You’ve probably heard of blue light – it’s the HEV light that comes from the screens we stare at every day. But, have you taken a moment to really think about blue light? It plays a huge role in almost everyone’s daily life, especially these days!
Here at Reason, spending my days in the world of virtual escape rooms means spending most of my day in front of one virtual platform or another. So like many of you, I am getting quite a bit of blue light exposure!
Because blue light is playing such a large role in my life, I figured I should pay a little more attention to how it is affecting me. Here’s what I’ve found:
Blue light has its benefits
Blue light is a very efficient source of light and therefore saves energy and is environmentally friendly! Long story short – one the light spectrum, light rays that are longer tend to have less energy and visa versa. Blue light has short rays and is high-energy visible (HEV). So blue light emits powerful visible light without emitting heat the way UV light rays do. This means that you won’t get a sunburn from your phone screen – yay!
But, Blue light also has some negative effects you should know about
According to Harvard Medical School, repeated blue light exposure can have negative effects – some of which include vision problems, sleep problems. Dermatologists have also found that blue light can speed the aging process of the skin.
Here are a few steps you can take to stay protected from blue light…
1. Wear Glasses with Blue Light Protection
That’s right! Some brilliantly helpful people have invented lenses (and screen filters) that function as a shield for eyes against blue light.
Studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time can lead to damaged retinal cells. This happens because unlike UV light, blue light penetrates all the way through the eye to the retina and can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration and light sensitivity. The glasses that protect against blue light have special glass that significantly reduces the amount of blue light that will penetrate the eye.
2. Change Light Settings on Phone to Night Mode
In order to prepare the body for sleep, the brain releases a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is released when the eyes signal to the brain that it is dark out, but blue light interrupts this process in a very powerful way. Changing the setting on your phone to night mode will switch the light to emit non-blue light illumination. This setting will slightly improve your body’s ability to prepare for restful sleep.
3. Wear Sunscreen Indoors!
Sunscreen Indoors?? Yep! Everyone knows that it’s important to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the Sun’s UVA/UVB rays, but did you know some sunscreen can also protect you from the ageing effects of blue light? That’s right! Some sunscreen brands now offer sunscreen varieties that are formulated with blue light protection. The sunscreen brand Supergoop has some great information about that on their blog!
Bottom line – Too much of anything is probably going to have some unintended consequences, and blue light exposure is no exception. Blue light is wonderfully efficient and environmentally friendly but comes with a few tradeoffs. So, it’s best to do whatever we can to protect ourselves in any way we can, and luckily we have plenty of tools to do so!
So grab your glasses, throw on some sunscreen, and happy scrolling!