Taking care of our eyes is just as important as any other part of our bodies and investing in a blue light filter could be beneficial not only to your eyes but also to your sleep. There are a ton of options available on the UK market, but what are the differences between the many filters and do we really need them?
In this article, we are explaining why blue light is more harmful than other types of light and in what way it can affect us, both positively and negatively. Researchers are still trying to figure out just how bad blue light is for the human eye since it also has some benefits, such as enhancing alertness as this study✓ shows, which can be beneficial under certain circumstances.
Have a look at some of the best blue light filters on the market and learn a bit more about the effects of blue light on the human eye and body.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)
|BRAND||PRODUCT||BLUE LIGHT BLOCKAGE||TRIAL & WARRANTY||PRICE|
|Ocushield||Anti Blue Light Screen Protector||Up to 99%||100 Nights|
|VistaProtect||Premium Privacy & Anti Blue Light Filter||90%||NA Nights|
|Nusign+||Bubble Free Removable Anti Blue Light Filter||Up to 90%||NA Nights|
|PYS||Blue Light Filter||Around 90%||NA Nights|
|Nusign+||Magnetic Anti Blue Light Filter||Up to 90%||NA Nights|
|MOSISO||Matte Anti Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector||99%||NA Nights|
1. Ocushield Anti Blue Light Screen Protector
|• No retro orange tinge like many similar products|
• 5x stronger compared to traditional screen protectors
• Only medically rated blue light screen protector
|• People working with colours, like graphic designers|
• Digital workers
• People looking for screen privacy
The Ocushield Anti Blue Light filter comes in a wide range of sizes to fit most of today's digital devices that emit blue light. It's the world's first and only medically-rated screen protector against blue light and was developed by optometrists to block out up to 99% of harmful UV rays and blue light ranging from 300 to 400 nanometres as well as up to 40% of harmful blue light emissions between 400 and 470 nm.
The package includes the anti-blue light filter, a cleaning cloth and dust removers and two easy installation options depending on if you want to be able to remove the filter or install it semi-permanently. The blue light screen protector from Ocushield also comes with an anti-glare filter to help minimise digital eye strain and the symptoms that come with it, such as headache, reduced productivity, dizziness etc.
The anti-glare filter also acts as a privacy filter as it gives you a perfect vision of your screen but makes it black from almost every other angle, making sure that only you see what is happening on your screen. This product comes with a ton of positive reviews and what makes it stand out against others is the fact that it comes with a 100-day trial period for you to try it out and decide for yourself if it works or not.
2. VistaProtect Premium Privacy & Anti Blue Light Filter
|• Lifetime warranty|
• Blocks out 90% of harmful blue light
• People working in open-space offices
• People working in bright environments
The Vistaprotect 2-in-1 anti-blue light and privacy filter is designed to block out 90% of harmful blue light emission and could thus help reduce eye fatigue, headaches and insomnia. The privacy filter is designed in Switzerland and engineered to hide any information on your screen from those who aren't sitting right in front of it. This is especially helpful when you are travelling or in an open-office setting.
The two sides of this filter fill different functions: the matte side helps to maximise glare reduction while the other side has a glossy finish that reduces harmful blue light while enhancing the screen clarity and giving you an 18% brighter screen compared to other filters.
The Vistaprotect Premium Privacy and Anti Blue Light Filter comes with two installation options that give you the possibility of installing the filter permanently with an adhesive strip or making it removable by using the tab holders. Another interesting feature of this blue light filter is the lifetime warranty that comes with it. This blue light filter is available in various different sizes to fit most laptop sizes.
3. Nusign+ Bubble Free Removable Anti Blue Light Filter
|• Removable |
• Doesn't alter the original colours of the screen
• Lifetime warranty
|• People working with colours|
• People looking to occasionally block out blue light
• Screens without touch-function
Nusign+ offers a variety of blue light filter solutions and their Bubble-Free Removable Anti Blue Light Filter one is one of their most popular products. As the name suggests it is bubble-free and removable thanks to its slide mount tabs that make it easy to put it on whenever you need it and taking it off if you want. You also have the option of leaving it on permanently by attaching it with clear adhesive strips.
This anti-blue light filter is designed to block out most of the harmful blue light from digital devices, ranging from around 380 to 495 nanometres. This can help reduce digital eye strain, headache and to improve your circadian rhythm which leads to better sleep and more productivity. It also respects the original colours of the screen while blocking out the blue lights.
Its many positive reviews talk about how easy the installation is and about its efficiency in blocking out the blue light from the screen. This product has been developed by certified optometrists and also comes with a lifetime warranty that includes reparation or free exchange in case it should not function properly. It is not suitable for touch screens.
4. PYS Blue Light Filter
|• Easy installation|
• 95% transparency and anti-glare
• Blocks our 90% of harmful blue light
|• People working in bright environments|
• Fragile screens in need of a protector
• People working on their laptops
If you are looking for an anti-blue light filter that doesn't alter the colours of your screen and comes at a good price, this could be the option for you. The PYS blue light filter is designed to block out around 90% of the harmful blue light coming from your laptop screen to help reduce eye fatigue and other CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome) symptoms.
While many other of these filters can give your screen a slightly orange retro-feel, the PYS blue light filter respects the original colours of your screen and comes with a 95% transparency and anti-glare to further rest your eyes. The filter also works as a screen protector as it is scratch-resistant and has a hardness of 5H.
This blue light filter is easily applied onto the screen after cleaning it with the alcoholic wipes and microfibre cloth that comes included in the package. Remove any air bubbles under the filter with the hard card and you are good to go. The easy installation is something that the many five-star reviews mention together with its capability of efficiently blocking out the blue light.
5. Nusign+ Magnetic Anti Blue Light Filter
|• Magnetic fixture|
• Blocks up to 90% of harmful blue light
• Lifetime warranty
|• People looking to occasionally block out blue light|
• Those using their laptop in bed needing a filter
This blue light filter from Nusign+ is a great option for those looking for a quick fix when it comes to blocking out blue lights. Attaching this filter to your laptop screen is very easy thanks to the magnetic fixtures and there is no need for adhesives or complicated applications that leaves air bubbles under the filter.
The Nusign+ Magnetic Anti Blue Light Filter is designed to block out harmful blue lights in the approximate range of 380 to 495 nanometres for you to fully enjoy your digital time while reducing the possible damage to your eyes. It is meant to give you a clear screen image and to not discolour your screen while blocking out up to 90% of the harmful blue light emissions.
Worth noticing is the fact that the laptop won't fully close when the blue light filter is attached but sleep-mode will be activated anyway. Like many other Nusign+ products, this one comes with a lifetime warranty and uses HEV-Adsorb substrate absorption technology to absorb high-energy blue light.
6. MOSISO Matte Anti Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector
|• Ultra-thin screen protector|
• 95% screen transparency
• 2 for 1
|• People looking for a budget-friendly option|
• Those who prefer a matte finish to their screen
• People with more than 1 laptop
This screen protector from MOSISO is quite powerful given how thin it is. Measuring only 0.01 inches, this ultra-thin screen protector can help to block out 99% of harmful UV light and reducing 45% of blue lights in the range of 402 to 460 nanometres to protect your eyes from getting tired and irritated.
The MOSISO blue light screen protector is matte and has a frosted surface with a bubble absorption design. This is meant to prevent any tiny air pockets to sneak under the screen protector creating annoying bubbles that could make it harder to see what's on the screen. It also comes with a 95% screen transparency so that you don't need to worry about your screen getting darker when applying the filter.
You will receive 2 screen protectors per package which make this a very good deal and the installation is very easy. You only need to peel off the protection, align it with your screen and stick it on. The MOSISO anti-blue light screen protector also comes with a 1-year warranty for your peace of mind.
What Is Blue Light?
Light is waves of electromagnetic energy that exists everywhere around us and even within us. The different types of waves have different lengths, spanning over a wide spectrum from short gamma rays to very long radio waves A human eye can only detect waves within a small part of the spectrum, ranging from around 400 nanometres (violet light) to 700 nanometres (red light). This span of electromagnetic waves is called visible light and the blue light is found within its range which covers all the colours of the rainbow.
The full span of electromagnetic radiation includes the following types (from short to long wavelength):
- Gamma rays
- Ultraviolet light
- Visible light
- Infrared light
- Radio waves
Why Blue Light Is More Dangerous Than Other Lights
To understand why some lights are more harmful than others we first need to understand how the waves work. Longer waves transmit less energy and shorter waves transmit a higher amount of energy, as described in this article by NASA. Blue light is found within the visible light span at a shorter wavelength, not much longer than ultra-violet light which is not detectable by the human eye and is known to be harmful to your eyes and your skin. Blue light waves transmit quite some energy and are therefore almost as powerful as UV-rays.
Blue light is all around us as it's emitted by the sun, fluorescent light and light-emitting diode technology, also known as LED, which is found in high amounts in most of the technology that we use on a daily basis such as:
- Mobile phones
The Blue Light Spectrum
The blue light has its own spectrum of colours, shades and energy emissions, ranging from high-energy to low-energy as follows:
- Violet light (aproximately 380-410 nm). Also known as 'harmful blue light' as it's more likely to damage your eyes.
- Blue-Violet light (aproximately 410-455 nm)
- Blue-Turquoise light (aproximately 455-500 nm). Sometimes called 'beneficial blue light' as it can help maintain a healthy sleep cycle thanks to its lower energy.
Did you know?
You can help to protect your eyes against harmful blue light by eating more brightly coloured fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, such as for example kale, squash, broccoli corn and carrots.
How Blue Light Affects Us
There are two areas in which blue light affects us more than others. One is our circadian rhythm and sleep, which we will come to in a bit, and the other is the general health of our eyes.
Unlike UV light, which is blocked by the cornea and the lens before reaching the retina, virtually 100% of all high-energy blue light does reach the retina at the back of our eyeballs. This light has been shown to cause damage to light-sensitive cells, such as those in the retina. This can lead to symptoms similar to those from macular degeneration.
It's important to mention that there are not enough studies yet to know exactly how much blue light is needed to lead to macular degeneration later in life, but many eye doctors are worried. Blue light also scatters easily and can get out of focus, which can reduce contrast and lead to digital eye strain.
Digital Eye Strain
According to The London Clinic, digital eye strain, also known as digital eye fatigue or computer vision syndrome (CVS), occurs when the eye needs to, subtly but continuously refocus, which happens when we are looking at a computer screen. We also tend to blink less while looking at a screen, which can lead to our eyes getting dry and irritated.
A study✓ showed that the drastic increase of digital device usage during the COVID-19 lockdowns has also lead to a slow deterioration of ocular health. 51.1% of the participants reported having 5 hours or more added digital device usage compared to pre-lockdown and a remarkable 95.8% reported having experienced at least one of the symptoms related to digital eye strain.
Can Blue Light Filters Improve Sleep?
The Circadian rhythm is what regulates the approximately 24-hour cycles of our natural sleepiness and wake-time. This rhythm can be altered by light and darkness and if it gets too altered it can lead to circadian rhythm sleep disorders and other serious health issues. Studies✓ have helped us understand the circadian rhythm much better and has shown us that light therapy can help treat people at risk for these types of disorders, such as night-workers or astronauts for example.
What happens on a more detailed level is that light oppresses our production of melatonin, which is the hormone that causes drowsiness and helps our body prepare for sleep. Research✓ shows that the strongest response occurs within the shorter wavelengths on the spectrum, somewhere between 446 and 477 nm, or what we know as blue light. This means that being exposed to blue light causes alertness in our bodies.
As we've already established, we're being exposed to blue light throughout the entire day through sunlight, light bulbs, fluorescent lighting and digital devices with LED screens. With the significant increase in digital device usage, we are now being more exposed than ever before, which could lead to our bodies not producing the desired levels of melatonin, especially when being exposed to blue light at nighttime.
Should We Cut Down On Our Blue Light Consumption At Night?
While there are those who claim that we still don't know enough about how much blue light is needed to really damage our eyes, there are plenty of studies✓ on the fact that blue light actually does affect our circadian rhythm and that long-term exposure to blue light could be harmful.
It has been proven✓ that reading an e-book when going to bed suppresses the rise of melatonin secretion and causes longer sleep latency compared to when reading a printed book at bedtime. This points to the possible benefits of putting aside our digital devices a few hours before bedtime in order for our bodies to reduce alertness and get ready to go to sleep.
What Does A Blue Light Filter Do?
Another way of reducing your exposure to harmful blue light is by getting an anti-blue light filter for your digital devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. These filters are designed to block out a certain amount of the blue light that your screen emits and thus protect your eyes from potential digital eye strain or macular damage, while also preventing the reduction of melatonin in your body.
These filters come in a wide array of shapes and with different added features. While some are focusing more on protecting your screen from nosy colleagues trying to have a look at what you're up to by blacking out your screen from certain angles, others have anti-glare functions to further protect your eyes. What you should be looking for in a blue light filter is what percentage of blue light they actually protect you from and within what range.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for a suitable blue light filter is whether or not you want it to be permanently attached or removable. Some brands offer both options through magnetic fixtures or hooks to attach the filter to your screen whenever needed.
Is All Blue Light Bad?
No, there is also something called beneficial blue light which is ranging from 455-500 nm. This light can help boost alertness, elevate our mood and improve memory and cognitive functions. Studies✓ have also shown that blue light can help to treat depression. Blocking out 100% of the blue light is not a good idea as sunlight also has its benefits.
Do's And Dont's To Protect Your Eyes
|✓ Invest in good blue light filters for your digital devices.||✗ Put aside your digital devices a few hours before bedtime.|
|✓ Reduce your screentime wherever possible.||✗ Forget to include fruits and vegetables in your diet.|
|✓ Choose lightbulbs with lower Kelvin ratings to reduce blue light in your home.||✗ Forget taking regular breaks when working in front of a computer screen.|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is blue light filter?
A blue light filter is a thin shield that you place on the screen of your digital devices to block out harmful blue lights that can damage the eyes and affect our circadian rhythm.
What does blue light filter do?
Blue light filters block out some or most of the blue light from your digital devices in order for the light to not hit the retina of your eye as it cannot block the blue light out by itself. Long-term exposure to blue light could potentially lead to macular damage.
How to add a blue light filter?
Some blue light filters come with both a permanent fixture (usually adhesive strips) which you stick on once, as well as a removable option. These can be attached and removed through small hooks or magnets to your screen.