Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Neon Blue Laser of Death

I have two questions for the universe: When did red lights on electronics become blue? And why do our TVs, CD players, clock radios, and laptops have little glowing laser beams anyway? Are they all going to come to life some night when they get a secret signal from the Technology Overlords and steal our firstborn children?

At some point in the last couple of years, things that once glowed red started to glow blue. This just seemed to happen one day when I wasn't paying attention, like the sudden change of Peking to Beijing, or Bombay to Mumbai, or B.C. to B.C.E.

A couple of years ago we splurged and bought an LCD TV for the bedroom. The TV has been great--there's nothing so decadent as crawling under the down comforter on a snowy night and watching a chick flick or M1-5 with your sweetie -- except for one little thing: a neon blue laser beam that seeks out the unwary retina like a searchlight or the evil eyeball in The Tell Tale Heart. If the TV is off, that blue light is on. Always. Glowing much brighter than a nightlight. So bright that we have to put a candle in front of it so we can sleep.

And when we bought a replacement for a defunct digital clock, the new one came complete with neon blue light. Now, I don't know about you, but I find the blue lights much more difficult to read than red. My eyes are bleary enough when I wake up without having to try to decipher that blurry blue glow. Granted, this isn't global warming or swine flu or anything. But it is one of life's little annoyances. And one of life's little curiosities. What are these lights for? And what happened to good old-fashioned red? Come to think of it, didn't digital clocks used to have a sickly green glow? Now, those were the days.


  1. I never thought about it much but you are right. My home office looks like a miniature little city when it is dark outside and all the LEDs are glowing on the computer, printer, modem, TV,
    clock, router, , radio, etc, etc, etc. Imagine all the wasted electricity too.

  2. LCD Television are all the rage these days. It's little wonder that the markets today are inundated with endless models of plasma televisions from various brands.

  3. I must be behind the times. Mine are all still red.

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