Blue Light

Blue Light

Blue Light and You

Too much blue light in your home, especially at night can disturb your normal sleep cycle. That may be the cause of why many individuals who stay on their computer at night can not sleep. Your computer monitor, smartphones, and computer tablets put off a lot of blue light.

Too much blue light may also increase the risk of macular degeneration. That is because too much can damage the light-sensitive cells in our retina. Blue light is on the light spectrum just before UV light. Your cornea is not very good at blocking this wavelength of light.

What is Blue Light

There are few among us who have not held a prism up to a sunbeam and marveled at the colors of the rainbow. We know that just by looking around us with our naked eye we can not break the sunlight into its beautiful colors. But we know they are there.

Our sun emits red, orange, (yellow) yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. We see all the visible colors together of sunlight as white light. When we see a rainbow, we see the colors of the sun broken into their respective colors. These are the colors that our eyes can see.

In addition to the sun, electronic screen devices, as well as light bulbs also emit blue light. Blue light boosts alertness and helps our memory and cognitive functions. Thus it is important to get some sunlight every day. However, the light the sun gives off is much better for us than other types of light.

Blue Light And Your Health

Blue light exposure you receive from computer and television screens is relatively small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. Yet there are health concerns over getting too much blue light. Some scientists purport that it is especially bad for children’s eyes when they get too much light from artificial sources or from the sun. However, light from computer screens appears to be harmful as it is usually close to our eyes.

Retina damage: Studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells. This can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration.

The jury is still out on the amount of light, blue as well as other wavelengths of light, that is not good for our eyes. Until it is more concrete, we should all be aware of the amount of light our eyes absorb.

light bulbs on a blue background Some Blue Light Can Be Avoided

You can avoid some but not all blue light. Put electrical tape over any led lights in your bedroom that you can not turn off. Try light-blocking drapes for your bedroom windows. Everything you do to control the amount of blue light in the evenings will benefit your health and your sleep patterns.

HINT: When you purchase lights, be sure to look at the packaging. All packaging for new CFL and LED light bulbs provides color temperature information. Use low color temperature light sources for interior as well as exterior lighting. This light is less harsh and harmful to human health and the environment. 

Look for warm white sources with a color temperature of 3000k or lower. A higher Kelvin number puts off more white light. The white uses less energy and therefore has longer wavelengths but emits more blue light.

Kelvin is a unit of measurement used to describe the hue of a specific light source. The higher the Kelvin value of the light source, the closer the light’s color output will be to actual sunlight. Bulbs with an output of 3500K or lower on the scale will have an amber hue.

Bulbs with an output of 3500K or lower on the scale will have an amber hue. Bulbs in the mid-range of 3500K-4100K will have a white hue. Bulbs in the higher 4200K+ range will tend to have more of a blue hue closer to, or exceeding, that of sunlight. 

Many individuals have begun to wear glasses that filter out the amount of blue light that reaches the eye. If you peruse the internet in the evenings, chances are you are getting too much blue light to allow your body to produce melatonin. Try to wear blue filtering eyeglasses after 8 pm. You need to help your body help you in every way possible.

A good pair of glasses can be purchased at Target, Walmart, and online. They do not appear blue at all. However, every little bit helps. Here is one pair from amazon that we recommend.

Read more at Guide For Seniors to help enjoy a healthy and satisfying life.

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