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Blue Light - the effects

In the past few years we've started to hear more and more about the potential dangers of blue light. But what is it, where can it be found, and how can we avoid it?

Blue Light

What is Blue Light?
Blue light has a very short wavelength in the visible spectrum. It is generally defined as visible light ranging from 380 to 500 nm. On the one hand, it helps provide basic illumination and on the other it impacts how we feel. Exposure to large amounts of blue light can be harmful to the eyes and may interfere with our sleep patterns, so it needs careful consideration. This is especially so as the eye is not that good at blocking it out.

How Might Blue Light Affect You?
On the plus side, blue light can help boost alertness, heighten reaction times, elevate a negative mood, lower blood pressure and increase the feeling of well-being for short periods.

On the dark side, too much blue at the wrong times will make it harder to see contrast, may damage your eyes and will interfere with a good night’s sleep by messing with our circadian rhythm.

Where is Blue Light Found?
Blue light is everywhere, from your smartphone screen to the sun.

Computer Use
Research shows that flickering or glaring blue light is one of the causes of eyestrain and the headaches, physical tiredness and mental fatigue caused by hours of screen time.

Lighting
Artificial sources of intense blue light include electronic devices as well as normal energy-efficient LED lights.

In the News: Blue Light has a Dark Side
Scientists at Harvard have researched the effects of exposure to blue light. At night, it throws the body’s biological clock out of whack. Sleep suffers. Worse, subsequent research shows that this may contribute to the causes of some cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. While all light has the potential to suppress the secretion of the melatonin that helps us sleep, blue light does so very powerfully in the dark.

Source: Harvard Health

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