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How to test if my glasses block blue light

There is only so much you can do to limit your exposure, and having the option to block blue light ensures you don’t have to change the way you relax every night.

gunnar optiks blue light blocking glasses
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

The conversation about blue light coming from screens has been going on for years now, and for good reason. Not only is blue light bad for your physical health, but it can be harmful to your mental health as well. There are a number of reasons for this.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of blue light, it is exactly as it sounds – light that shines from sources with high blue wavelengths like LED lights and screens. This kind of light, historically, is an indicator of daytime. Exposure to an excess of blue light during the day or at night throws your circadian rhythm out of whack, suppressing melatonin and making it tough to sleep.

The resulting imbalance has been shown to contribute to a range of serious medical conditions including cancer and heart disease. It also impacts your headspace by leaving you tired in the morning after a night of rest that is not sufficiently deep.

There are a number of steps you can take to lessen your nighttime blue light exposure, including using warm sources of light and limiting screen time. However, one of the most effective is to use blue light blocking glasses.

The problem many people have is that anyone can claim that a pair of glasses blocks blue light and it is difficult to determine whether they are selling you snake oil.

What can you do to test if your glasses actually block blue light? These are the steps you should take.

Black and blue squares

To test the best blue light glasses, take a look at the following two squares.

Put on your blue light glasses. If they are fully effective, the squares should both look black. If they are partly effective, the blue square will look closer to black. And if it continues to look blue, then your blue light glasses don’t work at all.

RGB color chart

Now, take a look at the following chart.

Without your blue light glasses on, you should be able to see the dark blue circle. When you put on your glasses, it should look completely black. The less bright the green part of the chart appears, the better.

Ask for a spectrometer reading

When it comes down to it, the best thing to do is to get blue light glasses from a source you can trust. The seller should be willing to provide you with a spectrometer reading for the blue light glasses.

A spectrometer tests the blue light lenses in a lab setting, ensuring that they are entirely effective. If they put the results in writing, they are bound by them and unlikely to risk legal action by trying to fool you.

Blue light glasses are an important purchase for anyone living in the modern world. We spend a large part of our day staring at screens or in rooms with bright LED lighting. As virtual learning, work from home, day trading and video games are on the rise, blue light glasses have become a hot ticket item.

There is only so much you can do to limit your exposure, and having the option to block blue light ensures you don’t have to change the way you relax every night.

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