I have to admit when I first read about F.lux I did not think much of it. According to its website, the application is used to change the color of your display depending on the time of day. It uses a technique similar to warming or cooling an image.
It goes on the principle that your computer’s display was created to simulate the sun or a bright day. When it is 10.00pm or even 3.00am we do not want to be looking at the sun. We should tone down our colors so that our eyes can look at images normally.
The example the author gave was what sealed the deal for me. Have you ever tried to jot down an idea on your computer at 3.00am only to be blinded by the bright monitor and walk away without using the computer? I can relate to this as it has happened to me countless times.
Now what if your computer knew that it was 3.00am and it toned down your display so that your eyes would be able to adjust to the light? Wouldn’t that be simply awesome? It sure would. So I proceeded to download the 546KB file and once it was finished installing I saw that I had a new system tray icon.
The settings for the application popped up on my screen. It appeared to be already configured for me as those co-ordinates are for North America. You can click on the arrow next to the co-ordinates to get more specific. You can also see the red arrow pointing to F.lux’s system tray icon below:
After clicking on the arrow or right clicking on the tray icon and selecting change location you will see this screen:
You can type in your zip code and hit the locate button for a fast way to retrieve your latitude and longitude.
Click OK and we are all set up. I was expecting to include screenshots of the 12.00pm desktop and the 12.00am desktop but in the screenshots they were identical. This is truly an application you need to experience for yourself to see how it works. But in essence it reduces the brightness of your monitor by changing your color schemes.
Let’s take a look at what options F.lux offers us:
We’ve already covered the change location option, preview will take you through what your screen will look like at each hour, disable for an hour will put your screen back to full brightness for one hour – this is great if you do need to work with proper colors. The change lighting button is really not necessary unless you want your screen dark during the day and bright at night!
I also tried to do a screen cast and then as a last alternative went to see if there was a YouTube video of F.lux in action and sadly it appears that it is just not possible to capture the application’s effect using any type of screen capture software. If someone does have a link to a video of F.lux in action let me know in the comments!