We got our hands on the Propeaq light therapy glasses made by Chrono Eyewear to see if they lived up to the hype.
These are supposed to help with seasonal affective disorder, depression, and insomnia.
Spoiler alert: They don’t.
Read on if you’re curious as to why! Or watch our video review:
The Propeaq Glasses
This is the only pair of light therapy glasses that I know of that are actually glasses.
What makes the Propeaq glasses special, is that they can be a light therapy device in the morning, and at night you can swap out the blue lenses for a pair of amber blue-blocking lenses.
They come with a hard carrying case, a soft case (which has smaller pockets inside for the spare lenses) as well as a micro-USB charging cable.
They’re quite light, weighing just a bit more than the AYO.
To use them you simply press the button on the inside and they run for a 30-minute session, however as we go over in the next section, this is not an adequate dose.
- Weight: 39.1g
- Warranty: 1 year
- LED Color: Blue
- Session time: 30 mins
- Battery life: 5 sessions
- Charge time: 2.5 hours
- Guarantee: 30 days
Measuring the Glasses
The Propeaq utilizes 4 LEDs on the upper interior of the glasses, that shine down on your eyes from above, similar to how the AYO works.
According to the Amazon listing, these glasses put off 125 lux at 468nm.
This would be impressive! But wait… the technical specifications on the Propeaq website only say 35 lux…
Something smells fishy here… This looks like a job for HENRY.
With Henry, we’re able to accurately measure lux levels and spectral readings of these glasses at eye level.
So what did we find?
Measuring the Light
Well first, the Propeaq is peaking at around 462nm, not 468nm, not that that’s a big deal, it’s just that you’d expect them to get this kind of thing right.
Next, and most disappointingly, the highest lux measurement we were able to obtain was a measly 14 lux! This is very dim, and less than half of the lowest advertised lux level of the Propeaq.
According to the LHRC’s Circadian Stimulus calculator, you’d have to use these for almost three hours to reach the recommended minimum dose of light.
To give you an idea of how dim they are, here’s a graph comparing the spectral powers of AYO and Propeaq side by side.
Below is the full list of measurements for you curious folks.
- Brightness: 14 lux
- Total Power: 20 µW/cm2
- Circadian Light: 189 CLA
- Circadian Stimulus (30 min): 0.233
- Melanopic EDI: 115
As you can see, we don’t achieve the LHRC’s recommended minimum CS value of 0.3 so for me these just don’t cut it.
Measuring the Lenses
We also went ahead and measured the lenses against a full spectrum light just to see what they blocked!
The amber lenses would work well as a blue blocker:
With the amber lenses on we saw a 93% reduction in circadian light and a 61% reduction in lux or brightness. So they work!
How about the blue lenses though? The ones you’re supposed to be using during the light therapy sessions?
This is where it stops making sense because these lenses actually block some of the light that would otherwise activate your circadian rhythm:
According to our calculations, these lenses blocked around 20% of the circadian light and around 35% of the lux!
I fail to understand the decision here. Why not just use clear lenses? Just for looks?
To me, it almost looks as though if there’s any ambient light on you’d be better off just taking the blue lenses off and using the Propeaq without them!
The Propeaq is a cool, novel idea, and they’d be an interesting choice for travel since they act as both a light therapy device and a set of blue blockers.
They just don’t work very well…
Propeaq Light Therapy Glasses
Now check out our guide on 19 Ways to Align Your Circadian Rhythm for more tips on how to get better sleep!