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CRT monitors are just as bad for your eyes as most other display technologies on the market. Most other monitors have the same set of characteristics that make them dangerous. Unless you’re planning to stare into the monitor for years on end, you shouldn’t worry about the impact on your eyes.

old ctr computer

Do CRT Monitors Have Radiation?

When answering this question, it’s important to give enough context to avoid confusion. CRT monitors have radiation, but unless you’re buying one from 1950, you won’t have to worry about it. Over the years, manufacturers have succeeded in reducing the emissions of the monitors to an acceptable level.

The FDA has confirmed that most CRT monitors on the market don’t emit any measurable amount of radiation. To sustain any damage from CRT monitors, you’ll have to be constantly staring into the display for hundreds of years. Since you’re not planning to use your monitor in this manner, you shouldn’t worry about the radiation.

If you’re still worried about the radiation from CRT monitors, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself. Again, taking extra steps to protect yourself isn’t necessary unless you have a monitor from decades ago.

Here are some ways to avoid excessive exposure to radiation from CRT monitors:

Use a radiation shield

Many see-through shields can help reduce the impact of the radiation from a CRT monitor. However, buying and using them is unnecessary and is akin to using a helmet while walking instead of driving. You’re only protecting yourself from something that isn’t even dangerous, to begin with.

Use blue light glasses

Blue light glasses are a necessary accessory if you stare into a computer screen for long hours every day. While they may be incapable of protecting from every kind of radiation, they filter blue light pretty well.

It’s also important to note that blue light glasses aren’t only necessary for CRT monitors. All display technologies with backlighting emit blue light, and blue light glasses protect from all of them.

Keep a distance from your monitor

The closer you get to your monitor, the more radiation you’ll potentially be exposed to. Because of this, keeping a reasonable distance away from your computer monitor will protect you from harmful radiation.

Keeping your distance will be easier if you have considerably larger screens. However, CRT monitors are generally smaller sizes than LCD or LED monitors. Therefore, buying large CRT displays will increase the price monstrously, making it more cost-effective to go with LCD.

Get an LCD or LED monitor

While this may not be cost-effective, throwing your CRT monitor out the window is the best solution here. Newer display technologies are cheaper, sharper, better, and more attractive than rusty CRTs.

Of course, unless response time is all you need from your monitor, you can always go for an LED or LCD monitor.

Is CRT Monitors Bad for Your Eyes?

Firstly, looking into a monitor for an excessively long period can affect your sight. This will remain true regardless of the display technology that the monitor uses. Also, the type of display technology is of a lesser impact than the time you spend before your monitor.

However, if you must choose the best for your eyes, you should generally stay away from CRT monitors. TV and Plasma technology monitors aren’t much better either, narrowing your options to LCD and LED.

If you’re genuinely worried about the impact of the display technology on your eyes, you can follow specific protective measures. Measures like using blue light glasses and emissions filters will help protect your eyes when using CRT monitors.

However, you should worry if you unluckily picked up one of the monitors that were pulled from the market decades ago. These CRT monitors had a manufacturing defect that made them emit excessive amounts of harmful radiation. So if you have one of these monitors, you should consider discarding it.

Does CRT Monitor Emit Blue Light?

Every display technology that uses any backlighting will inevitably emit blue light. Since CRT monitors fall under this category, you should expect them also to emit blue light. So the appropriate question in this context becomes: how much blue light do CRT monitors emit?

Compared to LCD and LED displays, CRT monitors don’t emit plenty of blue light. So if you’re using the newer display technologies, you’ll have to worry more about blue light than someone using CRTs. However, blue light emissions shouldn’t be the only factor that decides what kind of monitor you’ll choose.

The FDA sets standards for consumer electronics, including how much blue blight is acceptable. If a monitor exceeds these specifications, you won’t even see it on the market to begin with. So as long as your monitor is still available for sale, you can safely use it without worrying about blue light.

retro computer room (1)

Is a CRT Monitor Harmful?

CRT monitors are just as harmful as any other monitor with a backlight. Almost all monitor technologies have radiation and emit blue light that may damage your eyes.

While CRT monitors may be bad for your eyes, there’s no doubt that other display technologies are almost as bad. If you’re looking for a reason to ditch your last CRT, you should look for a more compelling one.

You don’t have to search the internet to find better reasons to abandon your CRT monitor. There are many reasons for the massive switch from CRTs to LCDs over the past two decades.

Here are some of the disadvantages of CRT monitors that should convince you to throw your monitor out the window.

They’re bulky

Frankly, no one wants a monitor that takes up almost all the space on their table. Unfortunately, CRT monitors are the perfect definition of such displays, making them a huge disadvantage. Also, the screen size of the average CRT display will directly affect the size.

For instance, if you want a monitor with a larger screen, you’ll need to buy a larger package overall. However, with LCDs, you can find a sleek monitor or TV that takes up virtually no space at any screen size.

They’re expensive

If you were comparing prices for CRT and LCD monitors in 2002, the former would appear significantly cheaper than the latter. Two decades later, however, this is no longer the case. So unless you have a lot of money to waste on retro tech, buying an LCD monitor is almost a no-brainer.

Over time, LCDs grew to become easier to manufacture in large quantities. However, since it offers clear advantages over alternatives, manufacturers started straying away from producing CRT monitors. Today, you can only find decade-old CRT monitors that are costly because of their rarity.

They’re inefficient

You should always go for a flat panel display over old-school CRTs if you care about power usage. One of the main reasons nobody uses CRT monitors anymore is that they’re relatively inefficient. A CRT monitor will use significantly more power than an equivalent OLED or LCD panel if there is an equivalent.

To put these into figures, a 32-inch CRT TV consumes 125 watts of energy, which doesn’t look massive per se. Nonetheless, when you compare it to the 18 watts that a similarly-sized LED TV consumes, you’ll understand why people ditch CRTs.

They output poorer images

The most biggest disadvantage of CRT monitors is the quality of image they output, compared to alternatives. Frankly, most people don’t care about the few bucks that differentiate the prices of CRT and LCD monitors. However, if the image qualities aren’t comparable at best, it’s usually a no-no.

When comparing the images from a CRT monitor to those from competing monitors, there are obvious differences. CRT fails miserably, as you can’t watch high-definition videos using this display technology. Also, they’re incapable of outputting true blacks, and your viewing angles are pretty limited.