In addition to blue light at night from electronics causing sleep problems, the fact that high energy visible (HEV) blue light penetrates all the way to the retina of the eye is of serious concern. Research has shown that too much exposure to blue light, especially from LED lights can cause adverse effects to one’s vision that resemble those of macular degeneration which can lead to permanent vision loss.
The health effects of visible light, blue light as well as invisible ultra violet (UV) and near infrared (NIR) light have not been clearly elucidated until now. We are perfectly adapted to the natural radiation of our sun on Earth by evolution. This becomes obvious when you look at the medical studies on light use prior to the advent of antibiotics. Original data clearly shows the health benefits of heliotherapy (solar radiation therapy) that living things get naturally.
Invisible near infrared light helps prime the cells in your retina for ‘repair and regeneration’ and helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Early on, the lighting manufacturers did not include invisible UV or NIR. Presumably, their focus was limited to the ‘visual affects’ of light and not the ‘biological affects’ that research is discovering today. Apparently, manufacturer’s never thought to test how this unnatural version of light would affect living things.
Unfortunately, we have no natural defense to chronic blue light when NIR is subtracted. Sunlight includes an abundance of NIR as well as visible red light. These longer wavelengths provide metabolic power to the cells and counter balance the shorter blue light wavelengths. HEV light is a very powerful stimulus and this helps explain why the eye must have NIR present anytime blue light is present to offset the mitochondrial damage it can cause. Mitochondria, found in most cells, can be considered the power generators of the cell.
Today’s artificial light is created without any UV or NIR as is present in the sun. The sun’s invisible light waves are critical for optimum health and well-being.
In summation — be mindful that daily LED light exposure and/or staring at your television, computer, tablet, or phone before you go to bed is having a negative impact on your eye health and a good night’s rest.
Interested in more information about biologically beneficial light and your health? Visit Science of Light (SOL), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to raise awareness of mal-illumination. SOL provides a free e-Book: MAL-ILLUMINATION… the silent epidemic and an MP3: The Secret to “Light” Your Metabolic Fire.
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Originally published at www.scienceoflight.org