Updated: Feb 27
Blue Light is a hot topic at the moment with numerous companies offering their products to people who are serious about protecting their eyes from blue light and supporting better overall health.
There is a lot of hype surrounding blue light glasses and a lot of misinformation about what colour lenses do, so let's clarify this today.
Blue light is high energy light that is emitted from artificial sources, such as your Television, Smart Phone, House Lights, Fridge, Computer Screen and Car Headlights. When we have too much exposure to artificial blue light during the daytime, this can lead to dry eyes, digital eye strain and tension headaches.
Exposure to any type of blue light (and also some green light) after sunset disrupts our body’s production of melatonin which harms our sleep quality and leaves us feeling tired the next day.
Blue light is essential during the daytime as it helps us feel great and keep active, however there is too much blue light in our digital devices, work and home environment which is leading to an epidemic of digital eye strain.
When we expose ourselves to blue light after dark we lose sleep, leaving ourselves more susceptible to "circadian diseases" such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease according to a Harvard University study. Blue light after dark actually tricks the brain into thinking it is daytime, which keeps stress levels high and damages our sleep pattern.
When it comes to blue light filter glasses, there are three colors. Clear, yellow and red. All three of these lenses have different applications and should be worn at different times depending on your situation and current light environment.
Blue blocker glasses come in these different lens colours so its important to understand exactly what each pair of blue light glasses does in order to determine which are the best blue light blocking glasses for you.
As you can imagine, computer glasses are in high demand right now. These blue light glasses are to only be worn during the day when working at your computer or when you are exposed to artificial light during the day.
They typically filter down blue light across the entire blue spectrum, for those of you who are clued up on the science part of things, that means (400nm to 495nm) by 5%-30%.
Remember, as mentioned earlier, we do not want to block blue light during the day as we need some blue light to be healthy and active, just think of the sky, its blue for a reason!
You would wear your computer glasses only when inside under artificial blue light during the day and take them off when outside. The sun’s light is very beneficial for optimal circadian health.
You may be wondering... "how do we know which are the best computer glasses?"
This is pretty straight forward... , many of the leading brands claim to block blue light, but when you test their glasses through a spectrometer they usually focus on violet light.
Violet light isn’t often present in artificial light sources which means when you buy a cheap pair of anti blue light glasses or computer glasses they are often not filtering any blue light at all. Ensure you ask each company you approach to provide a lens report to show blue light being filtered.
My personal recommendation is BLUblox, they always share lens reports.
Blue light that damages the eyes spikes at 440nm, don’t worry about the technical side of this, just be aware that most clear computer glasses do not target this wavelength of blue light, so just make sure you do your due diligence when ordering from your favourite brand as not to waste your money.
Be aware that the blue light pen test is a scam, this pen gives out violet light, not blue light so has no influence on the amount of blue light these glasses will block. Watch this video about the blue pen scam.
Mood boosting blue blocking glasses have gained popularity over the last few years. Another daytime blue light filter glasses that are to be worn during the daytime when exposed to artificial blue light.
They were designed to help people who are sensitive to blue light. Being sensitive to blue light means you do not just suffer from dry eyes and headaches when working at your computer you suffer from anxiety, migraines, depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
All these conditions have been proven to be intensified by exposure to blue light. What yellow lenses do which is different from computer glasses is filter out more of the harmful blue light that trigger migraines and heightens stress.
These partial blue light blocking glasses are to be worn during the day when inside and under artificial light. They are to be used in place of computer glasses with clear lenses and do not just target digital eyestrain and headaches but help people who have sensitivity to blue light reduce their symptoms
My favorite brand, BLUblox mood booster blue light glasses come with infused colour therapy. The colour yellow has been shown to uplift mood which is something that benefits people who suffer from SAD, anxiety and depression. Someone who works night shift work and has no or minimal access to natural light would also benefit from wearing yellow lenses during their shift.
Orange or Red Lenses - Blue Blocker Glasses
Fact is, by wearing clear lens computer glasses or clear anti blue light glasses, this will not help you sleep! This is scientifically proven.. The only way to get more melatonin and better sleep quality is to block all blue and most green light found between the 400nm to 550nm spectral range (again don’t worry about these numbers if you don’t understand them, just make sure the company you buy your blue light blocking glasses from shows you evidence they block in this range).
To block a specific colour you need an opposing colour to do so. In the case of blue light to be blocked you need orange and to block green you need red, therefore lenses that are red or dark amber are going to be what you need to wear post sunset to get better sleep.
Our circadian rhythm is entrained by light. During the day blue light tells our body clock its daytime and to keep alert and awake. After the sun sets blue and green light is not present naturally which sends a message to our brain that its approaching bedtime and to produce sleep hormones.
When we do not wear blue blocking glasses after sunset and use our digital devices, watch TV or have our house lights on we trick our brain into thinking it's daytime. This keeps our body and mind in an active state meaning we cannot get to sleep or sleep deeply. This makes us tired the next day and the cycle repeats itself. Over time this can lead to chronic fatigue and other diseases such as diabetes, obesity and mental health disorders.
To combat this, we wear red lens blue light blocking glasses to stop the blue and green light sending messages to our brain telling us its daytime, which is disrupting our sleep. Computer glasses cannot block blue light so they would not help after sunset. By wearing your red lens blue blocker glasses after sunset until bed you are allowing your brain to tell its night time and to get good quality sleep.
To determine which are the best blue light blocking glasses we need to ensure they block 100% of blue light and 100% of the green light found between 400-550nm. Just make sure the company you buy your blue light glasses from share their lens reports, if they don’t share them or the blue blocker glasses block any less than 100% between 400-550nm save your money as they won’t be helping your sleep.
Remember if you see any blue light whilst wearing your blue light glasses after dark they aren't working.
Detailed descriptions and facts about Blueblockers has been shared via BluBlockers to give an honest insight as to what to look our for when considering your purchase of eyewear.