It happens to even the most eagle-eyed of us at times. You’re sitting there, staring at a bright screen at nightime, “studying”, when you notice a pouding headache or blurry text. Not only that, but you might notice that constant exposure to blue light – like the light from your computer screen, can delay your sleep for up to an hour.¹ Luckily, the folks over at justgetflux.com have got your back.
What is f.lux?
Put simply, f.lux is a peice of software for Windows and Mac that you can install on your computer. It works in the background, adjusting the colour of your screen to the height of the sun wherever you are in the world. During the day you won’t notice much of a difference, but once night comes around your screen will change to a slight orange tinge to mimic the lights of your room. If you’re doing colour sensitive work, or watching a film then no worries – there are settings for that. That’s all there is to it really.
But does it actually make a difference?
It’s something you’ll have to test for yourself to really find out. I’ve been using flux for nearly four months now though, and I like it so much that I even have it turned on during the day. I notice the difference especially on sites with a lot of white on; as someone with poor eyesight, they are much easier to read. Nowadays when I turn it off I hiss at the screen like a vampire exposed to sunlight.
So many settings! What do I pick?
There really is no wrong way to configure flux, presuming you have it set to the right location. But here’s a simple guide to some of the most important settings so you can understand them better.
Transition Speed – Pretty self explanatory, the time the program takes to switch from “normal” light to a warmer glow. I highly reccommend you set this to slow so you aren’t suprised and annoyed at the sudden change of colour.
Set your location – Make sure you do this, or you’ll be confronted with an annoying pop up every time your computer starts, and your monitor will be changing colours at random points during the day. It’s pretty easy, just hit the button and punch in your nearest town or postcode.
Lighting at Night – I reccommend changing the colour using this menu and not using the sliders, it usually gives you the option to go lower.
Safe Mode – Unless you have an ancient PC you don’t really need to worry about this. It’s just a low performance option with some features disabled in case you’re having problems.
Darkroom Mode – What can I say? It’s just horrible. It inverts all the colours on your monitor. I’m sure someone finds it useful.
Movie Mode – Not quite normal colour, but close to it. Means you can still see your favourite TV shows clearly but will strain your eyes less.
Extras – You don’t really need to touch these unless you have some kind of fancy monitor technology.
Alt + NUM 1 –Turn flux on/off for one hour.
Alt + NUM 3/ PGDN – Dim the brightness of your screen. Useful for desktops, but if you have a laptop it’s best to dim the screen using the inbuilt function.
Alt + NUM 9/ PGUP – Brightens your screen. Same story as above.
Conclusion and final thoughts
Flux is a great tool for anyone that spends a long time staring at a screen, or just anyone at all really. If you have a jailbroken iPhone you can even get it on there for those days that you stay up texting in bed late at night. Android offers similar apps like Twilight or Lux. The best part is that after a couple days you’ll forget that it’s even on. Or at least until you turn it off accidentally, and feel like the heat of a thousand suns is burning your eyeballs.