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With so many options on the market, and screen time rapidly increasing you might be asking yourself, “How do I know my glasses are actually blocking blue light?”
Or perhaps more importantly, “How do I know my blue light glasses are blocking the right amount of blue light to offer protection?”
In this article, we’ll dispel myths about how to accurately test blue light filtering glasses, and explore the best ways to determine the quality and effectiveness of your blue light blocking glasses.
Effectively, we're going to show you the easy way to test blue light glasses, talk about ways to identify when your blue light glasses work and when they don't, and how to ensure that if you're going to wear glasses to block blue light that you're doing it effectively.
If you're here, that means you might already be worried the glasses you have aren't filtering blue light the way you'd like.
Just to let you know early, our business was built creating the best computer glasses with clear lenses, and the best blue light glasses for sleep with orange lenses, that far outpace the ones with only yellow lenses, and don't radically distort your vision like the ones with red lenses. If you're ready to take our word for it, just click here to shop the best.
Now, prepare for your very own DIY Blue Light Glasses Test... or as DIY as we can make it.
There are a number of ‘at home’ ways to test blue light you can find on the internet, but are they effective? The answer is, not really.
The reason we do not recommend relying on a visual test where you look at particular color strips or doing the somewhat misleading "rgb color chart test" on your screen is simple.
Everyone’s screen is different.
The color grade, brightness levels, brand and type of screen itself are all variable factors that can distort colors and are going to result in unreliable and inconsistent results when trying to accurately test your blue light glasses.
As blue light operates on the visible spectrum of 400-500 nanometers, there is no possible way to know what part of the spectrum the colors on your laptop screen or other electronic devices are emitting without additional equipment.
Human vision is unable to distinguish specific wavelengths, especially when viewing a computer screen.
Not to mention that roughly 4.5% of the population has some degree of color blindness, many of whom are not even aware of it. While it may appear your blue light glasses are passing an online test, the glasses may not actually be blocking the full spectrum of blue light, or conversely, failing the test does not necessarily mean your glasses for blue light protection isn't working.
The best blue light glasses are the ones that block 99% or more of the entire blue light spectrum in a proper, scientific test, as well as help you feel the effects and benefits they claim to provide.
Here are some little cuties wearing our Night Swannies blue light blocking glasses for kids.
For instance, we had a test performed on our Night Swannies blue light glasses with the orange lenses by the University of Washington and the University of Indiana, proving that our blue light filter glasses block blue light just like we say they do, and improve sleep as well as work outcomes the following day.
It was published in The Journal of Applied Psychology and Harvard Business Review, two incredibly reputable authorities.
Another reason these online tests aren’t reliable is that your eyes can deceive you, and are subject to optical illusions. This is why professional color graders use a series of color scopes to ensure that the colors in a film are correct, and do not just rely on their eyes.
A perfect example of this is the image below. Go ahead and take a look at it:
Would you be surprised to learn that this image has absolutely no red pixels in it? This is why you can’t rely on what you are seeing to determine whether you’re seeing a particular color, especially when you’re used to seeing it a certain way.
Here’s that picture again, now with those red pixel hues dragged out to a white background:
Another example is the infamous blue/white dress that no one can agree on. This is another perfect example of how we can’t rely on our perception of color, especially when it’s displayed on a screen.
Is the dress white and gold or blue and black?
Now that we’ve established that doing things on a screen is an unhelpful way to test your blue light glasses, what is the right way to test your glasses?
The answer is to obtain certified transmission reports from an independent testing facility.
Proper transmission testing must be done under controlled laboratory conditions using a scientific instrument called a spectrometer.
This testing should be an essential part of quality control for blue light blocking glasses, and these results should be readily available to anyone who would like to access them, preferably published publicly on a website.
This is an example of transmission on a blue light spectrum report.
If you cannot find the transmission reports or have asked for them and been refused, this should set off alarm bells and tell you that you're not dealing with a reputable brand.
You should also be concerned if the tests provided are performed internally by the company and not performed and certified by an independent specialist testing facility.
Swanwick Blue Light Blocking Glasses are Independently Tested
Swanwick has its lenses independently tested by Colts Laboratories in Oldsmar, FL. These transmission reports are readily available and published at the following link: Swannies Transmission Reports.
Transmission reports can be daunting at first. What you’ll want to look for is the spectral analysis table that shows the % of transmission for each nanometer increment. You’ll want to look at the correlating percentages for each nanometer increment between 400-500nm, which is the blue light spectrum. For orange-tinted glasses, you should see less than 1% of blue light transmittance across the full spectrum.
Spectrum report analysis can be a little daunting at first. But with eye doctors increasingly sounding the alarm about macular degeneration, it's worth it.
For blue blockers with clear lenses, focus on the 400-450nm range as this is the most harmful part of the spectrum. If the test results show over 50% blue light transmission at 420nm and more than 70% transmission at 450nm, then they are unlikely to be very effective.
What about the green light spectrum emitted from computers and TV screens? While transmission reports should include the % of green light (500-550nm) blocked, we have more articles that talk about this in particular.
Please refer to the following article to find out why green light transmission is much less concerning that blue light: Green Light: the Facts.
Swanwick’s customer service team is always on hand to help you with any questions about likely effectiveness of a blue light test, scientific studies or how to read blue light transmission reports.
Feel free to reach out to us via our Contact Us form and we’ll take care of your concerns. We're passionate about blue light glasses and love being the reputable brand that people choose to get the protection they need to for sleep improvement and find more energy.
Blue light transmission reports are great for giving you an accurate indication of how much blue light your glasses block. Another part of the picture is to find out whether your brand of glasses have lenses that have been involved in any independent clinical trials.
These types of studies can also give you a good indication as to whether your blue light blocking glasses are likely to be an effective source of relief for disturbed sleep patterns.
Night Swannies absolutely lead the pack of blue blockers on the market.
Swanwick’s Night Swannies have been used in several independent studies which you can read about right here. The data from these studies showed that the blue light filtering technology used in Night Swannies improved both sleep factors and performance.
You may have seen examples of a test where little blue led lights are shone onto a card with blue light sensitivity, similar to the image below. Some blue light blocking glasses actually come with this card and light to ‘test’ your glasses. If you see this, be very cautious. This is a marketing trick which is designed to falsely represent the blue light blocking effectiveness of the lenses.
The blue light that is used to demonstrate this ‘test’ only operates at a very low blue light wavelength, usually around 405nm. So all this blue light test does is show you that the lenses filter blue light at that one very specific wavelength, which represents only 1% of the full blue light spectrum.
Most blue light glasses that rely on this trick block very little blue light across the full blue light spectrum and if you were to apply the same test to the lenses at higher wavelengths, they would most certainly fail. These low-grade blue blocking glasses need to block more blue light to be effective, and will not help with digital eye strain or sleep health.
Our advice? Skip any lenses that come with this gimmicky blue light test.
As you can see, not every test is created equal and it’s easy to be tripped up these blue light gimmicks. So, what's the best blue light filter test? How can you accurately test your blue light glasses? It depends.
As we like to say here at Swanwick, look at the science. The best way to test blue light glasses is to have an independent body perform the transmission test, with studies conducted under scientific conditions by professionals.
That's your only way to get a true indication of the effectiveness of your blue light blocking glasses. Now that you are armed with the facts, you’ll be better informed about where to invest your money to protect your eyes, and get your best sleep of your life. Also, be aware that there is a difference between computer classes that filter less blue light and glasses to be worn before sleep which block more blue light.
If you’d like more help in deciding what quality blue light blocking lenses are right for you, please see our recommendations below. (We've got the answers.)
Digital eye strain and other symptoms from viewing LCD or LED screens, or any other type of screen for too long is becoming more prevalent. Utilizing the blue light filtering clear lenses in our Day Swannies Blue Light Glasses and Swannies Readers Blue Light Glasses is a great way to protect yourself from digital eye strain and work smarter.
They're consistently ranked among the best computer glasses on the market and cannot be compared to the cheap, 2-pair-for-$20 options you might find on some of the global marketplaces.
Blue light from electronic devices is being emitted at an exponential rate and the fact is, everyone needs a pair of computer glasses that will block the necessary light on the blue light spectrum.
Shop Day Swannies Blue Light Computer Glasses with Clear Lenses
Worn in the hours before bedtime, Night Swannies block over 99% of all blue light to protect your melatonin* levels during the important pre-sleep phase of your evening. This helps you fall asleep faster, sleep longer and achieve a better quality of sleep.
For sleep improvement you can't rely on computer glasses... not even our Day Swannies. While they will assist, they are designed to only block a certain amount of light on the blue light spectrum, and that will not prevent a disruption in your sleep.
To get the best night's sleep of your life, you need to block 99% of blue light or more, and that's why Night Swannies blue light glasses are considered to be the best blue light glasses on the market. We're the most scientifically validated, and our orange lenses block over 99% of blue light. Get yourself (and everyone else in your family) a pair of them today:
Shop Night Swannies Blue Light Blocking Glasses with Orange
Even tablets and devices with blue light filters aren't enough to send you to sleep like a pair of Night Swannies that block both blue and green light.
*Melatonin is a sleep hormone primarily released by the pineal gland at night, and has long been associated with what is called the 'circadian rhythm' which is your sleep–wake cycle.
Green light is the latest fad that some companies are hyping up. Usually, these companies are specifically marketing glasses with deep red lenses. Before you get caught in their marketing, we take a look at what green light actually is and whether or not it has an actual effect on your health in this article over here.
Spoiler Alert: No matter your concern, Night Swannies blue light blocking glasses block both blue and green light to the extent necessary to ensure an amazing night of sleep. It's simply our business to offer you the best.
Our reputation stands behind us, and so does our 30-day money back guarantee. So, get yourself and those you love a pair of Swannies today.