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I’ve always had a suspicion that staring at a bright monitor all day and night might have some not-so-fantastic effects on a person’s sleep cycle and general well-being. My friend Kyle, probably in consideration of my infamous problem with staying up too late on the computer and oversleeping in the morning, sent me a link to an application called F.lux, which may help to address this problem.

During the day, computer screens look good–they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.

F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

In the preferences, you specify the type of ambient lighting (fluorescent, halogen, etc.) and your location. F.lux then adjusts the brightness and temperature of the display throughout the day to be appropriate for the particular time. If you preview the difference, it looks noticeable. In use, though, the change happens so gradually that you don’t really notice the colors are shifting.

There is an installer for Windows, OS X and Linux. I’ve been using the OS X version this evening on my iMac and it’s been noticeably easier on my eyes. If I was planning on working all evening, I’d probably want to disable it, because I think I’m actually getting tired – and that’s a good thing.

F.lux


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Comments

  1. erik says:

    I wonder if this could somehow be integrated with MarcoPolo for auto-location/ lighting sensing and adjustment?

    http://www.symonds.id.au/marcopolo/

  2. Steve Barbour says:

    I had issues with f.lux and my Vista 64 bit video drivers on resume from sleep mode.

    Fair warning. Otherwise, it’s a cool little app.

  3. Dave Chatting says:

    That’s a great app – love it!

    I’ve been playing with similar ideas of screens reflecting the outside world with my One Pixel Webcam:
    http://www.davidchatting.com/onepixelwebcam/

    Dave

  4. Chainsaw says:

    It isn’t automated, but ever since Windows 95 I’ve been using three color schemes, sunny day, cloudy day, and dark, to achieve something like this effect. It works great except for programs that use skins and don’t recognize Windows’ settings – as long as all your software respects it, automating it ought to be cool. Depending on where you live, it has to react to the actual light level and not the hypothetical light level for that time of day or year, though. So you need some kind of light sensor, not just software.