Are blue light filters working

Do Blue Filter Glasses Really Work? 8 facts at a glance

Medically checked by Jakub Odcházel, chief optician at 321 lenses, on April 29, 2021
Written by Leonie Bauer

Computer glasses protect our eyes from harmful blue light by filtering out the blue light waves. Or are they being absorbed? And are we talking about 100%, or are the glasses blocking a lot less light than we think?

Blue filter glasses are all the rage. But hardly anyone knows whether blue filter lenses are actually useful - or whether the eyewear industry is fooling us.

Time to analyze the facts. Don't you think so too?

1. What are blue light filter glasses and how do they work?

First, let's take a look at the promise made by the makers of blue filter glasses.

The idea behind the concept of blue filter glasses is this Protection against the "harmful" rays of digital screens such as computers, cell phones, tablets and TVs.

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They are marketed as specialty glasses designed to help us work, sleep and see better. They do this in three ways:

  • Computer glasses help the body maintain its natural biorhythm after sunset by counteracting the blue light that we receive from artificial sources.
  • They protect against UV exposure, which can cause macular degeneration, cataracts, skin cancer and other harmful effects.
  • And they improve visual acuity by reducing glare and light intensity.

But is it all true? And do these properties apply to all blue light filter glasses, or are there better and worse ones?

To find out, we need to take a close look at the most common models and materials.

2. What are blue filter glasses made of?

Let's take a closer look at three different eyewear manufacturers: the popular Spanish label Meller, the cult brand Ray-Ban and Omega Optix, the blue filter supplier of 321 lenses.

The glasses of the Meller Blue Light glasses are made from CR-39, a type of plastic polymer. It's the same material that many sunglass lenses are made from. The material is naturally scratch-resistant and blocks a large part of the UV spectrum.

The Meller eyewear collection is further subdivided into two categories: the "Bio-based" range, which consists of the biodegradable plastic G850, and the normal metal frame range, which is made of stainless steel.

The Blue filter glasses Ray-Ban "Everglasses" are also made of CR-39, with the glasses frames made of TR90 (a type of hard-wearing nylon).

The lenses of the blue filter glasses from Omega Optix, which the opticians of 321 lenses use, consist of 1) CR-39 at index 1.5, and 2) MR-8 at index 1.6 and 1.67. They call their lenses UV420 and the additional blue light / anti-reflective treatment 'AR XBlue'.

Find out more about the different types of lens materials!

3. What other properties do blue filter glasses have?

Both CR-39– and MR-8– are a type of hard, light, clear plastic material that offers natural UV protection.

But CR-39 lenses (from Meller and Ray-Ban) offer a lot more. You are:

  • Scratch resistant
  • Resistant to chemicals, paints, etc.
  • Thicker and a little cheaper to manufacture

Our UV420 MR-8 lenses (from Omega Optix) offer even more advantages. You are:

  • Softer than the equivalent CR39 glasses, but can receive an additional hardening treatment, which our shop offers free of charge
  • Impact-proof and generally more break-proof, as the material is softer
  • Thinner than the equivalent CR39 glasses, which is more noticeable with a high index (1.6 and more)

4. Do blue light filter glasses have tinted lenses?

Yes, all blue light filters have a slight amber / yellow tint. This coating enables the glasses to have anti-reflective and blue-repellent properties. With 321 lenses, all tinted Omega Optix lenses are listed under the term "XBlue" technology.

But changed this Tint color perception? No not that. However, the intensity of blue and purple objects is somewhat affected as the glasses filter out part of this spectrum. Customers should expect these colors to be less bright due to the lower number of photons reaching the eye. However, this "soft" appearance is the reason why many customers state that the blue filter glasses help them in the evenings.

5. How much blue light do computer glasses block?

Aside from the aspect of sun protection, one of the most important questions you have asked us is how much blue light is actually blocked by blue filter glasses. We have summarized the data of the glasses from Meller- and Ray-Ban.

  • The 'Bio' series from Meller allows 68.85% of blue and violet light to pass through - thus they block 31% of the blue (and purple) light. The metal frame collection lets 63.42% of the blue and purple light through - so they block 36.5% of blue (and purple) light.
  • The Ray-Ban Everglasses computer glasses are designed so that theyFilter at least 20% of the blue light from 380 to 450 nm.

6. Do blue filters protect glasses from UV light?

Yes, all computer glasses at 321Linsen block UV - A and UV - B radiation completely, and some of the UV - C radiation. This is due to the material they are made of and is similar to how sunglasses work. Please note that they are not polarized.

7. Reduce digital eye stress

All of the major blue-filter eyewear manufacturers state that their computer glasses help relieve symptoms of digital visual stress and eye tiredness. However, research does not support this.

However, ophthalmologists recommend that anyone who spends long periods of time in front of a screen, first and foremost, ensure good lighting and frequent breaks. Computer glasses cannot replace these measures. Read more in our guide on how to best combat tired eyes.

8. So what are the best blue filter glasses on the market?

Now you know that the computer glasses from Ray-Ban, Meller and Omega Optix filter out a significant amount of blue light and UV radiation without disturbing color perception. In addition, their computer glasses are made of scratch-resistant lenses that can be worn all day and evening.

Good to know: On 321 lenses you can have each of our glasses models equipped with a blue light filter + prescription. Our optometrists can make any type of blue filter glasses for you in our optics laboratory.

Are you still looking for suitable computer glasses?
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