The Amazon Kindle has revolutionized how we read books. The newest Kindle Paperwhite is 7.23 ounces and 6.9” x 4.9” and can carry around thousands of books. It hosts all sorts of features like screen reading, highlighting text and adjusting margins – all for a relatively reasonable price.
But if you’re concerned about blue light – how it affects your sleep, circadian rhythms, eye strain and more, you might wonder, does Kindle emit blue light?
Yes, all the current Kindle models do emit blue light.
Every one of them offer brightness adjustment powered by LED lights. LED lights emit blue light.
Read about the specific models below and how you can mitigate the effects of blue light.
Jump straight to the Kindle model:
Does Kindle Paperwhite Emit Blue Light?
Does Kindle Oasis Emit Blue Light?
Does Kindle Kids Emit Blue Light?
Does Kindle Paperwhite Kids Emit Blue Light?
What is Blue Light and Why Should I Be Concerned?
Blue light has really come into popular culture in the last decade as smart phones, and yes, e-readers, have burst onto the scene. But you might not know exactly what it is and why you should be concerned about it.
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum, meaning, what the eye can see.
According to the University of California, Davis Eye Health and Vision Science:
“Vibrating within the 380 to 500 nanometer range, it has the shortest wavelength and highest energy. About one-third of all visible light is considered high-energy visible, or “blue,” light. Sunlight is the most significant source of blue light. Artificial sources of blue light include fluorescent light, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, LEDs, flat screen LED televisions, computer monitors, smart phones and tablet screens.”
Blue light is very important to our health at the right times of the day.
Our bodies are on a 24 hour cycle. Natural processes respond to light and dark and as we know, humans typically sleep at night and are awake during the day.
Circadian rhythms are important for things like hormone release, body temperature, eating and digestion, among other things.
It’s probably not surprising that artificial light from electronic devices can impact our circadian rhythm. It does this by suppressing melatonin release.
Blue light is a particular significant culprit for this.
According to an article from Harvard Health:
“While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. “
Macular degeneration and blue light
During my research for this article, I was surprised to find some people creating a link between blue light from devices like Kindle and macular degeneration.
This appears to be a little disingenuous.
Although blue light from sunlight, if direct, can cause damage to the eye, blue light from devices like phones and Kindles are nowhere near the same with respect to damaging the tissue of the eye.
Now that we have an understanding of what blue light is and how it can impact circadian rhythms and the health impact of that, let’s dig deeper on whether Kindles emit blue light.
This is likely of particular interest to someone who enjoys reading before bed – as I do!
Does Kindle Emit Blue Light?
Here’s the Kindle we’re referring to in this section.
The current 10th generation Kindle released in 2019 added a front light for “anytime reading.”
You can adjust this light and it uses 4 LED lights on the bottom to project light upwards.
Here’s what it looks like to adjust the light on this Kindle model:
So the question now becomes, do LED lights emit blue light?
Yes, LED lights to emit blue light.
A Harvard medical school article notes: “LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent lights, but they also produce a fair amount of light in the blue spectrum.”
Interestingly, it’s not clear in the Kindle User Guide around the use of LED lights for the backlight technology and only addresses the electronic paper technology:
“Your Kindle uses a high-resolution display technology called electronic paper. The display is reflective, which means you can read it clearly even in bright sunlight. Electronic paper uses ink just like books and newspapers, but it displays the ink particles electronically.”
So you can’t simply go to the user guide to figure out that the Kindle does emit blue light but you need to do a little research.
We now know that this model added backlighting, powered by 4 LED lights and LED lights do emit a good amount of blue light.
It’s roundabout but we are able to figure this out – yes, Kindle does emit blue light.
What about the newest Kindle e-reader – the Paperwhite?
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Does Kindle Paperwhite Have Blue Light?
Here is the Kindle Paperwhite this section refers to.
The most recent version is the 11th generation released in 2021. We will be addressing both the Standard and Signature Edition Kindle Paperwhite and whether they emit blue light.
As we know, the user guide unfortunately doesn’t come out and address whether the device emits blue light or night.
Upon doing further research, we can find the Kindle Paperwhite has 17(!) LED lights fueling the backlighting capabilities.
All those LED lights mean the screen is capable of both blue light and warm light.
Although warm light makes it easier to read in low-light conditions and/or nighttime, we know that LED lights emit blue light.
So, yes, Kindle Paperwhite does emit blue light.
Does Kindle Oasis Have Blue Light?
Here’s the Kindle Oasis this section is referring to.
As of the writing of this article, the Kindle Oasis was last updated in 2019 and is on the 10th generation.
I already know the user guide will not be helpful in my quest to find out of the Kindle Oasis emits blue light.
Instead I’ll take my research in the direction of whether it has backlighting. That’s the key.
We see in this video demo that you can adjust the brightness:
So the question is now, what technology is used to add the brightness option. Turns out, unsurprisingly, the Kindle Oasis also uses LED lights to illuminate the screen.
This model boasts 25 LED lights in total – 12 white and 13 amber.
That’s even more LED lights than the 2021 Kindle Paperwhite!
And as we have established, LED lights emit blue light so we know, yes, Kindle Oasis does emit blue light.
Does Kindle Kids Emit Blue Light?
Here’s the Kindle Kids edition this section speaks to.
If your kids read as much as my daughter does, this is a question that might concern you. Particularly if your kids are in the habit of reading before bed.
So far, each Kindle model we’ve reviewed does emit blue light, does this hold true for the Kindle Kids model?
Turns out, the Kindle Kids edition features the same front light that Amazon added to the normal Kindle in the 2019 edition, which means it employs the use of LED lights.
Yes, the Kindle Kids edition does emit blue light.
Does Kindle Paperwhite Kids Emit Blue Light?
Here’s the Kindle Paperwhite Kids edition this part of the article is referring to.
Never one to miss an opportunity, Amazon also carries a Kindle Paperwhite Kids edition.
The Kids edition of the Kindle Paperwhite is very similar to the regular Kindle Paperwhite and this includes the use of 17 LED lights to backlight the screen.
Yes, the Kindle Paperwhite Kids edition emits blue light.
How Do I Stop the Blue Light on my Kindle?
Since we know all the current Kindle models use LED lights for backlighting, you cannot stop the blue light on your Kindle.
But you can reduce the light.
Here’s how you turn down the brightness on the different Kindle models.
Adjust the Brightness Down – Kindle
Adjust brightness by swiping down from the top of the screen, or tap the caret in the center of the screen to access screen light controls.
From here you can drag your finger along the slider down, to the left to reduce the brightness. You can also tap anywhere on the slider to select a specific setting. Alternatively, you can use the +/- and tap the – to turn down the brightness on the Kindle.
Adjust the Brightness Down – Kindle Paperwhite
Similar to the Kindle edition, with Kindle Paperwhite you adjust the brightness by accessing the Quick Actions or from the settings menu. Again, you have the option of dragging your finger along the slider down, to the left to reduce the brightness. You can also tap anywhere on the slider to select a specific setting. Alternatively, you can use the +/- and tap the – to turn down the brightness on the Kindle.
The Paperwhite also has warmth settings that you can adjust up or down. As we know, the Paperwhite has 17 LED lights, which is why warmth is an option with this edition.
Similar to brightness, adjust warmth by dragging your finger along the slider until you reach the desired setting, tapping anywhere in the range or using the +/-.
Adjust the Brightness Down – Kindle Oasis
The Kindle Oasis brightness and warmth adjustment works the same as the Kindle Paperwhite. Remember the Kindle Oasis has 25 LED lights so brightness and warmth are both options to adjust.
Adjust the brightness by accessing the Quick Actions or from the settings menu. Again, you have the option of dragging your finger along the slider down, to the left to reduce the brightness. You can also tap anywhere on the slider to select a specific setting. Alternatively, you can use the +/- and tap the – to turn down the brightness on the Kindle.
The instructions work the same for warmth.
Adjust the Brightness Down – Kindle Kids
From a technology perspective, Kindle Kids is in line with the 2019, 10th generation Kindle and adjusting the brightness works the same way.
Adjust the Brightness Down – Kindle Paperwhite Kids
Similarly, from a technology perspective, Kindle Paperwhite Kids is in line with the 2021 Kindle Paperwhite and the instructions as the same as outlined above for that device.
For your reference, here’s a link to all the Amazon Kindle user manuals.
Is It Okay to Read Kindle Before Bed?
Of course you can choose to read Kindle before bed.
However, if you’re concerned about blue light from the LED lights in your Kindle, you might want to put it aside at night.
I find that I am particularly sensitive to blue light of any kind before bed and believe it does impact my sleep. So I use my Kindle during the day when the time is right for blue light.
Does Reading Kindle Paperwhite Affect Sleep?
That’s hard to say. Although I won’t say directly that reading Kindle Paperwhite does affect sleep, what I can say is blue light has been shown to affect circadian rhythms.
The current lineup of Kindles all use LED lights for backlighting. LED lights to emit blue light.
If you’re concerned about blue light and how it affects your sleep, you might want to consider not reading from the Kindle Paperwhite before going to bed.
Does Kindle Have a Blue Light Filter?
No, Kindle does not have a blue light filter.
What Can I Do to Reduce Blue Light?
The obvious way to reduce blue light is to reduce exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after dark. Of course, this isn’t always practical or desirable.
A number of companies have come into this space with blue light blocking glasses.
These glasses work by using tinting on the glasses to let in more red and green light and less blue light.
The real question is, do these glasses work?
In that same article from Harvard Health referenced above, they cite a study:
“In another study of blue light, researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of people exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles to people exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles. The fact that the levels of the hormone were about the same in the two groups strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin. It also suggests that shift workers and night owls could perhaps protect themselves if they wore eyewear that blocks blue light. Inexpensive sunglasses with orange-tinted lenses block blue light, but they also block other colors, so they’re not suitable for use indoors at night.“
Defendershield is a leader in the EMF radiation blocking space has a number of good options, including some that can fit over reading glasses.
Hopefully this article helps clear up the questions around Kindle Paperwhite blue light and all the other models.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide if kindle bluelight is worth investigating further, considering some blue light blocking glasses or moving to day-time use only.
But I hope I’ve provided you with valuable information moving forward.
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