The world is changing at an astonishing pace, and so are our activities and the gadgets that we use. In the past, when many people had little or no access to tech gadgets, the harmful effects of electronic devices were largely unknown. Today, however, this has changed as society continues to come to terms with some of these side effects, one of which is blue light.
Many of us spend hours in front of our television sets, smartphones, and computers either watching our favorite shows, playing HD games, or working. While we may do what we do in front of our screens for fun or for work, the harmful effects of spending countless hours in front of screens remain the same. The health risks associated with the exposure to the blue light generated by electronic device screens have long been documented.
In this article, we will expose 15 secrets about Blue light generated by electronic devices and what you can do to protect yourself from their harmful effects.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is the visible part of a light spectrum that the naked human eye can see. This light vibrates within the range of 380 nanometers to 500 nanometers, and it is known to have the shortest wavelength and the highest energy wave. Furthermore, experts have concluded that about one-third of all visible light is high energy; high energy light is what we call Blue light.
Natural Blue Light vs. Artificial Blue Light
It will interest you to know that not all blue light emanates from artificial sources. Natural sunlight also emits blue light energy as well. Sunlight contains all light spectrum visible to the human eye, which is called white light. Contained in white light is blue light, which does not pose the kind of risks associated with light produced by the gadgets that we use.
Within the light, the spectrum is also Red light. Red light is considered less harmful because it does not produce the kind of energy levels found in blue light since blue light has a higher concentration and a shorter wavelength.
Where is blue light found?
Besides artificial light sources, blue light can be found everywhere. Sunlight travels through the atmosphere, and the energy wavelength collides with molecules found in the air, which causes blue light to be dispersed everywhere. This energy dispersal is responsible for the sky turning blue. When it comes to human anatomy, our body system uses energy from the sun to regulate our sleep cycle. The rate at which we sleep and wake is called our circadian rhythm. Blue light is also responsible for boosting human alertness, reaction times, mood swings, and our mental state.
#1. When is Blue Light Bad?
Blue light poses risks to humans, which is why medical experts warn against prolonged exposure to this type of light. Blue lights lead to macular degeneration, and too much exposure to them can damage the light-sensitive cells in the retina. Exposing yourself to blue light during the day may have less of a harmful effect on you. Nighttime exposure, however, can affect your circadian rhythm and disrupt your sleep pattern. If you struggle to sleep at night or you suffer from mild or chronic insomnia, you may want to reduce the hours you spend using your smartphone or watching television at night. Poor sleep eventually leads to tiredness during the day.
#2. Where does blue light come from?
As we opined in the previous paragraph, blue light is all around us. The greatest source of blue light is the sun. Sunlight, in general, is made up of blue, indigo, green, orange, yellow, and violet light. All these light colors combine to give us the white light that we can see with our naked eye. Each of these lights emanating from the sun, posses a different wavelength and energy. Red light contains less energy but a longer wavelength. Blue light possesses less energy but a longer wavelength. Any light that appears white in color has a significant component of blue light, which is harmful to the human eye.
#3. Can Blue Light damage your eyes?
Before we answer this question, we first need to make it clear that all light passes through the cornea and the lens before it reaches the retina. Constant exposure to blue light affects visual clarity and can lead to aging. Blue light can cause the following problems:
Eyestrain: Prolonged exposure to blue light from digital screens cause eyestrain such as eye fatigue, dry eyes, and squinting. If you begin to feel like your eyes are sore or itchy, consider putting your device away for some time to allow your eyes to rest and recover. Another symptom of eyestrain is when you find it difficult to focus on a target for a considerable period of time.
Retina Damage: Another negative effect of blue light on the human eye is the potential damage of the retina cells. The weakening of retina cells leads to macular degeneration.
#4. How to protect your eyes from blue light?
There are tested and trusted ways to protect your eyes from the negative effects of blue light. Unfortunately, most of us work with computers for hours, and we don’t really have a choice. However, there is a lot you can do to limit the impact of blue light by taking the following precautions.
Screen time reduction: Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in front of your screen. If you watch a lot of shows on television, consider reducing the number of shows you watch so as to give your eyes the time it needs to rest and recover. If you work with your computer, organize your work and ensure that you take frequent breaks every few hours.
Filters: Consider using screen filters to reduce the light intensity of your screen. There are specialized filters made for this purpose. These filters are available on smartphones, tablets, television, and computer screens. Covering your screen with filters will reduce the blue light from entering your retina.
Computer glasses: Yellow tinted lenses are also effective for blocking the blue light. Computer glasses increase contrast levels, thereby reducing eyestrain.
Anti-reflective Lenses: Another option besides computer glasses are anti-reflective lenses. These lenses also increase contrasts but reduce glare. They block the penetration of blue light coming from the sun and from digital devices.
Intraocular lens: Also called IOL, opticians use it to replace cloudy lenses in patients after cataract surgery. IOL is also a very reliable safeguard from blue light because it protects the eye from ultraviolet light.
Another thing you should consider doing if you have eye-related issues is to talk to your eye expert. The expert will be in the best position to recommend medical lenses or devices that will protect your eyes.
#5. What are Blue Light glasses?
Blue light glasses are eye wears that have lens filters that either block or absorbs blue light. When you use blue light glasses, you can look directly at a screen without having to worry about blue light penetrating the glasses and affecting your vision. They reduce blue light exposure and have become popular for the following reasons.
Benefits of blue light glasses
Eye discomfort reliever_ Staring at a screen for long can lead to eye strain. Blue light filtering glasses improve focus and reduce eye strain. This makes the object focus a lot easier, and you will be able to stay alert for long periods of time.
It helps you sleep better_ Exposure to blue light at night makes sleeping difficult as it negatively impacts sleep patterns. While it is beneficial during the day, it can wreak havoc on your health at night. Blue light has a high energy frequency that helps you stay alert during the day and less so at night.
High alertness at night is not ideal if you want to sleep well. However, if you must view a screen, consider doing so at least two hours before your bedtime. If this will not be possible, make sure you wear a blue light glass to filter out the blue light energy coming from the screen.
Reduce Age-related Macular Degeneration_ As we grow older, the cells in our eyes grow weaker, and they are not able to regenerate quickly enough. Constant exposure to blue light quickens the aging process. Blue light glasses can help reduce the aging process considerably.
#6. How do blue light glasses work?
Blue light glasses work by expanding your vision while preventing harmful UV rays from penetrating at the same time. They simply block blue light emissions and ensure that only safe wavelengths enter your retina. Harmful wavelengths that harm the retina fall between 415-455mm, while the harmless wavelengths fall within the range of 465mm-495mm.
#7. When to wear blue light glasses
It is advisable that you wear blue light glasses at all times when using your computer or smartphone or when watching television. When you are outdoors, and the sun is shining intensely, you may want to put it on to protect your retina from the intense natural glare of the sun. Wearing the glasses regularly will protect your eyes from their harmful effects while reducing the aging process at the same time.
#8. Can Blue Light damage the Skin?
Based on research findings, experts have concluded that blue light generated by electronic devices can change skin cells, which in turn, may lead to cell demise or shrinkage. Changes in skin cells cause the skin to age significantly, and some experts even believe that skin exposure to blue light for as little as 60 minutes can trigger such changes. Another phenomenon being looked at is the possibility of blue light exposure causing pigmentation, swelling, redness, and pigment changes in people who have a naturally dark skin tone.
Despite the above risks, blue light also offers certain healing properties. Some dermatologists use it to treat patients suffering from mild plaque psoriasis. Within 4 weeks of regular exposure, the redness was eliminated, and the patch size shrank considerably with no serious side effects. Blue light is also used to treat mild skin acne by removing blackheads, Whiteheads, and other forms of acne within 7 days.
As for skin cancer therapy, blue light may also be used to treat actinic keratitis that grows on the ears, face, lips, ears, hands, and other skin areas exposed to the sun. Actinic keratitis can grow into cancer, which may become difficult to treat at later stages. To counter its growth and spread, medical experts sometimes utilize blue light to lower precancerous patches on the skin. Lastly, it also forms a part of the photodynamic therapy set of treatments that uses light to activate drugs that contain photosensitizing agents. These agents are known to kill cancerous cells as well as to provide effective therapy for surgical operations and radiation treatments. As can be seen, blue light offers treatment opportunities despite the potential health risk they pose. However, blue light treatments are still not at an advanced stage, and only medical experts know how to deploy them during treatment procedures. The advisable thing to do is to limit skin exposure to blue light as much a possible. Prevention, they say, is always better than the cure.
#9. How Blue Light affects sleep?
It has been reported across multiple sources that blue light can affect the quality of sleep you enjoy at night. Natural light from the sun possesses blue light, but the concentration of blue rays in sunlight is minimal compared to what is obtainable in artificial light sources such as digital devices.
There are significant reasons why blue light may be a sleep disruptor. Let us review some of the reasons.
Melatonin production: To begin with, blue light is known to affect your body’s ability to produce melatonin at optimal levels. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that regulates sleep. When the sun is up, your system is triggered to wake up, but when it is dark, you generally feel sleepy. Melatonin is responsible for this. The blue light acts as a melatonin depressant, so if you are exposed to it for a prolonged period of time, your system will produce less of it. One may argue that the blue light produced by digital devices is not as much as what is produced by the sun; however, digital light has a tremendous impact on the human system on a greater scale compared to the light from the sun.
It affects the Circadian Rhythm: Your Circadian Rhythm is responsible for telling you when to go to sleep and when to wake up. And the melatonin your body produces plays a huge role in regulating your circadian rhythm. So any disruption in this rhythm will definitely lead to sleep disruption.
#10. Blue Light or Red Light for sleeping
Some people have a hard time sleeping in a dark room with no light on. If you are one of such people, I’m sure you will like to know which is the best light for sleeping. Many people with this sleeping habit prefer to use a low-intensity light. When it comes to making a choice between blue light, red light, and other light colors, red light happens to be the better option. Unlike blue light, red light is not known to act as a stimulant. The red color has a relatively low temperature that has a shooting effect on the human body. Red light also has a very comfortable wavelength that is good for sleep, especially at night, as it transitions your body naturally from wakefulness to sleepiness.
#11. Blue Light and Migraines
If you constantly suffer from migraines, you may want to check just how much time you spend in a lighted room or for how long you stare at a screen. Blue light can cause migraines, but this is not prevalent in everyone. Some effects of blue light on the human brain include light sensitivity, homophobia, and aura symptoms, including cause and dizziness in some victims.
#12. Can Blue Light cause Cancer?
The relationship between blue light and cancer growth is still understudied, but research suggests that even though it may not be a direct cause of cancer, it may act as a stimulant. Some researchers believe that constant exposure may increase the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. Research in this area is still ongoing.
#13. Why Blue Light for Aquarium
The effects blue light has on humans is not the same effect it has on fishes and aquatic life. Blue light sold as moonlight bulbs is ideal for aquarium fish. This is because the light produces a calm hue that entices skittish fishes to venture out to feed in the night. It has the same effect on fishes that are primarily daytime feeders.
#14. How to reduce blue light from your computer
Computer screens produce a lot of blue light and if you work with computers for long hours, consider reducing the blue light it generates. There are simple ways to protect yourself by just regulating the settings on your system. Here is a step by step process to do so.
Boost your computer by turning the power ON
Open the Start Menu
Click the Gear Icon to open the menu for settings
Navigate to System Settings
Switch the Night Light on
Navigate to the Night Light Setting
At this point, you can regulate the levels by reducing the blue light to acceptable levels. You can also set the timeframe or even restrict the lighting altogether. Combining manual light regulations alongside blue light eyeglasses will protect you at all times.
#15. Not all Blue Light is bad
Not all blue light is bad for humans. The blue light generated by the sun is good for your health. Here are some of the health benefits of natural blue light.
It aids cognitive functions
Blue light from the sun boosts alertness, aids memory retention and elevates your mood. In just a few minutes after you wake up in the morning, your system will begin to operate at full capacity.
Circadian Rhythm regulator: Blue light from the sun helps to maintain your circadian rhythm. Overexposure to artificial blue light from digital devices will disrupt this rhythm but not having enough exposure to natural blue light during the day can affect sleep patterns.
This effect is keenly felt in children who have limited access to sunlight. Limited sunlight exposure can stunt their growth and affect their visual development.
The health risk posed by blue light has been extensively discussed in this article, as well as safeguards that you can put in place to protect yourself from its harmful effects. Not all blue light is bad. Blue light from the sun has certain health benefits without which your body will not function as well as it should. The blue light from digital devices, however, can be disruptive and destructive. Regulating the light intensity of your screen is one way to limit the impact of blue light. Another option is to protect your eyes by either wearing blue light glasses that protect the eyes or covering your screens with anti-reflective or computer screen filters.
Shenzhen Dreamway Technology Co., Limited was established in 2013. Most of our staff have been engaged in the LED display screen field for more than 10 years. Our factory is about 2,000 square meters, with SMD machines and production lines to output over 600 square meters monthly.