The Healthiest Light for 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 Lumiram pioneered over 40 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 of  skin. It turns out that the same bulb works wonders in the home and for the eyes.

What does neodymium glass do?

You surely have noticed the pink or purple 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, white, and true-to-life light. 

Neodymium in the glass filters out yellow, green, dulling portions of the light spectrum, in turn clarifying the light we see.

Using an analogy photographers will love: using neodymium glass has the same effect on our surroundings as increasing the contrast, upping the saturation, and de-hazing has on a photo. With less competition in the visual field, black and whites are contrasted, colors appear more vivid, and a pleasant light is cast.

That said, here are some eye-friendly Chromalux® properties:

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

✓Is glare-free and comfortable due to filtered out yellow, dulling properties.

✓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: 

Which light technology is best for eye health?

With conflicting claims such as one source saying LEDs are the worst due to their high values of blue light, and yet another claiming 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/halogen/ bulb over other technologies.

However, like most things in life, it's not a good idea to group everything into one category or another: every light source is unique, and every eye unique. Yes, there are some points of truth to each claim, but as you might have realized, the conflicting claims are due to an inability to group everything together. 

Every light bulb - regardless of its technology- is slightly varied depending on factors such as color temperature, luminosity, and manufacturer.

Why incandescent light bulbs?

In most cases, we do agree that an absence of UV rays is probably best for the eyes, eliminating fluorescent bulbs. Additionally, we get enough blue light from our day-long usage of smartphones, tablets, and computer screens, so it's probably best not to rely entirely on LED sources. That leaves us with incandescent technology providing the softest, most neutral light.

The verdict:

Get plenty of natural light, mixing up the light technologies you use indoors. Consider using more incandescent or halogen light. Bright light isn't always 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, ups vividness, and overall lends itself to a better visual experience with zero eye strain. Your eyes will thank you. 

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

Any size/wattage bulb from the Chromalux® incandescent collection