Is anyone else interested in incandescent because of the lack of blue spectrum that is even in warm LEDs?

James9000

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
London
Just wondered, because the concept has piqued my interest. I'm definitely affected by blue light. I often don't sleep and if I turn the TV in the early hours on even on low brightness I find myself very agitated and woken up. However if I wear red tinted wraparound glasses, I can watch TV and then when I feel ready go back to sleep without any problem. I have the same issue with my phone and stick red acetate over the screen when it gets late. It follows that an incandescent torch would be ideal if one wakes up during the night. They might be dim but they have no blue light. I've read a few of the threads and most thee attraction of incandescent torches seem to be on a sentimental level but could not be said they have a very specific advantage over any LED for not disturbing ones, sleep cycle?
 

James9000

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
27
Location
London
Blue light has a big affect on a lot of people. My phone has an adjustable night mode so it's screen is a nice parchment color at night.

As for incandecent? I just like it better. I also like RC better than Coke or Pepsi. Why? Got me. I just do. Maybe my body knows without telling me. Same reason I crave brocolli sometimes.
Hi the problem is that The phone night filters don't really work because just like standard LED even if it looks warm white there's a big spike in the blue spectrum which is unseen. Depend a little on your phone screen but any backlit LED will have full spectrum light coming through despite what the screen looks like. I'm not an expert on the matter but just food for thought. I've just bought an incandescent torch off eBay, so I will soon be joining the club 😀
 

Dr. Jones

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
57
Location
Princeton, New Jersey
Excellent point to bring up, James! I'm averse to LEDs for just this reason; the blue light they emit is part of their very nature, and even though they can be doped to appear to be "white", the blue component is still present to a greater or lesser degree, and blue light at night isn't all that welcome from a physiological standpoint (I would add from an aesthetic standpoint, as well).

The effects of blue light have long been noted, both scientifically and anecdotally. Regarding the latter, one item that I recall reading years ago, in a book on hypnotism of all things, was that the color blue was soporific; it was observed during the construction of European cathedrals that painters who were using primarily blue paint tended to fall asleep at their easels much more frequently than those using other colors. That would seem to counter the prevailing wisdom that the color tends to keep people awake, but then there is probably much more at work here.

One other thing regarding the color of light at night: Thomas Edison was quite careful in his development of the original electric light bulb to ensure that the spectrum emitted was as close to that produced by a crackling fire as possible; I don't have his exact quote at hand, but it was something to the effect that humanity has been sitting around fires at night for millennia, and that we are adapted to the range of colors that open flame produces, and he thus wished to emulate that spectrum as closely as possible.
One wonders, if the first light bulbs had originally been of a cold, bluish tint, whether they would have received such rapid universal acceptance.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,217
Location
John 3:16
Hi the problem is that The phone night filters don't really work because just like standard LED even if it looks warm white there's a big spike in the blue spectrum which is unseen. Depend a little on your phone screen but any backlit LED will have full spectrum light coming through despite what the screen looks like. I'm not an expert on the matter but just food for thought. I've just bought an incandescent torch off eBay, so I will soon be joining the club 😀
Maglite still sells incan version of the classics. Some take a 2 cell version, add lithium ion batteries, a 5 cell bulb and end up with a 7 cell bright light in a smaller package.

I did one using a 2C HIPCO from the 1950's. It puts out about 100 lumens. 👍
 

LuxLuthor

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
10,629
Location
MS
Excellent point to bring up, James! I'm averse to LEDs for just this reason; the blue light they emit is part of their very nature, and even though they can be doped to appear to be "white", the blue component is still present to a greater or lesser degree, and blue light at night isn't all that welcome from a physiological standpoint (I would add from an aesthetic standpoint, as well).

The effects of blue light have long been noted, both scientifically and anecdotally. Regarding the latter, one item that I recall reading years ago, in a book on hypnotism of all things, was that the color blue was soporific; it was observed during the construction of European cathedrals that painters who were using primarily blue paint tended to fall asleep at their easels much more frequently than those using other colors. That would seem to counter the prevailing wisdom that the color tends to keep people awake, but then there is probably much more at work here.

One other thing regarding the color of light at night: Thomas Edison was quite careful in his development of the original electric light bulb to ensure that the spectrum emitted was as close to that produced by a crackling fire as possible; I don't have his exact quote at hand, but it was something to the effect that humanity has been sitting around fires at night for millennia, and that we are adapted to the range of colors that open flame produces, and he thus wished to emulate that spectrum as closely as possible.
One wonders, if the first light bulbs had originally been of a cold, bluish tint, whether they would have received such rapid universal acceptance.
Interesting
 

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
7,502
Location
Flushing, NY
Excellent point to bring up, James! I'm averse to LEDs for just this reason; the blue light they emit is part of their very nature, and even though they can be doped to appear to be "white", the blue component is still present to a greater or lesser degree, and blue light at night isn't all that welcome from a physiological standpoint (I would add from an aesthetic standpoint, as well).
Try looking at the spectrum of very high CRI LEDs like the Nichia Optisolis. The blue spike is very tiny, especially in the 5000K version.
The effects of blue light have long been noted, both scientifically and anecdotally. Regarding the latter, one item that I recall reading years ago, in a book on hypnotism of all things, was that the color blue was soporific; it was observed during the construction of European cathedrals that painters who were using primarily blue paint tended to fall asleep at their easels much more frequently than those using other colors. That would seem to counter the prevailing wisdom that the color tends to keep people awake, but then there is probably much more at work here.
Except it doesn't. I'm a night owl. I often don't go to bed until sunrise or close to it (no, I'm not a vampire in case that's what you're thinking, although members of my family are). There's a sh*t ton of sunlight coming in through my bedroom windows. I have no problems falling asleep, or getting a good sleep. Also, the spectrum of natural light at night is heavily tilted towards the blue. You have moonlight at ~4000K. The brightest stars tend to be the bluest thanks to stellar physics. The average CCT of nighttime starlight is probably well into the 6000Ks at least. And our scotopic vision peaks in the cyan range, as opposed to yellow-green for our photopic vision. These things all point towards blue light giving us cues to sleep, not wake up. In light of this, of course painters using more blue tended to fall asleep.

I personally find blue LEDs relaxing. The key here is intensity. A phone screen blasts your eyes with light at a very high intensity. Even if the back light was incandescent, it would keep you awake. Maybe instead of subjecting people to funky yellow-tinted screens to counter excessive blue light, we should keep the CCT the same, but reduce the intensity to the point where the screen is only just readable. Problem is many phones just don't go that low. If you compared a yellow biased screen at normal intensities to a regular ~6500K screen at the intensities I suggested, you would find the blue light output of the latter was a fraction of the former.

The problem isn't the spike in blue, it's the overall energy output in the blue spectrum. Reduce the intensity, and that drops below the threshold where it has any effect on people, even if the spectrum is still spiky. Proof? Starlight doesn't wake us up, despite being heavy in the blue part of the spectrum, because of its very low intensity.
One other thing regarding the color of light at night: Thomas Edison was quite careful in his development of the original electric light bulb to ensure that the spectrum emitted was as close to that produced by a crackling fire as possible; I don't have his exact quote at hand, but it was something to the effect that humanity has been sitting around fires at night for millennia, and that we are adapted to the range of colors that open flame produces, and he thus wished to emulate that spectrum as closely as possible.
One wonders, if the first light bulbs had originally been of a cold, bluish tint, whether they would have received such rapid universal acceptance.
I tried searching for such a quote without luck but in all honestly this sounds like one of those urban myths. For one thing, incandescent is much whiter than fire, even if it's still heavily biased towards the yellow. For another, before incandescent, we already had arc lamps. Those were more or less close to sunlight in terms of their spectrum. I don't recall reading about any complaints or lack of acceptance. They never made it into homes because they were too expensive, too complex for lay people to operate, and probably not amenable to being scaled down enough for household use. After all, nobody wants a glaring 25,000 lumen lamp in their living room.

If there had existed a filament which remained solid at 5000K doubtless this would have been Edison's choice. The reason? Simple physics. A 5000K blackbody emits light far more efficiently than one at 2500K. Back then electricity was expensive compared to now. A bulb which might be a factor of 10 more efficient would have conquered the marketplace had it existed. If anyone objected to the light color, doubtless yellow filters would have been made available. Even with the filter, the bulb still would have been far more efficient than a 2500K bulb. Also, low CCT is a preference. In Asia 5000K is usually preferred in homes. In the end our eyes work best under sunlight, which varies from mid 4000s to low 5000s, depending upon the season or time of day.

And no, we're not adapted to fire. For starters, early man spent most of his day in daylight. Fire light was perhaps experienced for a few hours at night. For another, such evolutionary changes don't occur over tens or hundreds of millennia. They take much longer in an animal like humans with ~20 years or more between generations. There would also have to be a survival advantage to seeing better under fire light. There isn't because it's not widely prevalent in nature. In fact, most animals tend to flee fire, not adapt to see well under its light.
 
Last edited:

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
One other thing regarding the color of light at night: Thomas Edison was quite careful in his development of the original electric light bulb to ensure that the spectrum emitted was as close to that produced by a crackling fire as possible
A world accustomed to gas lamps, oil lamps, candle light, wood fire light was eager to embrace the near effortless convenience - and immensely greater safety - of the incandescent lamp so long as it was reasonably white light; we ended up with lower CCTs out of incandescent lamps and the red-heavy spectrum because of physics.

Everything I've read about the development of the incandescent lamp suggests one of fundamental materials science hurdles. Extremely early experiments used platinum due to its high melting point, but it was impractical for reasons beyond its scarcity. Carbon was also preferred because of its even higher melting point (and use in arc lamps in the late 19th century) but it otherwise degraded quickly. High resistance materials were preferred so that current requirements could be reduced to manageable levels. Early attempts at evacuating glass envelopes were less than optimal. Tungsten satisfied many of these needs while being relatively inexpensive but it took much tinkering to make it workable then doping to deal with degradation. Vacuum envelopes prevented filaments from burning but also limited heat radiation and thus lead to premature failure; the proper fill gasses took some time to perfect.

Incandescence is an application of black body radiation. Heat something with a high melting point - ideally a metal - enough and it radiates IR then visible white light (i.e. white hot is hotter than red hot). Thus, we end up with the degrees kelvin scale which is still in use today for CCTs. Molecular tungsten melts at 3695K. The demands for reasonable service life, vibration resistance, filament doping, etc all combine to put the practical limit for incandescent filaments at around 3400K for the likes of high-performance automotive headlights where a ~100hr service life is acceptable. 3000K lamps can make it a few hundred hours. The ubiquitous 2700K lamp can last closer to 1000 hours.
 

alpg88

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
5,215
Maybe it is not the blue led light the op is affected by, but a high frequency flicker that is present in most cheap led bulbs and fixtures. Now that is a very common issue, some people have headaches due to it, it is very well researched and documented issue. spectrum has nothing to do with it, I Fall asleep just fine during the day, or in a brightly lit room, in fact I do it half the time, I just fall asleep watching tv, and wake up in a brightly lit room with a TV on.
 

Dave_H

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,312
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
Interesting, I wonder how the fairly new development using R/G/B phosphor conversion with violet source, versus blue pass-through, would affect the blue aspects of lights?

Dave
 

Dr. Jones

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
57
Location
Princeton, New Jersey
I tried searching for such a quote without luck but in all honestly this sounds like one of those urban myths.
And no, we're not adapted to fire. For starters, early man spent most of his day in daylight. Fire light was perhaps experienced for a few hours at night. For another, such evolutionary changes don't occur over tens or hundreds of millennia. They take much longer in an animal like humans with ~20 years or more between generations. There would also have to be a survival advantage to seeing better under fire light. There isn't because it's not widely prevalent in nature. In fact, most animals tend to flee fire, not adapt to see well under its light.

As for the first point, I read that quote many decades ago in a very old Edison biography, 1920s vintage and title not recalled, when I was in college. It was written while the subject was still alive, and contained passages from conversations that the author had with him. Perhaps it was accurate, or perhaps it was literary license; I'm only repeating what the author of the book wrote, to the best of my memory.

Second, perhaps adapted isn't sufficiently precise a term; humans became used to such light from long association with nighttime fires, and came to prefer it. That said, adaptation does not equal "evolution" in any case, unless one is so unfortunate as to believe in such theories.
 

Dr. Jones

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
57
Location
Princeton, New Jersey
A world accustomed to gas lamps, oil lamps, candle light, wood fire light was eager to embrace the near effortless convenience - and immensely greater safety - of the incandescent lamp so long as it was reasonably white light; we ended up with lower CCTs out of incandescent lamps and the red-heavy spectrum because of physics.

Everything I've read about the development of the incandescent lamp suggests one of fundamental materials science hurdles. Extremely early experiments used platinum due to its high melting point, but it was impractical for reasons beyond its scarcity. Carbon was also preferred because of its even higher melting point (and use in arc lamps in the late 19th century) but it otherwise degraded quickly. High resistance materials were preferred so that current requirements could be reduced to manageable levels. Early attempts at evacuating glass envelopes were less than optimal. Tungsten satisfied many of these needs while being relatively inexpensive but it took much tinkering to make it workable then doping to deal with degradation. Vacuum envelopes prevented filaments from burning but also limited heat radiation and thus lead to premature failure; the proper fill gasses took some time to perfect.

Incandescence is an application of black body radiation. Heat something with a high melting point - ideally a metal - enough and it radiates IR then visible white light (i.e. white hot is hotter than red hot). Thus, we end up with the degrees kelvin scale which is still in use today for CCTs. Molecular tungsten melts at 3695K. The demands for reasonable service life, vibration resistance, filament doping, etc all combine to put the practical limit for incandescent filaments at around 3400K for the likes of high-performance automotive headlights where a ~100hr service life is acceptable. 3000K lamps can make it a few hundred hours. The ubiquitous 2700K lamp can last closer to 1000 hours.
I think that the fact that Edison's bulbs were warm in tone was along the lines of a "happy accident", as the late Bob Ross used to say, wherein the materials that was at hand produced the desired tone. Was he looking for that tone? As I said in another reply above, it was stated in an ancient biography that I read years ago that he was indeed seeking, and had found it; as he is no longer available to ask, we shall apparently need the expertise of an Edison savant to inform us as to its veracity, or otherwise.
 

LuxLuthor

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
10,629
Location
MS
Insofar as acceptance from incandescent fans, I'd expect a combination of longstanding LED and fluorescent criticisms.

It is really a very simple issue of human preferences. Some like vinyl albums better than CD's. Some like a candlelit dinner to evoke romance, others a bright LED to see their food. If LED/Fluorescent quality was what we found pleasing it would be accepted.

My biggest personal objection was being forced to use LED's, Low GPF toilets, and stupid EV's from enviro-terrorists hypocritically deciding what everyone else needs to do based on faulty logic.

I have at least 25 LED lights that I use because they have their benefits, but so do incands. It is always the LED jockeys who come in and pontificate their adamant LED superiority positions without recognizing that many have other personal objective and subjective preferences.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
It is really a very simple issue of human preferences. Some like vinyl albums better than CD's. Some like a candlelit dinner to evoke romance, others a bright LED to see their food. If LED/Fluorescent quality was what we found pleasing it would be accepted.
While I've no interest in incandescents personally, I'm also of the you do you perspective - no choice is demonstrably kicking puppies bad.
 

Megalamuffin

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
819
Location
Oklahoma
I have at least 25 LED lights that I use because they have their benefits, but so do incands. It is always the LED jockeys who come in and pontificate their adamant LED superiority positions without recognizing that many have other personal objective and subjective preferences.

It is kinda funny when folks come to the incan section to poo-poo on incans that we still use because we obviously just like them. Things must be kinda dull over in LED land.
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,318
i prefere my lights around 6500 k the warm lights just dont please my eyes
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
789
Location
Where the sun sets fast
I'm interested insofar as I'd like to see developments in the incan tech that would put them at a more even footing with LEDs. As is, unfortunately the lack of feasible mode selection, poor runtimes and low durability of the emitter piece hamper my enjoyment of incan lighting by a lot.

(No, there's no double talk at play. I do want to see incans become better.)
 

thermal guy

Flashaholic
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
9,936
Location
ny
I use incandescents from time to time. got a few. I really don't see anything about them that's better than a good LED but they do bring back good memories.
 

Megalamuffin

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
819
Location
Oklahoma
Nobody talks about the fact no LED keychain light is currently available that has a warm tint and is night vision preserving low lumens except the incan solitaire.

Put some DC fix on the lens and a lithium primary or NIMH cell and it's great for that one particular purpose. Not good for anything else.
 
Top