Better sleep with F.lux

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Reply #1 - 2010 March 04, 3:01 pm
Proxx Member
From: ドイツ Registered: 2007-01-26 Posts: 149 Website

Hey,

just learnt about a little free tool called F.lux, which claims to improve your sleep by filtering the blue light coming from your monitor.
Just setup your location, and F.lux automatically turns your screen into "warm light" when it's dark outside.

I've just downloaded and installed it. I have to say it needs getting used to it a little bit in the beginning (it has a pink touch), but now the light from my monitor is much more pleasant than before.
(Just activate it for 5 minutes and then go back to normal again, you will know what I mean.)
Don't know if it'll improve my sleep though...

It's available free for Windows and Mac here: http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/

Reply #2 - 2010 March 04, 3:20 pm
ファブリス Administrator
From: Belgium Registered: 2006-06-14 Posts: 4055 Website

Interesting, I'd like to see more feedback first. One issue may be for graphic designers.

Reply #3 - 2010 March 04, 3:26 pm
nest0r Member
Registered: 2007-10-19 Posts: 5236 Website

No comments for the sleep-related aspects (while awake--for sleep, I just put my monitor into hibernate ;p), but for the color stuff, I was just recently tinkering around with the warm/cool/etc. settings for my monitor, and reading about creating color profiles, adjusting color temperature, kelvins or whatnot. Interesting stuff. Personally I just leave it 'standard' and adjust brightness/contrast.

Last edited by nest0r (2010 March 04, 3:28 pm)

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Reply #4 - 2010 March 04, 3:46 pm
Proxx Member
From: ドイツ Registered: 2007-01-26 Posts: 149 Website

Yeah I guess if you are working with colors it isn't the best tool for you. But you could turn it off while working.
Flux it is based on the research that blue light (like sunlight) is sending signals to our body that it is daytime and we have to be active and alert. If we now extend the exposure to blue light until long after sunset (by LCDs), our body doesn't know that it's time to sleep already. By reducing the blue light, at least in theory, we should feel tired earlier, fall asleep faster and improve the quality of our sleep.

More about artificial light and sleep in this post (where I also read about Flux):
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-ligh … our-sleep/

Adjusting your brightness doesn't remove the blue light (it probably only lessens it) and therefore doesn't help much (if you believe in blue light beeing the bad guy).
Also I am often to lazy/forget to adjust my brightness/contrast every morning/evening. ;-)

Last edited by Proxx (2010 March 04, 3:48 pm)

Reply #5 - 2010 March 04, 3:54 pm
nest0r Member
Registered: 2007-10-19 Posts: 5236 Website

I was just reading this the other month. ;p http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 140305.htm - Lack of Morning Light Keeping Teenagers Up at Night

Related (2006) - http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006 … _teens.htm - Scientists Show Blue Light Can Help Reset Sleep Cycle

I believe the warm/cool adjusts the blue light in addition to other stuff, is why I mentioned. I could be wrong, though.

Also worth mentioning melatonin again. Loved that stuff. Related: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 113832.htm (Melatonin and what some call 'seasonal affective disorder'.)

Last edited by nest0r (2010 March 04, 3:56 pm)

Reply #6 - 2010 March 04, 4:04 pm
kame3 Member
From: Netherlands Registered: 2009-09-01 Posts: 133

Just installed it. It's night now, and indeed it gives a softer look to the eyes, while the colour change is not that annoying imo. But let's see how it works out long term. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion!

Last edited by kame3 (2010 March 04, 4:10 pm)

Reply #7 - 2010 March 04, 5:03 pm
bluemarigolds Member
From: USA Registered: 2008-12-21 Posts: 73

I've actually been using it for about a year now.  While I can't say anything on the sleep issue, it definitely feels easier on the eyes.  smile

For normal use, I have no complaints!

Reply #8 - 2010 March 04, 5:13 pm
liosama Member
From: sydney Registered: 2008-03-02 Posts: 896

nest0r wrote:

No comments for the sleep-related aspects (while awake--for sleep, I just put my monitor into hibernate ;p), but for the color stuff, I was just recently tinkering around with the warm/cool/etc. settings for my monitor, and reading about creating color profiles, adjusting color temperature, kelvins or whatnot. Interesting stuff. Personally I just leave it 'standard' and adjust brightness/contrast.

Personally for me, bright monitors really kill my eyes. This is why I can't stand using LCD screens,because they are piece of shit eye piercing machines. I use my crt monitor keeping brightness and contrast pretty low.

Thanks a lot for all the links by the way guys, I'm going to give the program a run.

As for the teenager problem - why not just sleep with an open curtain?

Edit: For the guys using the program keep a blog or something on it just so we can track how it is. I know I'll be keepin one^^

Last edited by liosama (2010 March 04, 5:14 pm)

Reply #9 - 2010 March 04, 5:31 pm
Babyrat Member
From: UK Registered: 2008-10-07 Posts: 144

Oh! My eyes! they are not burning!  Thanks for the link I will be trying this out, I doubt this will help sleep but its still nice on the eyes.

I always sleep with my blinds open, I can never wake up otherwise hehe. I'm not even a teen.

Last edited by Babyrat (2010 March 04, 5:32 pm)

Reply #10 - 2010 March 04, 5:33 pm
BJohnsen Member
From: Hawaii Registered: 2009-09-09 Posts: 52

Wow, this is exciting!

A lifetime of surfing in the tropics has left me with very early stage macular degeneration, and blue light is waaay bad for the condition. This is the first thing I've heard of that isn't a clunky filter thing. Relief from monitor glare headaches would be a nice bonus, too. And I definitely have a hard time falling asleep if I've use the computer after dinner. I've seen a direct correlation--more use, worse problem. Didn't realize it was the blue light, but makes perfect sense.

I'm installing this puppy this afternoon.

Thank you Proxx!!

Reply #11 - 2010 March 04, 6:33 pm
wccrawford Member
From: FL US Registered: 2008-03-28 Posts: 1551

Wow, I have to say, that is pretty neat.  I have a feeling I'm keeping this one around.

Reply #12 - 2010 March 04, 7:00 pm
Thora Member
From: Canada Registered: 2007-02-23 Posts: 1692

I'll try it too, thanks. I often find it difficult to fall asleep whenever I work until the wee hours. And of course those are the nights we most need sleep in order to function well the next day. I hadn't heard of bad blue light. If it helps, Proxx is my new hero.

A somewhat related question: I bought a new laptop last week and the screen has far more reflection/glare than past ones (most recently a tablet.) Is this typical of new LED screens, or...?  If it varies between brands/models, then I'm tempted to return this one.

Reply #13 - 2010 March 04, 7:14 pm
ファブリス Administrator
From: Belgium Registered: 2006-06-14 Posts: 4055 Website

@Thora: backlit display with LEDs maybe? The iMac screen brightness is frying my eyes, it's usually at 50%  smile

Like f.lux so far although "Lighting at night" is "Daylight", the other choices are totally off into orange/pink tones.

Reply #14 - 2010 March 04, 7:53 pm
Sebastian Member
Registered: 2008-09-09 Posts: 599

I haven't checked F.lux yet, but as I can't stand my computer screen's brightness (especially at night), I use a little program called ssOverlay (Windows only).

You can download ssOverlay or Dark Screen here.

The main difference between them is that with Dark Screen you can only select the brightness, while with ssOverlay you can set the "background" color too.  I personally use ssOverlay with "black" as my chosen color and adjust the saturation to whatever feels right according to the ambient light.

Dark Screen (1.03 Mb)

Some computer users experience problems with glare from the screen. Dark Screen sits over all windows and provides a means of dimming the output between 20 and 90%. Dark Screen is multi monitor aware, and can be used on the main monitor only or all monitors. Everything is controlled from the icon in the Notification area of the Taskbar (where the clock sits). Clicking this icon will open the menu which allows the selection of Multi Monitor Support, and the percentage of dimming of the screen



ssOverlay (896Kb)

Very similar to Dark Screen, ssOverlay (the ss stands for Scotopic Sensitivity), places a coloured overlay onto the screen. The colour and transparency levels can be adjusted to suit the user.

Reply #15 - 2010 March 04, 8:26 pm
atylmo Member
From: USA Registered: 2008-08-05 Posts: 124

I know there's a Linux version of F.lux (xlux) but I just thought I'd mention that I found an open-source alternative called Redshift. This could be useful if xlux won't work for you, as was the case for Redshift's developer.

It's quite a shock to the system to switch back and forth because the blue light is really evident when you turn it off. I do have to admit it feels a lot better on my eyes.

Reply #16 - 2010 March 04, 9:20 pm
BJohnsen Member
From: Hawaii Registered: 2009-09-09 Posts: 52

ファブリス wrote:

@Thora: backlit display with LEDs maybe? The iMac screen brightness is frying my eyes, it's usually at 50%  smile

I have my iMac screen brightness set all the way to the left, and I'd go minus if I could. Eagerly awaiting nightfall.

Reply #17 - 2010 March 04, 9:37 pm
Zarxrax Member
From: North Carolina Registered: 2008-03-24 Posts: 949

Decided to install this for a while, but wow, everything is all weird and pink now... I dunno if I can handle this.

Reply #18 - 2010 March 04, 11:25 pm
Thora Member
From: Canada Registered: 2007-02-23 Posts: 1692

Xarxrax: weird pink is scary stuff. Be careful, mate.  :-)

ファブリス wrote:

@Thora: backlit display with LEDs maybe? The iMac screen brightness is frying my eyes, it's usually at 50%  smile

Yeah, it's backlit LED. I suppose the apparent brightness (even adjusted) and the reflection/glossiness are two different things. Whatever it is, it feels like my eyes are frying too.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to install F.lux. My computer doesn't doesn't like the install location (...[user]\localsettings\apps\...) , but it won't let me pick a different location. It's meant to work with Win7, though. Any suggestions?

Reply #19 - 2010 March 04, 11:28 pm
BJohnsen Member
From: Hawaii Registered: 2009-09-09 Posts: 52

Night has fallen. This is great! It's wonderful to have the light so...subdued. My screen isn't really pink--there's just a slight pink shadow if you drag a window around. I'm not surprised that it varies a lot by monitor. I wouldn't mind having this setting in the daytime, too.

Reply #20 - 2010 March 04, 11:58 pm
radical_tyro Member
Registered: 2005-11-19 Posts: 272

i'm loving it!

Reply #21 - 2010 March 05, 12:14 am
mezbup Member
From: sausage lip Registered: 2008-09-18 Posts: 1681 Website

Perhaps this is the reason my sleep pattern is so mucked. I'm just gonna install it and use it and see if it does actually help me.

Reply #22 - 2010 March 05, 1:23 am
Jarvik7 Member
From: 名古屋 Registered: 2007-03-05 Posts: 3946

BJohnsen wrote:

ファブリス wrote:

@Thora: backlit display with LEDs maybe? The iMac screen brightness is frying my eyes, it's usually at 50%  smile

I have my iMac screen brightness set all the way to the left, and I'd go minus if I could. Eagerly awaiting nightfall.

My led backlit macbookpro is set at 100%. When I first got it I noticed how much brighter it was than my old fluorescent one and used it at 50%, but I guess I adapted. I also put an anti-glare/protective film on it which reduces the brightness a fair amount though.

Then again I don't use my computer with the lights off unless I'm watching a movie tongue

Reply #23 - 2010 March 05, 1:54 am
Proxx Member
From: ドイツ Registered: 2007-01-26 Posts: 149 Website

Thora wrote:

Unfortunately, I'm not able to install F.lux. My computer doesn't doesn't like the install location (...[user]\localsettings\apps\...) , but it won't let me pick a different location. It's meant to work with Win7, though. Any suggestions?

It's working with Windows 7 (Professional, 32bit, english) here.
But I guess it's not really made for Windows 7, as localsettings seems to be the Windows Vista Folder, where all the stuff is placed. In Windows 7, it's usually AppData/Local.

You could try to install the program in compatibility mode. But set a system resore point, in case the uninstall doesn't work also...


Just had my first night after half an evening with F.lux. Can't say I feel any different. (Well also made some other mistakes which affect my sleep, like ice cream one hour before going to bed...)

Reply #24 - 2010 March 06, 12:36 am
xquio Member
Registered: 2009-12-01 Posts: 27

I might try this. Only issue is that I don't want to leave my laptop screen on all night. My sleep schedule is f'd in the a. Bed at 3, up by 9:45 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then up between 3 and 4 every other day...

Reply #25 - 2010 March 06, 1:04 am
mezbup Member
From: sausage lip Registered: 2008-09-18 Posts: 1681 Website

I used it last night and liked it so I've decided to keep it. I think just the monitor having a night time feel to it at night is nice and a little easier on the eyes. Obviously it's no magic panacea to sleep problems but it is actually a big difference not having daylight blaring at you through all hours of the night.

@xquio: You don't have to leave your screen on all night, that's not the point of it at all. The point is if you use your computer past sunset the screen changes to reflect that so your brain doesn't get exposed to "artificial daylight".

Last edited by mezbup (2010 March 06, 1:06 am)