The Tech I Use - f.lux

This is the 2nd post in series called The Tech I Use. If you would like to see the comprehensive list of technology I use click here.

About a year ago I was reading an article over at Mark's Daily Apple titled How Light Affects Our Sleep.  The key takeaway for me was the effect that blue light can have on a persons sleep.

Blue light regulates our secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Exposed to blue light, we limit the production of melatonin, and we stay alert and awake; in the absence of blue light, melatonin production ramps up, and we get sleepy. How Light Affects Our Sleep

Blue light from electronics can interfere with our ability to fall asleep especially in today's world where many of us are using our computers late into the evening.  One of the suggestions at the end of the article is to install F.lux (totally free) on your computer to cut down on blue light emissions.

After reading the article I installed F.lux on my MacBook Pro.  F.lux automatically changes the color temperature of your display.  During the day your computer will look completely normal.  When the sun sets at night your computer display will take on a different tone. 

F.lux is very easy to set up on your Mac or PC.  Visit F.lux's website to download and install.  The first time you open up f.lux it will determine your location.

Screen Shot 2012-02-26 at 10.36.50 AM.png

Once f.lux has determined your location than you can adjust what the color temperature will be at night and during the daytime.

  • Tungsten: 2700K
  • Halogen: 3400K
  • Fluorescent: 4200K
  • Daylight: 6500K

For night I personally have chosen Tungsten (2700K) which is the option that produces the least amount of blue light.  During the day I have chosen Daylight (6500K), which has even more blue light than noon sunlight (5500K).  You can also choose if the transition from day to night or night to day is fast (20 seconds) or slow (1 hour).  I prefer the slow transition as it's not as jarring as the fast transition.

F.lux Preferences.png

It does take a little bit of time to get use to the different color temperature.  I would encourage you to give it a couple weeks.  I have noticed that I do sleep better since I have started using f.lux.

Here is what some people on Twitter had to say about f.lux

F.lux for mac is amazing. best app I've downloaded for a computer in a long time.

— Matt Decof (@RealMattDecof) February 26, 2012

Because of F.lux I don't think I can ever use a computer at night again without it.

— Frodo Baggins (@trusttouch) February 25, 2012

If I use a computer after the sun goes down without #f.lux I welcome someone clawing my eyes out.

— ïnaç (@ineedaclone) February 25, 2012

@MorganSchon this is legitimately the best thing I have ever installed on my laptop: stereopsis.com/flux/

— kara emberson (@karaemberson) February 26, 2012

I've been reminded again that some people don't know about f.lux. It adjusts your colour temperature at sunset. Get it.

— Steven Fisher (@tewha) February 26, 2012