In some ways, humankind’s ability to put blue light to work in our televisions, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices is one of our most outstanding achievements. Blue light is why you can see pictures, words, and videos on your computer monitor.
Whether you use your computer for schoolwork, your job, or social networking, your eyes are exposed to blue light from the moment you turn on your computer to the moment you power it down. Since most of us spend anywhere from two to ten hours a day in front of our blue light-emitting screens, this edition of Learn IT is dedicated to helping you understand the risks of blue light exposure and the built-in tools inside your computer that can reduce your exposure.
Do your eyes feel dry, itchy, or just plain tired at the end of a long workday? It may not only be fatigue. The longer you look at your computer screen, the more irritated your eyes can become. Blue light can cause eye irritation.
If you use your computer before you go to bed, it may take you longer to fall asleep. That’s because our bodies start to wind down for the day as the sun goes down. Your body doesn’t know the difference between sunlight and blue light from your computer, so when you turn on your screen, your body takes that as a signal to stay awake. When you turn off your computer and try to fall asleep, your body needs extra time to process the darkness, so don’t be surprised if you toss and turn for a while.
It may seem like a stretch to think that getting too much blue light from your computer can affect so many parts of your life, but it’s true. When you’re tired, you’re not as sharp, which can affect your work, your mood, and your relationships with friends and family.
Our eyes are incredibly complicated and sensitive structures. When you spend an extended period of time working at your computer, your eyes receive a continuous flow of blue light rays that penetrate the entire system. Over time, doctors believe prolonged exposure to blue light can damage light-sensitive parts of the eye and damage vision.
If you’re operating Windows 10 (which give IT. get IT. installs on every computer we recondition and place into service), you have the ability to control how much blue light your screen emits. Simply hit the Windows button and the ‘A’ key to turn on the Night Light.
NOTE: Hitting Windows >A pulls up your desktop settings, but most users will have to hit ‘EXPAND’ to see the Night Light setting. Also, if you use multiple screen users, please be aware that you will only see the Night Light screen change on their primary monitor. Your second monitor should have its own Night Light setting that you can also adjust.
When you turn this feature on, your computer will automatically darken your screen throughout the day in tiny increments. You probably won’t even notice these subtle changes in the brightness of your screen but your eyes will.
Changing the settings of Night Light is as easy as hitting the Window button and the “I” key.
These settings enable you to fine-tune the brightness of your screen to your preferences. The “strength” slide bar controls how dark your screen gets. You can even decide when your screen starts to get dark and when it goes to full strength.
These subtle changes can make a big difference in the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to during the course of your workday. Over time, you should find your eyes feeling less tired and your mind less taxed – with no expensive filters or special glasses to buy! If you’d like more technical information about the Night Light feature and how it can minimize the effects of blue light, please CLICK HERE for a great article from the brilliant folks at Winhelp Online.