F.lux - Better lighting for your computer.Credit: http://www.blogsaays.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/1flux_logo.jpg


Seriously, use F.lux. Just do it. Your eyes will thank you.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, F.lux is a piece of free software that really is a must have. It automatically adjusts the 'temperature' of your screen based on the time of day.

This article will serve as my explanation and review of F.lux. Hopefully it encorages everyone who reads it to go download it immediatley.

By default computer monitors are set to match the intensity of the sun and this is great for your eyes - during the day. But if you regularly use your computer at night or in low-light conditions then this is actually terrible for your eyes. It's like staring at the sun. It can even affect your ability to sleep as your body feels like it is still day-time, effectively messing with your body clock.

This is where F.lux comes in - you simply tell F.lux what your lighting conditions are like and where you live and it automatically sets the times at which it will gradually change your screen's lighting.


Flux ShotCredit: http://s3.herf.org/flux-shot.png


It is pretty simple to get working and it integrates very nicely into Mac and Windows interfaces. I don't even notice it running - that is until I turn it off and my eyes start to scream.

The colour warmth takes a little while to get used to, but you can easily adjust just how warm it is at certain times during the day. I use a slightly less warm setting (5500K at night, 6500K during the day) but that is just personal preference. You can go as low as 2700K which could be very handy for people with photosensitive eyes.

F.lux also lets you adjust how fast it fades from day settings to night settings, giving your eyes a chance to adjust to the change. There are two available options: 'Fast' (20 seconds) and 'Slow' (1 hour). I don't mind the fast setting so I typically use it, however if the change bothers you then the slow option is a good choice.

I can attest to F.lux being a very good choice for gamers too. For most fullscreen applications, for example games, F.lux will not affect the colors - unless you play in a window. Otherwise it has a nifty feature that lets you disable it for an hour. Personally I just leave it on for everything but Photoshop work (where colour precision is more important).

So let's just do a brief review of the features:

  • Seamless integration with Mac and PC - Runs in the background and starts on login. 
  • Completely customisable lighting settings - Choose from presets or custom settings from 2700K to 6500K.
  • Choice of transition speed - 20 seconds or one hour.
  • Disable for an hour - Useful for color sensitive work.
  • Available on Windows, Mac and iPhone - Use it on everything.

It really is a great piece of software, I wish I had discovered it earlier. Long times looking at overly bright screens may have contributed to my need to wear prescription glasses nowadays. Start using it right away and enjoy the benefits to your eyes.

You can download F.lux for Mac OS, Windows, and even iOS over at stereopsis.com/flux/.