When Is Blue Light Red?

Blue light is everywhere. We are most exposed to it when outdoors in the sunlight. But blue light can be found indoors as well. In our technology-dependent world, screen time in one form or another can take up the bulk of the day for many people. Whether working on the computer, checking a Facebook account on a cell phone, or binge-watching a show on Netflix on a flat panel TV, you’re being exposed to man-made blue light.

Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum ranging from 380 to 500 nm. Our eyes are typically effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the retina. But visible blue light is able to pass through the cornea and lens to directly hit the retina. The damage that visible blue light can do to the retina is why blue light filters and protective eyewear have become so sought after recently.

But not all blue light is bad. A healthy amount of time spent in the sunlight is good for overall mental and physical health. High-Energy Visible (HEV) blue light rays transmitted from bright white light is used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression due to the change of seasons specifically during the fall and winter months.

This leads back to the big question – when is blue light red? Being subjected to large amounts of man-made blue light affects not only the retinas, but it can also disrupt the sleep cycle causing fatigue and restless nights. It’s important to monitor your exposure and take precautionary steps by investing in products to help reduce the intake.

IEC 62471 is a comprehensive standard used for evaluating the safety of lamps and lighting systems. Optronic Laboratories’ IEC 62471 workstation incorporates our OL 750 spectroradiometer system for all capabilities required to measure, analyze, and easily report relevant IEC 62471 quantities, including the detection of blue light. The modular and flexible design of the OL 750D platform allows easy transitions between required radiance and irradiance configurations. NIST-traceable calibration standards and accessories allows the user to perform full-system calibration and performance verification during reconfiguration.

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