Archive for September 12th, 2015

September 12, 2015

Color Me Wrong

Let it be known, I admit my mistakes. One day short of 11 months ago, I blogged about using Living Colors as a night light with a picture of a blue light. When I think of night, I think of blues. As it gets darkers reds, yellows, greens, all other colors tend to disappear. Everything appears caste in blue It’s the Purkinje effect. So a dim blue would be relaxing, right? Looks like I was wrong.

This morning I came across an article in my news feed about yellow lights to help babies sleep. I knew blue light wasn’t good for sleep, but I always thought they were referring to white light on the blue side of the color spectrum, e.g. light generated by monitors and other electronic devices. It wasn’t until I was reading an article explicitly calling out yellow light, not yellowish white light that it occurred to me they could mean actually blue light. Nicki has been wanting her nightlight to be all shades of red and I’ve been resisting thinking it would surely disrupt her sleep and give her nightmares. Sorry sweetheart, mommies do make mistakes some times.

So what about the Purkinje effect? It turns out the blue tint has to do with the color receptors in our eyes. The light sensitive rods are less sensitive to color. Thus in the low light where the rodes are more receptive we perceive less color. It has nothing to do with the color of light, but the quantity of light.

I think it’s time to get Nicki a proper night light. Living Color is a bit too bright, anyway.