What is a Blue Light filter?
Maybe you’ve heard people talking about blue light recently, and the term sounds utterly foreign to you.
Or maybe you have a rough idea of the basics behind blue light but still don’t quite get what it is blue light filters do?
To help dispel some of the myths and help get you clued up on what blue light is all about, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions about blue light filters that will hopefully help you understand what it does and why something like a pair of blue light glasses may be something you need.
In this post, we’ll be answering the following questions:
- What is a blue light filter?
- Can eyes not filter blue light naturally?
- What does blue light do?
- Why can’t I see blue light?
- Why would someone want a blue light filter?
- What benefits can a blue light filter provide?
- Do I need a blue light filter for my phone?
- What can expose me to blue light?
- Is the blue light emitted from devices strong?
- Does blue light only come from phones and computers?
- Is blue light bad for you?
- Do blue light glasses change colours?
- Do blue light filter glasses have a tinted lens or blue lens?
What is a blue light filter?
A blue light filter is an artificial filter that reduces the level of blue lights your eyes take in. With no natural filters, it falls to products like blue light filter glasses to help protect eyes from blue light.
Can eyes not filter blue light naturally?
It would be great if they could, but sadly they can’t. Blue light isn’t as harmful when you’re exposed to it when compared to something like UV light, but it does put strain on the retina in the back of your eye.
What does blue light do?
Blue light acts as an indicator that helps your body know when to be alert and active. Think of it like a signal that naturally lets your body know “oh we should be awake and doing things right now”. The most source of blue light we encounter is from sunlight.
Why can’t I see blue light?
Blue light is everywhere because it’s in light itself. Don’t think of light as just white. Visible light waves run through the entire spectrum - from blue to red. It’s why we can see colours and not infrared or UV light.
And within the colour spectrum, blue light sits on the side where wavelengths are shorter. You’ll sort of see blue light every day with a very specific example. When you look at your phone at night or glance over at someone on a laptop in a dark room, the white light shining out will usually have a slight blue tint. That’s because electronic devices need to use white and blue together to show you bright images.
Why would someone want a blue light filter?
There are many reasons someone would want a filter, and most people need a filter to help reduce the level of blue light they see on a daily (and nightly) basis.
A lot of people spend most of their day in front of screens; whether it’s a computer in the office, a flat-screen on the treadmill or from merely checking a mobile phone.
Looking to reduce that exposure with a blue light filter can help promote a healthier lifestyle.
What benefits can a blue light filter provide?
The most common reason people use blue light filters is to help fall asleep. We’re all guilty of going to bed and then having one last check of our phone or tablet that can last up to an hour. At a time when you want your body to shut down for the night, you’re pointing a device with a lot of blue light directly at your eyes - which are taking it as a sign you want to stay awake.
You can read more about the benefits of blue light glasses in our recent blog post here.
Do I need a blue light filter for my phone?
Some phones will have a night mode or equivalent, but that doesn’t eradicate blue light exposure at night. Many Kanturo customers buy our blue light glasses and keep them by the bedside, treating them like reading glasses. At a time when you mentally want to be preparing for sleep, it helps to calm the signals blue light is exposing you to.
What can expose me to blue light?
Throughout the day, the biggest offenders would include:
- LCD Screens (more on these here)
- Any fluorescent light
- LED Lights
- Flat Screen TVs (and any monitor that uses LEDs)
Is the blue light emitted from devices intense?
The big misconception is that devices and products which artificially emit blue light are doing so harshly. Compared to the intensity of blue light the sun provides, it pales in comparison.
The reason we need to take care of our eyes around devices comes down to how close they are to our eyes and the length of time spent looking at them. Think of how often you look at the sun (which you shouldn’t directly of course) and think of how many times you’ve been guilty of lying in bed with a phone practically against your face.
Using a blue light filter helps bring that intensity down.
Does blue light only come from phones and computers?
No. Blue light does occur naturally; it’s just that most people will now get most blue light exposure through their devices.
Is blue light bad for you?
No. You need natural blue light to help your body keep to a good routine. Blue light has a massive impact on your circadian rhythm, and because the sun is the biggest source, it only makes sense that being exposed to it when outside is going to make you feel good.
That’s why it is essential to try and cut down the level of blue light you have at night. You can find out more on the effect blue light has on sleep here.
Do blue light glasses change colours?
No. You wouldn’t see colours on your device magically change. The aim is to reduce the blue light intensity your eyes are under.
Do blue light filter glasses have a tinted lens or blue lens?
No. In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference between a regular pair of glasses and blue light glasses.
Want to see what blue light filter glasses look like?
Take a look at the full range of glasses available at Kanturo here.