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Blue Light from Electronics


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I'm posting this for discussion ... I've read about the 'blue light' hazard from computer screens for several years, now they've added phone screens. I am sure there are some members here who have researched this subject and can make some comments.

In my case there does seem to be eye strain with to much time looking at a computer screen and there are glasses that will filter out the 'blue light'. After searching around tonight I found a program to put on a computer to reduce eye strain if you are on the computer at night.

There are several things being said about 'blue light' and it's effect on the eyes and human body. This short article I just read tonight dealing with blindness and then I found other articles mentioning blue light and sleep patterns. They indicate that blue light should be blocked at early evening and night if you are on the computer and even smart phones I guess.

New Research Shows Blue Light from Electronics Leading to Blindness


By Amanda Fay, Anchor


Our cell phones are practically connected to us. Now, scientists at the University of Toledo say the blue light that comes from electronics is doing permanent damage to our vision.

A dark room at the University of Toledo is where researchers have found blue light, specifically, leads to macular degeneration.

"Macular Degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and all around the world," said assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ajith Karunarathne.

That's right.

According to this new research, blue light can makes us blind.

The researchers said molecules that we need to be able to see, called retinal, turn into cell killers when they interact with blue light.

"We don't really at this point know what is the major cause. We know how it happened because there are multiple paths that lead to the cell death," said Karunarathne.

The researchers want to get to the bottom of that and develop some sort of eye drop to reduce damage. In the meantime, they suggest avoiding looking at your phone in the dark.

"It's definitely eye-opening, in a pun sense. Wow, seeing that new research is definitely going to make me consider a lot on how much time I spend on my phone and looking at the screen," said UT student, Jordan Guyton.

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.

... then I found this article from 2017 going into detail about blue light being harmful and using 'blue light blocking glasses' to help with the situation and also this free computer program is mentioned. I have been using it on my computer for several hours now and my eyes are feeling better with less strain. It takes a little time to figure the program out (10 or 15 minutes) and the various light settings ... I am currently using  1900k Candle Light and it seems to work OK. There are seven settings and extra effects and other settings ... plenty of settings to experiment with.


How Blocking Blue Light at Night Can Transform Your Sleep


Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc on June 4, 2017

The article is long but here are some lines from it:

"It turns out that perhaps the single biggest contributor to our collective sleep problems, is the use of artificial lighting and electronics at night.

These devices emit light of a blue wavelength, which tricks our brains into thinking that it is daytime (5).

Numerous studies suggest that blue light in the evening disrupts the brain's natural sleep-wake cycles, which are crucial for optimal function of the body (6, 7)."

"Poor sleep is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. It is also one of the strongest risk factors for obesity (1, 2, 3, 4)."

"Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution and there are a few actionable steps you can take to get rid of that blue light in the evening, potentially improving your health at the same time."

"Blue Light Is Crucial in the Daytime... But a Disaster at Night"

"Keep in mind that sunlight and white light contain a mixture of various wavelengths. There is a lot of blue light within (10).

Getting blue light (especially from the sun) in the daytime is very important. It helps us to stay alert, while improving performance and mood (11).

There has even been some success using blue light therapy devices to treat depression, and blue light bulbs in an office can reduce fatigue and improve the mood, performance and sleep of workers (12, 13, 14).

But even though blue light is incredibly beneficial during the day, it can be a complete disaster if we are exposed to it in the evening.

The problem is that modern light bulbs and electronic devices (especially computer monitors), also produce large amounts of blue light and "trick" our brains into thinking that it is daytime.

When it gets dark in the evening, a part of the brain called the pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin, which signals to our bodies and brains that it is time to get tired and go to sleep.

Blue light, whether from the sun or a laptop, is very effective at inhibiting melatonin production (15, 16).

This means that our bodies don't get the proper signal that it's time to go to sleep, reducing both the quantity and quality of our sleep.

Studies have linked melatonin suppression in the evening to various health problems, including metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer, as well as mental disorders like depression (17, 18, 19, 20)."

"Using Blue-Blocking Glasses at Night Is a Simple Way to Solve This Problem

The easiest and most effective way to avoid blue light in the evening, is to use amber-colored glasses.

These glasses effectively block all blue light, so your brain doesn't get the signal that it is supposed to stay awake.

Studies show that when people use blue-blocking glasses, even in a lit room or using an electronic device, they produce just as much melatonin as if it were dark (21, 22)."


... this part is also from the article and mentions the computer program called 'F.lux'.


"Other Ways to Block Blue Light

If you don't want to use these glasses every night, then there are a few other ways to reduce blue light exposure in the evening.

One popular way is to install a program called F.lux on your computer.

This program automatically adjusts the color and brightness of your screen based on your timezone. When it is dark outside, the program effectively blocks all blue light from your computer and gives the screen a faint orange color.

Although I'm not aware of any study on it, many people who use the computer a lot in the evening claim that this program helps them fall asleep."


As I said earlier, the article is long but it has a lot of information and a chart. Here is the web site for 'F.lux' ...


"Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?

Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?

During the day, computer screens look good—they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the sun.


f.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It's even possible that you're staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better."


... any comments or blue light experience would be welcome ... I remember those old TV ads years ago about amber blue blocking glasses for driving ... before the home computer was all the rage. I think they were for blue light but maybe not. They were blocking something.


Edited by Monroe
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I use f.lux on most of my devices, and I found that I do sleep better than without it. Not to mention reduced eyestrain is nice.

On my iPhone if I press and hold the brightness slider I can activate “Night shift” mode which filters the blue light.

Edited by i430VX
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i430VX ... thanks for the information on the 'slider bar' ... I saw that bar but did not realize it was a 'slider' bar. That's handy to adjust the light on my computer quickly. I am still working and learning with it. I really feel my eyes felt better after putting it on my computer last night ... less eye strain. However, it's been less than 24 hours and it may be all in my head. I will know after more use.

You mention your iPhone ... there seems to be a f.lux version for everything ... the list:

Download f.lux
Free for macOS

Download f.lux
Free on Windows, for personal use

Download f.lux
Free for Linux

Download f.lux
Free for iPhone and iPad

Download f.lux
Free for Android

* I just noticed this at a web page on 'blue light'. It may be old news:

Blue Light News

Apple Released Blue Light Filter In iOS Update For iPhones And iPads


7 Blue Light Facts: How Blue Light Is Both Bad and Good For You

By Gary Heiting, OD



Tripredacus ... I don't ever remember anything about blue light with the older TV sets. As I remember, the real problem with those 'older' sets was radiation ... until better shielding was made on newer sets. Remember always being told to not sit too close to the TV ... not good for the eyes, but now I read that there was no harm to the eyes in that regard ... just from the radiation. In answer to your question however, maybe having some light on with the TV was for preventing eyestrain ... I remember it being said that not much light was needed, just some light while the TV was on. Not real sure but it could have been for preventing eyestrain.

However, the newer screen TVs are harmful with blue light, so I'm reading. This is from the article link from above:

7 Blue Light Facts: How Blue Light Is Both Bad and Good For You

By Gary Heiting, OD

1. Blue light is everywhere.

Sunlight is the main source of blue light, and being outdoors during daylight is where most of us get most of our exposure to it. But there are also many man-made, indoor sources of blue light, including fluorescent and LED lighting and flat-screen televisions.

Most notably, the display screens of computers, electronic notebooks, smartphones and other digital devices emit significant amounts of blue light. The amount of HEV light these devices emit is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. But the amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens to the user's face have many eye doctors and other health care professionals concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health.

2. HEV light rays make the sky look blue.

The short-wavelength, high-energy light rays on the blue end of the visible light spectrum scatter more easily than other visible light rays when they strike air and water molecules in the atmosphere. The higher degree of scattering of these rays is what makes a cloudless sky look blue.

3. The eye is not very good at blocking blue light.

Anterior structures of the adult human eye (the cornea and lens) are very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball. In fact, less than one percent of UV radiation from the sun reaches the retina, even if you aren't wearing sunglasses.

(Keep in mind, though, that sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV are essential to protect these and other parts of the eye from damage that could lead to cataracts, snow blindness, a pinguecula and/or pterygium, and even cancer.)

On the other hand, virtually all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina.

4. Blue light exposure may increase the risk of macular degeneration.

The fact that blue light penetrates all the way to the retina (the inner lining of the back of the eye) is important, because laboratory studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina. This causes changes that resemble those of macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

Although more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is "too much blue light" for the retina, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase a person's risk of macular degeneration later in life.

5. Blue light contributes to digital eye strain.

Because short-wavelength, high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused. When you're looking at computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual "noise" reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain.

Research has shown that lenses that block blue light with wavelengths less than 450 nm (blue-violet light) increase contrast significantly. Therefore, computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses may increase comfort when you're viewing digital devices for extended periods of time.

6. Blue light protection may be even more important after cataract surgery.

The lens in the adult human eye blocks nearly 100 percent of the sun's UV rays. As part of the normal aging process, the eye's natural lens eventually blocks some short-wavelength blue light as well — the type of blue light most likely to cause damage to the retina and lead to macular degeneration and vision loss.

If you have cataracts and are about to have cataract surgery, ask your surgeon what type of intraocular lens (IOL) will be used to replace your cloudy natural lens, and how much blue light protection the IOL provides. After cataract surgery you might benefit from eyeglasses that have lenses with a special blue light filter — especially if you spend long hours in front of a computer screen or using other digital devices.

7. Not all blue light is bad.

So, is all blue light bad for you? Why not block all blue light, all the time?

Bad idea. It's well documented that some blue light exposure is essential for good health. Research has shown that high-energy visible light boosts alertness, helps memory and cognitive function and elevates mood.

In fact, something called light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons, with symptoms usually beginning in the fall and continuing through winter. The light sources for this therapy emit bright white light that contains a significant amount of HEV blue light rays.

Also, blue light is very important in regulating circadian rhythm — the body's natural wakefulness and sleep cycle. Exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps maintain a healthful circadian rhythm. But too much blue light late at night (reading a novel on a tablet computer or e-reader at bedtime, for example) can disrupt this cycle, potentially causing sleepless nights and daytime fatigue.

Blue Light Filters And Protective Eyewear

If you are using your phone constantly — especially if you use it primarily for texting, e-mailing and web browsing — a convenient way to reduce your blue light exposure is to use a blue light filter.

These filters are available for smartphones, tablets, and computer screens and prevent significant amounts of blue light emitted from these devices from reaching your eyes without affecting the visibility of the display. Some are made with thin tempered glass that also protects your device's screen from scratches.

Examples of blue light filters for digital devices include: Eyesafe (Health-E), iLLumiShield, RetinaShield (Tech Armor), Retina Armor (Tektide), Frabicon and Cyxus.

As mentioned above, computer glasses also can be helpful to reduce blue light exposure from computers and other digital devices. These special-purpose glasses are available without an eyeglass prescription if you have no need for vision correction or if you routinely wear contact lenses to correct your eyesight. Or they can be specially prescribed to optimize your vision specifically for the distance from which you view your devices.

If you have presbyopia and routinely wear progressive lenses or bifocals, prescription computer glasses with single vision lenses give you the additional benefit of a much larger field of view for seeing your entire computer screen clearly. (Keep in mind, though, that this type of computer eyewear is exclusively for seeing objects within arm's length and cannot be worn for driving or other distance vision needs.)

Also, a number of lens manufacturers have introduced special glare-reducing anti-reflective coatings that also block blue light from both natural sunlight and digital devices. You also may want to consider photochromic lenses, which provide seamless protection from UV and blue light both indoors and out and also automatically darken in response to UV rays outdoors to increase comfort and reduce glare.

Ask your eye doctor or optician about which type of vision correction and lens features best suit your needs for viewing your computer and other digital devices and protecting your eyes from blue light.


I read some about this maybe two years but didn't follow up on it until last evening when the article I read brought it back into my head. This 'blue light' sounds like a real problem for everyone, maybe especially for young children. The 'macular degeneration' that some adults get later in life, maybe a connection or brought on by excessive blue light from electronic devices. I have to read more, I probably will invest in some blue blocking glasses.

Those would stop the blue light from getting into a person's eyes. I'm not sure if that computer program actually eliminates blue light from the computer screen or just changes to an orange color but the blue light is still there.


Edited by Monroe
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@Monroe I actually don’t have f.lux on my iPhone. I mean in the control center there’s the screen brightness slider, and if I press and hold, i can access Night Shift, apple’s built-in blue light filter.


Back when I had my droid, I used an app called Nightowl, which would dim the screen further than android would normally let you, and filter the blue light. Android (at least version 6) doesn’t have such a feature automatically built in like apple does.

...but yeah, there’s a slider in f.lux to control the dimming, as you found out

Edited by i430VX
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Found several sites that offer a 'test' of blue light coming out of your computer and if your glasses or screen filters actually work. Can't say for sure this is accurate but it's interesting.

Just posting about two of them here:

Blue light filter Test ... and How to check if my Monitor emits Blue light?



Another Way to Test Your Blue Light Filtering Eyewear

Posted by Siriya Mitsattha on July 21, 2016



Edited by Monroe
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13 hours ago, dencorso said:
On 8/10/2018 at 9:10 AM, Tripredacus said:

So is this the same argument from years ago why you weren't supposed to watch TV in the dark?

Yeah! Some things never die...

I still think that may have been to prevent eyestrain ... a little light in the room did seem better.

However, it may just be one of the 'mysteries of the universe' ... or some might say 'the ocean' !


Now I have noticed something with that f.lux software program ... after being installed, it's always trying to connect to the internet. In Options I removed the checkmark to check for Updates but it still makes an attempt every so often.

I have it being blocked by the firewwall. In the 'About f.lux' there is a line with an X that I removed also. It's kind of nonsense ... about sharing your f.lux settings with others, I see no need for that.

However, it still occasionally makes an attempt to connect. Also, the main f.lux folder is a 'hidden folder' ... since I could not find it anywhere until I checked to see if it was possibly hidden ... that's strange.

Just a heads up on this program ... a good firewall should stop it trying to connect to the internet but the question is why ... after the checkmark and X are removed? It does seem to do the job with making the computer better for the eyes.

A person will have to decide if they want all the hassle. There aren't many programs out there like it that work with WinXP. One program requires NET Framework, which I removed several years ago. Another program requires Win 7 and above ... the only three programs I can find with f.lux working with WinXP.


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So I asked the paper’s senior author, chemist Ajith Karunarathne at the University of Toledo in Ohio, whether his results mean that staring at my tablet or iPhone will make me go blind. His answer was simple: “Absolutely not.”


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Good article from the 'other side' of blue light information. In doing more reading since I first posted and also my own thoughts ... I decided to get some glasses that reduce or almost eliminate the the blue light plus I installed f.lux on my laptops to see how it all works out.

There seems to be something about eye fatigue and blue light ... maybe other long term problems ... I wonder about the kids of today already on computers at 5 or 6 years of age and what if anything will show show up in 20 or 30 years.


Edited by Monroe
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The only thing about blue light that I have a problem with (and has existed for as long as I remember) is that I see a color shift with blue or purple light and/or colored objects, and in some combinations I can see a 3d effect.

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A couple of little extras I found about 'blue light' and then I will move on.

For anyone here with a ThinkPad, there is a program that looks interesting ... not for XP, however.

This looks to be like f.lux but for a ThinkPad only.

Limiting Exposure to Blue Light - Lenovo Vantage Eye Care Mode


and also the Windows 10 people probably already know about this program, but in case someone doesn't. I found this on Google:

"Microsoft has added a blue light filter option in its Windows 10 operating system. This feature was added in Windows 10 Build 15002. To use this option, you need to go to the display settings and look for the Blue light setting. Here, you get the choice to let Windows reduce blue light automatically or choose the settings manually."

Edited by Monroe
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  • 2 years later...

Hello there,

Interesting thought here. If you still have a CRT monitor for your computer, will that differ in light from LED or LCD monitors?


Edited by TheSaga
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