What is Blue Light?
The answer to the question what is blue light is one that requires a lot of explanation. Blue light is just one part of the visible light spectrum. Think of a rainbow, what colours do you see? These are the full spectrum of visible colours of light our brain can detect. Whether it’s from artificial light, like in our digital devices or TV or from natural light from the sun, each frequency of light behaves and reacts differently with our bodies.
What is Blue Light?
The sun contains all different colours of light and when combined they form what we call white light, aka sunlight. Each colour of light contains different amounts of energy. The warmer colours such as red, orange and yellows are low energy and the cooler colours like purple, blue and green all contain high amounts of energy. The highest energy visible light is often called blue-violet light or blue light.
So, in answer to the question “what is blue light?”, it is high energy visible light in the blue colour range found in both natural and artificial sources.
Blue light, which is around one third of all visible light is considered high-energy visible light (HEV)
Blue Light and Digital Eyestrain
The issue with blue light is it passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. The difference between blue light from the sun and artificial sources like your computer, smart phone or office lighting is the presence and absence of other colours. With the sun, blue light that may be damaging the retina or cells within the eyes in balanced with red light and invisible infrared (IR) light which has been shown in some studies to heal and repair cellular damage.
On the flip side, blue light found in artificial sources is devoid of this visible red light and invisible IR light meaning that when we are exposed to blue light in isolation it may cause damage to the eye with no healing light present. This is what we call digital eye strain. The symptoms of which may be dry eyes, watery eyes, headaches or fatigue. In extreme cases the blue light may also trigger migraine headaches.
Blue light in isolation is not natural and may have contributed to increased incidences of digital eyestrain across the developed world. What is blue light? Blue light is the frequency of light found in your digital devices and LED light sources that may be contributing to digital eyestrain.
The solution to this during the day is to filter down some of the blue light using computer glasses. Just make sure they filter down the light actually present in your artificial sources like these glasses from BLUblox.
Other hacks to reduce blue light in your environment is to have night shift mode on your iPhone during the day, IRIS on your computer during the day and a salt lamp next to your computer monitor to balance blue light. Also, regular and safe sunbreaks are also advised to ensure your body is getting lots of natural restorative red and IR light to heal and repair.
Blue Light and Sleep
Humankind has evolved under the sun. During our evolution under the sun we developed something called a Circadian Rhythm, often referred to as our body clock. Located in the brain this body clock takes packages of light through the eyes and then deciphers their message to tell the time of day.
Given we have evolved under the sun the hourly changing frequencies of light send the correct messages to the body clock and may keep hormone levels balanced and correct within our bodies.
Blue light tells our body clock that its daytime, think of the colour of the sky, its blue. This blue light tells our brain we need to release the correct hormones to be active during the day, these are cortisol, dopamine and serotonin.
When the sun sets darkness tells our body clock that its night-time and we need to relax and unwind, ready for sleep. Our ancestors would have had red light from camp fires to illuminate their evenings which relaxes us and helps us unwind. The absence of blue light after sunset allows our bodies to turn the serotonin made in the gut during the day into melatonin which helps us sleep deeper and longer.
This is all very well but in today’s world we create artificial daytime with alien sunlight after sunset. When it gets dark we turn on our house lights, switch on our TV and open our fridge to cook. All of these things, and more, contain HEV blue light. This blue light sends a light message to our body clock which tells it that it is daytime, not to unwind and to be active. This is why as a global population we have seen a rapid surge in cases of sleep disturbance issues. Harvard Health has even said that lack of good quality sleep can lead to issues such as diabetes, cancer and obesity.
We need to ensure our evening environment is devoid of blue light and also green light. In order to achieve this optimally you need to wear a pair of blue light blocking glasses that block 100% of the light found between 400-550nm, this is all blue light and most green light. The only product available that does this and has been scientifically proven to do this is BLUblox Sleep+ glasses. Simply wear these glasses 2-3 hours before bed to mimic ancestral times and get better sleep is just one use.
It’s also important to have red light present in your home after dark. Using flicker free, low EMF red light bulbs such as Lumi may help you unwind better and get better sleep later that evening.
What is blue light? Blue light is an entrainer of circadian rhythms when emitted from the sun but a circadian disruptor when we expose ourselves to artificial sources of blue light.
What is Blue Light?
This article has outlined the basics of blue light, why it is good and why is may be bad for us. What is blue light is a question that is coming up more and more now so I hope this article has helped provide a basic high level overview on what blue light actually is.
Please feel free to explore our other blogs and pages on our website to learn more about blue light and we hope to welcome you to our family of optimal light beings soon.
Love and Light