So What’s Making Me Sleep Early These Days?
By on January 22nd, 2010

Believe it or not. I should have been an owl. I bet while I was being made, God’s assistant mistakenly handed over an owl’s sleep-processor instead of a human’s. But anyway, I have been able to adopt some human-like sleeping characteristics in the past few weeks. Thanks to F.lux.

[All platforms] F.lux is a program for your computer that adjusts the screen color temperature according to the time of the day bright like sunlight during the day, mild and warm during the night.

F.lux does not change the brightness of the screen, but the color temperature of the display. Artificial   or indoor lighting is warm or yellowish in tone and natural or sunlight is always blue (theoretically). So while using the computer in the day, F.lux automatically adjusts the color tone of the display to a cooler, brighter level matching it to the sunlight outside. Similarly, the application warms up the display and gives a milder tone during the night.

Due to the similarity between the natural color temperature in your vision and the color temperature on the screen that you may sit in front of for hours, the eyes are not strained. When the eyes are not strained, are instead relaxed, you are more likely to sleep early.

The FAQ page on the application’s website gives answers to some obvious questions:

Isn’t this exactly the same as the Macbook ambient light sensor?

No, but they do work together. The ambient light sensor measures the brightness of the light in your room and adjusts the brightness of your screen based on that. f.lux changes the color of your screen and warms it up according to the type of light you’re using and the time of day.

f.lux doesn’t use ambient brightness to adjust colors. You might be in a dark room with very cool light, you wouldn’t really want your monitor to look warm, but you would want your display to look dimmer. We’ve found that when your screen colors match the color of your ambient light correctly, you don’t need to adjust monitor brightness as much.

What is color temperature, exactly?

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 determined by the kind of light you’re using.

Confusingly, warmer (more red) light sources are described in lower degrees Kelvin. Compared to indoor lighting, sunlight is cool – very blue. A candle is around 1800K, while a sunny day might be 6000K. An overcast day will seem more blue, so it might be around 7000K.

Most computer monitors display around 6500K. If you are using incandescent task lights behind your computer, those are around 3000K.

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F.lux automatically detects your location and time zone and can then adjust the display settings accordingly. You can also slide the buttons and set the display settings as you desire.

Most certainly, F.lux is not made for graphic designers and other colors-sensitive work, so keeping that in mind, there is also a checkbox in the program settings that disables the program for an hour.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.

F.lux is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Download F.lux.

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I hope I achieve my sleep-early goals soon. People should get used to it! This one also gets a 5/5 Rating on the Techie Buzz scale and a stamp of high recommendation!

F.lux has been created by Michael Herf – the one who created the Picasa software.

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Author: Keshav Khera
Keshav Khera is a young freelance writer from India. Alongside writing for the web, he also attends school and tries not to bunk classes. He keeps interest in music, table tennis, reading and of course, twitter (@keshav)

Keshav Khera has written and can be contacted at keshav@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.fundybuzz.com Williams

    So, what is the use with this software, will it affect the system?

    • http://fabworker.com Keshav

      Use of this software is something I have already explained in the article. It won't 'affect' the system but it will cause less strain on your eyes.

      Thanks for the comment, William :)

 
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