For a while you have had trouble falling asleep, sometimes headache at the end of the day, red & irritated eyes after a big gaming session or taff session in front of a screen. Your research has undoubtedly highlighted blue light and the glasses of the same name!
👉 If it's a little blurry for you and you're wondering how it works, here's a little guide to explain how blue light glasses work .
In this article
- Reminder on the blue light phenomenon
- How blue light blocking glasses work
- Bonus: how to choose the right glasses
Blue light, what is it, is it dangerous?
1/ What is blue light?
Blue light has always been produced mainly and naturally by the sun. But lately, we have been exposed to a new light source, artificial light from LED or fluorescent lights, LCD and LED screens, etc.
These screens emit more aggressive blue light than natural sources due to the increased exposure time and the powerful LEDs of the screens.
Blue light is one of the most intense parts of light with very short wavelengths that produce a large amount of energy, enough to make a Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta green with envy (#dragonballGT)
It is therefore the most harmful light of the light spectrum for our eyes of the light spectrum (see drawing below).
Blue light is found between wavelengths ranging from 380 to 500 nanometers (nm) , and the most harmful part is between 380 to 450 nm , with the part between 380 and 430 nm best best blocked.
2/ Is blue light dangerous: harmful or beneficial light?
We often hear that blue light is harmful, but in reality not everything is to be thrown away in blue light.
The spectrum of blue light is to be broken down into two parts:
- "Ultra harmful" blue-violet light (from 380 to 400nm) and more broadly the "harmful" spectrum (from 380 to 450nm) , which contribute to accelerating retinal aging. It is this spectrum that must absolutely be avoided.
- Beneficial blue-turquoise light (between 450 and 500 nanometers) . It is essential for the body to regulate our biological rhythm (well-being, sleep, etc.).
3/ What are the effects of “harmful” blue light?
Many eye health effects could be associated with increased exposure to blue light, both short-term and long-term. This intense brightness affects not only our pupils but also our health in general.
These are probably the most easily noticeable effects because you feel them quite quickly after a few hours of work.
- Eye fatigue
- Dry eye
- Itchy eyes
- sore eyes
- Difficulty sleeping ( melatonin secretion problem)
Although there are more and more clinical studies, it is still difficult to explain with precision the long-term effects of blue light on our eyesight.
But with its different physical properties, blue light is likely to penetrate through the cornea and the lens and slowly damage the back of the retina and the macula of our eye. This could result in progressive oxidation and accelerated macular deterioration.
Some experts seem to confirm that:
- Without protection, prolonged exposure to artificial light from our screens could cause damage to the retina and accentuate the degeneration of the macula (main cause of visual impairment).
- The risk of AMD occurring would be increased.
4/ Dangerous blue light, is it proven?
You are right to ask yourself the question.
Here is the opinion of ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety: they know the subject well)
Acute exposure to intense blue light can lead to permanent, partial or total loss of visual acuity over time. The ANSES expert appraisal carried out in 2010 highlighted the toxicity of blue light for the retina. The new scientific data support this result and identify short-term phototoxic effects related to acute exposure to blue-rich light, and long-term effects related to chronic exposure over several years, which may increase the risks. onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Certain experimental studies on animals also show that the retina is more vulnerable to the effects of phototoxicity during the night.
You will find here the opinion of the ophthalmologists on the question
Our complete file with a summary of recent studies on the subject
How do blue light blocking glasses work?
Who said blue light isn't rock'n'roll? #pinkfloyd
Now that we have summarized the subject well, and that you can easily pass your surprise test of the Physics course on Light spectra , let's move on to the subject that interests us!
How do blue light blocking glasses work?
A blue light blocking glasses is a glasses that has been designed specifically to counter the harmful part of blue light.
To block this part of the blue light spectrum, eyewear manufacturers have 2 solutions, 2 different types of filtration.
A “lens” that directly integrates anti-blue light filtration into its design .
This is the case for all glasses from brands specializing in blue light, but not for opticians, for example. In general, the glass incorporates a more or less intense coloration depending on the filtration.
Adding an additional coating to a classic lens, on the outer surface of the lens, for example via a special blue light anti-reflection treatment.
This is the case of opticians who generally treat a classic sight glass, and who then have an anti-blue light coating applied. This results in lower efficiency of optician's lenses compared to specialist brands.
- A small combo of both solutions to increase comfort and overall filtration efficiency.
Possibility N°1 > Anti-blue light glasses: Operation and details
A blue light blocking lens is often made of a material that is not glass. Manufacturers generally use polycarbonate (PC) or CR39.
Both materials are of excellent quality. At Horus X, we chose polycarbonate because it is 10 times more resistant to impact than glass, much lighter and offers the particularity of having a higher refractive index than CR39 (it will therefore be thinner) .
This is the most technical and important part of the manufacture of our lenses, because this is where all the Horus X technology will be concentrated.
- The very design of our glasses takes several months or even several years, and we adapt our technologies and filtrations regularly thanks to the support in particular of BPI France ( structure which accompanies French companies in their innovation projects )
- Manufacturing takes several weeks with a large number of steps to follow (mixing of components and pigments, materials, drying time, cutting, engraving, polishing, etc.)
During the manufacture of a glass, our factory will thus follow ultra-precise specifications. The process achieves the targeted degree of filtration on the harmful part of blue light, while allowing the beneficial part of the spectrum to pass through and with minimal color distortion.
More info about our technologies here .
Possibility N°2 > Anti blue light coating
Since conventional optical glasses are not specially designed to counter blue light, opticians will often offer a blue light filter which is actually an overcoat applied to the glass.
This overcoat is an exterior coating that will often be integrated into an anti-reflection coating. This allows a small protection against blue light, but you will have understood, much less effective than a glass designed entirely to fight against blue light.
So don't expect very effective protection, the levels of filtration offered are generally rather low.
Nevertheless, it's still taken and since we don't offer glasses for the moment (but we're working on it!), it's a good solution in the meantime!
Possibility N°3 > A lens designed to counter blue light + an anti-reflection coating! 🔥
It is this ultra-effective combo that we have chosen to apply to our lenses.
This allows us to achieve an ultra-efficient level of filtration and comfort.
How to choose the best blue light blocking glasses?
If you are already convinced, you can go see the shop here!
In general, here is what to check before buying a pair of glasses:
- On the ultra harmful part (380-430nm), it must be at least 90%
- On the harmful part (380-450nm), it must be able to exceed 60%
- Otherwise, move on
- Comfort , especially with a helmet. Read the reviews to confirm that the frame of the glasses is light enough to be comfortable, and that the temples are thin enough.
- Durability : You don't want a frame to be changed every 3 months.
- Compliance with standards : Anti-blue light glasses must comply with a set of drastic standards. The easiest way is to check the CE logo on the frames, but you can also request test reports from the manufacturers.
- Design : It's up to you to decide if you like the style!
For children, discover the children's blue light blocking glasses collection.
Blue light blocking glasses how it works: the final word
How do blue light blocking glasses work?
In summary, an effective blocking blue light glasses uses a filter glass , often made of polycarbonate (PC) or CR39, in order to block the harmful part (380-450nm) of the blue light.
Each manufacturer/brand has a different filtration rate depending on its technologies.
One can also find a coating on the glass, in the form of anti-reflection , which increases the filtration rate of the glass a little. Opticians generally only use this coating to filter blue light on conventional optical lenses, and therefore do not obtain very good filtration rates compared to specialist brands.
Questions / Answers related to the subject
Are blue light blocking glasses effective?
It's a good thing that you ask us the question, we answered it in detail in our article on the effectiveness of blue light blocking glasses .
If you want more details on our technologies and our filtrations, you will find a lot of information here .
Can you wear blue light blocking glasses all the time?
We can but it is not necessarily recommended (as you have seen, there is also good blue light important for your body).
What are the disadvantages of blue light blocking glasses?
Blue light glasses are super useful but are far from being the ultimate solution to all your problems. Check out their downsides here .