you can not sleep? Blame it on the bright glow of new technology

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Many home electronic devices nowadays have an indicator light, which some people say makes it more difficult to sleep at night.


Washington
CNN

For thousands of years, the darkness of the daily night has naturally told humans that it is time to sleep. This is an evolutionary principle rooted in our brains, and becomes apparent to those who cannot sleep peacefully at night due to the annoying indicator light that is part of many home electronic devices.

Countless appliances and appliances—from surge protectors and televisions to headphones and laptops—often have a bright light that turns on when plugged in but can't turn off unless the product is unplugged. It's an annoying nuisance in the bedroom.

“Exposure to light at night is a completely unnatural and strange experience,” said Stephen Lockley, a neuroscientist in the Department of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, in author Paul Bogarde’s 2013 book “The End of Night,” which explores the effects of artificial light at night. . Light on society and health.

Not only are there more of those lights these days, but many of them are brighter than they used to be. Some manufacturers say that indicator lights can sometimes serve a practical purpose. But one thing that is clear is that at bedtime, people looking forward to getting some sleep hate the points of light that are difficult to ignore and that ruin the comfortable darkness needed to get some sleep.

For Kyle Motion, a 27-year-old public relations professional based in Seattle, it looked almost like the starry night sky in the studio apartment he shared with his friend, except not as beautiful as the famous Vincent van Gogh painting. It was annoying.

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Bright lights from numerous sources — from the furnace, automatic fan, fire alarm, air purifier and wireless phone charger — made it difficult for Motion to sleep at night.

His solution: Tie up those bad boys immediately.

Courtesy Kyle Motion

Kyle Motion puts a tape on a device in his home.

“I was looking around and I kept noticing more and more and I felt so confused, like why are there so many lights?” Mushin told CNN. “I was like this crazy person putting these black strips of electrical tape over every little light.”

Amazon, among other retailers, stocks several different sizes and shapes of opaque or light-opaque labels and papers.

The solution looked a little different to Jonathan King, a New York-based financial expert.

“I plug in my Logitech headphones and the light is a little bit blue but I have a hard time sleeping with any light on, so I have to either wear a face mask or what I usually end up doing is I put a shirt over my headphones so I have a hard time sleeping,” King told CNN in a statement. Email: “Don't see them.”

Practical and aesthetic purposes for indicator lights

Simply put, the indicator light reflects the status of the device, and this varies from product to product. For example, an indicator light can show that the device is charging or plugged in and working properly. For Bluetooth devices, it is necessary when pairing with a phone.

These bright indicators are often LEDs. LED lighting is an energy-efficient option for manufacturing indicator lights. The light has a long lifespan and does not generate excess heat, important qualities for a technology that is used daily.

Blue LED light — a common but particularly disruptive indicator color for sleep — was such a breakthrough for the industry that the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to physicists Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shoji Nakamura for its creation.

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Blue standby light for on/off switch.

Blue LED was introduced for commercial use in the 1990s. Amid the growing technology industry, blue LEDs introduced a new, innovative color that gave consumer electronics a sophisticated look.

“Sometimes these lights are on just for the aesthetics, to contribute to the gadget's design, appeal and user experience,” David Loftus, president and CEO of the Electronic Components Industry Association, told CNN.

However, many manufacturers do without it. “A lot of times, some people don't have it because it's a very inexpensive device and the manufacturer chose not to spend a few pennies on putting an LED status light in it. Or the hardware is so simple you don't need it,” Loftus said.

Manny Linhares Jr., senior director of product management at French electrical equipment manufacturer LeGrand, said that indicator lights for LeGrand products are necessary for functional, aesthetic and safety reasons.

“As a manufacturer, it costs something to add an LED, so adding one just to add one seems like a big waste. So, in our case, it is used intentionally to enhance the user experience.

“It's a huge hit,” Linhares Jr. said. Also, the lights can be useful as night lights.

“We aim for the dimmed lights to help the customer know where these devices are when the lights are off in places where the room occupant is not aware of them, such as in hotels, where you at least have that subtle glow,” he said.

John Tofeghi contributed to this story.

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