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 are also most beneficial for the eyes!
What is neodymium glass?
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:
Neodymium purifies dulling portions of the visible light spectrum (such as yellow and green), creating a very pure and clarified light, unlike any other light bulb.
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.
✓ 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. In fact, it's the only bulb we truly recommend for ultimate eye health.
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 the 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.
Low Flicker: The flicker present in most fluorescent and LED bulbs can be bothersome for most, causing nausea, headaches, and the inability to focus your eyes. For those with light sensitivity, 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 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 (it's abundant in natural sunlight during the morning/daylight hours, and absolutely vital for health and wellbeing), the electronic and artificial nature of blue light from LEDs can be straining and cause dry eyes. There's also been studies claiming possible damage to the retina over long-term exposure of digital blue light from our device screens and standard, run of the mill LEDs.
That leaves us with incandescent technology providing the softest, most neutral light. When it comes to our health at least, there are some things that are best left to the analog, natural sources of light!
Get plenty of natural light. Consider using more incandescent or halogen light. Bright light isn't usually the best light: opt for any light that makes your eyes feel less strained.
Ways to protect your eyes in daily life:
Minimize screen usage at night and in dark rooms.
Hold your phone at the most comfortable distance away from your eyes.
Wear sunglasses during the summer and at high noon when the sun is strongest.
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.
Use blue light filtering computer glasses or screen filters when working on a computer.
- Use incandescent lighting in close proximity (when working or reading).
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.
What about LED: are led bulbs bad for your eyes?
In short, we don't recommend LED bulbs for your eyes if you're after better overall eye health and/or lessened eye-strain - and especially not your standard run-of-the-mill LED!
LED is a truncated visible light source, and normal, non full spectrum types often have unnatural spikes in blue light wavelengths. Blue light is the shortest, highest frequency color of the visible light spectrum, and though absolutely necessary during the morning and daytime to get energized and keep our circadian rhythm synced - artificial, non full spectrum types can have potentially damaging long-term effects for our eyes.
What color led light is best for your eyes?
Again, though we generally don't recommend LED bulbs in general for those with optimum eye health in mind, sometimes that's all one can use! In that case, remember that the main issue with LED and our eyes are the blue color wavelength spike in the visible light spectrum of LED bulbs. Therefore, the best color temperature LED for your eyes is anything in the warm white color temperature range (2700-3000K). Since clarity and contrast is a big part of lessening eye strain, a color-corrected type like our warm white Chromalux® LED might also be a great option!
Our top-recommended general-use bulbs for eye health:
All that aside, if you want the absolute best light for your eyes, choose any bulb from the Chromalux® incandescent collection, so you can finally see what you've been missing.
Wishing you all the best in light and health!
💡Thanks for reading
If you're interested in more articles like this (and for even more content on light and wellness), subscribe to our newsletter! You'll also get a code for 10% off your first order with us - so you can try out all the above recommendations!