F.Lux: The software that helps you sleep- By Brian Kim
Do your eyes hurt or is it hard to sleep after using your computer at night? Want to find a remedy for this problem? If the answer is yes, F.Lux is here for you.
The cause of the aforementioned problems is the light emitted from the computer screen. The backlight on computer screens is built to imitate the sun, which is why no real problems arise when computers are used during the day (also, at this time, most people aren’t trying to sleep). However it’s a different case during nighttime use, when students are busy with schoolwork or watching videos on Youtube. Our eyes are meant to see little to no light during the night before we sleep, and when that is broken by constant screen exposure, we begin to experience consequences similar to those if we stare at the sun for too long. This is where F.lux comes in.
F.Lux is a program created by Michael Herf and Lorna Herf in 2009 that changes the color of your computer screen depending on the time of the day. Setup is quick and it works on Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s free to download on the website: https://justgetflux.com.
What F.Lux does is solve the problem by adjusting the color of the light at night. More specifically, it makes the screen tint orange during the night so that the backlight on the screen matches with more indoor lights. It can even change colors depending on where you are by pin-pointing your coordinates and changing the tint as needed, so no adjustments are needed even when you’re moving cross-country. So, how would this orange light help?
To put it simply, the change in light addresses the issues caused by the default, blue light we see on our screens at night. We are not biologically adjusted to see light similar to sunlight during the night; this blue light coming from our screens registers in our eyes as something similar to sunlight and makes our bodies think it’s daytime. Our eyes strain because obviously we shouldn’t be looking at the sun for long periods, especially when it’s nighttime and it’s our only source of light. Orange is blue’s complement, the color on the opposite side of the spectrum and a warm color. It has a direct contrast to blue, which is why the negative effects are negated.
F.Lux is a tool that should be used by every student — its functionality really shines on those long nights when you’re on your computer doing schoolwork or Skyping with your friends. From personal experience I can say that this has worked wonders for me; my eyes don’t feel strained and getting enough sleep isn’t a problem for me anymore. Download F.Lux and give it a try. You’ll be surprised how a simple color tint can affect your life in so many ways.