the results of an experiment where volunteers looked into an infrared laser beam. They were able to perceived the infrared light as if they were looking at light with half the wavelength. This is caused by single photoreceptors absorbing two infrared photons at once, which then leads to the same result as when it would absorb a single photon with half the wavelength. Needless to say, the required intensity of the infrared light needed for this (safe to perform) experiment is massively larger than the infrared light emitted by your remote control.

  • Also, I believe remote controls don't use lasers. Incoherent light being even safer.
    – jiggunjer
    Mar 16 '16 at 1:14

Infrared light is invisible and in remotes it is not as intense the sun's rays or welding, so there is no immediate danger. Over exposure (long period) to intense Infrared penetrates inside the eye and damages the retina and can cause cataracts (an opaque retina).

  • 1
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    – Lucky
    Apr 13 '17 at 14:57

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