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This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2020
The amount of time that we spend in front of digital devices such as televisions, computers, tablets, and smartphones have increased quite a bit over the last few years. A recent survey done by Simpletexting showed that the average screentime for people in every state in the United States was over 2 hours a day with some of the highest averages almost reaching 3 hours a day.
Other studies have shown that we spend as much as 12 hours in front of a television or computer screen every day, just while you are at home! There is also your job which could potentially have you looking at some form of digital device for extended periods of time.
This could be the reason why your eye might be feeling a bit strained by the end of the day. The good thing is that there is a coating available to help reduce this eye strain and today we are going to take a look at the blue-light filtering glasses from Warby Parker.
Warby Parker Blue-light Glasses Review
Last year, Warby Parker rolled out the option to add blue-light filtering to your prescription lenses in response to the market’s demand for glasses to help reduce the ill effects of looking at a digital device for long periods of time.
Warby Parker is known for its affordable frames and lenses with anti-reflective, scratch-resistance, and UV protection starting at $95. They are able to keep their prices affordable by skipping the traditional supply chains and designing and manufacturing everything they offer in-house and offers it directly to the customer.
The blue-light filtering lenses are available in the standard polycarbonate or could be upgraded to 1.67 high-index if you have a stronger prescription and want thinner lenses.
If you would prefer to watch a video review, check out this video.
How Much Are Warby Parker’s Blue Light Glasses?
Adding the blue-light filtering option adds an additional $50, which brings the price of the base of $95 to $145. Not bad, that is still quite a deal especially when you consider that there are some retailers out there will charge you $250 for blue-light filtering lenses alone without the frame.
If you are a multifocal lens wearer you can also add blue-light filtering to your progressive lenses bringing the base progressive price from $295 to $345.
How Blue-light Filtering Glasses Work
Blue-light filtering glasses do essentially what the name suggests, filters out blue light. On some glasses, the blue-light protection comes from a coating that is applied to the top of the lens similar to an anti-reflective coating. In other glasses, the blue-light filtering properties are built into the actual lens material itself.
In either case, they work by blocking or absorbing blue-light and preventing it from getting through to your eyes. These glasses are usually designed to block out specific wavelengths that could induce eye strain or disrupt your sleep/wake cycle.
Technology also has gotten much better over the years so you no longer have to worry about your blue-light filtering glasses having an orange or yellow tint on the lenses.
Testing Out The Effectiveness
With all of the quarantine time we all had, I was spending a considerable amount of time at home working on the computer so I figured it would be a great time to see how effective blue-light filtering was.
So I busted out my collection of Warby Parker glasses and grabbed my Butler frames with blue-light filtering and my Bryon frames that only has the standard polycarbonate lenses with anti-reflective coating.
The plan is that I am going to wear one pair of glasses for one week, and then move onto the next pair of glasses the following week. I would take note of any tiredness or strain I would feel in my eyes and planned on taking note of how I felt each night when it came to sleeping.
Can You Wear Blue-Light Glasses All Day?
People often ask if they are able to wear their blue-light filtering glasses all day, after all our body does need blue-light to regulate your circadian rhythm, so should you be wearing them all day?
Generally, blue-light filtering glasses that you are able to purchase with your prescription only filters out a certain percentage of blue-light and can be worn all day without any side effects. These glasses will lenses that are mostly clear, or has a slight yellow tint on them. These will generally not affect the way that you are seeing colors.
There are non-prescription blue-light filtering glasses and clip-ons out in the market that filter out 99% of the blue-light you are encountering. Those blue-light glasses you don’t want to wear all day long as it does change the way you see colors and only should be use in the hours before your bedtime.
Therefore, blue-light filtering glasses that you can get from Warby Parker and most other retailers can be worn all day without any adverse effects.
How Does Blue Light Affect Your Sleep?
One of the main concerns of blue-light is its effect on your body’s production of melatonin. Normally, your body produces more melatonin at night. The amount starts increasing in the evening time after the sun sets and decreases in the morning when the sun rises. This in turn helps your body know when it’s time to go to sleep or wake up.
In a study done by Harvard researchers, they conducted an experiment in which they exposed a group of people to blue light and another group to green light of comparable brightness. What they found was the people exposed to blue light, their melatonin was suppressed for twice as long, and it shifted the circadian rhythm twice as much as the group exposed to the green light.
Another study that was done by researchers from the University of Toronto, compared a group exposed to bright lights with blue-light glasses and another group exposed to dim lights without blue-light glasses. Both groups from this study showed the levels of melatonin were about the same which further strengthens the idea that blue light suppresses your melatonin levels.
When Should You Wear Blue-Light Filtering Glasses?
Blue-light is everywhere, and our sun is actually the biggest producer of blue-light. Some blue-light is good after all, it helps our body regulates its internal clock.
While the sun is the biggest producer of blue-light, we don’t spend hours looking directly at the sun. But, we do spend hours on end looking at our digital devices, whether it be for work or leisure.
So when should you wear blue-light filtering glasses?
Blue-light filtering lenses like these from Warby Parker, are designed so that you are able to wear them all day. These lenses do not filter out all blue-light but allow a healthy amount to reach your eyes while keeping the amount down so that it doesn’t not reach levels that would cause any side effects.
But if you are someone that doesn’t need to wear their glasses all day, here are times when you might want to pop those blue-light filtering glasses on.
- Computers/Televisions – Anytime you are working in front of a digital device such as a computer, or television screens it would be a good time to wear blue-light filtering glasses. This is especially important if you are going to be in front of these digital screens late at night.
- Smartphones/Tablets – Whenever you are on your smartphone, or tablet late in the evening it would be a good time for blue-light filtering glasses as well. These days, many of us are on our phones or tablets late at night, so filtering out that blue-light can help your body produce more melatonin so you can fall asleep easier.
- Late at Night – At night time, we generally would have more lights on around the house which emits blue light. LED technology has been great and energy-efficient, but it also emits more blue light.
Warby Parker Blue light Glasses
I wanted to see how effective the lenses were at filtering out blue light, in order to do that I needed my blue laser pointer. This laser point emits 405 nm blue-light, wavelengths any shorter would basically be ultraviolet (UV) rays.
I am also going to need the glasses, so I grabbed a pair of my Warby Parker glasses that had blue-light filtering as well as one without just to compare.
As you can see, the glasses with blue-light filtering lenses are clear, if you looked real hard the lens does give off a very very slight yellow tint. I have to say though, Warby Parker’s blue-light filtering lenses are one of the best ones I have seen. They do not give off a blue hue on the lens and are for the most part clear.
When I reached out to Warby Parker’s customer service, they said that this only happens with their high-index material and not with the polycarbonate. I also found out that Warby Parker’s blue-light filtering properties are built into their lens material and it is not a coating that is applied. This is probably why their lenses are much clearer than other blue-light filtering lenses that I have seen.
Honestly, you can barely tell there is even a tint at all, but let’s see how well they filter out blue light.
As you can see in the photo, the image on the right shows my Warby Parker frames without blue-light filtering, and on the left side, you can see my pair of glasses with blue-light filtering. You can tell that the amount of blue light coming through the lens is drastically reduced.
To test out the glasses, I was going to wear the glasses from the time I woke up all the way up to the time that I call it a night and head to bed.
I didn’t really notice a difference in how tired I felt each night between the two pairs. I always went to bed at around the same time every night. But that was because it was getting late and I needed to go to bed, not because I was getting tired. I am a bit of a night owl.
I did notice that my eyes felt better when wearing the blue-light filtering glasses towards the end of the day. I didn’t feel as if my eyes were as tired with the blue-light filtering glasses on. I spend at least 10 hours a day looking at digital devices so it was definitely a nice change.
If you spend a lot of time in front of digital devices, I definitely recommend checking out the blue-light filtering lenses from Warby Parker. Even if you don’t have a prescription you could always get the glasses without a prescription but with the blue-light filtering to wear while on your digital devices.
The best part about it is that Warby Parker has a very easy and hassle-free return policy. So, if you don’t feel like the blue-light filtering glasses are helping you out, you can always return them within 30 days of you receiving your glasses making this entire process risk free!
Thanks for stopping by Eye Health HQ, if you have any questions or topics you would like to hear about feel free to drop a comment below or use the contact form. Have a great day!