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Carbonshade's new glasses block the blue light that hampers sleep

A new range of fashionable blue-light-blocking eyewear has just been launched on Kickstarter. Carbonshade glasses feature eye-catching red optics, and are available in a variety of different frames. What they all have in common is that they’re designed to block blue light after dark, helping you to sleep better.

There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that blue light may be having a negative impact on the quantity and the quality of the sleep we are getting. Darkness tells our body that it’s nap time and prompts melatonin production which makes us feel sleepy, but artificial lights, smartphone screens, and other electronics are emitting blue light that tells us we should be awake.

There are a handful of protective glasses on the market already, but Carbonshade’s founder, Jeremy Maluf, saw an opportunity to create something that would stand out from the crowd.

“We’re a California-based startup creating a line of fashionable blue-blocking glasses with the goal of improving health by helping prevent melatonin suppression while also creating a new fashion trend, making it cool to wear glasses in the evening,” he explained. “Using red lenses we’ve been able to create a product that is not only one of the most effective on the market, but is also so stylish that just about everyone who has seen them in person has tried to buy a pair.”

Many of the existing protective eyewear options are tinted yellow or orange, but Carbonshade glasses are tinted red. That’s not just a style decision, these lenses are supposed to block 99.8 percent of the spectrum of light that triggers melatonin suppression, compared to around 50 percent for yellow lenses or 70 percent for orange. And Maluf hopes that, by making them stylish, people will want to wear Carbonshade eyewear when they go out on the town and not just in front of the computer at home.

There are alternatives to protective eyewear. The f.lux app has been around for a while now. It gradually tints the color of your screen to reduce blue light in line with the natural onset of darkness in your time zone. Apple is actually adopting this idea as a new feature called Night Shift in its forthcoming iOS 9.3 update, and there are similar apps, such as Twilight, on Android.

Software solutions are good, but they only reduce blue light on the screen you’re using, and there are many other sources of blue light. For example, LED lights are becoming ubiquitous indoors and they tend to emit a higher concentration of blue or green light. Protective eyewear will reduce your exposure from every source.

We’ve yet to test out Carbonshade eyewear for ourselves, but we have tried other protective glasses in the past. They certainly have their merits, but it’s worth remembering that they do impact the way you see colors. By filtering out the blue light, everything inevitably has a yellow, orange, or reddish tinge.

If you like the look and sound of Carbonshade’s new glasses then head over to Kickstarter where you can pledge $95 for a pair in a choice of six different styles. They’re aiming for delivery in May.

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