F.lux: Cool Free Software for Improved Eye Comfort

At Easy Optical we have been discussing whether or not we should start to offer ‘computer vision’ lenses to our customers. These lenses filter out blue light of the type encountered when viewing a computer screen or a mobile (cell phone) screen. There is some debate about blue light. To quote a blog post by Zeiss, the highly respected optical lens manufacturer:

“A debate is raging over the beneficial and damaging effects of blue light. On the one hand, blue light can be a helpful tool in combating seasonal depression and insomnia. On the other hand, blue light can permanently damage the human eye.”

And in 2012, the American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health made this recommendation:

“Recognizes that exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents. This effect can be minimized by using dim red lighting in the nighttime bedroom environment.”

We expect that we soon will offer blue light filtering lenses.  Meanwhile, in researching them we have come across some free software we wanted to write about here.  Specifically, free software (f.lux) is available for Macs and PCs which adjusts, throughout the day, the amount of light emitted by the screens.  Here is how they describe themselves (emphasis added).

“Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?

Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?

During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.

f.lux fixes this: it makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

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.”

The above may not sound like much if you haven’t tried it, but if so that’s only because its one of those things that’s hard to describe in words.  But the effect of using this software seems to be that eyestrain is reduced, and in many cases drastically reduced.

Here is a link to a list of third-party research that has been done on this topic: https://justgetflux.com/research.html.  If you have ever wondered what you can do to reduce eyestrain from screen viewing, it makes for really interesting reading.  Here is a before and after image of the screen of a computer on which f.lux has been installed:

Image showing what a MacBook Air display looks like with and without f.lux enabled.
Here is what a MacBook Air display looks like with and without f.lux enabled.
The computer on the right has f.lux enabled. (Melia Robinson / Tech Insider)

Download links to this software are here: https://justgetflux.com/

Note that we are not affiliated with f.lux in any way.  Their software is free, though they do accept donations.  We just think the software is pretty great and we think our customers (at least some of them!) might like it too.

Any questions/comments/etc, please email us at [email protected] or use our contact form.