A Healthier Computer? Less eye-strain and better sleep with this free app!

f.lux is a free app for your computer that adjusts the light from your screen to match the natural light rhythms of the sun wherever you are! This equates to less eye strain, less headaches, and a richer nights sleep! For years now I have been hoping for a new trend in technology, one that is a movement towards bio-friendly machines rather than the modus operandi of our existing tech industry, which always seems to develop devices that are incompatible with human health. As more and more evidence piles up indicating that the machines we are living around — and the frequencies they use to communicate — are toxic to our biology, one has to wonder why we have not developed machines that use healthier — if not even healing — frequencies. I digress....

Does Your Computer Give You Headaches?

Ever notice that the light coming from our computers has a noticeably bright blue hue to it? This is particularly noticeable when someone is using a computer in a dark room. Have you noticed that long sessions on your machine can lead to headaches, eye-fatigue, and even trouble getting to sleep afterwards?

Enter f.lux! 

f.lux is a free app that calibrates the brightness and color of your computer screen to the current natural sunlight in the area where you are!  This means the light coming from your monitor is more like the light that you would experience outside.

Why should I consider using it?

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Research has indicated that visible light in the blue end of the spectrum is quite stimulating for us — perhaps because it suppresses our melatonin production — which makes sense as this is the dominant color band of sunlight reaching earth in the morning when the sun rises, and throughout the midday.  As the late afternoon and evening descend, the color and quality of light shifts towards the red end of the spectrum, which relaxes us, and naturally prepares us for rest and sleep.

Our computer screens are default-set to emit light in bright blue wavelengths, which simulate sunlight from the early part of the day. For me, this hasn’t been much of an issue in the morning or midday, but after the sun gets low in the sky I notice that it starts to give me a headache, makes my eyes feel uncomfortably strained, and interferes with my sleep.

How Does f.lux Work?

one burning candle with a few

f.lux allows me to shift the color of light coming from my machine from the bright blue of early day to a range of warm orange hues that I find far more relaxing, not to mention far less invasive in my home — or what I like to call my "human habitat". I can customize the brightness of this gentler hue from something that resembles a tungsten lamp down to something more akin to candle light. These options are all found in the f.lux preferences.

You can liken the use of f.lux to the differences between an incandescent tungsten lamp and a fluorescent tube. I have always found the stark white light from fluorescence tubes — including the newer "energy savers" — particularly irritating to my eyes and mood, and found the soft orange hue of tungsten lamps far more soothing. When f.lux is active on my computer, the light that it emits resembles the light coming from a low wattage tungsten bulb. In other words, it feels like another lamp, or if I set it low enough, almost like a candle.

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Helpful Hint: After installed f.lux, I noticed a f.lux icon in the upper righthand area of my computer screen — I use a Macbook Pro — so I am not sure where the icon lives on a pc — that when clicked gives me the option to disable the app for an hour.  This is useful when I am watching a video and want to see in its true colors.

My Final Thoughts

I can’t recommend this app enough! Actually, I imagine that soon we will see all computers and handheld devices come equipped standard with this or similar software as an option.

Since using it I can report an easier transition to sleep after using my computer, and far less of the eye fatigue and headache symptoms that accompany living amongst machines!  There is a version available for iPhone and iPad, but it requires they be jailbroken first. I am hoping to see the release a more robust version for mobile devices soon.

You can find f.lux — totally free — by clicking here!

Let me know below if this app helps you as much as it has me!

~D