LCDs have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, found in computer monitors, phones, outdoor signage, and even billboards. As technology continues to evolve, these screens are becoming even more prevalent, being integrated into all aspects of our lives. However, as we become more reliant on these screens, we are exposing ourselves to harmful blue light that can negatively impact our health. Although many of us are aware of the dangers of blue light exposure, we may not realize just how bad it can be. With the increasing prevalence of LCD screens in smaller devices and wearables, we are exposing ourselves to blue light for longer periods and at closer proximity than ever before. This is especially concerning as the average adult, as the e-ink blog stated, now spends approximately 13 hours a day staring at screens, putting us at risk for a host of health problems.
LCDs are not the sole type of display available on the market. E Ink-powered screens, also known as e-paper, are a healthier option for users. Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study that supports this claim, revealing that LCD displays with a brighter, bluer light cause greater stress on retinal cells, whereas e-paper is up to three times better for our eyes. So, what distinguishes LCDs from e-paper displays? The key distinction lies in how they use light. To display an image on an LCD screen, the displays employ a backlight, typically LED-based, to push light through the LCD material. E Ink’s e-paper displays, on the other hand, are similar to paper in that they do not emit any light.
While LCDs rely on a built-in backlight to illuminate the screen from within, e-paper displays reflect ambient light to create an image. This means that e-paper is much easier to read in bright sunlight because it doesn’t have to compete with the glare from the sun or other light sources. On the other hand, LCDs tend to wash out and become difficult to see in bright light, making them less suitable for outdoor use.
It happens to be an inherent design principle of emissive displays such as LCD or OLED on devices such as the Fire tablet or the iPad to emit light from within, which in turn makes it possible to actually see whatever is on the display. However, it is this very quality that can make them harder to read in bright daylight conditions. When viewing an LCD screen outdoors, the ambient light reflecting off the screen can create a glare that makes it difficult to see the displayed content. This often leads to users having to increase the brightness level on their devices to compensate, which can be uncomfortable for the eyes and even cause more eye strain over time. Additionally, using high brightness levels on LCD screens designed for outdoor viewing in dim or dark indoor environments can also be harmful to the eyes.
So, does switching completely to an e-paper display the best solution? That’s true though unfortunately, that also is not the most practical thing to do. E Ink displays are best for showing static displays, or at the most, displays having slow-paced objects. That’s because e-paper displays typically have a slow refresh rate, up to just about 1.5Hz for Gallery 3 in color mode. That makes it ideal for reading printed text such as e-books, documents, PDF files, court papers, research docs, and such. However, E Ink displays aren’t well suited for viewing stuff having fast-paced content such as videos. It isn’t the best for viewing colored content either.
So, the best we can do is do our reading and even writing to E Ink displays while watching videos and playing games can be done on LCD devices. This way, you will do your eyes a lot of good.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad.