Article at a glance:
- Home lighting solutions have seen a huge transformation over the past several decades, the biggest shift being the adoption of LEDs.
- Many studies have shown that blue light suppresses melatonin production, which means that keeping the lights on and/or using digital devices with LED screens at night can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep.
- Conversely, red and amber light bulbs provide a much healthier option for those that want the ability to move around their home or do other nightly activities in the evening without disrupting their internal clock.
- The new TrueLight® Luna Red® Sunset Sleep Light Bulb, inspired by TrueDark® Twilights™ Sunset eyewear, primarily emits red wavelengths of light and offers dimming capabilities to allow users to customize their space effectively before bedtime.
Over the years, advances in technology have led to one of the fastest shifts in human history: the adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Sharp cost reductions, improvements in performance, and policy support have been driving forces for this revolution. In fact, reports claim that LED bulbs can conserve more than 85% more energy than incandescent bulbs. (1) With that said, energy efficiency does not account for the health impacts of artificial junk light on the mind and body.
Why Conventional Light Bulbs are Problematic for Sleep
Conventional light bulbs, including LEDs and fluorescents, emit large amounts of artificial blue light. There are a couple of key facts to remember here:
- Not all blue light is bad, but artificial blue light – especially too much of it – can throw off your body’s circadian rhythm.
- Many studies have shown that blue light boosts alertness, which is great for daytime, but counterproductive at night.
- Conventional light bulbs typically emit melatonin-suppressing blue-light that tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime when it’s not, which makes it more difficult for the body to wind down at night.
This means that you could have the most luxurious mattress, the fluffiest pillows, and the softest sheets – and it still may not be enough to induce sleep. The lighting in your bedroom and throughout your home is arguably the most influential factor in the quality of your slumber. (2)
Studies show that red wavelengths of light are most conducive for better sleep. (3) The main reason for this is that the red-light spectrum consists of low color temperature, which is similar to what you’d experience while watching a sunrise or sunset — often even lower! Unlike conventional light bulbs that emit melatonin-suppressing blue-green light, red light bulbs won’t alter your internal clock and inhibit your sleep. This means that in the hours leading up to bedtime, you could immerse yourself in red light — while doing the dishes, reading in bed, or following your nighttime skincare routine — without impacting your melatonin production or delaying sleep onset.
Red is a color often associated with passion, power, aggression, anger, even fear. Not so, when it comes to your health in body and mind. Scientific research suggests that bathing your body in red light at night could help you sleep better, and reduce your risk of chronic disease. – Marika Sboros(4)
Note that while red light bulbs are the most conducive for better sleep, they can look a bit dramatic for some tastes, especially if you’re new to the world of red light. One way to offset the redness throughout your bedroom and/or home is to use white lampshades to diffuse the light. This will help calm the space and make it appear a bit more mellow.