The human lens filters most light at the peak of the given spectrum for free retinal (383nm), and so once you get to 450nm like an LED, the hazard data in the visual range is 100x less sensitive, see Fig 1 here:
It bears repeating that computer screens have <5% the hazard-weighted irradiance of a blue sky. (Can't make a direct comparison with lasers.)
Not sure the conversion to white light is correct, and it is unclear to me right now if this much retinal is available in vivo.
If you guys ever wanted to figure out your app on a smart TV (or apple TV), I know there'd be a lot of thankful people!
Also, I'd love to contribute to the ongoing dev of f.lux (I don't think I've had to pay for it?) How might I?
Huge thanks to the author from me as well!
Then you can assign it to the Accessibility Shortcut and turn it on or off by triple pressing the Menu button.
Also, you can be below threshold for circadian responses just by being very dim.
I know very little about this so I'm genuinely curious.
"15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 native resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colours"
What possible laptop alternatives are out there that are better for eyes?
One example of this is hiking in fresh snow for hours, no sunglasses, meaning exposures well above 10,000 cd/m2 to "white light".
Computer screens are way dimmer - an hour of iPad use is .0365 J/cm^2.
http://www.nature.com/eye/journal/v30/n2/full/eye2015261a.ht... is a good summary.
For long-term exposure (AMD risk) we have very little data, so understanding the mechanisms (such as above article does) can help.
I presume that they used a laser because they anticipated that it would potentially take years to see a result from a non-coherent blue light source, far exceeding their available funding, patience, and ability to keep uncontaminated cell cultures going.
Applying a blue laser with unknown irradiance to a retinal cell line from a single human genetic source in vitro is very, very far from proving a link between blue light and diseases such as macular degeneration and RP.
All this demonstrates is that coherent blue light is capable, under certain circumstances, of interacting with retinal to produce cell damage.
Any relationship to human disease on the basis of this paper is pure speculation. Advising people to wear "blue blocker" sunglasses or avoid cellphone screens (or take Vitamin E!) is pure fantasy made up by the scientific press to sell your retinas.
Isn’t the other “sniff test” that we haven’t seen a huge increase in age related retinal diseases since the introduction of computer monitor and handheld devices?
If these sources had such a big impact, it would be obvious from incidence numbers.
If so I would argue f.lux does a lot more. For one thing you can choose the hue it goes to, but also unlike the Windows 10 one which (AFAIK) is simply on/off, f.lux will adjust based on a schedule which means that you don't typically notice the effects (as the change happens slowly). This, combined with the ability to change damn near every parameter it uses, makes f.lux significantly better.
Edit: apparently windows does have hue adjustment and sunset/sunrise activation/deactivation available. TIL.
EDIT: HN is becoming more like Reddit every day, I see. Ridiculous. Down-voted for pointing out the existence of helpful features. EDIT: might have been my fault.
And I assume you understand that since you edited that line out.
Since our update last year (v4) f.lux stopped doing this and does a lot of other tricks to reduce impact on framerates too.
I used f.lux for 2 years. I found that I would stay up way past my bedtime, glued to the computer screen, and end up with correspondingly tired & fucked up eyes.
So I got rid of f.lux, and after that, I would go to bed at a more proper time. When the screen starts irritating my eyes, it's a direct indication that it's time to close the computer and get the hell to sleep. Ever since that, my eyes have done a lot better, because I no longer push to stay up way past my bed time.
So the only solution I have figured is to be regimented about my screen time. I love working late at night and now have to tell myself to turn the work off. That kinda sucks.
Btw, It happened both with my previous laptop with LCD screens and the current LED screen.
For a few months I got hooked to Mobile gaming, and that just multiplied the problem! So I drastically cut down on my mobile time and that helps. My mobile had an LCD screen btw; so LED or LCD doesn't seem to be a factor for this particular problem.
I also found retina display helped reduce eye strain.
Thank you for reading/writing out your interpretation of the article so clearly (highlighting points others are likely to trip on not coming from a related background)
Part of my ritual of setting up a new monitor is to turn down the brightness and increase the contrast. They almost always default to very bad values. Brightness, temperature and green/blur balance are all off for an office setting.
In the worst case the backlight was capable of outputting twice as much light as I really needed.
I suspect part of it is also planned obolescence --- when the backlight is running at full brightness, its lifespan is greatly decreased. Now the aforementioned monitor is approaching 15 years of age and brightness has reached 20/100, so there's still plenty of life left in it.
I wouldn't mind having to create multiple display profiles for this, but right now, flux seems to only support non-LUT based, Matrix based calibrations and only if they have VCGT headers, and then only based on those headers.
But this seems highly problematic.
Take a look at this page here for why:
I assume you based the current mechanics of f.lux when it comes to handling color profiles based on what the quickgamma homepage says about this:
Apple has been using the LUT since many years for its operating system built in color management. In fact, Apple has registered the private ICC Profile tag video card gamma table (vcgt) with the International Color Consortium (ICC). This tag is used in a dedicated Monitor Profile and holds the gamma values, which are then loaded into the LUT by a loader program.
Hardware based Monitor Calibration Systems also use the vcgt tag, which in this case contains the correction data to achieve the monitor calibration. Because Windows did not provide a LUT loader, each calibration program had to provide its own LUT loader program. ...
Things changed when Windows 7 came along and provided its built in calibration loader, which not only loads the LUT at system start up, but also takes care of Standby and Hibernate.
As you might notice, the two stories from those pages seem to conflict?
Right now, when I use Windows to load my icc profile, I get correct colors. Same if I use the DisplayCAL profile loader.
However, if I start f.lux during the day (where f.lux shouldn't mess with the colors at all) I get semi-incorrect colors - they end up "more correct" than when I have no color profile loaded at all, but still VERY incorrect.
Is what you want more like "don't mess with the operation of color profiles when f.lux is disabled or otherwise shouldn't be adjusting the screen?"
I was very happy when I found f.lux. Finally something replacing my own tool I wrote for my Atari.
The main benefits with f.lux is you can easily set brightness and on/off with keys in any program or game, no need to navigate with mouse in menus.
Figure 3 in the paper seems to show that 500 nm is safe, and that melanopsin has high absorption at 500nm, which has important effects on circadian rhythm.
Anyone more knowledgable than me know if this setup is safe?
But the main thing you'll want to make sure is that you can get enough light. There is some evidence that >200 lux with this wavelength will help, but most light therapy uses tons of light (1500 melanopic lux or more):
I'm guessing melanopic lux is the lux output weighted over the spectral absorption curve of your eyes?
Some napkin math: I have ten 3W LEDs, and each might produce around 1000 lux when fully driven. If we drive each at half strength, and half of the generated lux is melanopic lux, that's 2500 melanopic lux.
Melanopic is weighted by the non-visual response in the eye, and this number corresponds pretty closely to the spectrum that drives circadian effects, and likely, mood. So whereas an incandescent might be 0.45 melanopic lux per visual lux, a really blue sky (or a 500nm LED) is around 2.0 "M/P".
I originally purchased these nice LED strip bars with enclosure in blue, but after reading this site by the manufacturers of a commercial green therapy light, I was convinced to switch to turquoise/cyan.
Turquoise isn't that popular so I wasn't able to find any strips/bars, and I got these individual 3W bead LED modules instead.
For the Hue integration, I'm using a Mesh Bee + UartSBee v5 with firmware from PeeVeeOne. It outputs PWM, and I'm hooking it up to a cheapo constant current LED driver I got from Aliexpress. Since all the LEDs need to be in series for a constant current driver, I'm probably looking at a ~20V power supply to power the whole thing.
My bedframe has a headboard, so I'm planning on 3D printing some mounts that clamp on top.
If it were me, I'd probably run everything in parallel just to keep the voltages lower, and be able to use readily available power adapters.
Aliexpress has a PWM controlled constant current driver that takes 5-35V in and outputs 350ma max . 10 of them are $20, so they're not too expensive.
At a forward voltage of 3.3V for the LED's, you'd be looking at slightly more than 1W per LED at 350ma (P = VI).
Those constant current supplies probably have an efficiency of maybe 66%, taking that into consideration, I would think a 12V 2A power supply would be enough to drive the entire thing. And that could be a wall wart that you get at the local hardware store.
I already got the board you linked, supposedly configured for 700 mA. Haven't tested yet. The datasheet for the part says it can go up to 2A, so I could potentially modify the feedback circuit for 1A, which would reach the full 3W rating of the LEDs.
One issue with that driver chip is that the PWM/enable is active low, so I think I may just stick an inverter on the output of the Mesh Bee. The SDK for the NXP part has changed since the ZLL repo was updated, and I haven't had much luck getting it to compile myself.
The easiest way to test it is to get a multimeter, and put 1A through the led, then measure the voltage across the diode, and that will be the voltage you're targeting. (or you can just use one of the 700ma current regulators for a good estimate, placing the enable to ground.)
Also keep in mind that those current regulators are buck converters and they're not 100% efficient (no regulator is, really). So you're going to want to add 20-30% more power at a minimum on top of the load you're planning on driving with it.
And if you're going to drive 12V of LED's, expect to need 15-18V to drive the buck converter. That's because of the way buck converters work.
The feedback voltage on that chip is a fixed 1.2V and that's used as an internal voltage reference (I guess because they didn't add one into the chip).
They have a circuit diagram for that part, and it looks like CS and Rcs are the most important things on that sheet. CS is the "Current Sense" that measures the voltage across the current sense resistor (Rcs). They give the formula for Calculating Rcs to get to 1A (ILED = 0.155 / Rcs), and I get .15 ohm for Rcs at 1A.
Then you can either replace it with another sense resistor with something like this , or an appropriate length of copper wire  to give you the correct resistance.
As far as the PWM/enable inversion goes, just invert it in software. 100% full duty cycle would be off and 0% would be on. If you have a Raspberry PI laying around you can easily set one of the pins to PWM to test out your inverter code .
I'm going down a similar path to build a UV light box for exposing PCB's and the like.
Best of luck!
Edit: You might need a mask to create a slit of light so you can see the spectrum clearly.
I'm sure there'll be _some_ blue light. I don't know if a prism would be high resolution enough to tell if it's a dangerous level.
I already have a normal Hue bulb next to my bed on a schedule, similar to the wake up light, but a light strip right above my head seems more appealing to me.
I mean the delayed phase sleep disorder. Will talk to the doc about it.
Can someone explain why it would be worse to look at a cell phone in the dark? It's emitting the same blue light (or less, if the display gets dimmer) as it is in a bright environment. Why is that light more harmful in a dark environment?
It is this principle that camera apertures are based on.
Now if you have your pupil wide open in a completely dark environment and put a 100% brightness screen at ~10cm of your eyes, what do you expect will happen ?
Our eyes are made for nature, that means day and night, now we have technology that is akin to a handheld sun and you use this at night at 10cm of your face, our eyes are simply not equipped to handle this.
Indoors, I use about 30% brightness. As the day gets dimmer, that slides down to about 25%. If I'm reading something in bed, I start at about 10% and as my eyes adapt, go down to 1%. When I'm finding it hard to keep my eyes open, I take that as my signal to go to sleep. Am I ridiculously unusual?
You aren't unusual for trying to prevent your eyes from being harmed. If you were, an article which helps inform on the topic of eye care would not be popular.
I absolutely notice a blue refraction from car headlights when driving at night. I keep thinking I'm seeing a police light from somewhere. It's fine, just interesting. Well, after looking at a few lens coating websites, and realizing my lenses reflect blue light back at me if I have a light source to reflect, they're obviously blocking blue light -- cool!
I've never been much for f.lux style color shifting, I HATE the obviously inaccurate colors. I also wonder if we'll find that some of these technologies don't work nearly as well as a blue filter, and that perhaps the light just LOOKS less blue.
But I'm sure glad to have glasses that now block some blue light. Also, it validates my desire to keep the blinds open at work; I have LOTS of light coming into my cubicle area. Sometimes it's even a bit annoying but keeping my pupils small should help.
I never work in a perfectly dark room. My office is next to a window, both at home, and at work. The lights are on. Plus, all of these things help keep my pupils small which apparently helps prevent the blue light harm to begin with.
Why is it that you prefer the incorrect colors without flux to the incorrect colors with flux?
Sounds like you prefer cool color temperature which is no more correct than warm color temperature.
Colors appear to change dramatically under different lighting conditions, but we accept these changes as normal given context. Changing the white balance on your screen is no different. It's not inaccurate, it's just rendered as if in different lighting conditions.
We have the ability to adapt to different color temperatures and perceive the relative output, but we're still missing information when shifted from the full spectrum daylight we evolved with.
Consider a recorded rock song: if we gradually apply a low pass filter of increasing strength, the high frequencies will be cut. We'll still be able to hear and recognize the cymbals, for example, but the stronger the filter, the less accurate the output.
Just because we can recognize relative colors under different lighting conditions, it doesn't mean that they're still accurate when we remove information.
That is a really interesting distinction! Blue is a color derived by social consensus, but it is also a particular wavelength of photons. I'm curious about what's there if we dive in and examine what specific wavelengths of light (numerically) cause damage, and what is the overlap with what we typically consider the color blue. I'm sure it's not one to one.
I think some ultra-bright headlights are actually slightly blue.
I wonder how significant the difference is between pupil dilation while looking at a bright phone in a dark room and while looking at a bright phone in a bright room.
I personally can't have the lights off even if I'm watching a movie. Maybe because I was raised without TV, I can't sit still for more than 20 minutes watching entertainment before I feel the urge to do something productive like wasting time on the internet.
I prefer low light, not pitch black. Generally speaking I want my monitor to be the main focus. Same for TV; if I care about the viewing experience I dim the lights. I might even prefer pitch black honestly, but due to the reasons being discussed, the contrast is just too great.
> Don't you feel clumsy, sleepy and uncomfortable when everything is dark?
> How can anybody go more than 10 minutes without needing to use vision to interact with their surrounding environment?
Not sure, tbh. I imagine it has to do with not wanting to interact with the environment most of the time. Ie, what am I going to do with my banister? It's just sitting there.. why do I need to interact with it? Most of my house is the same way. If I'm doing X, rarely do I need to interact with the rest of the house or room.
Does it bother you that there are things behind your head that you can't see?
Eventually after like 6 hours in the dark and accidentally using just one eye for reading- eventually I started to see really trippy and weird visual noise in the dark areas of the room. I also noticed that if shone at the right angle- the pitch black areas of the room suddenly lit up, as though I was giving my over-exposed eye some kind of night vision, which is weird because you'd expect an oversaturated eye to be completely blind in the darkness.
Now this is all anecdotal, but reading screens in pitch black light has always felt bad for me. I don't understand people who insist on watching TV shows or movies in a fully pitch black room. I mean I get why school teachers and home theater enthusiasts do it- but for normal TV viewing, it just seems wrong to me.
Somewhat constricted. They're still more open that if they were in a fully lit environment, even more so in the sun.
The back camera usually has an IR blocking filter, but often the front camera does not. You can check by videoing an IR led (like from a remote control) with the front camera and seeing if you can pick up the flashing when you activate it.
To get a feel for this, point your cell phone at your desk area and take a picture (without HDR enabled). If you can't take a picture without over– or under–exposing the screen or the wall, then your setup is putting strain on the eyes.
Your camera's cell phone barely manages to hold approximately eight stops of latitude. Blowing out that pathetic dynamic range has no grounding in relation to any notion of "eye strain".
That's precisely what makes it a decent tool for detecting lighting imbalance. Just because our eyes mask the issue with high perceptual dynamic doesn't mean it's not straining them.
It's not the easiest mode to find, but works.
From what i heard this is also why sunglasses that don't block UV light are worse than not having sunglasses at all.
I just found this article, which details why f.lux is better than Night Shift. But it's written by f.lux, so it's a bit biased.
I'm guessing both are better than nothing, but is one actually better than the other?
- You have a great deal of control over the blue level. Night Shift's blue level is higher than F.lux's default, and not adjustable.
- Flux transitions more naturally as the sun goes down.
- More scheduling options, "disable until tomorrow".
- the big one: disabling per-app or for full-screen apps. You probably don't want Flux on while watching a movie or binging on a videogame. (I set up my lady friend with Night Shift and watched a movie with her recently, spent the whole film wondering why they made such awful color choices)
(Tested on iMac and MacBook Air, may be different for other screens)
I've never heard blue being a danger other than its effect on the biological clock, so that seems like a pretty bold claim. Ultraviolet, sure...
Though buried in there is something about immune system and vitamin E levels...
I really find it hard to believe that blue light exposure is automatically bad. We have receptors for that specific purpose. Wearing blue light filtering sunglasses all the time as the article suggestions seems a bit ridiculous. Why give up one color entirely?
Never make life changed based on the results of one single study.
But it is perhaps misleading to concentrate on things that are exclusively blue... The real problem is light containing the relevant range of frequencies, which includes many non-blue colors, due to the relative presence of other frequencies. For example, your eyes would probably absorb much fewer relevant photons when staring at an empty patch of sky than when staring at the sun, even though the sun is not considered blue. And looking at the sun does cause unpleasantness.
Ozone doesn't have a smell. What you actually smell is your nose burning. Ozone is a very aggressive oxidizer.
Looking directly at the sun is also a super bad idea.
Wait, what? Do you have a source for this?
This does not sound right. This is what I see on Wikipedia which is also exactly what I was taught in high school:
> It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell.
On the other hand the Inuit had to invent snow goggles to prevent blindness caused by the bright sun reflected off the white snow-covered terrain. Like, actual eye damage blindness. That's been attributed to UV but perhaps blue wavelengths play a role as well.
When you look at the sky during a bright day your pupils are narrow and let little portion of the light through. When you look at blue light in the dark - they are dilated and let more light through.
Few things are "automatically" bad. Over time though, effects are cummulative, and there are also breaking points for lots of bad stuff.
But isn't this bad with other consequences? I thought the lack of blue/violet light was the cause of myopia?
Keep in mind that this is age-related macular degeneration. Your photoreceptor cells are protected by the α-tocopherol until "a person's 50s or 60s." You wouldn't need any prophylactic interventions until then.
Would the inverse also be true?
I suppose you could develop myopia later in life as a result of inflammation of the extraocular muscles (orbital myositis), but this would be 1. temporary, and 2. not treated as its own disease, but rather as a symptom.
The cynic in me wonders if the researchers have any ties to VSP.
I don't have any advice except to learn Braille, which I'm sure is not very encouraging. I hope a cure is found soon.
I messaged Cree on Twitter, expecting a very corporate response, but they linked to some studies (which I haven't yet had time to explore.) FWIW - https://www.energy.gov/eere/ssl/street-lighting-blue-light-a... and https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/resources/newsroom/pr_story.asp?id=3... were the resources they suggested.
I would suggest that one problem is that LEDs don't "warm dim" (unless you get some special ones from Philips and a few others), and people tend to dim them less overall.
Does this mean that consuming alpha tocoferol can combat the toxic effect of blue light? If so, at what dosage?
I find it easier on my eyes at night (both laptop and TV), and it has its place since the TV can't run f.lux and redshift.
If anyone is looking for a good pair, I buy mine from Gunnar  (no affiliation).
Blue light blocking: https://www.eagleeyes.com/pages/blue-light-blocking
Computer sunglasses https://www.eagleeyes.com/pages/digital-eye-protection
I use those and they work wonders.
In theory, you can look at the CRI rating, but in fact CRI only uses a small number of wavelength probes for the test, so a rating of 100 doesn't necessarily mean a smooth spectrum, it could be the manufacturer has tuned wavelength peaks in order to game the test. There are better rating systems being developed, but they're not used by manufacturers or mandated by governments yet.
I actually think it might be the lightbulbs that change colour which could be problematic. I wouldn't be suprised if some of those did generate the colour just with single wavelength blue, green and red sources. Hopefully the better ones would have individual phosphors for each r/g/b source which produces a spectrum which when combined is reasonable.
I would be particularly careful about cheap/unbranded colour-variable lightbulbs. I doubt they've been through much or any consumer testing, it seems you can buy anything straight off the boat from China through domestic web stores these days.
CRI may not be the best rating for spectrum smoothness, but it's the only one we have for now. It's still hard to find bulbs that even bother to rate themselves.
A LED with low color temperature and high CRI should have pretty much the same spectrum as incandescent. If you want really low temperatures look for some retro filament style LED lights.
Yes, Macs have a setting to invert the color palette, but that's not useful to me — a lot of my windows are dark; I don't want them inverted, and it makes images unintelligible. What I really want is something that doesn't screw with images, but detects dark-on-light text and maps the colors in such a way as to preserve contrast and even hue.
It took me a long time to figure out the why. I love dark layouts in terms of aesthetics, but I cannot use them.
Without being biased, from what I have read so far, the research seems favorable for dark-on-light as long as proper room lighting is achieved and monitor brightness and contrast is adjusted for it. In poor light conditions, the inverse seems to be true.
While there's a reason for current defaults, everything should be optimized for and have options for both black and dark schemes.
I wonder, though, what the real problem is that you have with dark themes. It could be related to the combination of wide-gamut monitor blacklights and high-index plastic eyeglass lenses. I wrote something about this here: http://scottlburson2.blogspot.com/2016/01/lcd-backlights-and...
Making the text several sizes larger than usual helps a bit. (Like, 20 point instead of 14.)
Is this so seriously a threat to vision that it's worth it? I don't have the sleeping issues with screens some people seem to report, so I wasn't really willing to commit to it over that.
Change the settings. What you should do is take a sheet of paper and put it next to your screen. Then match your screen's white to the sheet. It's only a bit less blue. There's no need to set everything dark orange.
The article mentions wearing them outside, but they work inside as well.
I wear them, and they provide other benefits for me as well (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16529054#16531413)
I have that, and while it is subtle, I definitely can tell it is there. It doesn't ruin general color perception, unlike many obviously yellow/brown lenses. But, it definitely alters the world to have a slight yellow tinge, a bit like you can get from the haze caused by a distant dust storm or wild fire.
It doesn't bother me, but I am aware of it. I actually prefer brown sunglasses and photochromatics because what is marketed as "gray" often looks sickly purple to me.
Maybe dark adaptation can change that, but I haven't found anything about that upon quick unprofessional examination of .
Examples of a GB-R LED backlit display include the NEC PA302W, so they aren't common.
2011 was a while ago, this Stack Exchange post from 2013 seems to indicate there is a possibility for macular degeneration with use of these devices, particularly if you are already at risk for the condition:
Some googling seems to indicate there were rumors of these lights potentially causing issues, and it sounds like the Chemist article may be presenting a scientific basis for that speculation.
Turned off my light for now.
It's the one major source of nighttime blue light that I consume. I've largely given up using my phone / laptop in the dark, as I decided I'm an adult and can just leave the lights on.
Reading in bed is one of my favorite things, and it bothers my partner to leave the lights on.
But yes, as Kindles imply, reading text printed without a backlight is preferable to backlit text, so prefer lights over the backlight.
Combine that with an e ink non backlit kindle and you'll have no blue light.
I've been using it for some time now.
By default I look at my phone, tablet and computer monitor in inverted mode. Video content is watched as normal.
Makes it way easier to get work done and keep the eye strain to a minimum.
At first I didn't like it. It kind of dulls the screen down and makes things look greener. But after using it for a couple months, along with a couple other monitors on my desk, my eyes were getting tired so I turned the feature on and used it for a few days to see if I could get used to it.
When I switched it back off afterwards I was pretty shocked at how much more my eyes were instantly stressed. I turned it back on and have left it on since. I also turned the blue down on my other two monitors. And I can feel the difference when I set them back to their defaults too.
I don't think I'd like it for TV, though I might get used to it as well, but for coding and surfing the web it works for me.
This was one of several reasons I quit that lab. Since then I've avoided academic labs that have UV lights or lasers because I don't trust that the students follow safety procedures at all.
I have never been comfortable in their presence as my eyes begin to fatigue and I experience discomfort. YMMV.
edit: the way I remember it is that like any type of radiation, anything that goes into your body stays there pretty much until your death, the only way to keep your "uv capital" in good shape is to be proactive about it, cant do anything retroactively. This is why about 1/3rd of Australians will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime.
If you Google this subject there are several websites where people went out and bought cheap an expensive sunglasses and had them tested and reached the same conclusion: UV protection does not justify expensive Raybans.
Lights used in something like a tanning bed, can obviously burn your skin and also damage your eyes that is why people should wear eye protection, or do the healthy thing and not tan at all.
Full thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17634316
But never going outside would mess with circadian rhythm.
Does anyone disagree that this is equivalent to looking at a phone?
- AMOLED Android device with a custom kernel that supports color profiles set to fire only the red pixels.
- Get transparent red film from Amazon and cover your Kindle screen.
- Wear orange safety glasses at night to dramatically reduce all blue light.
- Bonus difficulty: Wear red laser goggles. Do not attempt to drive!
The default daytime setting under recommended colors in f.lux is 6500K. I tend to use a daytime setting of 5500K. Is 5500K good enough to reduce the harmful effects of blue light or do I need to go even lower?
If I don't dial mine way down it's very uncomfortable
To protect your eyes from blue light, Karunarathne advises
to wear sunglasses that can filter both UV and blue light
outside and avoid looking at your cell phones or tablets in the dark."
Start a pension.
Seriously though, the sky is blue, the sea is blue, how come we’ve evolved into beings affected by blue light??
It all started when we moved in to our current place. The previous tenants had left a bunch of old incandescent bulbs. I guess I had forgotten in the past two decades just how warm colored those lights are. It is a really comforting color temperature and great for getting sleepy before bedtime. Of course when I went to replace them with LEDs the contrast was obvious.
Now enlightened (heh) to the differences I went on a quest for warm colored LEDs. Turns out, that's really difficult. First I bought just any old light with the word "warm". But most LEDs you find are actually "warm white" or "soft white". Basically 2700K and up. Whereas old school incan. is ~2400K. The difference is huge and I was very disappointed.
So I began to filter my searches looking for things in the 2400K range. The local lighting store had _nothing_ (a store completely dedicated to selling lights). Amazon had a few options, but not many. Once you filter by low temperature and dimmable you begin to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Most were off-brand, which I try to avoid since poor quality LEDs will fail early when their cheap power supplies burn out.
I went through a few rounds of orders but finally settled on a set of Philips dimmable A15 lights "with warm glow effect". They are small enough to fit in all fixtures I've run into for those kinds of bulbs. But the best feature is that they change temperature as you dim them. So you have the option of a cooler "soft white" (2700K) at full brightness, or all the way down to 2200K when dimmed! To a non-expert in lighting they subjectively looked the best and gave us the same warm, comforting glow we were looking for at night.
So my advice, if you're looking to upgrade your house to warm bulbs, make sure to look for something 2400K or less.
Others have mentioned checking CRI, and that's important. I don't know the CRI on the bulbs I got. Again, they subjectively looked the best. But there aren't a lot of options in the truly warm color range so it's a feature I had to not care much about.
I also found some really great vintage filament style LED bulbs for a project (vintage style outdoor string lights with corded wiring; built from scratch). They're from a company I found on Amazon called Cmyk. Off brand, but they're the best option I found in that category and their packaging was actually really professional. They are labelled as 2200K, but they look even warmer than that. When dimmed about half way you get just the right amount of glow that you can see the faux-filaments. Super happy with those.
Beyond that you can also just get color-changing bulbs like Philips Hue. Since all this went down I've been slowly upgrading to those instead. That gives you the option to choose really any temperature you want at any point. I'm not sure how the "quality" of light from that setup compares to a real warm LED lightbulb. Obviously you're getting a "warm" color by mixing red and green LEDs so it isn't a true color temperature. But on the other hand you're definitely not getting blue light, which is the important thing. Either way, subjectively they look great and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. (Usual caveats about buying into a somewhat closed system applies; Philips Hues are sort of the best worst option today.)
Blue light kills cells. It's used in hospitals to kill germs and also use to treat acne. Hand dryers also use them. I'm not surprised it kills certain human cells as well.
Eye doctor said I was ok and found nothing to explain this. I have monovision from Lasik done 20 years ago but it's never been an issue. I tested for and ruled out, to the best of my limited ability, the common gremlins like excesive blue light (always used f.lux/redshift before) and even tried the Uvex glasses that block ALL blue light. Tried PWM free displays and no change. Lowered brightness, changed ergonomics, font rendering, drivers, filters, OLED, ambient lighting. Anything common sense or the internet has come up with doesn't work for me. I even considered it was psychosomatic given the importance of me being able to do the one last thing I could do for any conceivable work and entertainment...sit at a computer...but no tactics to deal with that help. I was thinking about making an Ask HN thread recently but my last experience with that was pretty poor and the offer came from outside of that, but I saw this relevant post today and am desperate so here I am again.
Other than some older, specific stuff like a MBP 2011 17" antiglare screen that I had to sell(panelook.com says it had an RGB backlight but some dispute that), an iPad 2 on iOS (for at least 30min anyway), and a Windows Phone Lumia 635 on Windows Phone 8.1, Any LED backlit display I look at, and ALL modern ones I have found, on any brightness, filter or setting, or OS causes tingling in my face, back of head, and neck which turns into strain/pain/headache. I can replicate it. I can soothe it with time away or using the old, half functional CCFL laptop. I have tried 8 different panels in a Thinkpad, everything Best Buy has, borrowed from people, wasted money buying on eBay and testing. No success or answers.
There is a 10yo/168+ Apple support thread with no solution (was posted here not long ago in fact and most people blamed PWM or said it wasn't a big deal). A forum called ledstrain.org where people much smarter than me have tried to drill down through drivers and dithering and other options. Many of them reduce their quality of life further by using one of the 2 expensive and limited E-Ink displays out there, or hoard specific models of old displays and GPUs and outdated OS revisions they found work for them. I just cannot live even more limited like that since everything else about my life is already shrunk and reduced and miserable. Not being able to use or function around modern LED stuff is not tenable and there is no reasonable solution even on the horizon. Everything in my life is unstable and I have to solve this to get some foundation again. I am even entertaining the idea that this is all a big cosmic prank given how perfect the timing and specificity of this issue is. So, Loki, if you are out there I surrender. You win. Please give me a break.
Taking some Vitamin D may help (stay under the 4000 UI/day tolerable upper limit). There's a forum where people with similar issues used gather at http://bcomputermonitorpain.runboard.com/
As far as computer monitors go, you could either use an old CRT monitor, or try a e-ink monitor such as the Dasung Paperlike, or a modded Android e-ink tablet.
Could you elaborate on above? I did not understand the logic behind the sentence. E-Ink displays by themselves do not generate any light as they don't have any backlight or light emitter behind the display. That's why they work in bright sunlight. Some products with E-Ink displays have frontlights for night time reading. Is that what you are referring to? If so, given this article, just turning off the frontlight and using non-blue light sources for lighting is sufficient to avoid this, right?
Refresh rates and software filters don't seem to matter so far. I have this strain by a well lit window with great natural light (sometimes oddly enough direct natural light can sort of "overpower" the sharpness of the display and make it look more like E-ink and it SEEMS less bad then but hard to tell once it begins. At night I have 4x 60w incandescents in my room with no real change overall. In stores with intense LED or tube lighting it happens just as fast.
Eyes have always been dry since lasik, esp when living in forced air homes, but drops and blinking don't help this. No redness that stood out to me.No peripheral vision issues. No color distortions/double vision/ weird visual stuff but mild floaters I have had for 20-25 years. It can trigger anywhere from seconds to several minutes depending on the display. I have not had an exam when it's present. No insurance and scheduling/access is not quick.
Switching to any reading/distance but the LED displays soothes it with time and I feel no symptoms reading on paper. If its flared badly and other pain/stress/tension is high it can take some hours or a night's sleep to recover. On a good day with only a few min of strain induced, an hour outside is enough. Font size, antialiasing, resolution, different distros, drivers never mattered...even tried an all AMD laptop as some think intel drivers are the culprit but it was worse than most. The old display is supposedly the worst of all specs...low res/glossy/TN/CCFL/ has PWM and not great color gamut etc. Running Xubuntu on it, but that same distro and all others hurt on the LED laptops.
There are gaming monitors which have faster refresh rates.
Dry eyes need to be addressed, as the tear film contributes to clear vision. You can use a "sipper" bottle of water to keep your upper respiratory track moistened. Yawning can trigger lubrication of the eyes, if you are drinking enough water.
Do you have EMF sensitivity?
Dell U2711 monitor has a CCFL backlight, is available on eBay, http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2711.htm
You've probably seen this LED vs CCFL monitor thread, it mentioned that CCFL screens are matte, is there any chance that your LED screens have a lot of reflections from objects/lighting behind you? https://superuser.com/questions/149362/is-an-led-monitor-bet...
This 2018 article summarizes display technologies for backlighting and phosphors for color accuracy, you can see a range of color spectra, https://pcmonitors.info/articles/the-evolution-of-led-backli...
This site has articles on eye sensitivity to light color, https://glarminy.com/2016/04/11/are-your-eyes-sensitive-to-l..., they sell a $20 kit with 8 filters that mimic the spectrogram of various commercial glasses for blue blocking or migraine relief, it's a cheap way to test how your eyes react to different filters+devices, https://glarminy.com/blue-filter-tester/
You may have tried this, but if it is muscle related then massaging your face and/or upper back might help. Not pushing, but grabbing and slowly twisting the muscles or skin. E.g. put three fingers at the bottom of your eye socket and bring your thumb up so it is an inch or a little less away from your second finger, then push your thumb up and fingers 3 and 4 down. You can repeat the same basic twisting motion over much of your face. Another one is grab skin/muscle between your thumb and two fingers and tilt towards the two fingers. Just lifting muscles (as tilting towards your thumb can sometimes do, or grab and lift) can also be quite helpful.
In the back of the neck and upper back it is easier to twist the muscle (but avoid the sides of the neck where there are fragile nerves) and additionally skin rolling can be helpful where you put two or three fingers opposite the flat side of your thumb, grab a small amount of skin (and potentially muscle too, although your focus should be on the skin) and then walk your thumb forward with your fingers, such that there is a raised area that moves in front of your thumb. If it feels "crunchy" at all or feels like it is sticking to the muscle (that you can't lift the skin as easily as elsewhere), go over it again until it doesn't, although not necessarily all at once since it can be exceptionally painful in some cases (in that case, just do a little each day and it should eventually not be painful). The twisting can usually be done in a way that affects just the skin or the muscle as well and both can be helpful.
Those three techniques (twisting or lifting muscles and twisting or rolling skin) are IMO the most useful ones anywhere on the body you can do them (also don't get too close to most joints), but just applying pressure to muscles doesn't really help in my experience. Lifting muscles on your own back is hard and not necessarily worth aiming for. For the face another good technique if you can is to put down your middle three fingers and keep them in one spot on your skin while moving your hand rapidly within a quarter inch or so of that spot.
The muscle/skin adherence particularly tends to happen on legs, most of all upper legs but often both, although the upper back/shoulder area is another area it frequently happens. If you see a massage therapist, look for Shiatsu, Tui-Na, or (not exclusively stretching focused) Thai massage since those styles are more focused on this kind of thing. But there may be quite a bit you can do yourself (depending on your other issues) that can be helpful. I guess it is unlikely to fix the real issue here but might at least help you recover faster.
Can you clarify this? Phenibut affects GABA but above you said, taurine transporters can also transport GABA so I am not sure what you mean. Are you saying that Phenibut might hijack the taurine transporters so they cannot be used for Taurine? I have taken Zolpidem (which affects GABA) for sleep off and on for long periods but I am pretty sure I had this strain even when off it for 6 months or so so not super hopeful. Do I need to supplement Taurine then or is there some test for it in the retina you can have done? If it's permanent as you say that's not hopeful.
However once again, and I know you said it was weirdly spcific, but since this only happens on LED backlit displays I find it hard to believe it's something like that since that should affect other visual things.
At least GABA itself is transported by the taurine transporters and if you have enough GABA (as far as I know this has only been observed with vigabatrin use or rare genetic GABA metabolism disorders) then the retina will not get enough taurine and peripheral vision will suffer permanant damage that can only be detected with a special test until it gets quite bad. Taurine supplementation does prevent damage in that case.
Phenibut might possibly have the taurine transporter issue since (unlike Zolpidem) it is considered a GABA analog plus some people take quite a lot of it and even the lowest doses are quite a bit higher than the higest Zolpidem dose. Baclofen is similar to Phenibut but used in much lower quantities so it also seems unlikely to cause that trouble (and it actually doesn't cause my eyes to hurt). And I could be completely wrong about Phenibut having that particular issue, all I really know is that it makes my eyes hurt when I use the light therapy visor. Actually, I just remembered that taurine itself causes my eyes to hurt in the same way, so while it could still potentially be taurine transporter related it at least isn't a lack of taurine for my particular issue (sorry, I am also disabled due to sleep issues in my case and either that or some additional unknown issue affects my memory).
I see that Zolpidem does have multiple common eye related side effects, so somehow it can negatively affect the eyes. If you haven't been taking medication the whole time you have noticed the problem then that should be enough to conclude that it isn't medication related. Or if you are taking something else (like pain medication) but can't fairly easily change to something with a different mechanism of action then I don't think it is likely enough to be worth too much trouble (but keep the possibility in mind if you are ever in a position to test it).
For me it was even more specific, just the one particular LED light that caused the trouble, not my computer screen (which is older but I just checked and it is LED backlight) or brighter natural light, or anything else. I would have also thought it should affect other visual things but somehow it didn't (although in my case maybe it is somehow connected to the LED being so close to my eyes).
It's not cheap because it is the only one on the market. Apparently, constructors don't care about this future big health hazard...