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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
Lighting Science Goodnight Sleep Bulb, available on Amazon for $15.99
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
Eyekepper Slim Vintage Computer Readers with Anti-Eyestrain Lens, available on Amazon for $10
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.
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