The LEDs are sourced directly by an 74HC595 shift register. I understand how to calculate the current of a LED. I initially wanted to use a 680 Ω series resistor per LED, giving me a current of (5V - ~2.2V) / 680R = ~4 mA.
A coworker told me to use much higher resistors in the order of 10k because the SMD LEDs are significantly more 'laser like' than my usual diffused THT LEDs. I understand the the emitted light has a smaller radiant angle and the beam is simply more focused.
This control panel does not have to illuminate a room, nor hurt anybody's eyes by looking at it.
The LEDs are just to be noticed when they are turned on. I do not possess any SMD LEDs at this time. Otherwise I would be testing several resistor values by now.
Is what my coworker said true and should I use much much higher resistor values? What current values are in this case typically recommended?