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This post was most recently updated on May 5th, 2021
If you spend a lot of time in front of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, those devices emit blue light. What does blue light do to you? well, blue light is known to contribute to digital eye strain, which could cause headaches, and disrupt our sleep/wake cycle, keeping you awake at night longer than you should be. Although more research is needed to confirm the science behind them, blue light blocking glasses and clip-ons could help.
Best Blue Light Blocking Clip-Ons
If you wear prescription glasses, there are lenses available now with blue light protecting coatings that you are able to get, which would give you protection from blue light all day. If you already have prescription glasses but don’t have the blue light protection coating, there are a couple of ways you can still protect yourself from blue light. You can get glasses that fit over your glasses, or you can get blue-light-blocking clip-ons. These clip-ons easily clips onto your current glasses, and you can remove them when you don’t need them. Great for anyone that works for extended periods of time in front of digital devices, and wants to protect their eyes from the blue light emitting from those devices. Take a look at some of the best blue light blocking clip-ons currently available on the market.
Best Overall: Dr. S Blue Light Blocking Clip-on
This clip-on is currently my favorite one available on the market and was specifically designed by an eye doctor using a lens material that provides excellent optics to help balance out the tint that is on the lens to provide you with sharp and comfortable vision while looking at digital devices. Along with filtering out blue light, these clip-ons also provides you with an anti-reflective coating to help with visual comfort and reduce the amount of glare reflecting off of the lenses. The tint on these lenses has been clinically tested and measured to ensure that it filters out the necessary range of blue light.
They are designed in a flip-up design makes it easy for you to flip it up whenever you do not need them. The clip comes included with a case and a microfiber cloth. These same lenses are also available in a handful of frames ranging from adult to kids sizes, and all come with a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
This isn’t exactly a clip-on but this pair of blue-blocking glasses are fit-over glasses. This means these are simply worn over your glasses when you need them and you can take them off when you don’t need them. This can be a great alternative to using clip-ons. I wanted to show this one to everyone because there has been some great feedback coming out of everyone that has used the Swannies whether they are just the regular blue-blocking glasses or the fit over ones. These glasses block more than 98% of blue light and can fit over pretty much any pair of glasses that you are wearing.
Spectra479 Blue Blocking Daytime/Nighttime Clip-on
This company makes one of the most high-quality and best selling blue light blocking glasses on the market today, and now you can use that high-quality blue light blocking lens on your own prescription glasses, or even your reading glasses.
These clip ons are available in an Amber night time lens that is designed to filter out as much blue light as possible, and a day time blue light reducing clip-on to help you reduce your blue light exposure throughout the day if you work with digital devices.
If you do a lot of work in front of a computer, or if you’re like me and have multiple computer monitors in front of you, the amber lens is a great lens to use to help filter out as much blue light as possible. Especially if a lot of that work is at night, but if you don’t mind the color you are able to use it during the day as well. The daytime clip-on is a great one to use if the amber color is too much for you but still would like to have some blue light protection the daytime clip-on is a great option.
GAMEKING Blue Light Blocking Clip-on
This is another great option for blue light blocking clip-ons. This lightly tinted lens blocks out 60% blue light overall, and a thin and lightweight but durable blue light blocking clip-on for you to add to your current prescription glasses or your reading glasses. This clip-on comes with a lifetime breakage warranty as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Cyxus Blue Light Blocking Clip-on
This is a great clip-on option that is great for those individuals who do not like the amber or yellow tinted lenses but still want to be able to protect their eyes from blue light when they are looking at digital devices. This is also a great clip for graphic designers or artists that still need their eyes protected from blue light but need to be able to see in true color. This company tests all of their lenses to make they are effectively blocking out blue light before they get to you.
Gunnar Optiks Clip-On
Gunnar has been in the business of protecting our eyes from digital devices for over two decades focusing more on gamers than anything else but they have expanded their selection over the years. Specializing in a patented technology that helps protect your eyes from digital eye strain as well as blue light. Gunnar’s lenses are designed to help reduce eyestrain while providing you with better color contrast, as well as focus. These are perfect for anyone that spends extended periods of time looking at any digital devices.
Don’t Wear Prescription Glasses?
If you don’t wear any prescription glasses or reading glasses, then it would be a bit difficult for you to use blue light blocking clip-ons, therefore below I have gathered some of my favorite picks for blue light blocking glasses that you can use if you don’t currently wear glasses. No assembly required.
If you want to be able to have the glasses function well but still be comfortable and stylish the Swannies are the way to go. This frame uses a simple and glasses frame style that is lightweight and can be adjusted to have the perfect fit. Swannies come available in different sizes ranging from kids to large so you are able to get them for anyone that spends a lot of time in front of digital devices. These glasses block over 98% of blue light and most people that have purchased them, love them.
ReadeREST Blue Light Reading Glasses
Does the name Readerest sound familiar? They make those magnetic reading glass holders that were featured on Shark Tank back in 2012. Founder Rick Hopper landed a deal with Lori Greiner and since then Readerest has been one of Shark Tank’s great success stories.
Since then Readerest has developed some blue light reading glasses that come in a wide range of different styles and sizes to suit any taste. The lenses come packed with technology and not only offer blue light protection but also come included with an anti-reflective coating, scratch-resistant, and full UV protection. These glasses come in a variety of magnifications from +1.25 to +3.00 and also include ones that have no magnification for those who don’t need reading glasses. They also come in a variety of different colors, check the Readerest Store for more styles.
If the style is the last thing on your mind when you are deciding which blue light blocking glasses to go with, then this is your pair. This is the pair that is often used in labs and has been used in some studies. When I look at them I immediately think safety glasses, but for a pair of glasses that absorbs 98% of blue light and cost around $10, it’s not too bad.
If style is more important to you then take a look at these high-quality Gunnar frames. As I mentioned above, Gunnar has been in this business for a while, and their patented technology is one of the best in the market today. These lenses filter out 65% of harmful blue light from digital devices and will help reduce the risk of long term damage to your eyes from blue light. Gunnar tends to pay attention to every detail when they make their glasses, giving them wide lenses to give you a nice unobstructed view and protection.
This is another stylish and simple frame by Gunnar that can provide you with protection from blue light, and still match with every outfit in your closet. This is the perfect accessory to your digital lifestyle and is fitted with Gunnar’s patented technology to give you optimum protection against blue light.
Cyxus Blue Light Filter Glasses
Cyxus actually makes quite a few different styles for their blue light blocking glasses, but this classic browline frame is my favorite one because it gives you that retro look. These lenses are also clear and do not have a tint with them, and would be perfect for anyone that needs to work in true color. You can find the rest of the styles of Cyxus blue light filter glasses here.
Why Should You Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
While technology has provided us with many conveniences, this boom in technology is a worrisome issue when it comes to eye health. You see, this technology that everyone loves so much also happens to emit blue light. This blue light isn’t the natural blue light that you can get from the sun, but this is artificially produced blue light. This blue light has always been thought to be harmful to your eyes and cause loss of vision similar to that of macular degeneration, which is the death of your photoreceptor cells. But they were never sure of exactly how blue light was affecting your eyes, up until recently.
Researchers from the University of Toledo may have discovered exactly how blue light damages your eyes. Focusing on a certain molecule that our photoreceptors require to be able to see called the retinal molecule. What they discovered was that when these retinal molecules were exposed to blue light, they were producing a toxic chemical that would actually kill the photoreceptor cells over time. Even though researchers are barely scratching the surface when it comes to how blue light affects our eyes, that doesn’t mean we can’t be more proactive about protecting our eyes from blue light.
There has been much talk about blue light blocking glasses, and digital eye strain. But digital eye strain isn’t the only thing we are truly worried about. You can strain your eyes just as much by focusing on a book for too long. What we are worried about is protecting our eyes from the long-term damage it would get from being overexposed to blue light. Too much blue light can potentially lead to permanent damage or loss of vision, we currently don’t know for sure how much damage could even be possible with blue light from our devices but I am not risking my only two eyes. Therefore, if you spend extended periods of time in front of digital devices, it might be a good idea to wear some sort of blue light blocking glasses.
What is Blue Light?
With so much talk about blue light and digital devices, it is important to remember that blue light isn’t just some special form of light that only emits from electronic devices.
Blue light is everywhere. As a matter of fact, our very own Sun is the biggest producer of blue light.
Blue light is just one of the seven wavelength ranges that are within the visible light spectrum. The visible light spectrum is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Here is a visual diagram for the electromagnetic spectrum.
This diagram may or may not seem familiar from science class in school.
The light that emits from the sun or other light sources is made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. When all of these lights combine together, it becomes the white light that we see every single day.
Each of these colors has a different level of energy and a different wavelength. Rays of visible light that are on the red end of the visible light spectrum have less energy, but longer wavelengths. Infrared light which is used in the heat lamps to keep your food warm at restaurants is from this end of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Rays of light coming from the blue end of the spectrum have shorter wavelengths but higher energy. After the end of the violet visible light you have UV, which we all know have high energy due to the sunburns we receive when we are not properly protected outdoors.
Here is a quick video that gives a great explanation of blue light, where it comes from, and how it affects you.
What Are The Sources Of Blue Light?
As I mentioned, the Sun is the biggest producer of blue light. From there, there are many other sources of blue light that you could encounter throughout your day which includes:
- Computers Monitors, Tablets, Smartphones – While the amount of blue light we are exposed to through our digital devices is small when you are comparing it to blue light that we could potentially be exposed to by sunlight. The concern here is the fact that we stare at our digital devices for extended periods of time throughout the day, and how close these devices are to our eyes.
- Fluorescent light, CFL (Compact fluorescent light) bulbs, LED – As technology has gotten better we have moved towards lighting that is much more energy-efficient but this type of lighting also emit much more blue light.
- Flat Screen LED Televisions – LED televisions produce an amazing picture, but it also emits blue light. Most newer televisions have a blue light filter that you could use at night time which adjusts the screen so that it emits a warmer tone which could be easier on your eyes.
Blue Light And Sleep Problems
It is thought that the use of artificial lighting and digital devices late at night could contribute to your sleeping problems at nighttime. Blue light may make your brain think that its daytime when it’s not and suppress your body’s ability to create melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for making you feel tired and sleepy, letting you know that it’s night time and time to go to bed.
There have been numerous studies that suggest the use of digital devices that emit blue light in the few hours before your bedtime could impact your sleep. This could lead to negative impacts on your overall health and disrupt your circadian clock, which is a natural process your body uses with external cues such as light and darkness in the environment to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. This, in turn, will reduce the quality, length of your sleep, and reduce alertness the following day.
Studies have linked suppression of melatonin to various cardiovascular diseases and health problems such as obesity, cancer, and depression.
What Does Blue Light Do To Your Eyes?
It is important to note that your eyes are not very good at filtering out blue light. The cornea and the lens are very efficient at filtering out UV rays and keeping those harmful rays from reaching the back of your retina.
On the other hand, your eyes are not very good at filtering out blue light, or any visible light. This means nearly all blue light can easily pass through the cornea and lens to reach your retina.
While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of blue light on your eyes, some early on studies have suggested that too much blue light could lead to things such as digital eye strain, or potentially even retina damage.
How To Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light
Technology and digital devices are not going away anytime soon, and it is too early to understand the full effects of how the blue light from technology can actually affect our eyes. That doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive at protecting your eyes from blue light, especially if you need to work in front of digital devices for extended periods of time.
Here are some simple and easy ways you could reduce your blue light exposure.
- Reduce Screen Time – This may not be possible if your job requires you to look at a screen all day. You can however reduce the amount of time spent just browsing the internet, or watching videos.
- Use Blue Blocking Glasses – These glasses help absorb some of the blue light and reduce eyestrain you would get from looking at your digital devices for extended periods of time. There is a fierce debate on whether or not these glasses help, but anyone I’ve talked to that has used blue light filtering glasses that spend extended periods of time in front of digital devices has said it has helped with how tired their eyes feel from being in front of their devices all day.
- Blue Light Plugin or App – There are various plugins or apps that could adjust how your device is emitting light and switches it to a warmer tone to reduce the amount of blue light being emitted.
- Use a Screen Filter – Screen filters can be placed over your laptop or computer monitor to reduce the blue light that it is emitting. This is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to have to wear blue light blocking glasses every time they want to use the computer but still want blue light protection.
- Adjust Phone Settings – Many smartphones these days come with a built-in setting which changes the bright screen light to a warmer light. It is important to remember that using this setting doesn’t filter out any blue light, but the warmer tone reduces your eyestrain due to the reduced contrast between the screen and your surrounding light.
- Use Dim Red Lights – If you must have a night light on at night, use a dim red light that has the least ability to affect your melatonin production and disrupt the sleep/wake cycle.
- Avoid Devices Before Sleep – Try not to look at any bright screens in the two or three hours right before you plan on going to sleep. This will help your melatonin production from being suppressed and could help give you a better night’s sleep.
- 20-20-20 Rule – Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away. This is a simple rule but it gives your eyes a much-needed break whenever you are working for long periods of time in front of a digital device. Best of all, it only takes 20 seconds to complete.
- Get Your Eye Exam – Just like how you get a physical every year or visit your dentist every 6 months for a clean up, you should make sure you get your routine eye exam at least once every two years. Some people feel like they don’t need to get a routine exam done because they feel like their prescription hasn’t changed. But it is important to remember that your eye doctor doesn’t only check your eyes to determine your vision correction but also checks your overall eye health. This ensures you don’t have any underlying conditions that could affect your eye health that you don’t know about.
- Blue Light Filtering Coatings – If you wear prescription glasses you have the option to add blue light filtering to your glasses. You could also get blue light protection by using photochromic lenses, or high-index lenses.
All blue light blocking glasses are designed to do the same thing, filter out the harmful blue light you get from digital devices. Blue light blocking clip-ons are a great option for those who already wear prescription glasses or readers and don’t have blue light blocking lenses. If you don’t wear glasses then there are many options for you when it comes to blue light blocking glasses without a prescription, but make sure you go for ones made by reputable manufacturers like the ones above.
Do you use blue light blocking glasses? Why? or Why not? I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer your question as soon as possible.
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