Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Improve Your Day by Darkening Your Screen at Night

F.lux Screen Brightness AdjusterIf you're like me and find yourself staring into the burning chasm of your monitor during the day as well as nighttime, have I got a program for you. Its called F.lux and it automatically adjusts your computer’s monitor brightness according to the time of day and lighting conditions in the room. Best of all, its completely free.

Most screens look fine during the morning hours and day because they’re made to be BRIGHT like the outside sun. However, during the evenings at 10PM, or even 4AM for that matter, you definitely shouldn't be looking at anything that resembles the sun. Ever notice that when you come back to your monitor after dark, or even just as dusk is falling, they tend to blind your eyes and make you reach for the brightness controls? F.lux fixes all this by adjusting your computer's display to adapt to the time of day. It will become warm colored at night and during the day take on the color of sunlight. As someone who has battled with insomnia on more than one occasion, it's definitely nice to know I won't turn on my monitor only to have my retinas seared.

The basic principles behind the F.lux program involve adjusting your monitor based on color temperatures. The term color temperature is a way to numerically describe how much red or blue light is illuminating a room. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins and is used to describe every kind of light you use and buy. Warm colored light sources are described in lower degrees kelving while cool light is higher up the spectrum. A candle which gives off a red-orange light has a color temperature of approximately 1800K while a bright sunny day may be around 6000K. A cloudy day will cause the sunlight that penetrates to have a more blue color and may have a color temperature around 7000K. If you're wondering what the color temperature of your monitor is, consider that most LCD's are defaulted to 6500K while CRT's may have an even higher color temperature.

Keep in mind that this program is not designed for use during advanced color work such as graphical design but it will be perfectly fine for regular use. I personally don't have a problem at all with the color when I play video games at night. If you have a problem with your screen looking much too yellow at night, try adjusting the color temperature sliders under the settings tab. I personally have the Daytime setting cranked all the way up with my night temperature sitting at 4200K near the Flourescent setting. What I like best about F.lux is that once you set it up you will never have to think about it again. Its all automatic.

For more information about display technology visit A Monitor Blog

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