Screen Filters and Blue Light

Not So Simple

With all the buzz about blue light, there are some who believe that “Night Mode” on their electronic devices is comparable to blue light glasses. And on the surface, this makes sense. The warmer colors may seem to be a bit more soothing to look at, and it erases the need to purchase blue light glasses. But going a bit deeper, it may not be so simple. As the title of this article from IFLScience implies, “Smartphone “Night Mode” Won’t Help You Sleep, New Study Says” by Tom Hale suggests that there is more to the story.


The Study

Hale describes “colder, blue-tinged light,” or blue light, as appearing similar to sunlight and harmful to melatonin production before the shift to the warmer colors of "Night Mode." Referring to the goal of "Night Mode" he said, “Yellow-orange light, on the other hand, mimics the color of sundown and doesn’t have as much of an inhibitory effect on melatonin production, promoting a healthier night’s sleep.” Hale credits a study by Sleep Health for research that shows the ineffectiveness of “Night Mode.” He states that Brigham Young University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center brought together 167 college students and had them spend at least 8 hours in bed. Hale noted that they wore an accelerometer to monitor their sleep activity.

Describing the breakdown of the process, Hale stated the that researchers put the participants into one group who averaged about seven hours of sleep and another group sleeping less than six hours. Continuing on, he said participants were randomly assigned to one of three scenarios one hour before bedtime for seven consecutive nights:

  1. iPhone use with Night Shift enabled
  2. iPhone use with Night Shift disabled
  3. No phone use

(Night Shift being Apple's 'Night Mode')


    The Results

    Professor Chad Jensen, study author and psychologist from Brigham Young University stated, “Night Shift is not superior to using your phone without Night Shift or even using no phone at all.” His full statement can be read here. Further, he said, “This suggests that when you are super tired you fall asleep no matter what you did just before bed” and, “The sleep pressure is so high there is really no effect of what happens before bedtime.”


    Concluding Thoughts

    While we disagree that it doesn’t matter what occurs before bedtime, this is a solid experiment that displays the ineffectiveness of “Night Mode.” While unfortunately the likely link to the study no longer functions, BluTech, another blue light glasses business, summed up the findings of a study by The Lighting Research and Technology Journal well below by saying:

    • Blue light suppresses melatonin production
    • The Night Shift Mode, while helpful in reducing screen brightness, only reduced the amount of blue light that suppresses melatonin by a few percentage points
    • Night Shift is not effective in reducing blue light absorption

    Given this information, blue light absorption becomes all the more critical, which is what Gamer Advantage glasses are designed to do. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, having a pair of clinically proven blue light glasses is an excellent way to prevent the negative effects of blue light and experience a better sleep cycle. While it may be an interesting idea, “Night Mode” does not seem to be the solution.





    Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash