Have you ever noticed that the screen on your device (whether on your computer or iDevice) changes to somewhat of a bluish color at night? It tends to be a bright bluish glow that can at many times be blinding. This is a result of how the screen is engineered. This bluish glow or color temperature is in place to make viewing during the day much easier. The screens are supposed to behave like the sun so there's not a ton of strain on your eyes - basically, it adds a lighted setting so that the differences in lighting don't affect your eyes. However, when you use your computer or device at night, the scenario is totally different. Despite the blinding factor of the bluish light, studies have shown that this color temperature (the one that the bluish glow emits) can also be damaging to your health at night. Blue light is beneficial for your circadian rhythm (what keeps your body on a 24-hour schedule) during the day, however at night, it has negative effects. It can keep you up awake later at night as well as ruin the quality of your sleep. Sleep researchers have been studying the effects of devices such as cell phones, computers, and mobile tablets, finding evidence that this is truly the case.
Now you may be thinking that turning down the brightness is an obvious alternative. That is not the case - the bluish glow and the effects it has at night time is still present even when the brightness is turned down.
A company called F.lux created a piece of software (patent pending) called f.lux that can be installed on your computer (Windows, OS X, Linux) to make your screen's light adapt to the time of day. So during the day, the lights that are displayed as well as the color temperature is different from what is at night. With this ground-breaking technology, you are able to use your computer during any time of the day without having to worry about strain or negative effects on your body. F.lux just recently made their software available for iOS users through Cydia.
After installing f.lux from Cydia, you can change all the settings directly from inside the Settings pane. Inside the Settings tab for f.lux, you have a few options:
- At night - choose which type of bulb or lightning situation you are in so that f.lux adapts when it is night time (based upon the clock)
- Transition speed - change the transition speed from day to night (on older devices, it is instant to avoid flickering)
- Color-sensitive work - turn f.lux on or off
The Cydia description is highly comprehensive and explains a ton of useful information about this application. I recommend that you read this thoroughly if you find this tweak of interest to you. The description does make sure to alert you of a few things:
- f.lux does have a minor impact on your battery life
- The current version of f.lux requires Location Services to be enabled. If you happen to install it when Location Services are turned off, you must reboot or re-install it for it to work
- Although Locations Services is required, we do not track your information and have no servers on our end that capture information
- iPhone 3G support is still experimental at this point
Author: F.lux Software LLC
To find out more information about the company F.lux and their other products, visit the F.lux website. And if you don't believe the "studies" that were mentioned in the article, read up on the F.lux website. They have article upon article with extensive research evidence that validates their argument and why their product is legitimate.