View Full Version : The Danger of Blue Light is Greater for Reef Aquarists

12-24-2014, 07:03 PM
Many of you know my wife, Auggie. She's a Doctor of Optometry. She's aware that reef aquarists rely on blue light to grow corals. She's been educating me on the dangers of blue light in regard to eye damage. We all know about the dangers of UV light, but recent research has proven that visible blue light is also dangerous. Here's what she has to say:

"According to the article, The Lowdown on Blue Light: Good versus Bad and It's Connection to AMD by Mark Dunbar OD and Ron Melton OD published in the Review of Optometry, exposure to blue light, especially violet and blue violet in the 415-450nm range, has been linked to increased risk of macular degeneration in humans. Macular degeneration is a serious, non-reversible condition causing loss of central vision and visual acuity; it can lead to legal blindness. Since these are the same wavelengths shown to be beneficial coral growth, please use caution with high intensity lights in this spectrum. The effect is cumulative and non-reversible. Wearing blue blocking lenses, yellow/amber is the complimentary color to the blue, may decrease your risk when dealing with these lenses."

The article also said, "Over time, our eyes are exposed to various sources that emit this blue-violet light (e.g., the sun, LED lighting, CFLs). Combine that with the use of tablets, TVs, computer screens and smart phones, and there's no doubt our exposure to blue-violet light is on the increase. This cumulative and constant exposure to the blue-violet light is going to accumulate over time and has the potential to cause damage to the retinal cells, which is going to slowly lead to retinal cell death and can in turn lead to AMD."

So what they're saying is that macular eye damage is on the increase due to our increasing exposure to blue light from new, energy efficient light sources. As reef aquarists, we're at even greater risk of accelerated, permanent retinal damage. Whenever possible, use blue-blocking lenses when you're subjecting your eyes to prolonged exposure to these kinds of light sources, particularly reef lighting sources.

12-24-2014, 07:08 PM
Interesting. I can't see myself wearing blue blockers around the tank. However I can't see going blind early. Pun intended.

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12-24-2014, 07:10 PM
Wow. Interesting and cool. Who'd have thought we put ourselves at risk just providing optimal conditions for our tanks

Prepare Yourself! http://tinyurl.com/nsxj9k3

12-24-2014, 07:23 PM
I know. It pisses me off too. Fortunately, I don't stare at the tank very much, the tank's in another room, but my vision is already showing signs of age. I'll have to get some amber eyewear.

12-24-2014, 07:24 PM
Those yellow glasses really make your corals pop...

12-24-2014, 07:31 PM
Lol yeah amber glasses rock when coral viewing!

12-24-2014, 08:05 PM
Those yellow glasses really make your corals pop...

So maybe it's not such a bad thing then.

12-24-2014, 08:25 PM
I'm laughing at the thought...we both have amber ski goggles. It might be a photo op the next time we're looking at the tank.