Blue Light Protection and Color Rendering

Unsere Welt ist voller Farben. The light of the sun consists of radiation of different wavelengths, which we perceive as white light when they are evenly mixed. When objects appear colored, it is because they do not reflect the entire spectrum of light ( as white surfaces do), but only certain wavelengths.

In the same way, color perception changes when a certain spectrum is filtered out by blue-light protection filter glasses. A white wall, if the blue component is missing, appears in the opposing color yellow-orange.

When Blue Light is Removed, the World Turns Yellow!

A simple experimental setup shows the distribution of wavelengths. Above, you can clearly see how much blue is contained in the white light of a standard monitor.

The so-called "blue-light filter" with its faint yellow tint can only slightly reduce the blue component.

For comparison, we also measured through our LiTE95 glasses once. This is what a spectrum looks like when blue is filtered out efficiently.

Misleading Labeling!

Colorless lenses can not stop blue light

Blue light protection has entered the mainstream – at least in theory. Almost all manufacturers of conventional eyeglass lenses now offer so-called blue light protection coatings. Apart from a slight bluish shimmer on the glass, there is nothing to see and the color perception does not noticeably change as a result.

Does that sound too good to be true? Well, it is. Such coatings reflect only a minimal portion of the visible blue light spectrum. The impressive figures and graphs on the so-called blue light protection often include the invisibleUV component. This is because when blue light in the visible range is filtered out, there is also a visible change in color.

For UV protection – that is, protection from short-wave light in the invisible spectrum – we must rely on manufacturer specifications and industry standards such as the UV400 label.

But when it comes to blue light protection, it’s always about visible light. The scientific term for this is HEVL, the abbreviation for high energy visible light. Since this light is visible, we can always examine any blue light protection promises with our own eyes. If blue looks unchanged through glasses, blue light also reaches the eye. It’s as simple as that.

Just Orange is Not Enough!

Filter Glasses versus Software Solutions

So the virtually colorless coatings offer no protection – does that mean we can reach for any orange-colored glasses with confidence? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
This is because even deep orange lenses can transmit certain short-wave spectral components – or they filter out harmless components and thus offer poorer color recognition than would actually be achievable.
For the perfect balance between protection and color rendering, a precise knowledge of the impact of light must work hand in hand with sophisticated measurement and production technology.
Especially when it comes to software solutions for blue light reduction (Nightshift, F.lux or similar), it often turns out that even with massive color change, there can still be considerable blue components.
Software Solution Versus Blue Light Filter Glasses
Software Solution Versus Blue Light Filter Glasses
Fig.1: On the top left, you can see the screen at maximum blue light reduction through a software solution, which extremely degrades the color rendering. In the spectrum below, a blue peak can still be seen.
Fig.2: At the top right, the screen colors are only slightly changed by blue light protective glasses. Nevertheless, the spectrum below shows a maximum reduction of blue components.

An adapted protection for every situation, which changes the color perception only as far as it is necessary. This is what Innovative Eyewear products provide. But that’s just the beginning, because the real magic happens inside your brain…. Since daylight also has a constantly changing composition of wavelengths, we humans have an “automatic white balance”. This is why, for example, we do not perceive the orange cast of incandescent light or the blue hue of LED lighting. Due to the same processes, the noticeable change in color when the glasses are put on is usually barely perceptible after just a few minutes.

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