How to test blue light blocking glasses | VivaRays Blog
Light has a profound impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health, and with technology and LED lighting everywhere, blue light blocking glasses are becoming a necessity. However, with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which glasses truly protect against harmful blue light and which are fake or of low quality.
That's why it's crucial to conduct a simple and quick test at home to determine the quality of your blue light blocking glasses. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to assess if your glasses are effective and provide tips on choosing the right pair for you.
So if you care about your sleep, health, and wellbeing, this is the article you need. Read on to find out more!
Why is it important to test for quality?
It is important to ensure that you are exposed to beneficial light at the appropriate times and protected from harmful light at the wrong times.
Unfortunately, most blue light blocking glasses sold online do not provide adequate information on the level and type of light filtering they offer.
Many blue-blocking glasses on the market don't filter the correct amount or wavelength of light, making it difficult to benefit from the positive effects of blue light blocking.
Wearing the wrong glasses or using the wrong filter at the wrong time can even have a negative impact on your health, sleep, and circadian rhythm.
On the other hand, with a deeper understanding of how light affects your sleep and energy levels, you can make informed decisions on which technology to invest in and when to wear circadian glasses with the right filter for various light environments.
Investing in scientifically designed circadian glasses that filter the right type of light depending on the time of day empowers you to manage the light reaching your eyes and take control of your health, hormones, and sleep.
What’s the first best way to test blue light blocking glasses?
The best way to test the effectiveness of blue light blocking glasses is to have a professional lab test done by a third party.
These tests use advanced equipment to measure the amount of light that passes through the lenses across the whole spectrum of light (from 280 nm to 780 nm).
The results of these tests are considered the gold standard for determining the effectiveness of blue light blocking glasses.
Here is an illustration of the kind of thorough report you typically receive from expert lab testing:
Do not be intimidated by the appearance of this report. Although the report may seem complex, it's extremely easy to understand it with the right guidance.
In the near future, I will share with you a short video to help you easily interpret these reports and determine if the lenses are effectively blocking harmful artificial light.
The truth is that very few online businesses provide access to these professional lab test results.
But why would a company keep this crucial information from its clients?
- Some companies may not have access to the data or may not understand the true functionality of their lenses.
- Others may not share the data because they are aware that their lenses do not provide optimal protection from artificial light.
It's important to be cautious when purchasing blue light blocking glasses and to avoid companies that do not openly share this information.
Even if a company does provide access to professional lab test results, it's important to critically evaluate the reports to make an informed decision before investing your money.
For example, a client reached out to inquire about the quality of yellow Zeiss blue light blocking glasses.
Zeiss was transparent and shared the professional lab test results, but upon closer examination, several drawbacks were identified. To watch me assessing their report live Click here.
The professional lab we are partnered with for the production of our lenses use this type of highly advanced equipment to verify all our lenses and make sure they provide you with the best circadian light filtering eyewear available.
In a subsequent blog/video, I will share the results of the third-party lab tests on the Vivarays daytime, evening and nighttime lenses. I'll also present the findings of third-party lab tests on other yellow, orange, and red-tinted glasses on the market.
I'll teach you how to evaluate those reports critically in order to determine how well your blue light-blocking eyewear is working.
We will discuss why it is not possible to accurately determine the quality of lenses based solely on the color of the lenses.
What’s the second best way to test blue light blocking glasses?
The second most accurate way to test blue light blocking glasses is by using a portable spectrometer.
This tool measures the wavelengths and intensity of light present in a source.
Although it provides a spectral curve graph, its precision can vary by +/-10%.
Portable spectrometers are expensive and not widely accessible, but some companies use it to demonstrate live testing of their lenses.
We used a portable spectrometer before partnering with a professional lab, and their results can be found on our website.
However, this type of testing can have a +/- 10% accuracy discrepancy compared to third-party lab testing.
How to test blue light computer daytime lenses
Daytime glasses with either clear or pale yellow tinted lenses are meant to be worn during the day.
Oftentimes, they are marketed as a "one-size-fits-all" solution for blocking blue light.
However, this is a misleading statement. The amount of blue light that needs to be blocked varies depending on the time of day.
During the day, you need to let in a lot of blue light for optimal energy and circadian rhythm.
However, at night, you should block all blue light, as there is no natural blue light in the evening.
To avoid confusion, it's important to understand that clear or yellow lenses are not suitable for night-time use as they don’t give you the level of protection you need for those times.
Now, what about protecting your eyes from LED bulbs and screens during the day?
When it comes to protecting your eyes from LED bulbs and screens during the day, it's important to consider the light emission from these devices.
LED lights peak in blue light at 455nm, which can cause headaches and eyestrain if you're exposed to it for a long time.
Our daytime lenses are engineered to balance the distorted blue light emitted by LED lights and digital devices, without blocking it completely.
Check the live test for the VivaRays Daytime lenses
They have a coating that's specifically designed for people who spend a lot of time indoors and in front of digital devices.
This is because, during the day, blue light is important for boosting energy, focus, and mood, but it needs to be balanced with the rest of the spectrum. Our daytime lenses do just that.
1. Ask for Transmittance spectrum report
The daytime lenses are the most challenging to test at home without any professional equipment.
When choosing daytime glasses, it's important to be careful.
Clear lenses don't offer enough protection, while dark yellow lenses like the ones offered by RaOptics or Boncharge block too much light, causing fatigue and drowsiness during the day.
Why clear and most yellow tinted glasses do not work
To ensure you're getting the right lenses, ask for the transmittance spectrum report.
This report shows you exactly what light is allowed through the lenses and in what amount.
For daytime lenses, it's important to avoid lenses that block 100% of blue light at 455 nm, as this can make you tired.
Look for a report that shows a 50% reduction in blue light at 455 nm while maximizing the blue light coming through at 480-500 nm.
Most clear blue light blocking glasses only reduce 5-15% of blue light at 455 nm, while most dark tinted yellow lenses wipe out a lot of the beneficial blue that you need during the day
"I have tried BluBlox and Ra Optic glasses...VivaRays are much better for me...especially the daytime yellow lenses. I think VivaRay has the science right." - Karen
Every company selling blue light blocking glasses should have their transmittance spectrum report available for customers.
If you don't see it on their website, ask for it. If they won't provide it, consider finding another option.
Here's the transmittance spectrum report for our daytime lenses, designed to balance blue light without blocking it completely:
2. Vision test: are your daytime blue blockers making the screen warmer in color?
When you put your daytime lenses on, the white colors in the screen you are looking at should appear warmer (i.e a little bit more yellow than without your glasses).
Blue light blocking glasses contain pigments that absorb blue light as it passes through the lenses and this makes the white colors appear warmer.
If the white colors don’t change at all, this indicates that the glasses are not effectively filtering the junk light that is emitted by the screen.
3. Avoid Clear blue light blocking lenses: The marketing gimmick revealed: Blue light laser pen test
The blue light laser pen test is a deceptive marketing tactic that is commonly used by some optometrists and websites to convince customers that their blue light blocking glasses work effectively.
However, this test is not a true representation of the blue light spectrum, which ranges from 400 to 500 nm.
Most blue light laser pens emit light between 380-400 nm, which is not even considered blue light, but rather violet. This light spectrum is not emitted by screens or LED lights.
Furthermore, laser pens emit precise wavelengths of light, and if the glasses block the light from a particular laser, it only proves that they block that specific wavelength. It does not give any information about the other parts of the blue light spectrum, including the 455 nm, where blue light from LED bulbs and screens peaks.
Therefore, it is important to not rely on this marketing gimmick as a true test of the quality of blue light blocking glasses.Instead, look for a comprehensive transmittance spectrum report, which gives a detailed representation of the light that reaches your eyes through the lenses.
How to test blue light glasses (amber/red lenses)
If you have blue light blocking glasses for the evening or the night, they should be amber or deep red. They are not meant to be worn during the day as they block too much of the blue light spectrum of light that you need for energy and focus.
For the evening, you want lenses that block 100% of blue light and high frequency green up to 520nm, but let through just enough low frequency green light (between 520 and 570 nm) to keep you alert enough to be able to socialize or perform your evening tasks.
For the night, you want lenses that block 100% of the blue and green light. Anything less than that and you will have detrimental effects from the artificial light in your environment.
1. Ask for the brand transmittance spectrum report
Like mentioned before, this is the gold standard to evaluate lenses. Evening glasses report should show that no blue light gets through and night time glasses shouldn’t allow either blue or green light through.
Here are the report from our evening and night lenses:
As you can see, neither our evening or night lenses let through any blue light while our night lenses also block all the green up to 560 nm. They also decreased the intensity of the light by 15 times.
Watch this video for the live test for VivaRays Nighttime lenses
2. Visual test: The square test (not accurate)
The two squares below are black and blue. If your blue light blocking glasses block a significant amount of the blue light spectrum, they will both appear black or very dark gray when you wear your glasses. Otherwise, you know they don’t block blue light completely.
3. Visual test: The red-green-blue chart test (not accurate)
Like the previous test, if your glasses are effective at blocking blue light, you shouldn’t be able to see the blue circle in the picture below with your glasses on. If your glasses are also filtering green light (which they should), the green circle should darken significantly.
It's important to note that while the square and chart tests are simple and easy to perform, they are limited in their accuracy compared to third-party lab tests. These tests are only able to assess the amount of blue light being blocked visually, but they cannot detect "light leakages" that may still allow unwanted light to penetrate through the lenses and negatively impact your circadian rhythm and sleep. These light leakages can range anywhere from 3% to 10% of the blue light spectrum and can still pass through the lenses and reach your retina, despite not being perceivable to the naked eye.
This decreases the effectiveness of the glasses in protecting your melatonin, the sleep hormone, and optimizing your sleep quality.
- When it comes to protecting your eyes, sleep, and circadian rhythm from harmful blue light, don't settle for just any pair of blue light blocking glasses.
- The only way to know for sure if your glasses are truly blocking blue light is to check for the transmittance spectrum report from the company.
- Don't rely on at-home tests alone, as they can be misleading.
If you own a pair of blue light blocking glasses and want to know their true effectiveness, we can help. Simply reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help you analyze the transmittance spectrum report on your current lenses.
With this information, you can make an informed decision if your current glasses are providing the necessary protection from harmful blue light.
If you're not satisfied with your current pair of blue light blocking glasses, it's time to upgrade to a high-quality option that will provide you with the protection you need. Investing in the health of your eyes, sleep and circadian rhythm is an investment in your overall well-being, and it's well worth it in the long run. For the best circadian light filtering glasses, look no further than Vivarays Circadian Therapy Glasses.
With our top-quality lenses, you can rest assured that you are getting the protection you need to safeguard your eyes and maintain your health. Don't wait, make the switch to Vivarays today!
From Sophia, one of our amazing customer:
“These glasses are the most amazing glasses I have ever used. They are easy to wear and the lenses are easy to change for the appropriate time of day. They have benefitted my health so much that my nervous system is more regulated during the day and I have better sleep at night! There are no better glasses out there than Vivarays.”