Do Plasma TVs Emit Blue Light?

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Do Plasma TVs Emit Blue Light_

If you’re familiar with the health concerns around electronic devices, you’re probably already aware of blue light and its impacts. If you’ve asked do plasma TVs emit blue light, here’s a quick answer:

Plasma TVs emit light at all wavelengths of the visible spectrum. This includes blue light with wavelengths around 475nm. Blue light is known to cause issues with sleep, and so watching a plasma TV late at night can affect your sleep cycle.

In this article, I’ll go into more detail about how plasma TV screens work, the issues of blue light, and how to work around this.

Also read: Do Smart TVs Emit Radiation When Turned off?

How Do Plasma TVs Work?

At the most general level, plasma TVs work in much the same way as LCD TVs.

They consist of pixels of various colors being switched on and off to create a picture. Which pixels are turned on depends on the image being shown.

The main difference is that plasma TVs consist of cells that contain electrodes and a neon-xenon gas sealed in plasma.

When in use, this gas is electrically charged to strike colored phosphors in the pixels. These phosphors are red, green, or blue, and combine to make the end picture on the screen.

As they produce light across the visible spectrum, a portion of this will be blue light.

What Is Blue Light?

Blue light, as I’ve mentioned, is part of the spectrum of visible light. It’s closest to ultraviolet light (UV) and has a wavelength around 475nm.

This is also why the sky appears blue. Blue light is at the shorter end of the visible spectrum and so scatters in the atmosphere more effectively than other wavelengths.

Your body’s internal body clock is known as its circadian rhythm. It dictates when you feel tired when you go to sleep, and when you wake up.

In the days before alarm clocks, the circadian rhythm is what stimulated your body to wake up in the morning.

While it runs on its own cycle (just over 24 hours), it’s stimulated by external factors, such as the sky going dark and getting light.

So, this means our circadian rhythm is affected by blue light because it sees it as our bodies needing to become alert because the day is starting.

At the opposite end of this cycle, your body produces melatonin when the sky gets dark. This is the hormone that makes us sleepy.

Blue light stops the production of melatonin because your body thinks it’s daytime and so gets ready for waking up.

Therefore, using devices that display blue light (such as plasma TVs) can impact your sleep cycle and make you more alert.

What Are the Health Impacts of Blue Light?

Although much of the research is still preliminary, overexposure to blue light has been shown to have various effects on the body. These include:

The general thought is that this link is more indirect. Findings suggest that reduced melatonin production means less sleep, which means less time for your body to heal.

Over time, this can have impacts on your health.

How to Reduce Blue Light Exposure

Luckily, as this becomes a more widely recognized problem, more solutions are offered for combating blue light exposure.

Here are my top suggestions:

1. Use blue light glasses

A simple and effective solution to this problem is to use blue light glasses (from Defendershield). Also, read my article on Antiradiation Glasses.

They contain a filter that blocks light in the blue wavelength, meaning you can continue to use your devices late into the night and hopefully have no issues sleeping.

A recent study found that participants wearing blue light glasses produced the same level of melatonin as those not exposed to light sources.

Considering these are fairly inexpensive, they’re a great solution to a common problem.

2. Stop using the TV well before bedtime

Stop using the TV well before bedtime

Another simple solution is to just stop using your plasma TV a while before you go to bed.

This’ll allow your body to understand it’s nighttime and so it’ll produce melatonin.

It’s generally recommended to stop using electronic devices at least an hour before you plan on going to bed. But 2 hours or more is better.

This option will be particularly helpful if your sleep pattern currently seems disrupted.

Combine this with reading a book, as this’ll help to relax your mind. You can buy reading lamps that don’t produce blue light (Amazon link) for just this purpose.

3. Reduce blue light exposure from other sources too

Your plasma TV is just one of many sources that produce blue light. The more you can block or reduce, the more regular your circadian rhythm will be.

Most smartphones have a built-in blue light setting. If yours does, activate it.

If not, download an app that does the same thing.

You can also get them for your computer too. These programs are designed to alter screen brightness and color depending on the time of day.

4. Buy a different kind of TV

A final solution is to change to a type of TV that produces less blue light than plasma.

LED is a good option, but OLED is even better. Samsung recently announced that their current OLED TV produces 61% less blue light than a standard LED TV.

As the blue light issue becomes more widely recognized, manufacturers are taking steps to reduce the level of blue light their devices produce.

In fact, Chinese firm TCL has designed a 4K TV that is “eye-friendly” because it produces much less blue light.

This is good news because it means you can make the switch to current-gen technology and not be concerned about your circadian rhythm!

Some Final Thoughts

Blue light is a difficult issue to escape considering how many screens we view on a daily basis.

Plasma TVs are just one of many sources of blue light.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce this issue. Hopefully, the solutions I’ve mentioned above will be helpful for reducing your exposure to this sleep-depriving wavelength.