How to Test Blue Light Glasses: 3 Simple Tests
The trouble with blue light glasses is that you can’t really see them working while wearing them.
And with the rise in popularity, many companies have popped up overnight selling low quality glasses (essentially knockoffs) that don’t actually block much blue light.
You can see our list of the best blue light glasses to find higher quality pairs, but if you already have a pair, you should give them a quick test.
Let me walk you through how to do that quickly.
How to Test if Blue Light Glasses Work
Fundamentally, all the tests I’ll walk you through are based on trying to see if blue light is filtered out (on the lenses).
Different types of blue light glasses block different amounts of blue light:
- Clear glasses block 20-30% of blue light
- Yellow lenses block 65-70% of blue light
- Orange lenses block 90%+ of blue light wavelengths
Each is good for different purposes (i.e. yellow lenses for night driving, orange lenses for watching screens before bed). In most studies looking at blue light glasses for insomnia, they use orange lenses.
If you look at blue light with a pair of orange lensed blue light blocking glasses, you shouldn’t be able to see much (if any) of a blue hue. But with the other types, you’ll still see a bit.
3 Tests for Blue Light Glasses
Any of the following tests will work, but they don’t always give a crystal clear answer, especially if you’re testing glasses with lighter lenses.
That’s why the ideal situation is for the manufacturer to provide an official blue light spectrum report, but that’s not common unfortunately.
1. The Lens Reflection Test
This is the simplest test.
If the lenses block light specifically from the blue light spectrum, then the outside of the lenses will reflect blue light when exposed to it.
In other words, this test involves:
- Face the glasses to a source of blue light (e.g. a screen)
- Observe the outside of the lenses
- If the glasses are effective, they will have some degree of blue tint
On the other hand, if the reflection is transparent, or even a different color like purple, then it’s a sign that blue light is not being blocked effectively.
2. The Color Wheel
We made the image below as a simple blue light test.
Look at the inner circle while wearing your glasses.
If you’re wearing orange lensed blue light glasses, the inner blue circle should turn to dark gray or even black.
If you’re wearing yellow or clear lenses, the blue circle should turn more of a light gray color.
3. Look At the Blue Sky
One final simple test that doesn’t involve blue light from a screen is to look at the blue sky (if it’s possible at the time).
The sky appears blue because of how blue light waves from sunlight are scattered by the gasses in the atmosphere.
Good blue light glasses will make the sky appear more of a gray color. You’re pretty much looking for a duller blue tone in any case.
Limitations of Home Tests for Blue Light Glasses
I wish I could give you a more conclusive test to run, but there isn’t one that you can easily do at home.
In labs, these glasses can be tested by a spectrophotometer. A spectrophotometer breaks light into its component frequencies, and then it can be measured how much of each frequency actually penetrates a lens.
Unfortunately, these machines aren’t common for the average person and cost thousands of dollars.
So while these simple home tests for blue light blocking glasses aren’t perfect, as long as you’re seeing some indication that objects that were blue are now a different color, you can have some confidence that your glasses work.
Medical Disclaimer: The information on SnoozeUniversity.com is not intended to be a substitute for physician or other qualified care. We simply aim to inform people struggling with sleep issues about the nature of their condition and/or prescribed treatment.