It’s not at all a secret that if you live your digital life within the clouds of technology and the internet that you spend a significant amount of time transfixed to your computer screen.
Though with lesser fears of the age old ‘square-eyes’ myth, a common symptom of late-night hours-long continuous gazing at your computer monitor is eye-strain. It happens to everyone, but what if not using your computer as much for extended periods of time at night is not an option?
Well, this is where F.lux comes in.
What Does it Do?
F.lux a simple app that sits in your system tray has been developed as a run-and-forget-it solution to eye-strain and wow-my-screen-is-so-blue-and-bright-at-night syndrome.
Ok, I admit it’s not really a syndrome, but you know what I mean.
What F.lux does is attune your monitor hue to the current time of day, and concurrently the amount of natural light in your room or office. This means that during the day your monitor looks just as bright and sunny as you are used to.
However, getting closer to night-time, the ‘glow’ or hue gets gradually warmer and warmer to allow your actual lights to become the dominant hue in the room, or even to remove the eerie glow in darkness.
Setup is frightfully simple.
- Adjust lighting settings – Try default for now, see how it looks.
- Set your location – As simple as setting your zipcode or a major city or town.
- Transition speed – Slow is ideal for this option. The transition is unnoticeable at 60 minutes.
Though the absolute lowest lighting setting may seem a bit too much, just give it a try during the day, and by night time, you’ll have forgotten you even turned it on in the first place.
Just try turning it off temporarily and you will see how nice it is.
A Few Caveats
However, due to the nature of F.lux, it is inadvisable to use it whilst using Photoshop or editing images — any work that requires precise color reproduction, as F.lux changes the color tones, and thus the color reproduction. You don’t really want to piss of your clients with the wrong shade of blue, do you?
Other than that, the simplistic nature of the application doesn’t warrant additional features. Having said that, some sort of scheduling system to turn off the program regardless of light levels would be a great addition to the feature list.
So, Should You Use it?
This really is a one-of-a-kind application, does not require any maintenance, and does its job so unnoticeably well that you will miss it when you don’t have it.
If they could, your eyes would thank you, as will your sleeping pattern; without F.lux, the harsh glow at night certainly aids your lack of sleepiness.
As an added bonus, F.lux is also available on OSX and iOS, has a ridiculously small memory footprint, and does not touch your current monitor/graphics card configuration. It is purely a self-contained added layer.
In short, if you find yourself straining your eyes at night due to the unnatural glow of your screen, give F.lux a go. Your eyes will thank you.