How is Blue Light is Different from Infrared Light and UV light? [Updated for 2021]

With so many warnings and articles out there about harmful lights and rays on the color spectrum. The newest addition to the group of harmful rays is Blue Light. It is important to note that this light is different from infrared and UV (ultraviolet) light. They can all affect our skin, eyes, and other bodily functions, and overexposure can be costly. For each of these rays/lights, there is a specific way to reduce your exposure without significantly altering your day-to-day habits. Explore the differences and the ways to reduce your blue light exposure below!

What is Blue light? 

Blue light is a visible color on the light spectrum. Even though it is one of the shortest wavelengths, it produces the highest energy out of all the visible colors. This affects your eyes when we look at screens, use technology, and turn on the lights in our homes. Because blue light has such high energy, it tends to flicker longer and easier than its weaker light counterparts. The flicker of the blue light creates a glare that affects your sight because it breaks your concentration and strains your eyes resulting in unclear vision, headaches, and fatigue. It can also affect your melatonin levels if used in the hours before bed, making it hard to fall asleep at night. 

girl on laptop in the dark

To alleviate the side effects that come from overexposure to blue light, consider purchasing computer glasses or amber glass (100% blue light blocking glasses), or using a combination of both. You can purchase computer glass, which can block up to 45% of blue light, on Amazon. Back before electricity, humans were only exposed to blue light during the day and there would be no blue light at night so falling asleep was never an issue. Now we are exposed to blue light all hours of the day and night, which is why our bodies can’t tell it’s time to fall asleep. To help, in the hours leading up to your bedtime, put on the amber glasses, which block 100% of blue light exposure, which will allow your body to produce a sufficient amount of melatonin.

What is Infrared Light?

Infrared light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, just out of the range of the visible light spectrum, and can only be felt as heat. These light waves are too long which is why we can’t see them but are commonly recognized by hunters and other heat detection technology. This light in excessive exposure can be harmful but is much rarer to have any serious implications from it. It is best when using sensors, lamps, and other devices that involved infrared lights, to not look directly into them. If you have to because of a sensor, be sure to mot look for long and give your eyes breaks in between so they can recover. 

a hunter and his dog in field

What is UV light?

UV or ultraviolet light is on the other end of the visible light spectrum, next to blue light but is too short to be visible. Similar to the high energy of blue light, UV or blue-purple light is harmful and can cause sunburns, tans, and eye damage. The only real upside to UV rays is that they allow our bodies to make vitamin D. Vitamin D helps us start strong and healthy by specifically assisting in our bones and muscles. Of course, whether you are in direct sunlight or not, you should always wear sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher to prevent sunburns and possible skin cancers down the road. 

girl in sun rise

To wrap things up…

UV light, infrared light, and blue light all come with their list of precautions, but none of them are 100% avoidable and that is okay. For thousands of years, humans have lived and never worried about how the light might be affecting their bodies. However, as humans and technology have evolved, so has our exposure to blue light specifically. If you want to learn more about what blue light is and how to prevent it, check out our discussion on ‘Why You Should Use LowBlueLights Products.’

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