Staring at bright computer or mobile screens at night time will strain your sensitive eyes as it is quite opposite of what your body requires. To deal with this particular problem, there are quite a few ways, like using ambient sensor for automatic brightness adjustment or using a software solution that can reduce the screen brightness automatically depending on the time. But these solutions are quite unnatural as they only deal with the brightness of the screen rather than the temperature (cool and warm) of the screen. Here is one way to prevent computer-related eye problems with a simple app called F.lux.
Why Should You Use F.lux
Scientifically speaking, human bodies tend to be active in the daytime due to the bright cool blue light surrounding us and will go into rest mode when this blue light goes off. But the computer and mobile screens we use late at night emit the same bright sun-like cool-temperature blue light which scrambles the brain function of releasing a sleep hormone called “Melatonin.” This in turn strains your eyes, disrupts sleep cycles and causes other eye-related problems in the long run.
F.lux was designed with this exact data in mind. The workings of F.lux is really simple; it effectively changes the color temperature of your screen from cool daylight to the reddish warmer color depending on the time of the day.
F.lux is a free software which supports different platforms, and you can download it from its official website. After downloading, just install it like any other Windows software. Once installed, F.lux will start automatically and sit quietly in your taskbar by configuring itself according to your time-zone and location. If F.lux failed to detect your location accurately, launch the application from the taskbar, click on the “Settings” button, and again select the “Change” button under the option “Set your location.”
The above action will open the “Where am I” window; simply enter your zip code or your approximate location and click on the “Ok” button. These time and location settings help F.lux to accurately set the color temperature settings of your screen depending on the time of the day.
In F.lux, you can also adjust your screen lighting for day and night by just sliding the respective sliders next to the “Daytime” and “At night” options. As you slide, F.lux gives you an instant preview for accurate setting. Moreover, if you want to expand the default lighting range of cool and warm temperatures, you can easily expand it by clicking on the button “Expand range.”
By default, F.lux sets the transition speed to “Slow (60 min)” so that your eyes will feel comfortable with the changing warm colors. But if you want, you can change it to a faster pace by selecting the radio button “Fast (20 sec).”
F.lux has other useful options which can be accessed by either right-clicking on the F.lux icon or by selecting the menu button at the top right corner. From the options, you can temporarily disable the app by selecting either of the options “Disable for an hour” or “Disable until sunrise.” If you are watching movies or playing games, you can select the option “Movie Mode” which disables the F.lux for 2.5 hours.
Besides these useful features, it does have other miscellaneous functions that you can use to control the colors of Phillips Hue lights at your place.
F.lux is an important app for any user who uses the computer at night. Since this app is free and doesn’t require any crazy settings, just give it a try for a couple of weeks. You may not like the warm colors at first, but you will eventually get to know how comfortable it is for your eyes. Of course, this app isn’t intended for people who work on color sensitive jobs like photography or video editing.
Hopefully that helps, and do share your thoughts using the comments form below.