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Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 12:05
by Jason38
First I want to say thank you. I think I have read almost everything Chief has answered. I have learned so much but still struggle with LED monitors. I have had this problem for 11 years. Let me share what screens cause me no issues. Plasma TV gives me no issues. I have a game room with three Samsung plasma TV's. Two 2013 720p models and one 2012 720p model. I can game on these for 14 hours a day 9 days in a row. I did it during a recent terrible winter storm. I can also game forever on a OLED Samsung S2 as long as the brightness was above 25 %. Now I use the OLED side of a Yotaphone 2. Brightness set at 50% no issues and can use it for hours no issues. That's it I think I have bought and mostly returned 20 different W-LED monitors over the years. PWM for sure I can prove is number one for pain. Reading most of what you wrote I think blue light is one of the worst for me. Motion blur I'm sure it's in there as well. I never notice motion blur on my plasma. Doesn't really seem to be a problem on the two OLED screens I use but motion blur is probably worse on the Yotaphone and s2 when compared to my plasma TVs. Programs like flux at least for me don't do anything. Do different panel types let less blue light through like VA? When the Color black is displayed? Does a higher refresh rate change how we perceive blue light. I have tried the strobing effect on the cfg24 Samsung qdot. It seemed a little better but still can't use it long without a lot of pain. DLP also causes me no issue when I go to the movie theatre. I think IPS causes me more pain. Is that because of IPS glow? Does IPS glow mean more blue light. I'm not sure if VA/TN is better for me. Benq doesn't seem good for me. I tried the 2411p. I have tried the va2270. Both cause pain. I tried a few Asus monitors. ASUS VG279Q is the new IPS super great monitor. Pain was immediate no matter what I tried. Asus vg245h TN. I think this one used PWM but it was at a high rate so I don't think I noticed it. I feel like this one was close but still caused pain. Does turning down the brightness change how much blue light you receive? If I wear SCT orange glasses I can tolerate some flicker free screens. Mostly for just web surfing. I want a screen just to play games. Ever since this problem started I can't use CRT any more. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 12:21
by StuckinPlasma
Have you tried playing with the bluelight settings that some monitors have? On the iPhone I use the NightShift functionality the whole time to almost the warmest setting otherwise it causes headaches and eyestrain. On some of that Asus screens that are TÜV certified with 'eye care technology' there is a bluelight setting that I need to use. ... echnology/

There are also those yellow tinted glasses, which might be worth trying.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 14:00
by Jason38
Worst case scenario I can use SCT orange glasses. I think they are best glasses for blocking blue light. I have bought a million pairs of glasses over the years. Yeah I always play with every monitors blue light filter. Most only block till 455nm I feel I'm sensitive to higher numbers of blue light. I noticed that the viewsonic x2402 claims it can block more blue light. My issue is that how much blue light can you really block from a white led. The entire light is super high in blue light. OLED seems to solve the blue light issue as it uses RGB if we are talking about phones and not LG WOLED. I just can't believe that no matter what monitor I try it's always eye pain and brain fog. Thank God for the Mega SG and the Super NT now I can play my retro games on my plasma. OLED is taking forever to come down in price and being able to use a computer screen is key if I want to keep working.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 14:37
by Chief Blur Buster
Some comments:

-- Have you tried adjusting your environment? Making sure your room is brighter versus darker? Light added behind a screen?
-- What kind of lightbulbs do you use in your room? Do you get strain from various kinds of lightbulbs?
-- No, IPS glow doesn't tend to affect amount of blue light. But the overall brightness of the black may. But it's often less than one-hundredth the amount of blue light of a bright screen.
-- Higher Hz doesn't affect blue light. But can help you a huge deal if you have eye pain from motion blur.
-- Have you tried televisions too see if viewing distances play a role in your eye pain?
-- Yes, dimmer means less blue light. Halving backlight brightness on a monitor will halve blue light.
-- F.Lux doesn't fix the blue light still being emitted by the grey colored blacks, so dimming the backlight AND using a low color temperature, is usually the best way.
-- "Eye Care Technology" can help but it doesn't always help blue light emission from dark colors/grays (unless they are using high priced backlight LEDs similar to high-CRI LED lightbulbs).

Everybody's screen prescription is different, and Blur Busters are not doctors, but we've from time to time successfully troubleshooted our way (stutter/blur pain example) but your situation appears different) to a more vision-friendly monitor for an unusual eyestrain case.

PWM-pain, stutter-pain, motionblur-pain, brightness-pain, we've seen it all here (by email, forum, social, etc). Everybody's vision is different. We're a wealth of data on screen-discomfort by sheer accident of being Blur Busters. While it's not our primary topic matter, we'll probably write an article on this topic matter. But your case is a little more complex than average.

Yesterday, CRTs were smaller. Today, screens are bigger and emit more blue light. So we've got a simultaneous onslaught of size/light/blur/brightness/etc changes. So it's not always easy to hone-down the specific category of change. Sometimes it was just the size, sometimes it was just the motion blurring (we're Blur Busters, after all...), sometimes it was just the blue light, sometimes it's all the above.

That said, you've come to the right place because there is nowhere else on the planet that has seen a reliably huge gamut of display strains (pain from stutter, pain from motion blur, pain from blue light, etc) simultaneously. All those ergonomic recommendations elsewhere are so narrowscope (PWM focussed, blue light focussed, etc). But we're quite broadband as The Perfect Motion Company, in the refresh rate race to retina refresh rates, where displays someday look identical to real life, with identical effects. Displays are still far away from that, creating pains on displays that don't create pain in real life. So without further ado, here's an attempt #1 for you:

Try the following simultaneously

(A) Stick to PWM-free; and
(B) Use your orange glasses; and
(C) Increase viewing distance slightly (use big DPI to see text better) so screen is smaller in your vision field; and
(D) Much lower brightness via monitor controls; and
If monitors won't go dim enough, purchase a neutral density plastic film to put in front of monitor to make it even dimmer. Sometimes those bright monitors become good once you extend their brightness range that way.
(E) Adjust your room lighting so that your screen is never never never obviously the brightest object nor the dimmest object in the room. Spend the money on proper good lamps with high-CRI light sources (e.g. incandescent lights or CRI 93+ LED which costs more) on a dimmer to rebalance your room lighting; it makes a BIG effect in making screens more friendly. Move those 50 cent LED lightbults to your closets, purchase those "high CRI" dimmable LED bulbs, look for something with a "93" or higher in CRI. And make sure to use high quality LED-optimized dimmers like Lutron rather than the cheap triac-based PWM wall dimmers. Don't settle for anything below CRI 90 with your LED lightbulbs, in your computer room, ever. If you wish, you can even attach the same automation method to all of them if you want to dim them all simultaneously quickly via one touch of a remote/smartphone, so you can more easily rebalance room lighting to match your screen better at night vs day. IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT: Anything you do to completely prevent your screen from ever being the obviously-brightest object in room, or obviously-dimmest object in room, helps a lot. So do not spend money only just only on the screen; you need to fix your room lighting too in a particularly severe eyestrain problem situation like yours. Screen too dim but brighter screen hurts more? Dim your room. Screen too bright but dimmer screen hurts more? Brighten your room. Screen fine at day but hurts at night? Use dimmer to adjust room lighting to fix. You get the idea. So it's important to install flexibility to adjust your room lighting. Etc.

Fine Tune Tweaks
(G) I don't have enough information if motion blur and stutter are components of your eye pain, but if it is, then also use a high refresh rate (120Hz+) combined with a powerful GPU, combined with VSYNC ON or variable refresh rate (GSYNC/FreeSync). If not using GSYNC/FreeSync, try to keep frame rate matched to refresh rate to prevent strain from stutters;
(H) If you test motion blur reduction again with games, make sure you you also fix your mouse microstutters too. That said, you appear to have a PWM-pain, and motion blur reduction may not be enough to compensate.

I am no doctor, but so many people overlook some common sense vision ergonomics for eye-pain-sensitive people.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 15:06
by Jason38
Thank you for reply. My room is totally set up awesome. I own over a 1000 incandescent light bulbs. Canada still hasn't banned them, so I collect them. I only use plasma TVs in my house and incandescent bulbs. I have 5 halogen lights in my game room and 1 other fixture with another halogen bulb. So my room is always brighter then my screen. I work under 6500k flicker free LEDs. I wear orange glasses at work and have no issues. The problems always creep up when I'm using screens. Some screens give me problems even with the orange glasses that's how I know motion blur/stutter or something else contributes. My eye sight is good just had a test recently.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 15:31
by Chief Blur Buster

So the whole gamut of issues:

-- PWM strain
-- Blue light strain
-- Potential stutter/blur strain
-- Can tolerate plasmas
-- Preference for screens that are dimmer than room lighting

A whole 1000 inscandescent bulbs? Wow. I would think that CRI 97 LED would do you fine (the ones with violet chip that illuminates a more incandescent style blue/green/red curve from advanced phosphor mixes). Those new LEDs are amongst the most incandescent-looking LEDs I've seen. A 5 meter of true CRI 97 LED ribbon cost about $100 at the moment. Daylight 6500K is a common doctor recommendation but is not nearly incandescent looking. Some LED lightbulbs with CRI 95 and up can cost about $20-50 dollar each which is about 20 to 50 times more expensive than Walmart LED bulbs. Just pair those up with really, really good LED dimmers. Currently I use cheaper CRI 90 IKEA LED light bulbs (vastly superior to cheap $1 CRI 80 LED bulbs all over Canadian Tire / Walmart / Home Depot / Rona / Lowes / Etc) but the CRI 95-97 stuff that use those new "violet" LED chips produce quite luxuriously incandescent-like light. The amount of violet emitted from those is actually really negligible (compared to the amount of blue light in today's LED) when converted quite fully by a modern efficient multiphosphor mix that mimics an incandescent curve.


Look ma! No blue peak, no blue pain. The violet peak is piddly in comparision, being converted to great, wonderful, natural looking full spectrum LED light. The holy grail of replacing the incandescent bulb, it's so amazing pleasing to my eyes. The new CRI 97 lightbulbs are the bee's knees if you can afford them, though you still have to order them online, as they're not in your Canadian Tire or Walmart store.

Once these new LED chips are used in monitor backlights, then monitors will become much more eye-friendly. Hopefully. Though, other factors remain (e.g. blur, stutter, brightness, etc).

Referencing your other clues,
-- You mentioned your VG245H was a TN panel and it seemed to help.
-- You mentioned Samsung strobing seemed to help slightly but was still problematic
-- You tolerated plasma, and usually plasmas are viewed from far away (sofa distance, not desk distance)

Try an unorthodox left-field test:
-- 240Hz TN GSYNC with variable overdrive (NVIDIA's version, costs a bit more than FreeSync)
-- Upgraded GPU to keep framerates high.
-- Include your orange glasses & increased viewing distances & adding a neutral-grey filter in front of monitor to dim it further if need be.

That way you can reduce motion blur by up 75% without adding flicker or stutter. 240fps@240Hz has only one-quarter the motion blur of 60fps@60Hz. And the GSYNC feature will smooth stutters, just in case you have pain from stutters too, on top of it all.

The only red flag against the above, is your 165Hz IPS GSYNC monitor gave you strain even with your orange glasses. But how was its brightness adjustment range? It didn't let you adjust it dim enough maybe? Was that the problem (fixable via a neutral density grey film in front of the screen). Or was it just bigger than usual; closer to your face?

Remember, old CRTs were smaller and you viewed them from far away, but now we're sitting closer to bigger monitors; you must increase viewing distance to compensate if you're getting strain with newer monitors. So one sometimes is sitting too close to a monitor that can't be dimmed -- there you go. The hacky workaround of the grey filter comes to the rescue in that situation.

Blurchart of as follows:


That way, you're using sheer frame rate and refresh rate as your flickerfree motion blur reduction method.

P.S. Blur Busters is headquartered here in Hamilton Ontario, Canada.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 24 May 2019, 19:48
by Jason38
It will be a couple weeks probably but my son is going to bring his tower over which has a Nvidia 2070. I will look at your list and buy a 240 TN panel. I will run some tests and report back. I'm a big retro gamer so my computer is not that great. I think the max I was ever able to get out of my current computer was 120hz by hdmi. I still can't believe how terrible led screens are. I even would play a game on the computer screen then switch it to my plasma and motion blur was gone right away and the colour is a million times better. The Samsung quantum dot cfg70 I found gives pretty good colour but I think you are totally right it's too bright. As a gamer I have always believed we should of just skipped right past LED to OLED. I used to own a crappy Dell Inspiron laptop back in 2006 and used to laugh at how it handled sonic the hedgehog. By the end of this month I think there will also be 7 OLED phones that support DC Dimming. I have a really strong feeling I will have no issues with those as well. I think the ASUS OLED monitor would give me no issues but I don't have a spare 5000 US laying around. Linus tech tips reviewed it with your UFO test. Motion blur was great but it didn't perform well in other areas. I just don't understand how a 60hz plasma and OLED can give me no issues but regular LED is just crazy. Even regular LED lights I can't tolerate them. Maybe the special one you mentioned but there hasn't been one yet I can tolerate without orange glasses. It has to be flicker free. That's why I have giant plastic totes loaded with Incandescent lights.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 25 May 2019, 03:16
by 1000WATT
Jason38 wrote:I own over a 1000 incandescent light bulbs. :lol:
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
There is another inexpensive option. You can completely replace the backlight of the LCD monitor with incandescent or gallagen lamps.
in my country, a used overhead projector costs about $ 30, size from 13-19 inches LCD+special reflective fabric on the wall.
Believe it is not so terrible as it seems at first glance.The only problem is that it will take up a lot of space. But in your particular case, this could be one of the acceptable solutions.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 25 May 2019, 03:57
by 1000WATT
I find it hard to imagine how far a person can go who keeps a stock of 1000 lamps. :lol:
But if you still like this option. No problem to collect your own box for any size of the monitor matrix. By purchasing a suitable sized Fresnel lens.

Re: Every LED monitor causes eyestrain. Please help.

Posted: 25 May 2019, 11:57
by Chief Blur Buster
Yes, I have heard of incandescent-backlit LCD screens. Including 4K. You buy an old 1970s slide projector, remove the LCD from a monitor very carefully, and mount it on top of those old school classroom projectors. Incandescent backlit LCD!

Or you can use other high-CRI light sources. Most LCD backlights have long been crappy CRI 70 or CRI 80 LEDs with massive blue peaks, and the sooner that goes, the better. Good violet-chip LEDs are much more eye-friendly, but are way more expensive. Theoretically you could retrofit an ordinary CRI80 LED edgelight with a CRI97 LED edgelight, but it's very hard to replace an edgelight because it's often a custom circuit along the edge of a screen, and can be easier to just do the "overhead projector hack" for your LCD screen.

Most people who have the funds, can also purchase a DLP projector with a HID lamp source (the same lightbulb as movie cinemas) instead of a LED-based light source. However, incandescent-backlit LCD is possible via the overhead projector hacks, usually done with cheap sub-$100 monitors to create sub-$100 high-def projectors, but you can literally use any screen (even 240Hz G-SYNC screens) with the overhead projector hack too.