Blue light glasses work by reducing the amount of the blue light rays that will reach your retina cells at the back of your eye.
Different types of blue light glasses do this by either having a blue light filter coat or special blue light blocking lenses that are designed to reduce or block the blue and green light spectrum between 400nm - 550nm.
Blue light from digital devices is a hot topic right now with many companies offering their products to people who are serious about managing blue light for better health.
However, there are some special factors we feel are important for you to understand when looking to invest in a pair of blue light glasses from a brand.
Today we address the hype surrounding blue light glasses and the misinformation about what the different colour lenses do what and do blue light blocking glasses actually work.
The Blue Light Problem
Blue light is high energy light that is emitted from artificial light sources such as your TV, cellphone, house lights, fridge, computer screen and car headlights.
Too much exposure to artificial blue light during the daytime leads to issues such as dry eyes, digital eye strain and tension headaches.
Exposure to any type of blue light (and also some green light) after sunset disrupts our body’s production of melatonin which harms our sleep quality and leaves us feeling tired the next day.
Blue light is essential during the daytime as it helps us feel great and keep active, however there is too much blue light in our digital devices, work and home environment which is leading to an epidemic of digital eye strain.
One of the biggest problems with blue light exposure after dark is that it tricks the brain into thinking it's daytime, which keeps stress levels high and damages our sleep.
By exposing ourselves to blue light after dark we are losing sleep and leaving ourselves more susceptible to circadian diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease according to Harvard University.
Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
Yes, blue light glasses do work well in being able to block blue light that can disturb your circadian rhythm and possibly affect your eye health.
However, that will depend on which color lens of blue light glasses you wear and if the manufacturer has really blocked blue and green light in 400nm to 550nm spectral wavelength range.
Computer glasses do not work at helping to improve sleep as they do not block the full melatonin disturbing range of blue light. They work better
Amber and red lens blue light glasses do work in helping improve the sleep quality when worn after sunset in the evening time.
Cochrane Review is doing an in-depth to look at the reported benefits of blue light glasses for Computer Vision Syndrome, effects on sleep, and potential macular health.
How Do Different Blue Light Lens Colours Work?
There are three main lens colours when it comes to blue light filter glasses, clear, yellow and red.
All three of these lenses have different applications and should be worn at different times depending on your situation and current light environment.
Since blue light blocking glasses come in these different lens colour options it's important to understand exactly what each pair of blue light glasses does in order to determine which are the best blue light blocking glasses for you.
1. How Do Clear Lens Blue Light Glasses Work?
The way the clear lens type of blue light glasses work is by typically filtering down blue light wavelengths across the entire blue spectrum from 400nm up to 495nm by 5% - 30%.
Clear lens blue light glasses are also known as computer glasses. Good computer glasses help reduce the blue light that damages the eyes which spikes at 440nm.
Unfortunately, most clear computer glasses brands do not target this wavelength of blue light, so just make sure you do your due diligence when ordering a pair of computer glasses so as not to waste your money.
How to Know If Your Computer Glasses Are Working?
Ensure you ask each glasses company you approach to provide a spectrometer lens report to show the exact amounts of blue light being filtered.
At BLUblox we always share our lens reports and this is why you can trust our BluLite computer glasses filter 30% of blue light in the correct wavelengths.
The problem you might find is many of the leading brands claim to block blue light, but when you test their glasses through a spectrometer they usually focus on violet light.
Violet light isn’t often present in artificial light sources which means when you buy a cheap pair of anti-blue light glasses or computer glasses they are often not filtering any blue light at all.
Be aware that the blue light pen test is a scam, this pen gives out violet light, not blue light so has no influence on the amount of blue light these glasses will block. Watch this video about the blue pen scam.
When To Wear Computer Glasses
You would wear your computer glasses only when inside under artificial blue light during the day and take them off when outside. The sun’s light is very beneficial for optimal circadian health.
We do not want to block blue light during the day as we need some blue light to be healthy and active, just think of the sky, its blue for a reason!
There are lots of benefits from good computer glasses and people should consider computer glasses since they have had to work more on computers and also from home offices.
2. How Do Yellow Lens Blue Light Glasses Work?
The way the yellow tinted lens type of blue light glasses work is by filtering blue light wavelengths in the 400nm to 450nm light spectrum range. Looking through yellow lenses is said to help those with light sensitivity and also to help boost your mood.
Yellow Lens Blue Light Glasses vs Computer Glasses
Yellow lens blue light glasses are different from computer glasses in the way that they filter out more of the harmful blue light that trigger migraines and heightens stress.
Yellow tinted blue light glasses partially only partially block the blue light spectrum and are to be worn during the day when inside and under artificial light.
You can choose to wear yellow tinted lenses in place of wearing computer glasses with clear lenses since they do not just target digital eyestrain and headaches, but help people with a sensitivity to blue light reduce their symptoms
The colour yellow has been shown to uplift mood, which is something that benefits people's suffering from SAD, anxiety and depression.
People who work night shifts and have no, or minimal, access to natural light would also benefit from wearing yellow lenses during their shift.
Mood boosting blue blocking glasses have gained popularity through BLUblox in the last couple of years. This is why our BLUblox SummerGlo blue light glasses come with infused colour therapy.
When to Wear Yellow Tinted Lenses
Yellow tinted glasses are alternative daytime blue light filter glasses that are to be worn during the daytime when exposed to artificial blue light.
They were designed to help people who are sensitive to blue light. What it means to be sensitive to blue light is you do not just suffer from dry eyes and headaches when working at your computer you suffer from anxiety, migraines, depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
All these conditions have been shown in peer reviewed studies to be intensified by exposure to blue light.
3. How Do Amber or Red Lens Blue Light Glasses Work?
The way the amber or red tinted lens type of blue light glasses work is by blocking the blue and green light wavelengths in the 400nm to 550nm light spectrum range.
Both blue and green light rays in the part of the light spectrum can disturb our melatonin secretion cycle which can lead to a disrupted circadian rhythm and cause poor sleep quality and altered sleep patterns.
To block a specific colour you need an opposing colour to do so. In the case of blue light to be blocked you need orange and to block green you need red, therefore lenses that are red or dark amber are going to be what you need to wear post sunset to get better sleep.
100% Blue Light Blocking Glasses vs Computer Glasses
You wear red lens blue light glasses in the evening when the sun has set to help you sleep better vs wearing computer glasses or clear lens anti-blue light glasses during the daytime only to help reduce eye fatigue.
Wearing clear lens blue light glasses at night will not help you sleep better, this is scientific fact.
The only way to get more melatonin and better sleep quality is to block all blue and most green light rays found between the 400nm to 550nm spectral range.
This is why you want to make sure the blue light glasses company that you buy your blue light blocking glasses from will show you evidence that they do block wavelengths in this nanometer range.
The BLUblox Sleep+ Blue Light Glasses do block 100% blue and green light in this spectrum and you can see here that BLUblox happily share our lens reports.
Remember, if you see any blue light whilst wearing your blue light glasses after dark then you will know they aren't working.
Computer glasses cannot block blue light so they would not help after sunset. By wearing your red lens blue blocker glasses after sunset until bed you are allowing your brain to tell it's night time and to get good quality sleep.
Our circadian rhythm is entrained by light. During the day blue light tells our body clock it's daytime to keep us alert and awake.
After the sun sets blue and green light is not present naturally, which sends a message to our brain that its approaching bedtime and to produce sleep hormones.
By wearing different types of blue light filtering lenses we are trying to help reduce the disruption artificial light has on these natural circadian rhythm cues our brain gets from different types of light.
When we do not wear blue blocking glasses after sunset and use our digital devices, watch TV or have our house lights on we trick our brain into thinking it's daytime. This keeps our body and mind in an active state meaning we cannot get to sleep or sleep deeply. This makes us tired the next day and the cycle repeats itself.
Over time this can lead to chronic fatigue and other diseases such as diabetes, obesity and mental health disorders.
To combat this, we wear red lens blue light blocking glasses to stop the blue and green light sending messages to our brain telling us its daytime, which is disrupting our sleep.