If you use your laptop every day, then you will need to read this article on why you need a blue light filter for your laptop!
Visible light is made up of red, orange, yellow, green and blue rays which have varied wavelengths and energy intensity. Blue light happens to have the shortest wavelength and highest energy levels which is why it is referred to as High-Energy Visible (HEV) light. Consequently, blue light is associated with a number of harmful effects on your health due to its high energy content.
The digital devices that you are exposed to on a daily basis like smartphones, laptops, TV screens and even fluorescent and LED lighting contain blue light. In this day and age, it is impossible to avoid using something that’s as convenient as a laptop so that is why it is important to get a blue light filter for your laptop.
How is blue light bad for you?
Blue light does not only come from digital gadgets, but it is also naturally emitted by the sun. It helps in regulating the natural sleep cycle. It also regulates your moods, improves cognitive functions and boosts alertness. However, as they say, too much of anything is dangerous for you. Overexposure to blue light due to excessive use of digital devices has a number of detrimental effects to your health:
Digital eye strain
This is the most common effect of spending too much time in front of a screen. It is characterized by pain, soreness, redness, and dryness of the eyes. You may also experience blurred vision and headaches. Repeated exposure may lead to permanent damage to your vision. Blue light filters control the amount of exposure thus preventing irreversible damage.
Excess exposure to blue light leads to damage to light-sensitive cells in the retina. This is what is known as macular degeneration. This is a very serious condition because eventually, your eyesight may be lost for good. You do not need to get to this point because blue light filters are there to guard your eyes.
Disruption of the circadian rhythm
As mentioned before, the sun emits blue light that regulates our sleeping patterns. We are more active during the day because of the presence of blue light. At night, the lack of blue light triggers our brains to secrete melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. When the melatonin in the body increases in production, the body temperature is lowered to prepare for sleep. The eye has a specialized photoreceptor called melanopsin which is sensitive to blue light. Once melanopsin receives blue light, it sends signals to the brain to cease the production of melatonin and that’s when you begin to wake up.
When you expose yourself to artificial blue light from your laptop at night, the body gets confused and the circadian rhythm or the body clock is disturbed. This is why you may have a hard time falling asleep.
So what happens when you have to do some work on your laptop at night lest you fail to meet the required deadlines? This is when filters that reduce your exposure to blue light come in handy. Get yourself a good night’s sleep even after working late into the night.
How to filter blue light on laptops
The methods you can use to filter blue light from your laptop range from software filter applications to physical blue light filters.
These are programs designed to alter colors on your screen thus reducing blue light emission. Colors like green, blue and white are changed into warmer colors like yellow, orange or red depending on the particular app. These filters do not completely get rid of blue light because they can only go as far as the computer hardware permits them.
They are of two kinds of software filters namely, the color transform approach and the transparent overlay. Color transform reduces contrast more than the overlay and what happens to black on the screen helps you distinguish which approach has been used. As a result, the contrast in the color transform approach remains virtually unchanged because black remains the same. On the other hand, with overlay, black becomes lighter and may appear yellowish or reddish which may be an undesirable effect. Therefore, the color transform approach is a better option as it preserves the contrast of your display screen.
Most of the common software filters are made with the goal of reducing eye strain and insomnia. These apps include f.lux, Twilight, Iris and many more.
Blue light filters for laptop screens
These are placed on a laptop screen to filter blue light and they also double up as screen protectors. They block short, high-intensity wavelengths while allowing long, low-intensity waves through. This way, they effectively block out blue light emission. Unlike software filters, they are able to eliminate 100% blue light. These filters are especially necessary for harsher blue light, particularly at night.
The filters are not only designed to prevent eye strain but can also be made of thin tempered glass that saves your screens from scratches. Traditional blue light filters are tinted and how much blue light a screen filter can block depends mainly on its color. The most commonly used tints include orange, red and yellow. Red tints block all light except red. This makes their visual light transmission the lowest with the greatest quality distortion. Yellow tints let the bluest light through but have the least quality distortion and greatest visual light transmission. Orange tints are a compromise between red and yellow tints.
A setback with these blue light filters is that they always reduce contrast, distorting images and text. This can make you strain while reading and reduce your appreciation for videos and photos on your screen. Fortunately, newer blue light filters have a coating that selectively blocks blue light while allowing the rest of the light to pass unhindered. These have crystal clear clarity while protecting your eyes from blue light, essentially giving you the best of both worlds. Just take a look at our Ocushield blue light filters that provide all this together with additional features like an infused privacy filter, an anti-glare coating, and even an anti-bacterial coating.
Blue light glasses
These are becoming increasingly popular with the influx of information about the harmful effects of blue light. They are mostly put on a few hours before retiring to sleep to keep the melatonin levels normal and to protect the retinas. Like screen filters, some have anti-blue light coatings that block blue light from both digital devices and the sun.
Set up blue light filters on your settings
Another alternative of getting blue light filters is adjusting background and text color from the settings on your laptop. This may filter up to about 75-95% of blue light. A majority of devices come with built-in applications that filter blue light to allow for relaxation at night. Examples include Night Shift, Night Mode, and Night Light.
For optimum protection, you can combine more than one of the aforementioned options. In this digital age where almost everyone is constantly glued to their screens, it is prudent to invest in a reliable screen filter to save ourselves from unnecessary discomfort and possible eyesight damage. Ocushield has got you covered for all you need to know (or buy) in order to keep yourself safe from the harmful effects of blue light.