Wired magazine : blue LED backlash

Filed under:

This Wired article is somewhat amusing, but possibly a harbinger of a shift in consumer preference. Bright blue LEDs in products are getting an increasingly negative reaction from consumers, according to the piece. And while it’s somewhat tenuous, the author attempts to explain this in medical terms:

“Blue tends to cause more discomfort and disability glare than other, longer wavelengths,” said Dr. David Sliney, an expert on the harmful effects of bright light sources at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine in Maryland.

Sliney said the eye’s lens cannot focus sharply on the blue lights. While red or green light is focused precisely onto the retina, blue light is focused slightly in front of it, which causes a distracting halo around bright blue lights.

The solution is obvious enough, just use LEDs that are less bright. But in the meantime, a black marker can relieve your eyes from some of the 470nm onslaught if it bothers you that much. Four years ago, everyone was modding bright blue LEDs into products–now they’re modding them out.

[prev: Scientists develop novel multi-color light-emitting diodes]
[next: Solid-State Lighting Sources Getting More Energy Efficient and Smart]