For all the advantages and ease that our screens add to our daily lives, both at work and at home, one thing they also do is strain our eyes.
Countless hours spent staring at Zoom calls, Word documents, and searching cases online also means countless hours bombarded with blue light from a monitor. But at this point, the science is pretty clear that blue lights have adverse effects on sleep; when we expose ourselves to them at times, we wouldn’t naturally be exposed to light (e.g., before sunrise or after sunset). Because blue light attempts to mimic daylight, it can decrease the contrast of colours on the screen, leading to eye strain.
Many of us who continue to work mostly from home — where the lines between working and not working hours tend to blur — experience blue light’s negative effects. To mitigate this problem, you can purchase blue light glasses, but before you do, it may be worth taking advantage of something that comes installed or is free to download onto your computer: the night light.
Banishing the blues
Your computer most likely comes designed to control for the effects of blue light. This feature tones down the blue light on your computer between sunset and sunrise. For those of us who are finding that our computer time has gone up at all hours, this may not be enough, even when the sun is up. But, there is an option! You can turn the night light on 24 hours a day.
If you’re using Windows.
Here’s how to enable the feature if you’re using Windows. Go into the settings on your computer’s night light and set the time so that it is always on or on during the hours when you are using your computer most. This will reduce the strain placed on your eyes, and make working from home or just working on the computer far more comfortable.
For more information, click here.
If you’re using a Mac
If you’re using an Apple device, consider downloading F.lux. F.lux is a free program that will act in the same way as the night light on a PC, reducing the blue light on your computer in accordance with sunset and sunrise.
Fixing the blues on your smartphone
If you spend a lot of time on your smartphone, answering emails, or scrolling social media, check to see if your phone has a blue light filter or eye-comfort setting you can opt for. This is especially useful if you are frequently using your phone late at night. Another option to consider is switching your apps to “dark mode”. This will not only reduce battery consumption but increase the contrast on your screen, reducing eye strain.
On a Samsung