A Reminder: If You Use Windows, Just Get Flux

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Every year I cover around 200 freeware programs and web-based systems in this column that you're kind enough to be reading.  Of those, only a small handful get to stay on my main PC for any length of time.  Not because they're not useful, but because it's obviously not sensible for me to keep 1000 programs installed if I'm not going to find time to use them all regularly.

Over the next couple of weeks, in addition to writing about new stuff, I'm going to mention a couple of my favourite programs again.  Because, frankly, I think they're good enough to deserve it.  And I'm going to start with Flux, which is probably my favourite.

Flux is one of those programs which, unless you stop to think about it, you probably won't even remember that you installed.  And that's precisely how it's supposed to be.  It sits there, silently in the background, helping to protect your eyesight.  

Once you've installed Flux, and told it where you're based, it automatically dims your screen background at sunset and increases it again at sunrise.  So whenever you use your computer, you're staring at a background light level which is comfortable for the current conditions and won't overly strain your eyes.  

In addition, you can temporarily override the program if you want.  For example, press Alt-PgUp or Alt-PgDn to instantly dim the screen if your eyes are tired, or to put the brightness back to full level if you're doing some work that requires accurate colour representations.

You'll find Flux at https://justgetflux.com and it's completely free.  The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust, and is a 0.5 MB download.  Just get it.  It makes sense.

 

 

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Comments

I tried flux; it sux. It's way too bossy.

Both Flux and Redshift are too reddish to me especially when the color temperature is 5,000 K and below. Personally I prefer to adjust the backlight instead. The Fn key increases/decreases the brightness of the screen by about 5% on each press on my machine, but there're software tools to make the task easier such as Friendeye for Windows or Light for Linux which can be added to auto start when the system starts up.
Same here. I use Desktop Lighter: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Video-Tweak/Desktop-Lighter.shtml It can change the brightness very easily using a slider, and can autorun with Windows. Although it's not being developed and an old software, it still works with Windows 8.1.

I agree with Jojo. When I tried F.lux some time back I couldn't stand the reddish hue. Also, I prefer portable software whenever I can get it but F.lux doesn't have a portable version. The people over at PortableApps.com were trying to make it portable but it looks like that project has stalled.

Recently, I discovered a similar app called SunsetScreen ( http://www.skytopia.com/software/sunsetscreen/ ). It was first released on 2015.03.15 so it's pretty new. It also offers a certain amount of flexibility not present in F.lux. And... there's a portable version too.

If you are a late night computer user and have trouble falling asleep, you should definitely give this a try.

Check out this study (which also mentions f.lux): http://www.brighamandwomens.org/about_bwh/publicaffairs/news/pressreleas...

(BTW, my kids use f.lux but I personally don't care for it.)

Is there a utility which will override web dictates to blacken text? Much is too pale to read quickly.

I also used this or a similar program in the past and found it dimming the picture too much.

If you use Linux, use Redshift. I use it to color-correct my monitor, which is too blue for me. Redshift is in the Mint repository. Two clicks, done.

If you use Windows, just get Linux.

"If you use Windows, just get Linux". I know it's still early in the year, but coolest comment of 2015 (so far) :) MC - Site Manager.

It works well! The reduced glare late at night does make a difference when I finally get to bed.
Never thought of the affects of blue light at night.

Flux is a 'must have' for me too. btw, there is an adjustment for movies as well as other fine tuning features.

I work online and do 2 night shifts a week and this is invaluable. Most of my colleagues have it now and it only takes a slight adjustment for it to make a massive difference. I don't get itchy eyes anymore. If you spend a lot of time at a monitor, especially in less than great lighting, you need this.

I tried this a long time ago and I distinctly remember that I hated it at the time. The idea sounds great in theory, but in reality it kept dimming the screen too much, it was never comfortable.

Perhaps it improved over time, I'll give it another shot.

Edit: No, it's still too uncomfortable for eyes, also there's no option to detect games/movies so it can be disabled automatically as far as I could tell.