there? Specific details inside.
Last night I used a bit of electrical tape to cover up a blinking LED on my computer monitor. After turning the overhead light off to check that the blinking LED was covered enough, I noticed something crazy.
When I look directly
at the LED, I cannot see any light emitting from the LED whatsoever -- just as if it was unplugged. However, if I look away and focus on something else in the room, I can see the LED blinking out of the corner of my eye very prominently (almost as if there was no tape covering it at all). Quickly glancing back at the LED, I notice that I cannot see any light whatsoever.
So the curious me decided to find the reason. Reflection? Angle? Blind spot? Here's what I've tried:
1) I moved around my entire room, testing it in different spots, standing, sitting, leaning, everything. It does the same from every place in my room.
2) I checked for reflections. No reflections whatsoever (neither from an external source or the LED itself).
3) I tried all different angles and it acted the same every time. The piece of tape is small and does
allow for some light to escape around the edges. However, if it was due to the angle, I should be able to see the light with my head parallel and directly inline with the edge of the LED (the most likely place any light could escape), but I still did not see any light whatsoever.
4) I tried different positioning. I turned my head to look away and back again. I then kept my head still and moved my eyes to look away and back again. It acted the same.
5) I tried focusing on only one inch away from the LED and it was the same as focusing ten feet from the LED. The only time I cannot see the LED blinking is when I focus directly
6) I thought I may have found my blind spot
by fluke. But the fact I can see it at any depth, any position of my eyes, any position of my head suggests not based on my understanding of a blind spot.
7) I brought someone else into the room and they had the exact same experience I had with all my tests.
So why is this?! I know it's stupid, but it's driving me crazy. I'm not looking for a solution to cover up the LED (I'll just use a bit more tape), I want to know why
I can see it, but not when looking directly at it. There's got to be some scientific reasoning. Could it be something similar to a blind spot? Is it a trick my eyes are playing on me? What's going on here? Any and ALL ideas are very welcome. :)
A couple clarifications:
1) The light is definitely blinking under the tape at all times at a consistent rate (about one blink a second).
2) The piece of tape is very small and does allow for some light to escape around the edges (as explained above). But it comes does to this: if I focus directly
at the LED, I don't see any light at all; if I focus away from the LED (anything greater than a quarter inch from the postiion of the LED, I can distinctly see the flashing light.
3) This occurs every single position in my room within a line of sight with the LED (although the intensity of the light may change slightly at each position).
4) The exact same scenario occurs for two people. I'll be able to try it with a third when I get home.
Any ideas at all?