The Healthiest Light for Eyes (For General Eye Health and Sensitive Eyes)

Eyes. Something we don't think much about when thinking of lighting.

We'll start the conversation with a shameless plug: did you know that the Chromalux® bulb has proven benefits for eyes and the low vision population? When tested under Chromalux® vs. some other standard lamp, a statistically significant portion performed better on near field acuity tests under the Chromalux® light. Many others just stated preference for the Chromalux® light!

So what's so special about the Chromalux® bulb? It comes down to something our founders pioneered over 45 years ago: the use of neodymium glass in light bulbs.

The Chromalux® light bulb has its origin in Finland, where doctors used a similar neodymium glass light bulb to detect skin abnormalities in patients. Under this unique lamp, colors were more vivid and contrast greater, leading to ease in sensing minute differences in the texture, tone, color, and overall appearance. It turns out that the same elements that work wonders in the home also are most beneficial for the eyes! 

What does neodymium glass do?

You surely have noticed the lavender appearance of a Chromalux® bulb. What you see is the neodymium that is compounded into the glass, giving Chromalux® its signature tint:

The bulb itself isn't colored - that is, it won't give off blue, pink, or some other colored light. Quite the contrary - Chromalux® glass produces a pure, natural true-to-life light. 

Neodymium filters out dulling portions of the visible light spectrum (such as yellow and green), in turn clarifying light. 

Using an analogy photographers will love: using neodymium glass has the same effect on our surroundings as increasing contrast, increasing saturation, and de-hazing has on a photo.

What does this mean for our eyes? With less competition in the visual field, our eyes can finally relax. 

Here are some eye-friendly Chromalux® properties:

✓ Increases contrast between black and white, making black text pop out from a white page.

✓ 100% glare-free and flicker-free. If you have sensitive eyes, you likely know to stay away from LED for this reason. 

✓ Shows colors vividly and true-to-life. 

Another property that's unique in today's lighting landscape? Chromalux® bulb has stuck to its roots in incandescent technology, with the classic Chromalux® neodymium glass incandescent bulb still available. Leading us to a more general consideration regarding your eyes and health: 

What is the best light bulb for eye health and sensitive eyes?

We've read many conflicting claims out there: one source will say LEDs are worst due to their elevated blue light content, while yet another claims it's the best due to its absence of ultraviolet light. 

You are probably seeking a definitive answer.

We prefer to use an "analog" light source such as an incandescent or halogen incandescent bulb.

Why are incandescent light bulbs best for eyes?

No UV: In most cases, we agree that the absence of UV rays is probably best for the eyes, eliminating fluorescent bulbs.

No Flicker:  The flicker present in most fluorescent and all LED bulbs can be bothersome for most, causing nausea, headaches, and the inability to focus your eyes. For those with photosensitivity, it's best to forgo fluorescent and LED: while possible to eliminate flicker to a degree in these sources, it may not be worth the associated cost and headache.

Limited amounts of blue light: We get enough blue light from our daily usage of smartphones and computer screens, so it's probably best not to rely entirely on LED sources. While blue light itself isn't inherently bad, the electronic nature of blue light from LEDs can be straining and cause dry eyes.

That leaves us with incandescent technology providing the softest, most neutral light.

The verdict:

Get plenty of natural light. Consider using more incandescent or halogen light. Bright light isn't usually the best light: generally speaking, opt for any light that makes your eyes feel less strained.

 Ways to protect your eyes in daily life:

  1. Minimize screen usage at night and in dark rooms.

  2. Hold your phone at the most comfortable distance away from your eyes.

  3. Wear sunglasses during the summer and at high noon when the sun is strongest.

  4. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: When working on screens (computer, tablet, smartphone), take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes.

  5. Use blue light filtering computer glasses or screen filters when working on a computer.

What's the best indicator of long term eye health?

Something that the tips above have in common: reducing eye strain. Use Chromalux® or another full spectrum, neodymium glass bulb that increases contrast and clarity, that lends itself overall to a zero eye strain, better visual experience.Your eyes will thank you. 

Our top-recommended general-use bulbs for eye health:

Any bulb from the Chromalux® incandescent collection