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With so much time spent on phones, it can be easy to forget that w’ere staring at screens, and screens with a white that actually has a lot of blue in it. The problem is this isn’t good for our eyes, but fortunately, there’s an app for that.
Remember when your parents told you not to sit so close to the screen? These days, the screens are in our hands and we’re sitting closer to the screens than before, since we can bring them up to our faces and stare into the digital infinite abyss that is the mobile, tablet, and portable computer revolution.
But there’s a catch: while it’s great to have this access to information with us at all times, it isn’t necessarily healthy to look at the screens displaying it.
There are many reasons why this is the case, and they range from pixel clarity to room brightness and colour versus screen brightness and colour, but one thing that can at least help out is the reduction in blue light emitted by a screen.
It’s one of those things you may not be aware of, and that’s the idea that the LED-backlit screen on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, and pretty much anything else that is a popular electronic with an LED-based screen actually emits blue light as it sends out white and all those other colours you normally see.
In fact, unless you’re only working with darkened imagery, there’s a good chance that you’re seeing a lot more blue than you realise, and this might even impact your sleeping habits, with research from Harvard last year declaring that blue light might be responsible for sleep related problems and a reduction of the hormone responsible for sleep regeneration, Melatonin, which can lead to other issues.
With much of this extra blue light we’re seeing coming from devices that throw it our way — devices we depend on for our regular day to day — the solution might come from an app designed to cast a different light, so to speak.
The app in question is called “Twilight”, and it’s a screen changing app that will shift the colour and tone of the smartphone and tablet display as the day gradually makes its way into night, adding red or orange into the white LED colour spectrum to allow your body to look past the blue light and continue producing Melatonin, all in an effort to keep you going to sleep at a regular time, among other things.
Setting up the app is easy, with a colour temperature required — do you prefer it red or yellow or orange — as well as an intensity level and if you want the screen trimmed.
From there, you just work out when you want Twilight to operate. It could work all the time to try and give your eyes a leave from the blue light, and it might go off on an alarm. Or, if you want to match it to the real world, you can match it to when the sun goes down, which will update on a regular basis and change the colour based on sunset and sunrise times.
On the free Twilight, up to two profiles can be made, meaning you can trigger the app at certain times or have it do different things, such as modify the colour spectrum so that your screen goes into a more “energising” state in daylight with more light blue in the colour and back to that slight red tinge when night settles in.
So does it work?