Low Blue Light Technology reduces the emission of harmful low blue lights on a display in order to prevent eye fatigue.
If you spend a lot of time in front of a desktop monitor, whether for entertainment purposes or work (or both), you’re most likely concerned about your ocular health – as you should be.
Looking at the screen for extended periods of time without taking breaks can cause eye fatigue and headaches and negatively impact your eyesight in the long run.
Luckily, most modern monitors have ways of preventing this, such as flicker-free backlights, anti-glare screen coatings and – Low Blue Light (LBL) technology.
What Is Low Blue Light Technology?
In short, displays with the LBL technology filter out the harmful blue lights, which can cause eye strain to those sensitive to it.
Another common symptom users experience is having trouble falling asleep after being exposed to low blue light prior to going to bed.
Basically, almost all modern monitors have a low blue light filter.
You will find it in the display’s OSD (On-Screen Display) menu; look for a feature called ‘Low Blue Light’ or something along those lines.
Some monitors will apply the low blue light filter to certain picture presets, such as Reader Mode, Eye Saver, Text Viewing, Paper and similar.
Depending on the monitor, enabling the LBL mode/preset may or may not change the screen’s brightness. If it does not, keep in mind that using an optimal brightness setting is also vital for a comfortable viewing experience.
In dim-lit rooms, you should decrease brightness, and increase it if you’re in a room with plenty of light.
There are also newer displays with a built-in low blue light filter at the hardware level, which prevents harmful blue lights at all times without affecting the image quality.
We have a dedicated best monitor for office work buyer’s guide, consisting of all displays that feature LBL, flicker-free and anti-glare technology.
Some monitors such as the BenQ EW3270ZL have innovative eye-care features such as built-in sensors that automatically change the display’s brightness and color temperature according to ambient lighting and time, etc.
Lastly, in case you have an older monitor that lacks Low Blue Light Technology, you can manually decrease the output of blue color in the monitor’s color temperature settings or use a software solution, such as f.lux or Windows’ Night Light.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
Besides having a low blue light mode, ensure that the monitor you’re buying also has a flicker-free backlight.
Flicker-free monitors use direct current (DC) to dim their backlights. Displays that use PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) to regulate brightness introduce screen flicker, which can cause headaches after prolonged use to those sensitive to it.
Further, a monitor should have a proper anti-glare screen coating to eliminate reflections. Learn more about different screen surfaces and coatings.
Naturally, even with all these means of protection, it’s still recommended to take breaks; even a short 5-minute break after every hour or so is very beneficial.
If you have an older display with none of the features mentioned so far, you should consider getting a pair of blue light-blocking glasses or a blue light screen protector that you can attach to your monitor.
In truth, apart from affecting your circadian rhythm, there’s no evidence that a display’s low-blue light emission causes eye health problems.
So, unless you have trouble falling asleep prior to using a display without a low-blue light filter, you most likely don’t have to worry about this issue.
More importantly, you should make sure that your display uses a flicker-free backlight and that you use adequate screen brightness for your ambient lighting.
In a dark room, don’t use too high brightness settings.
In a particularly bright room, make sure that the brightness is high enough to mitigate glare since looking through reflections will strain your eyes. This is where monitors with matte anti-glare coatings can be helpful.
While displays with glossy surfaces offer a more vivid picture quality, they’re also more reflective, so you’ll have to mind the lighting in your room to ensure a comfortable viewing experience.
Finally and above all, make sure you take regular breaks from screen time.