Blue light isn’t all bad — the blue waves in sunlight boost our energy levels after all — but too much of anything can cause adverse health effects. But with our screened-in culture — electronic display screens emit significant amounts of blue light — many eye doctors and health professionals are concerned about the long-term health of our eyes.
Blue light consists of short high energy visible (HEV) wavelengths ranging from 380 nanometers (nm) to 500 nm. Because it’s shorter than other visible light waves on the spectrum, blue wavelengths flicker more easily than longer wavelengths.
This high energy flickering could be one of the reasons why we complain of eyestrain, headaches and fatigue after sitting for many hours in front of an electronic device.
“We're staring at our devices all day long,” said Jeff DuBois, public relations director for ZAGG Inc., a consumer electronics company based in Midvale, Utah. “High-energy visible blue light penetrates deeply into the eye and can lead to problems.”
ZAGG Inc. positions itself as a global leader in accessories and technologies that empower the mobile lifestyle which, DuBois noted, have become the epicenter of our lives.
“Our products solve a number of consumer pain points,” he said. “I think everyone can relate to that gut-wrenching moment when you drop your phone facedown on the pavement. Your mind thinks, ‘Did my phone survive?’ Everyone can, at a basic level, relate to that fear.”
One pain point InvisibleShield now helps solve for is blue light. UL recently granted its first-ever Verification Mark for blue light mitigation to the InvisibleShield® Glass+VisionGuard screen protector product.
“For us, adding a technology that effectively targets the most damaging range of spectrum to remove it from the mix is game-changing from a screen protection perspective,” DuBois said.
According to InvisibleShield’s Product Development Manager Edward Li, the company wanted a third-party to verify not only its blue light filtering claim but the product’s color preservation displays as well.
“A lot of other software blue light filtering products change the color of the display,” Li said. “Our product was uniquely designed to preserve the original quality of a device’s screen display.”
Putting it all together
InvisibleShield developed its Glass+VisionGuard product based on technical specifications established by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Agency (ICNIRP). UL’s engineers reviewed the standards outlined in the ICNIRP document to understand the technical details and determine the testing protocols.
“Within a couple of weeks, we knew exactly what UL needed from us to perform the verification test, and we understood all the technical details of the test,” Li said.
UL’s Optical Radiation Laboratory performed the assessments at its facility in Durham, North Carolina. A scanning spectroradiometer with a double monochromator measured the radiance emitted from a light source before and after the application of the InvisibleShield screen protector.
The specialized test confirmed an HEV blue light emission reduction of at least 15%. A sperate assessment of the InvisibleShield Glass+VisionGuard screen protector with Eyesafe® technology verified preservation of the display’s overall color performance while reducing HEV blue light emissions.
“Blue light mitigation is a significant challenge,” DuBois said. “The fact that UL testing validated what we've been claiming is hugely gratifying and something that clearly provides validation for consumers.”
You can learn additional details about how the test was performed and the results from UL’s August 2019 press release.