Which lens type is most effective at blocking blue light?

If you work on your computer, watch TV, or check Facebook till bedtime and are unwilling—or unable—to modify your routine, blue-light blocking glasses can act as your brain's shield against powerful blue light. As with your phone's night mode, these blue light glasses lenses filter out blue wavelengths before your eyes notice them. This keeps blue light out of your eyes and prevents it from interfering with your brain's natural melanin production. 

Blue-light-blocking glasses were created to combat our society's always-on culture and prevent it from interfering with our natural sleep-wake cycles. However, as a relatively new technology that the FDA does not yet regulate, you'll need to sift through some marketing claims to locate the most effective pair for you.

The percentage of blue-light-blocking lenses in each lens varies. Consider the following: 

Transparent lenses 

Between 30% and 40% of the blue light, spectrum is blocked by clear lenses. Perhaps they can be beneficial in easing your eyes slightly throughout the day. They are not, however, the ideal alternative if you spend hours in front of your device. You require increased protection to maintain healthy eyes. 

Yellow-colored lenses 

All yellow lenses are not created equal. Some block roughly 50% of blue light, which should be more than enough if you work from home or spend hours in your workplace. 

Lenses in orange and red 

Orange and red lenses typically block between 98 and 99 percent of blue light. NASA created orange lenses in the 1970's based on science. They give far more protection, although the tint may be distracting for some people. Additionally, these lenses may distort color.

The distinction between colored lenses 

Your lifestyle, including your job, hobbies, and other interests, influences the type of lens you purchase. Each colored lens is designed with the same objective in mind: to improve and enhance your vision. Simultaneously, some may impair eyesight, distort colors, and impair visual sharpness, among other effects. 

When purchasing colored lenses, however, take the time to analyze the various types and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each. All of the lenses listed above may be suited for someone to a greater or lesser extent. For example, certain individuals dislike excessive colored tints on their lenses, while others wear certain glasses day or night. 

There are a variety of blue light filtering glasses available on the market, ranging in price. However, suppose you want to purchase high-quality blue-light-blocking glasses. In that case, various factors should be considered, including the frame and lens material, the percentage of blue light blocked, and other specifications and laboratory test results.

How do blue light glasses operate? 

If you're looking for inexpensive blue light, it's critical to understand how they operate before you invest in a pair. Blue light glasses work by filtering out a particular spectrum of light wavelengths. 

Natural light, or white light, consists of seven colors (think rainbow) and has wavelengths ranging from 390 to 700 nanometers. The shorter wavelengths are more energetic and have a greater effect on our eyes. That is why, if we are exposed to wavelengths at the end of the spectrum for an extended period, they can be detrimental. This category includes blue and green light. However, we commonly refer to this harmful spectrum as 'blue light.' 

Natural blue light (think: the sun) is beneficial to us since it helps regulate our mood, sleep and wake cycle, and other hormone processes. However, it has been experimentally proved that excessive exposure to blue light from artificial sources, particularly after dark, has the following effects: 

  • Disrupts our sleep-wake cycle (due to blue light's ability to increase attentiveness) Excessive or early exposure can make falling asleep at night challenging.) 
  • Causes digital eye strain, which manifests itself in sore and exhausted eyes, dry eyes or blurred vision, and mental exhaustion. 
  • Exposure to blue light has been linked to insomnia. 
  • Exposure to blue light has been connected to migraines. 
  • Blue light exposure can increase the symptoms of those who are light sensitive. 
  • Numerous research has established a correlation between blue light exposure and bad mental health. 
  • Excessive exposure to blue light is also associated with obesity and weight gain! 

Unsurprisingly, doctors have long advised patients to limit their exposure to blue light to preserve their health! However, given the wide price range, you're probably wondering whether inexpensive blue light glasses work or whether you should invest in a branded set.


To summarise, the following points should be kept in mind while selecting the lens color for your blue light blocking glasses

The maximum percent blockage values stated above are not industry standards; they are derived from color science. Thus, you may still come across publications with larger percentages. Regrettably, there may be some marketing involved here, as firms may construct their scale and claim that their lenses block more light than they do. 

Avoid orange lenses whenever possible. They were long believed to be the most effective, but science now demonstrates that the body has a master clock and natural ebb and flow circadian rhythms. To keep these rhythms in sync with the sun's natural rise and fall, the body requires varying quantities of blue light during the day and virtually no light at night. Thus, it is more effective to have one pair of blue-light-blocking glasses for daylight use and one pair of "sleep-hacking" spectacles for nighttime use. 

For hours preceding bedtime, red lenses are the most effective alternative. Even the military has shifted away from orange lenses and interfaces in favor of red ones, as red is the least intrusive color covering the largest junk light spectrum. This is particularly critical and impacts those who work night shifts, as military personnel frequently do. Even if it is not for 7-9 hours, getting the best sleep possible is critical for people who need to perform at their best. Numerous automobile manufacturers have also made a deliberate ergonomic choice to incorporate warmer red tones into their dashboards, allowing drivers to view instruments and gauges clearly without fast tiring out their eyes when looking up, especially at night.