Blue light, this invisible enemy that accompanies the artificial light of our LED screens. Wondering how to protect yourself? When should it be filtered? And above all, how?
We tell you everything in this guide!
- Definition of blue light
- Blue light effects
- When to block it
What is blue light?
It is naturally present in daylight, so why has it been criticized so much in recent years? Is it really dangerous or is it just a well-orchestrated marketing stunt?
Unfortunately for our peepers, this blue light has recently been emitted artificially by a good number of devices that we come across every day (telephone, tablets, computer, television, LED bulbs)... unless you live like a hermit, this which does not seem the case if you read these lines! 😜
These artificial sources emit a concentrated light, it is this intensity, coupled with the regularity of the exposure which poses a problem (we spend more than 6 hours a day in front of a screen, not counting the LEDs at home and at work).
On the other hand... Everything is not to be blocked in blue light, which is to be classified into 2 categories: a portion is essential and beneficial for our eyes and our body, the other is more harmful .
🤗❤️ The right blue light NOT to filter out
The "blue-turquoise" light (450-500nm) stimulates wakefulness and allows us to calibrate our sleep rhythm. Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School highlighted as early as 1981 its importance in synchronizing our internal clock.
The natural light in the morning lowers the level of melatonin in your body and allows you to wake up naturally. In the evening, the production of melatonin increases, and allows you to join the dreamlike kingdom of the Sandman! (translation "sandman", great series to see on netflix)
Research has also shown that this "good" blue light boosts alertness, helps maintain good memory, improves your cognitive functions and improves your mood. A kind of super combo between carrot and cod liver oil ^^
Either way, it's nice, isn't it?
It is therefore not necessary (nor desirable!) to block it.
😈 The wrong blue light to block
This intense light located on very short wavelengths , between 380 and 450 nanometers (close to UV), will set your eyes on fire as much as those of the "Dark One" in "A Wheel of Time" or those of Homelander in "The Boys".
Experts and ophthalmologists are talking about it more and more ( more info here ), as here in an ANSES report:
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).
This light radiation must be filtered, since it is what impacts you in the short term ( dry eyes, headaches, visual fatigue , etc.) and in the long term ( potential danger to the retina ).
The effects of harmful blue light
This spectrum close to UV generates several dangers and problems (proven or suspected) of which here are the main ones:
😴 Impacts your sleep : Blue light is proven to block the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. In high doses, at the wrong times of the day, it directly impacts your circadian rhythm and therefore your health.
😵 Causes you digital fatigue, itchy eyes , headaches . We have concocted a little guide to help you if you suffer from these ailments here
👀 The long-term consequences on the retina (AMD) that research is increasingly highlighting. Much remains to be discovered at this level, but the studies are being refined and the results seem to point to important consequences.
❤️ Natural blue light is good for the eyes
💔 Modern lighting used in LEDs and in particular telephone screens, computers, television, uses very intense lighting and very short waves. This part of the spectrum has short and long term consequences, even on our body .
It is not necessary to filter out all blue lights:
🚫 It is important to block the harmful part of the spectrum , located between 380 and 430nm (ultra harmful) and 430-450nm (harmful)
✅ Better to keep the spectrum between 450 and 500 nm which has benefits for your eyes and your body.
PS: Beware of glasses and filters that do not communicate on their measurement and their tests (via an independent laboratory if possible), this is often a sign of ineffective or poor quality filtration.
Blue light: How to block it?
OK, now that we know where the problem comes from, we wonder how we protect ourselves?
📲 Solution 1: Anti-blue light applications and integrated "night" modes
You can already download software that will change the brightness of some of your screens (PC) and activate night mode on your Iphone / Android phone or tablet. This solution is not perfect and has some drawbacks:
Depending on the application, filters too much or not enough of the spectrum (complicated for an application to sort between the beneficial and harmful part)
Can alter colors too extreme
Does not apply to all types of screens or protect you from other harmful sources (leds)
Even if it is not ideal, they have the advantage of being set up quickly and inexpensively. We tell you more here in our article .
😎 Solution 2: Anti-blue light glasses
Blue light blocking glasses have lenses specially designed to absorb and reflect a specific portion of the harmful spectrum. If you're interested in learning more about how they work, click here .
The filtration is therefore "supposed" to have an efficiency precisely on the most harmful spectrum, between 380 and 450 nm . Indeed, depending on the brands, they will be more or less active on this spectrum. Be careful to read the technical characteristics of each manufacturer carefully.
The specificities of our blue light blocking glasses if you are interested:
🛡️ One of the best filtrations (the best?) of the harmful spectrum on the market
🚀 Registered technologies
⚪ Reduced color distortion
❤️ Really stylish models!
When to wear blue light blocking glasses?
Generally, we begin to be interested in the subject when we feel the concrete symptoms: headaches, sleep disorders, eye fatigue... It's a good thing because you have to listen to your body.
But, even if you do not feel any particular discomfort, it is important to protect yourself from repercussions that are sometimes less visible but just as sneaky!
Here is a list of times/places where you should protect yourself by wearing nice glasses:
🌙 In the evening or at night
Using anti-blue light glasses at night is highly recommended, as it helps prepare your brain for falling asleep (the glasses block the section of the spectrum that prevents the production of melatonin and helps you fall asleep quickly)
If you plan to play God of War: Ragnarök until 3 a.m., if you are used to watching your TikTok feed full of little cats for 1 hour before going to bed, or if you binge-watch all the episodes of 7 first seasons of Game of Thrones (yes yes... we deliberately excluded the 8th) on your 4K TV, so the glasses will do you a lot of good!
We even advise you to opt for intense filtration because blue light is even more harmful at night ( Our Plasma Amber lenses filter more than 86% of the harmful spectrum, more info on our technologies here )
💼 At work
It depends of course on your type of job, but if you are in front of a screen regularly, or worse in a room full of screens and LEDs on the ceiling, you are probably in an environment where your exposure to the harmful spectrum is maximum .
It is therefore essential to protect yourself well, with a pleasant and light pair that you can wear all day ( Can we wear them all day? Our article here )
We designed our filtrations with a Clear glass to be the most "everywhere" and to be able to be worn in the office " out of the blue ", but with an ultra-efficient filter all the same (50% with our 2.0 glasses, 60% for our 3.0 technologies, for an optimal defense of the harmful spectrum versus a market average of 15 to 40%)
🎓 At school/university
In the same way, if you are still a student but face a laptop all day, as is often the case in university, then blue light blocking glasses are an essential part of your outfit.
☕ In coworking, or at home (teleworking or video)
Whether you work from home or a coworking space, chances are you spend a lot of time in front of your computer. It is essential to take care of your posture and your well-being, because staring at a screen on a daily basis can have an effect on your back, on your eyes, on your morale.
🎮 In gamer mode on your PC or console
If you are a fan of video games, regardless of your preference between console or pc, you are exposed to this harmful spectrum, generally in intense mode.
We know that when you start an Elden Ring session, it's not to stop after 20 minutes.
So the best thing is to keep your pair close at hand, and to consider them as an accessory in their own right to your super setup . If eyes are rested, you will be all the more effective!
📺 To watch TV
If the only time you watch TV is at noon to eat in front of Laurence Bocolini, then your priority may be to change the program first rather than worrying about blue light!
Nevertheless, it is the small gestures that are important to preserve your well-being throughout your day. It is therefore not essential, but the TV is a screen that is often quite large and very bright, so you might as well get used to the right gestures for your well-being and wear your glasses as soon as you are in front of your TV even if it is for a few minutes.
If you stay in front for several hours because you have to catch up on all the episodes you missed of "House of the Dragon" and "The Rings Of Power", then no question to ask and you equip yourself immediately!
📱 During the day, on phones and tablets
We think about it a little less, but smartphones are also very intense and emit blue light which can, depending on the exposure and the device, tire your beautiful eyes and damage your vision. If it's to check the time, then don't bother looking for your glasses.
But if you have to deal with emails for 45 minutes, or play a few games of Rocket League SideSwipe 🏎️⚽, your protective companion will be there for you!
To tell the truth, we are much less exposed to this problem outdoors.
But beware ! There are still very bright screens around us, like in train stations or metro stations. You don't necessarily need to carry your pair of glasses on the subway, but avoiding staring at those screens for too long can be a good idea.
If you are outside, but with more regular or intensive exposure to a screen (for example if you work on your terrace on your smartphone or computer), it may be appropriate to protect yourself with your favorite pair of eye shields. We have also designed a model designed for exposure to the sun as well, with a filter combining blue light and solar protection (UV and brightness) here (click)
Also discover our guide to better see your smartphone screen in the sun .
Special case: Blue light from Kindle / Kobo screens and other e-readers
E-readers have a more limited effect because they use electronic ink, without the problems mentioned here. In principle, not too much need to protect yourself. BUT !
Beware, however, of the LED backlighting, which is all the more problematic as it will often be used in the middle of the night!
👀 Little bonus: our digital wellness routine:
At Horus X, the whole team is equipped regardless of the discomfort felt, to take care of us. As we work on a computer all day, this is all the more important and our advice is therefore to include our glasses in a very simple well-being routine:
Hydrate regularly . (Tip: keep a canteen full of water next to your desk)
Vary the sitting and standing position , to reduce sedentary lifestyle and move as much as possible
Regularly, apply the 20-20-20 method ( we tell you about it here )
Take advantage of regular rest periods to do something else, if possible by moving your body (a 5-minute walk), going to prepare a chaï, playing with your dog, etc.
Track your sleep with an " Oura Ring (unaffiliated link)" ring that we love in the team, or a smartwatch to check that you sleep correctly
Of course, wear the glasses at any time of the day in front of the screens, and switch to amber lens mode as soon as the brightness of the sun declines (mid/late afternoon)
From when (how old) can you wear blue light blocking glasses?
Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effect of blue light , as the lens of their eye filters out blue much less effectively than adults. It is not we who say this, but ANSES (National Health Security Agency), which highlights the dangers for our children and teenagers, with a rather obvious recommendation at this stage of the article:
Limit exposure to blue-rich light from LED screens before bedtime and at night, especially for children and adolescents.
First of all, our recommendation is therefore a reduced use of screens for teenagers, especially at night, and in general for children and infants (especially before 3 years old).
For children over 4 years old (if they are younger, you simply have to avoid screens), we have designed glasses adapted to their head size and which can help you protect them as well as possible:
"Gamer" model (intense Amber protection available, from 7 years old)
"Nomad" models (children from 4 to 7 years old)
Which type of filter for which protection?
As we told you, depending on the general use of your glasses (pro? gamer? tv?) and the duration of exposure and schedule, you can choose between our lenses:
⚪ "Clear" which are intended for everyday use, possibly at work because they are rather discreet and easy to wear
🟠 "Amber" to use at night, or in intensive mode, generally rather at home (on our side, half of the team uses Amber glasses even during the day)
⚫ Sun for outdoor use, with blue light filtering if you're on a computer or smartphone a lot (but also just to counter the sun's reflections, brightness and UV)
Can you wear blue light blocking glasses all day?
In summary.... Yes!
It's not essential, and you can wear them intermittently if you want, but you can get into the habit of wearing them all the time with no problem.
Even if you are not used to wearing glasses (which is our case in the team), you will get used to them quite quickly since our frames are designed to be forgotten (ultra light, soft, pleasant to wear )
See our in-depth article if you're wondering if you can wear blue light blocking glasses all the time .
When not to wear blue light glasses?
If you are not exposed to screens, or LEDs, then your blue light blocking glasses will not be of much use to you (unless you have chosen our SUN filters which will be useful for you outdoors).
Nevertheless, in our increasingly computer-related lives, the exposure is stronger and stronger and over longer and longer durations. It is becoming a must have for many people!
In summary, when should you wear blue light blocking glasses?
☀🌖 At any time of the day, with more intense filtration in the evening and at night (amber tint) than during the day ("clear" glasses). Check the filtration on the harmful 380-450nm spectrum if you wear glasses.
💻📱📺 In all situations with exposure to screens and artificial LED lights: In video, teleworking, at work, in coworking, in front of the TV (for a series or playing on console) or in front of your PC.
🌲 No need for protection if you are only exposed to natural light, in the middle of a mountain hike for example, with your phone deep in your backpack to enjoy nature! Remember to protect yourself from UV rays with a pair of sunglasses.