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That Blinding Computer Light!

by Lori Gracey

If you’ve ever tried working on your computer at night, you’ve probably had to take time to dim your screen. During the day, computer screens look great. They are designed to look like the sun. But late at night or very early in the morning, they can be way too bright.

The f.lux program is designed to make the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day: warm at night and like sunlight during the day. After installing, the free program will determine your location so that it knows when the sun will set for you. You can change the color settings so that it looks as warm as you like and set a transition speed from bright to darker from 20 seconds to 60 minutes. You can even disable the program for an hour if you are working on color-sensitive materials.

It can take a few days to get used to the new colors at night, so I recommend setting the night-time colors in f.lux to whatever feels good to your eyes. After a few days with f.lux, experiment with the settings to warm things up a little more and find which color works best for you. The default setting of 3400K on Windows removes about 3/4 of the blue and about half of the green light.

f.lux is available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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