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I first encountered the Iris Blue light filter after googling how I could reduce my Blue light exposure.
It quickly became apparent there are 3 main ways to do this:
- Glasses which filter Blue light
- Screen protectors which filter Blue light
- Blue light filtering software (Iris)
Blue light glasses were a big no-no for me as they can’t be customized. By this, I mean you can’t control how much Blue Light you can actually block with them.
I also didn’t want to look like a futuristic Cyborg.
Similarly, Blue light screen protectors aren’t customizable either, and it’s really hard to tell whether or not they’re effective.
(As the screen protector market is oversaturated, many brands will label their screen protectors as Blue light filtering just to have a marketing edge.)
Iris on the other hand is fully customizable, so you can control how much Blue light exposure you want, as well as being developed by someone who’s solely in the Blue light industry.
(Glasses and screen protectors are in the fashion/accessories industry, hence it’s unlikely their designers are as informed on Blue light science as actual Blue light experts.)
So this article gives the lowdown of my experience with using Iris.
But first, let’s have a brief overview of why too much Blue light is bad.
Why should you reduce Blue light exposure?
Have you ever noticed it’s difficult to fall asleep at night if you’ve just spent a lot of time on your phone or your laptop?
Well it turns out Blue light is the culprit.
You see, our eyes have a photoreceptor called Melanopsin. When Blue light interacts with Melanopsin in our eyes (i.e. when we’re looking at an electronic screen), it blocks the secretion of Melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making you sleepy, so if you don’t produce enough Melatonin, then you’ll have trouble falling asleep.
Not only this, but Blue light exposure increases Cortisol levels (the stress hormone) which makes us feel more awake.
To put it simply, the exposure to Blue light makes our bodies “think” it’s broad daylight, thus influencing our hormone levels.
From an evolutionary perspective, our bodies are designed to be more awake during daylight, hence Blue light exposure makes us feel more awake.
(Which obviously sucks at night time.)
This is only one half of the puzzle however.
Not only does Blue light lead to difficulty sleeping, but it can also contribute to eye strain and other ailments such as macular degeneration/cataracts.
This is because Blue light is extremely high energy when compared to other frequencies in the visible spectrum.
So it’s fair to say that reducing Blue light exposure is especially important in the “digital age” we’re currently living in, as many of our livelihoods revolve around using electronic screens which emit Blue light.
How does Iris work?
Iris reduces Blue light exposure by directly reducing the amount of Blue light emitted from your laptop/PC screen.
And as mentioned earlier, one of the best things about Iris is it’s super customizable, with 3 modes:
Automatic mode uses your clock and location to automatically set the Blue light level.
I.e. during the day, your screen will be brighter with more Blue light emissions whereas at night, the brightness will decrease along with a reduction of blue light.
This will align the brightness settings with nature so to speak, allowing a more natural hormonal response.
How cool is that?!
I recommend using this mode if you’re not too fussed about manually changing the settings and you just want Iris to “do its thing” naturally.
Manual mode uses the night time settings all the time, meaning the Blue light and brightness levels will be constantly lowered, regardless of the time of day.
This is useful if you’re working in a dark room and don’t have sunlight coming in, OR if you prefer having lower Blue light and brightness at all times.
Paused mode will stop all Iris color changes and will return your display to how it was set up before Iris is installed.
This is useful if say for example you’re doing some graphic design and you don’t want to skew the colors, or if you’re watching a movie and you just want the best visual experience possible.
Keep in mind however that Paused mode stops Iris, meaning there’s no Blue light protection at all.
My personal favorite mode is Automatic, as I love the convenience of Iris doing the work for me.
It really is a game changer.
As well as these 3 modes, Iris also has 11 pre-set templates which will customize the light levels of your screen depending on what type you choose.
The types are:
So for example, say if you were gaming on your laptop, you would choose the Gaming type which would optimize the light levels for gaming.
Whereas if you were going to sleep soon, you would choose the Sleep type which would minimize the Blue light levels as much as possible.
It’s an awesome feature in my opinion.
Who shouldn’t use Iris?
Although I’m a raving fan of the Iris software, no product is perfect and I wouldn’t recommend Iris for absolutely everyone.
For example, if most of your Blue light exposure is from the TV, then Iris won’t be able to help you as you can only install it on your Mac/PC.
Also, if your work (or hobby) doesn’t involve spending a lot of time on a Laptop/Computer, then you won’t get much benefit out of it.
And although Iris offers a free trial, you do eventually have to pay for the service (although for a mere $15, it’s well worth it!).
Those on a budget that’s tighter than a submarine door may want to look at other free ways to reduce screen time (and hence Blue light exposure).
Finally, I wouldn’t recommend Iris to people who aren’t concerned about the dangers of blue light, and don’t give a sh*t about their eye health.
Who should use Iris?
If like myself, a lot of your working/leisure time is spent in front of a Laptop/Computer screen, then you may want to consider giving Iris a try.
(Even more so if you experience eye strain as a result of screen use.)
If you’re aware of the effects Blue light has on sleep, and want to improve your sleep, then Iris might be the solution for you.
Finally, if you value your health enough to make a small $15 investment for a lifetime solution, then you probably can’t go wrong with Iris.
How do you install Iris?
- Click this link which will take you to the Iris homepage. (Note: this link will give you a 10% discount too!)
- Click the ‘Buy’ tab.
- Choose your preferred payment option. (I went for the Iris Pro option for $15.)
- Once you’ve completed the payment, Iris provide easy-peasy instructions on downloading and using the software.
- Voila! Welcome to the club of superior eye health 😉
To conclude, our current Blue light exposure is simply more than we’ve evolved to handle.
So if you’re serious about your health, you should really consider reducing your Blue light exposure.
Unfortunately, due to the “digital age” we currently find ourselves in, reducing Blue light exposure is difficult for many (myself included).
This is exactly why I rate Iris so highly – it enables you to reduce your Blue light exposure, without reducing your important screen time.
It’s also easy-to-use, affordable and highly customizable, making it a preferable option to Blue light filtering glasses or Blue light filtering screen protectors.
Thanks for reading this review everyone.
Please let me know if Iris has made a big difference to your digital life in the comments below.
P.S. Click this special link to try out Iris with a 10% discount.
PubMed (Effects of Blue Light on Eye Physiology)