The best low cost blue blockers for sleep! Including prescriptions and reading glasses!
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What are the best blue blockers in the industry? We review blue blockers that not only can easily block blue and green light, but are the most low cost and affordable in the industry. And you can get them as reading glasses or prescriptions!
Blue-blocker glasses are a very convenient way to protect your eyes from blue light. We have already written an article about the importance of blocking artificial blue light for optimal sleep, circadian rhythm, and eye health.
That is why GembaRed offers red nightlights and book-lights. And we also reviewed the top affordable low-flicker ambient red light bulbs on the market! This way you can use red lights that naturally don't emit any blue or green light - which is optimal to use red ambient lighting at night for proper sleep.
However, if you can't switch all your lightbulbs to red light at night, or perhaps you travel, watch TV at night, or go out for social outings. Then blue-blockers will be your next-best option to protect your melatonin production.
Too often consumers fall prey to high priced blue-blockers that claim to be patented or have something that no one else has. Often the consumer is left paying more for the marketing of the fancy brand, than for the glasses themselves.
In reality blue-blocking glasses are a simple technology that has been around for decades! Blue blocking is often required in some industries, and that is why some of the best blue blockers are actually coming from industrial safety glasses brands.
We often recommend that customers get the UVEX Skyper glasses, or Dewalt Laser Enhancement glasses as the best affordable blue-blocker glasses. These are fantastic lightweight glasses with wide wrap-around for optimal coverage over the eyes and minimal frame to block vision. These are always our top pick, especially for home use.
Our owner Andrew has written a guest-blog on AlexFergus.com about finding the perfect blue-blockers for YOUR individual needs. Blue blockers can come in a range of styles, tints, and types that are important for you to choose the ones that work best for you, not just whatever some influencer promotes.
So if you need prescription glasses, or something more stylish for social settings, or more selection of styles to fit your unique face shape - then we go to Readingglassesetc.com
Readingglassesetc offers a HUGE selection of frames at fantastic prices. Then you can select your blue-blocking tints from a LONG drop-down list of choices. They even offer the BPI-550 tint, which is the same red-orange tint that has been used by famous brands BluBlox and Ra Optics.
Then you can even add a reading glasses magnification, or even upload your prescription to ReadingGlassesetc - making them suitable to help many people with affordable prescription blue-blockers.
All said and done I was able to get multiple pairs for a fantastic price. And the ones I got from are high quality hypoallergenic acetate or the super lightweight and flexible TR-90 material.
Well the proof is in the pudding! Let's test out these UVEX, DeWalt, and ReadingGlassesetc glasses to make sure they truly block blue and green light!
The cheapest test of blue blockers is with a simple RGB (Red-Green-Blue) strip light. There are some good tests online with holding up the glasses to the computer screen, but sometimes that is kind of a subjective test because of the inconsistent spectrum from monitors and back-lighting.
When you hold up a good blue-blocker to the Blue LED, then it will block ALL the blue and the LED will appear to be "off". You can trust your eyes! Your eyes are very sensitive to light, and you will SEE any trace of blue emitting through.
Or maybe you have blue or green lights on some of your electronics at home. Try it out on them!
We show all 4 of our glasses are doing great at blocking the Blue LED! There is a trace of light from this RBG strip coming through, it seems to be the strip light is activating the other colors even though it is only set to Blue mode. So I will need to re-do this test later with single blue and green LEDs, not RBG style.
Anyway we can be confident these are blocking the blue light very well!
Of course we don't just want to visually check these glasses, but we want to know the actual wavelength that these glasses are blocking to.
Our affordable ThunderOptics spectrometer gives a noisy signal, that is why we see the jagged lines across the bottom. This is why we do the single-color tests above to make sure we are sure that no blue is coming through visually.
We can see that the UVEX Skyper starts to let in light around 520nm (really good!), the BPI500 at about 535nm, the BPI550 right at 550nm (hence the name), and the Dewalts let in light starting at 575nm!
Now just because a tint can block MORE blue or green light doesn't necessarily mean it is BETTER for your situation. Often orange tints are more practical and easier to use, while red tints are better for insomnia, jetlag, or serious sleep issues.
There are some new changes to ReadingGlassesETC and we have been experimenting with some new tints and brands. Here is a new spectrum analysis for our latest recommendations.
The Uvex Espresso (dark brown) tint is an excellent tint that reduces the entire spectrum of light, including red. This helps really make everything dark. However, it does let through up to 10% blue light, but with the overall brightness reduction this is a great nighttime light reducer to try, and you will be able to enjoy the full spectrum of color if you are still watching media at night.
The Uvex Orange is the same, amazing job at blocking nearly all blue and green light up to about 530nm.
The Dewalt Red Laser Enhancement Glasses are the same here also, doing an excellent job at blocking nearly all blue and green light up to about 570nm! This is amazing for a cheap pair of glasses if you really struggle with sleep. However, most of the time such extreme amounts of blocking can be a hindrance, and we usually prefer the orange tints for normal nighttime usage.
The ReadingGlassesETC has discontinued offering the BPI500 and BPI550 tints. So this new spectrum is the MOJO BlueBlock Therapy Tint - Orange. This is an affordable add-on to their excellent range of glasses. However, it does let about 3-5% blue light through. Similar to the Uvex Espresso, this could be an advantage in cases where you may want to enjoy seeing a small amount of blue light in the evenings.
And the newcomer is the 39DollarGlasses which is another affordable online store with a wide range of frames and styles to choose from. As the name implies, the starting price for most frames is 39 dollars.
The hack here is that after you select your lens type (Prescription, Readers, Non-RX), you can choose to select a sunglasses tint labelled as the UltimateView Tinted. Doing so, you can choose the Solid tint and the Orange color.
Despite not being marketed for blue-blocking, we measure this orange tint at blocking all blue light up to 500nm, and with a significant reduction of green light as well less than 20% of green light up to 555nm gets through.
With non-Rx glasses this hack gives a lot of great styles and options for less than $50!
What Styles To Get?
If you follow the blog on the Alex Fergus website you will learn the details about how to choose the perfect style and frame for YOUR individual needs!
My personal criteria is to make sure they are lightweight, flexible or adjustable, and with long temples (arms) for my big head. That is why I landed on the acetate and TR90 styles.
Here are the ones that I picked out:
An amazing price for these stylish acetate glasses! (Note, here is the link for the Tortoise Shell version of my glasses, maybe the Black version was discontinued or out of stock)
Seen here with the orange BPI500 tint.
Now here are my lightweight TR90 frames!
My lightweight TR90 frames with the red BPI550 tint.
Runner-Up styles for my next order!
A classic Wayfarer style:
A classic Aviator style in acetate (they also make it in metal):
A round tortoise-shell look:
We hoped this helps demystify blue blockers for everyone that this isn't some mystical proprietary technology that only a handful of expensive companies control. The truth is that there are some fantastic options for blue blockers with great selections and prices. Whether you choose low-cost safety glasses like Uvex or Dewalt, or a more stylish frame from ReadingGlassesETC, a hack from 39DollarGlasses, you really can't go wrong!
The best part is that ReadingGlassesETC and 39DollarGlasses can help for people that need reading glasses or prescriptions, which is very affordable compared to some of the "big name" blue blocker brands.
That is why we are proud to promote ReadingGlassesETC and have joined their affiliate program to help spread the word about these affordable blue-blocking glasses.