Blue light emission spectra of popular mobile devices: The extent of user protection against melatonin suppression by built-in screen technology and light filtering software systems

Chronobiol Int. 2020 Jul;37(7):1016-1022. doi: 10.1080/07420528.2020.1781149. Epub 2020 Jul 10.


Blue light, with wavelengths shorter than 440-450 nm, is the most energetic radiation of the visible spectrum for the human eye, and its possible multiple effects on the human nervous and other systems have become a line of research by many investigators. The use of mobile devices whose screens emit various amounts of blue light is common nowadays. This study evaluated the efficiency of the blue light screen and control software technologies of eight different mobile devices. Emitted screen spectra of the different mobile devices according to different conditions of blue light emission software control were obtained using a spectrograph, and the derived spectra were compared with the melatonin suppression action spectrum. The amount of blue light emission and predicted melatonin suppression varied according to the unique software control and screen technology of each device. AMOLED screen technology, compared with other screen technologies, achieved better control of blue light emission. The effect of blue light filters depends on the screen technology; however, the melatonin suppression index of mobile devices is not reduced sufficiently by the use of blue light-attenuating software.

Keywords: Blue light; blue light emission; light control software; mobile devices; screen technology.

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Melatonin*
  • Software
  • Technology


  • Melatonin