Here are some interesting and relevant links, if you are interested in knowing more about light quality and eye health:
A great website with the newest research about light:
Alexander Wunsch, physician and photobiologist, talks about
>>The Healing Power of (Sun-)Light
An essay from the Harvard Health Letter, focussing on the dangers of blue light at night:
>>Blue Light has a Dark Side
A very well referenced essay about (artificial) light in general and blue light hazard:
>>Artificial Lighting and the Blue Light Hazard
Very informative article in the Chicago Tribune:
>>Light from electronic screens at night linked to sleep loss
A little more blatant, but intersting as well:
>>How artificial light is wrecking your sleep, and what to do about it
A comprehensive interview with Alexander Wunsch, explaining the health risk of fluorescent light:
>>Energy saving light bulbs can make you ill!
Fact Sheet about the main risks associated with energy saving lamps:
>>The Three Main Health Risks
Great blog promoting healthy light and informing about CFLs (compact flourescent light)
A short summary of blue light hazard from LED light:
>>Blue LED Light Dangers
The French Health Institute ANSES found that some LED are not suitable for public use:
>>Watchdog safety alert on LED light
An interesting essay about light pollution and its dangers:
>>The dark side of light pollution
An appeal for dark skies by the International Dark Sky Association:
>>Blue Light Threatens Animals and People
– Most study´s full text is not published online, but the abstracts can be seen on various websites. We mainly link to the abstracts that allow you to see the most relevant outcomes of the studies, and it is often possible to access the full text after paying a fee.
– About retinal damage through blue light exposure: It is quite hard to prove the link between blue light exposure and human retinal damage „in vivo“, as it is a chronic process, developing over the years. There are a lot of „in vitro“ studies, showing the phototoxicity of blue light on cell cultures. Evidence from animal studies confirms blue light’s damaging potential but the results are not directly applicable to macular degeneration in humans.
This study from 2004 researches the question weather or not blue light filtters can stop or slow the developement of age related macular degeneration (AMD). It concludes that „On balance the evidences suggests but does not yet confirm that blue light is a risk factor for AMD“.
This very recent study (2014) could open a new chapter in the blue light research: It shows that neuroglobin, which is protective to the neurons, could be a biological marker of cell damage in the retina. A hightened concentration can be detected before there is visible damage to the retina. In this study, neuroglobin concentrations were used to estimate the potential harm of LED lights in different colors. As expected, blue LED light was shown to be the most damaging.
There is a huge number of studies about melatonin supression by blue light. This one is especially interesting, as it researches the protection from melatonin supression through blue light blocking filters. The studied group consists of shift workers, who are often suffering from disturbances in their circadian rhythm. The study was able to show that blue light filters can efficiently protect the hormonal balance, in lab environment as well as „in the field“, which led to better sleep quality, mood and cognitive function. It can be assumed that efficient blue light protection can prevent a large number of health risks associated with shift work.
This research synthesis has been published in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, June (2000). NY: AFB Press
This study concludes „that the use of BB glasses in male adolescents while sitting in front of an LED screen in the evening can attenuate melatonin suppression and alerting effects before sleep. BB glasses therefore have the potential to acutely impede the negative effects modern lighting imposes on circadian physiology in the evening. The impact on the circadian system implicates that multimedia screen use may be harmful for ado- lescents’ health also in the long run and that BB glasses could serve as a countermeasure with beneficial effects on sleep quality, daytime functioning, and even mood.“ This study is available as a full text, the link above leads to a downloadable pdf file.