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- Blue light is just one wavelength that makes up white light. Blue light is emitted naturally by the sun and artificially by electronic devices we use every day like computers and smartphones.
- Our eyes aren’t naturally built for prolonged direct exposure to blue light. This is thought to be a factor contributing to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.
- Thankfully, there are products like specialized light bulbs and screen protectors designed to reduce blue light exposure and help alleviate the symptoms associated with this type of light.
Blue light is a tricky thing to understand. As of recent, we’ve been led to believe that blue light is evil. I think it’s more … misunderstood. The sun admits natural blue light – it’s always been this way, so why all of a sudden are people experiencing eye strain, headaches, and fatigue from it?
This is how blue light works: The sun admits light known as white light. White light compromises various wavelengths that make up the visible spectrum (think: Roy G. Biv). An object exposed to white light absorbs all of the wavelengths (or colors of the rainbow) but the one you see. So, the sky is blue because red, orange, yellow, green, violet, and indigo are absorbed by the molecules in the atmosphere, while the color blue (or blue light) is reflected back to our eyes.
Blue light is actually important to our natural sleep cycle. It gives us energy and boosts our mood during the day, and helps our bodies know when it’s time to go to sleep at night. So, what’s the problem? It’s not natural blue light, it’s artificial blue light.
Artificial blue light is light that’s admitted from electronic devices like computers, tablets, and phones. A large portion of people these days spend all day and night either staring at a computer screen or glued to their phones. The short-wave, blue light emanating from electronic screens flickers quickly and has the ability illuminate for long periods of time. Our eyes aren’t naturally built for prolonged direct exposure to blue light. This is thought to be a factor contributing to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.
Not to mention the other beast. When we use blue light electronics at night, it throws off our natural melatonin-production leaving us restless and wide awake.
What’s a girl to do when she works for an online media company and constantly works with blue-light devices? Thankfully there are products like specialized light bulbs and screen protectors designed to reflect and reduce blue light exposure to help alleviate eye strain.
Here are seven ways to help protect your eyes from daily blue light exposure:
A light bulb that emits less blue light
Many light bulbs emit a crisp, cool form of light due to the blue light wavelength. Lighting Science uses a soft, warm light that emits more of a soothing glow instead. It’s still strong enough to light the entire room, but it illuminates with 95% less blue light than your average light bulb.
The Lighting Science Goodnight Sleep Bulb only needs to be used in the room that you spend the last 90 minutes before bed in. The lack of blue light allows your body to naturally produce melatonin so can you fall asleep faster and easier. These light bulbs have an average lifespan of 22.8 years.
An Amazon user who gave this product a 4 out of 5 stars says, “I was skeptical that this would work but now I am a believer. The soft light allows me to read and then fall asleep quickly, sometimes forgetting to turn light off!”
A protective screen with a blue light filter for your smartphone or tablet
Invisible Shield Glass+ VisionGuard+, available on Zagg for $44.99 (for smartphones) and $54.99+ (for tablets)
Zagg has created a multi-purpose screen protector that not only protects your device, but protects your eyes from harmful blue light. Made with industry-leading impact technology, the screen now protects your device from drops and scratches.
Most importantly, the Zagg invisible shield filters out the blue light before it even leaves the screen to travel toward your eyes. As a plus, this technology doesn’t effect the clarity or true color of images on your screen.
A pair of non-prescription computer glasses
Previously reviewed by Insider Picks reporter Mara Leighton, these Eyekepper glasses are perfect for someone who doesn’t require prescription glasses. Totaling a whopping $10, Eyekepper uses a slightly tinted lens to reflect about half of the blue light that’s entering your eye. Additionally, these lenses offer 100% UV protection.
The frames are built to fit most medium-to-wide heads and come in 10 color patterns for both men and woman. If you feel like you might need a slight strength prescription, you can opt to add that feature at no additional cost to you.
A pair of prescription computer glasses
- Felix Gray
Felix Gray is a pioneer in blue-light-filtering lenses. For a while you could not add the filtering feature to your prescription lenses, but as of recent, Felix Gray made that combination possible and Insider Picks has tested several styles in the past.
These glasses filter through blue light to eliminate the harsh glare that strains our eyes on the daily. Felix Gray developed lenses that won’t distort the colors you see, yet the lenses still have a transparent look.
A protective screen for your laptop or computer
Adaptix Monitor Privacy Screen, available on Amazon for $44.99 (18.5-inch wide screen) to $149.99 (32-inch widescreen)
If you’re someone who doesn’t normally wear glasses and don’t wish to wear glasses, you can opt to use a protective screen on your wide-screen laptop or computer. The Adaptix filter can be attached to your monitor’s screen using 3M adhesive strips. Not only is this protective screen a privacy shield, but it also blocks up to 96% of blue light and UV radiation emitted.
Amazon users have attributed their increased productivity at work to the this product, saying, “I feel as if I’m able to work longer because of this filter and its ability to block out blue light. I no longer have to wear my amber-colored glasses that don’t even work as well as the filter.”
Another user says, “… You barley notice that it’s there sometimes because the quality of the images displayed aren’t diminished by the filter.”
A shield to cover fluorescent lights
I can’t be the only one who hates how tired fluorescent lights make me feel. Fluorescent lights create a harsh flicker that irritates many people’s eyes. These two-foot by four-foot, heat-resistant shields help diminish the harsh glares of office and classroom lighting.
Attach the light shield to the light fixture with the sewn-in magnets at each corner. Amazon users have noted, “I’ve noticed that my eyes feel less tired at the end of the day … If you can get past the jokes about your office looking like an aquarium, it’s a great purchase.”
Utilize nighttime features on your device
Many popular electronic devices now have a blue-light-reducing feature that can be toggled on once the sun goes down. They work by switching your display from a cool, blue light to a warm, yellow light that’s supposed to help signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep.
These features are great options to helping protect your eyes from blue light, but many people don’t use them during the day. That’s why products, like the ones mentioned previously, are great options to reduce the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to.