F.lux adjusts your desktop/laptop computer screen to fit the lighting in the room you’re in. When the sun goes down, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. During the day, it adjusts itself to the light intensity of the sunlight again.
This small, clever software program chance the color of your computer screen from its natural glow to an artificial lighting that correspond to the hours of the day – helping you sleep better. F.lux even adjusts to your exact location on Earth!
I was introduced to F.lux via blogger recommendation. Even though my sources were reliable, I was still kind of skeptical considering I didn’t really understand much of the purpose of this software, so it stayed on the backburner for a while. I work at all hours of the night, (and recently a lot of that time has been dedicated to playing Diablo III), so I eventually got around to trying F.lux out. There aren’t any snapshots letting you know what exactly F.lux looks like in action. (As in comparison photos, settings etc.) So it all came down to giving it a hands on try because there really was no other way around it.
The computer screen transition basically work a lot like when you change the temperature of a photo in an image editing software like Photoshop or Aperture. Computer screens are designed to look very vivid, bright and crisp – a lot like the sun. When it gets to the wee hours of the night however, looking at the sun isn’t exactly the best thing for your eyes.
F.lux understands these time changes and adjusts the temperature of the screen to warmer hues as it gets late, with the resulting color looking a lot more like natural lighting instead of the bright sun glaring at you, irritating your eyes. It really does make those bright screens a lot more bearable by changing the brightness levels throughout the day/night.
In F.lux, the temperature of a color is measured in Kelvins. Average LED flat screen monitors rack up about 6500K. The lower the Kelvin, the warmer the color temperature, and vice versa. Studies show that those subjected to lower (yet hotter) color temperatures before sleeping in an equally lit room had better sleep than those subject to cooler temperature colors.
To get F.lux to work according to your specific location, you’ll need to enter your current longitude and latitude, and it will set the correct settings. To help you, F.lux has its very own locator button, that directs you to their website where you can enter your address and it will return your approximate longitude and latitude in unison with Google maps.
When you first install F.lux, its default transition speed will be set to fast. This will change the color from day to night in 20 seconds. Personally, I liked the gradual transition speed, of 60 minutes, which runs and looks a whole lot smoother to me. You can also disable F.lux for up to 1 hour at a time if you have to do some more color sensitive work for any given night.
In conclusion, F.lux is one of those applications that once you start using, you just can’t see yourself doing without it. Turning it off will make you seem like a vampire exposed to light – seriously. People who use laptops and desktops during the late, late night hours will definitely benefit from using F.lux.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X, Linux