Saying that “blue light blockers don’t distort color” is manipulation used to convince uninformed people to buy products that filter blue light, but not much and not any more than it filters the rest of visible light spectrum. But to prevent or mitigate eye strain, glare, insomnia, etc. a filter should block either most blue light or considerably more blue light than it blocks other, longer wavelengths of visible light. Such a blue light filter necessarily distorts color!
With the help of a few spectrograms you’ll see below why it is possible to say deceivingly – but without lying – that blue blockers don’t distort color.
Office lighting and screen glare frequently cause computer eye strain headache, computer use in offices with LED and fluorescent lighting in particular. The light sensitive and those with fluorescent light sensitivity are particularly vulnerable as their problems appear to have the same cause: disproportionately high blue light content emitted by LED and fluorescent lights. This post draws from vision and work ergonomics science to suggest ways to reduce LED and fluorescent light headaches with five different types of blue filtering glare screens.
Blue light filter selection is complicated. A blue filter may help you with many problems: computer eye strain (computer vision syndrome), LED & fluorescent light sensitivity, sleep disorder, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), light sensitivity (discomfort glare), visual acuity… But not every blue filter will produce optimal results given the specifics of your blue light sensitivity problem. The chaos of hype marketing terminology often hides more than it reveals which further complicates the selection process. Read on to find out: which wavelengths your blue filter should absorb/block, by how much, how to compare bluelight filters…
The best anti-glare screen protector or anti-reflective filter could only be anti-reflective & glare-free computer lighting. In spite of the proliferation of anti-reflective and antiglare products computer glare and reflections continue being a major cause of Computer Vision Syndrome, i.e. eye-strain, tired eyes, irritation, red eyes, burning sensations, dry eyes, blurred and double vision (Computer vision syndrome: A review; Jour. of Clinical Ophthalmology and Research; Bali, J. et al. 2014). Anti-reflective & glare-free computer lighting is tricky, goes beyond buying and installing a computer light, and requires some fine tuning to your eyes. But antiglare computer lighting is possible and it is neither difficult nor expensive once you figure it out. Below the principles of anti-reflective & glare-free computer lighting are explained; some specific solutions and products are suggested.
How to reduce screen brightness: 3 free filter apps
How to reduce screen brightness below the device’s settings has always been a problem for me, and, I suspect, for anyone who is glare/light sensitive. In this post I propose 3 free filter apps with different characteristics and provide a link to some more screen filter apps, for those who love more options.
How to sleep better at night: Bluelight filter apps
There are good reasons for insisting (here is the first post) on bluelight filter apps (in addition to being one important factor to figuring out How to sleep better at night):
- photophobia researchers have found that blue light induces pain in light-sensitive people (on a personal note: we had red and blue lights on our Christmas tree – the blue ones caused pain in my eyes immediately, I could not stand looking at them, vs. no problem at all with the red ones!)
- the question how to sleep at night in relation to blue light exposure may be even more relevant for people with photophobia – some years ago (before coming across bluelight filter apps) I had serious problems with night sleep – a terrible vicious cycle
- bluelight filter apps may be used to decrease brightness and reduce glare of your computer screen (or other electronic display devices)
- I just run across a new bluelight filter app: PC SunScreen – free only until March 5! So I had to hurry.