Saving your sight: The world's leading display manufacturers are all in on new blue light standards

Standards from Eyesafe reduce the emission of harmful wavelengths of blue light without compromising color quality, and they could be in your device soon.

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Five of the world's leading display manufacturers have reached a new milestone in producing displays that eliminate harmful blue light.  

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BOE, Wistron, TCL/China Star, AUO, and LG Display have all been Eyesafe certified by certification and testing firm TÜV Rheinland, with display manufacturers Innolux and EverDisplay currently testing devices for certification later this year.

According to a press release from Eyesafe and TÜV Rheinland, the certified manufacturers "collectively account for the majority of the world's display manufacturing for desktop monitors, all-in-one PCs, and laptops." 

Eyesafe's standards were designed by "over 250 leading ophthalmologists, optometrists, and engineers," the company said. Its goal is to produce displays that eliminate potentially harmful wavelengths of blue light without compromising display quality, as is the case with software-based blue light filters like night-shift modes on mobile devices and laptops.

"Eyesafe technology has been developed to selectively filter the more intense bands of UV and high-energy visible (HEV) blue light, while not compromising the full color spectrum experience. Compared to many other technologies that cause a yellow, orange, or dulled impact to color, Eyesafe provides selective filtration with adherence to ANSI blue light standards, without color compromise," Eyesafe said on its website.

Many people have likely heard that blue tones of light can disrupt sleep cycles and interrupt melatonin production, but Eyesafe said sleep troubles aren't the only reason to be worried about HEV and intense bands of UV light.

"It should come as no surprise that there are negative consequences to receiving large doses of blue light over extended periods of time, and most of them have become well known in this era of man-made blue light," Eyesafe said, citing the following potential health effects from excess blue light exposure: 

  • Reduced melatonin production
  • Disruption of sleep cycles
  • Retinal cell damage
  • Potential increase in age-related macular degeneration

TV ratings and surveying firm Nielsen recently said that stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 are likely to increase media consumption, meaning the average person working from home and stuck inside is likely getting a lot more than the average 10 hours of screen time it previously reported. Based on Nielsen's numbers and its 2019 data, Eyesafe projects an average of more than 13 hours of screen time per day.

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Eyesafe's website already lists several laptops from Dell and its gaming-centric subsidiary Alienware that meet its standards and are currently available. No desktop monitors are listed, though with the newly certified hardware partners announced in this article it's likely only a matter of time before there are more Eyesafe-certified monitors and laptops available. 

Eyesafe also offers several screen protectors created in partnership with Zagg that meet its display standards, which can be purchased on Zagg's website and are available for smartphones and tablets.

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Image: iStockphoto/AntonioGuillem