What is blue light? Is it harmful?

Learn how to make the most of this frequently-discussed type of light.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

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Everyone talks about being exposed to blue light, but what exactly is it and how does it affect our bodies and minds? While the majority of things you read about blue light are negative, blue light can actually be beneficial when used at the right time. We discuss when and where you should use blue light, and when you should be cautious with it.

What is blue light?

Blue light is a color of light on the visible spectrum and made of shorter wavelengths and containing higher amounts of energy. Sunlight is the largest source of blue light, but is also present in fluorescent light, tv, computer, and phone screens, and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Is it harmful?

Blue light can be harmful depending on when and how you use it. Because blue light is naturally found in sunlight, it’s best to be exposed to it during the day. When you’re exposed to blue light, it can boost mood, focus, and attention. Blue light exposure at the right time can also help regulate your circadian rhythm, which helps contribute to your sleep-wake cycle. Blue light also suppresses melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel tired, which is beneficial when you need to be awake and active throughout the day.

While all of these things are positive during the day, when you’re exposed to blue light at night, it can become harmful. Blue light suppresses melatonin more than any other type of light, so when you’re exposed to it at night, it can make it harder for you to fall asleep or stay asleep. With poor sleep quality comes a decrease in immunity and an increased risk for diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. 

How can I reduce the amount of blue light I’m exposed to?

Because blue light can be harmful when used incorrectly, it’s important to use it at the right times. During the day, exposure to blue light can be positive. Try to get outside and get enough sunlight, but for those of us that work in an office or at home, it can be difficult to do that during the day. Brilli’s Charge Up Collection provides light that simulates the crisp clarity of daylight and increases focus. Use these bulbs in areas you frequent throughout the day, such as the office, living room, or kitchen. 

During the evening hours, switch to Brilli’s Wind Down bulb. This bulb contains only 0.83% blue light and won’t inhibit melatonin production. By using this light, you’ll feel more relaxed and ready for bed. Try putting this light in your bedroom or in other rooms you spend time in in the evening. 

Light bulbs are important, however screens are also a huge issue for blue light. If you can, try to reduce screen use at least two hours before bedtime. If this is difficult for you, you can take steps to reduce blue light by purchasing blue light glasses to lower your blue light exposure.