Blue Light Filter For Your Mac: What You Need To Know

Blue Light Filter For Your Mac: What You Need To Know

Many physical services and activities that would usually be accessed or done have now migrated to the digital platform. Books are now e-books, the news is now e-news and even recipes can be found online. With the advent of online shopping, you can buy virtually anything from anywhere in the world! It has even become a global trend for people to work from home on their computer screens. With all that screen time, you can expect a lot of adverse effects, and that’s all due to blue light.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is one of the colors that make up white light or visible light. It contains other colors like red, orange, yellow and green. Among them, blue light is the shortest wavelength with the highest energy levels. Blue light is emitted naturally by the sun, artificial lighting and also by digital devices like smartphones, tablets, television screens, and computers.

What are the effects of blue light?

Blue light is not as evil as you may have been led to believe. It does have its benefits. Blue light emitted by the sun helps in regulating your sleep and wakefulness cycle, boosting moods, alertness, and cognitive functioning.

When the sun goes down in the evening, the lack of blue light causes the brain to release the hormone melatonin which helps you fall asleep. In the morning when the sun rises, its blue light causes the drop of melatonin levels making you more alert and boosting your cognitive functions.

The trouble with blue light comes in when even at night, you continue to use your devices thus exposing yourself to artificial blue light that disrupts the body clock (circadian rhythm). The body is supposed to be sleeping but since melatonin levels are still low, it remains alert. When you finally retire to bed, you may have difficulty falling asleep. This sets a whole ripple effect of having a fatigued day after waking up or even foul moods.

How Harmful is it?

The harmful effects of blue light do not stop there. Digital eye strain is a common problem among people who spend too much time in front of a screen. Ever experienced pain in the eyes or splitting headaches after sitting for long working on your Mac? These are telltale signs that you may be suffering from digital eye strain. Other symptoms include redness, soreness, and dryness of the eyes.

If digital eye strain goes on for too long, it may develop into macular degeneration. This is a serious condition where the light-sensitive cells in the retina are damaged. The retina has a photoreceptor known as melanopsin which is very sensitive to blue light. If the retina is then exposed to too much blue light, it gets damaged. Once the retina is damaged, then you go permanently blind. The damage is similar to what overexposure to Ultra-Violet rays does to your eyes.

How to filter blue light on your Macbook

There are various methods of filtering blue light on your Mac to make it user-friendly for you at night. You can attach specialized screen protectors, you can put on computer glasses, you can use software filtering applications and you can also manually alter the settings of your Mac to reduce blue light emission.

Blue light filtering screen protectors

This is one of the best and most effective methods of filtering out blue light. They are able to block out 90-100% of all blue light from a screen. What’s more, they are often made with an anti-glare coating which is designed to eliminate distortion of text and images which causes eye strain. Another special feature is the smart coating which will appear transparent and crystal clear to you but to everyone around you, completely black. How wonderful would it be for you to do your work with much-needed peace and privacy especially in public places?

To ensure you are getting the best screen filters in the market, they are manufactured and medically-rated by qualified optometrists who have intricate knowledge of what is best for your eyes. The screen filters are also designed to block UV rays from the sun which are just as harmful to your eyes.

Screen filters are available in various tinted colors to suit your particular needs. There are many colors available but below are the most commonly used.

Such as:

    • Red- this filter prevents all light apart from red from passing through. Therefore, the blue light is blocked entirely. However, as a result, it has very limited visual transmission and the most serious color distortion.

    • Yellow- filters tinted yellow will allow some blue light through and they tend to have the best visual transmission and their color distortion is very little.

    • Orange- since orange is a combination of red and yellow, this filter has the effect of both red and yellow tints. You get the best of both worlds so it is more effective.

However, tinted blue light filters should be a thing of the past. More modern blue light screen filters come with a clear coating that selectively absorbs blue light preventing it from reaching your eyes. The result is protection without any loss of visual acuity of color integrity. If you don’t believe it, just check out Ocushield’s Mac blue light filter that offers all you could possibly need at a reasonable price.

Blue light filtering glasses

These glasses are designed the same way as the screen filters. They contain protective tints as well as features like anti-glare coating. It is recommended that you put them on 3-4 hours before you sleep to keep melatonin levels high.

If you have prescription glasses, you may request to have the blue light filtering option added. Over-the-counter reading glasses can also be made with the filtering feature.

Software filters

There a number of software programs that have been designed to manipulate the colors of your screen to eliminate blue light. They mainly use two approaches in distorting color which is color transform and overlay. Color transform is more preferred because it maintains the contrast of the content thus readability is not interfered with. The overlay makes black appear lighter so the contrast between black and other colors is reduced, affecting readability.

Common Mac blue filter applications that use the color transform approach are f.lux and Iris.

DIY color change

You can reduce blue light emission on your Mac by simply changing the color of text or background. You can decide which colors to change and change their contrast levels. The setback of this method is that things may not appear the way they should including some text becoming invisible.

Or you could simply turn on the inbuilt blue light filter (Night Shift) in your Macbook settings.


As you’ve probably seen, there are a lot of ways to filter out blue light on your Mac. You just have to find the most convenient and effective one for you but whatever you choose, Ocushield is with you every step of the way. Check out our site to learn all you need to know about protecting yourself from blue light.