This is a question on the minds of many people, even parents. We have probably all done this at one time or another. Little kids love reading at night, hidden under the covers with a flashlight, or when out camping. If you are trying to conserve electricity you may turn off most of the lights and read by one lamp light. As kids we probably heard from our parents that reading in dim light is going to hurt our eyes, we may have even said it to our own children.
Is reading by dim light bad for your eyes? Is it true, or is it a myth? After looking over a few different websites, namely WebMD and How Stuff Works, the answer to this question is no long term detrimental effects. Reading by dim light isn’t going to permanently damage the function of your eyes, or ruin your eyesight over the long run. But wait, there’s more. Although it may not cause permanent long term damage, it will cause a number of short term problems. Here are some of them.
Probably one of the biggest is eye strain. Focusing on small print when reading or on your tablet, iPad, etc, can be really difficult in low light conditions. Another discomfort is when surrounding light dims or goes away, and you are looking at the glare of a glowing screen, like when using these kinds of devices, as well as laptops and home computer screens. In addition, because you are concentrating on focusing to read, you also tend to blink less, causing your eyes to dry out, which can be irritating to your eyes.
Even if you have the lights on, you can still get eyestrain. This is usually caused by incandescent lighting, the regular bulbs that are used in some homes. They cause a lot of problems, not just eyestrain from their glare. They also cost you a lot of money on electricity. They waste electricity because instead of producing mostly light, they produce more heat than anything else. This is why the burn out so quickly, and are hot to the touch when you try to remove them. They only produce about 10-15 percent light, the rest is wasted on heat output. This is why they have to be replaced so much.
After natural light, LED light bulbs are the best for reading. While they are bright, they cause much less eyestrain than regular light bulbs. There are also many other advantages to buying LED bulbs instead. Because they produce 90-95% light, they aren’t going to be hot to the touch. Because they produce much more light, they’re going to last much longer than a regular bulb, even longer than compact fluorescent bulbs. This means you won’t have to change out these bulbs for years, and many are guaranteed for up to five years. Because they are much more energy efficient, they can possibly save you hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bills, especially if you change out all the bulbs in your house to LED.
Some people are still under the impression that these bulbs are more for flashlights and holiday lights. With today’s technology, LED lights actually have the same kind of sockets that regular bulbs have. They are also available in more sizes, from ‘regular’ bulb sizes, to those flood lamp bulbs. When it comes to cost, these bulbs are no more expensive that buying a CFL bulb. Since they last longer, you won’t be buying these lights very often anyway.
So in conclusion, If you are wearing glasses, chances are it’s because of heredity, or you’re getting older, not from reading under a blanket as a kid.