Windows 10 Quick Tips – Night Light vs F.Lux


night-lightNight Light

The Night Light concept is not a new thing. It’s been around for quite a long time now, and much longer than Microsoft would have you believe, having brought up the subject as some sort of innovation. Wrong. There are many third-party solutions to the so-called night-light problem and this week’s Quick Tips article will try to show you a few things in this regard.

What Is Blue Light, After All

Blue light is something we, as humans, can see… Doh… but according to the “experts” out there, it can also keep us awake at night and cause eye strain when we are exposed to it for unnatural periods of time… like when staring at a computer screen or TV… for unnatural periods of time… while playing a game or watching your favorite movies… for unnatural periods of time. You get the idea…

“Night Light” and other software in this genre try to eliminate these problems by reducing the amount of blue light entering our eyeballs. By doing so, the experts in this field have suggested that this will help in regards to the aforementioned eyeball strain and the resulting possible insomnia.

Note 1: Apparently, our brains are not as smart as they think they are. They like to believe that blue light means daytime when we know that it does not necessarily mean that at all! This is a key difference between our brains and us— we know better.

Note 2: I must admit that by utilizing these programs, I have noticed a considerable amount of “release” from the normal tension I feel. And I sleep better, besides. They may be well worth looking into if you are suffering from sleep deprivation and/or eye strain.


Windows Night Light

Some people have pointed out that the Windows version of Night Light is not working properly. Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise to me. I rarely suggest that you should use a third-party utility when a built-in Windows option is available. This is an exception to that rule.

When Night Light was first introduced by Microsoft, I was all gung-ho thinking that I would finally be able to eliminate one more third-party tool. Wrong. This is something I always strive for in an on-going effort to trim the number of background processes running on my machine. It turned out to be a messed up little utility that didn’t work as advertised.

There have been several updates to this utility along the way, but I have never bothered looking at them. Honestly, I am tired. I am sticking with a utility that has proven to be exactly what I need it to be, and has remained consistent throughout its existence. It’s known by the odd name of f.lux (I hate that period in the middle of the name). Aside from the naming convention, f.lux is a wonderful little tool that does exactly what it is intended to do– no more and no less.

Try Night Light Anyway– You Can Always Turn It If Off

It would appear that this Quick Tips article is not a Windows 10 tip at all other than to tell you to try something else. If you would like to give Night Light a shot, and maybe they have improved it while my back was turned, then you are more than welcome. You can access its settings by running the Settings App and choosing System, then Display. The Settings App can be run by using the Windows Key + I hotkey combination.

Once there, you will find a switch to Enable/Disable Night Light. There is also a link right below that switch that will let you adjust some Night Light settings– times of day, color (temperature), and that sort of thing. Play around with it and you’ll figure it out in short order; it’s very simple to use. It also doesn’t work.


Small Rant

Honestly, I am over waiting for Microsoft to fix buggy, inadequate tools. Their so-called Apps, for the most part, are totally and absolutely inferior to the Desktop variations we are all so familiar with. I don’t even like the name, “Apps”. Give me a break!

OK. I’m done now.

F.lux

My preferred method of controlling blue light is to use a third-party tool called f.lux. (Did I mention that I hate the period in the middle of the name?)

I truly like f.lux, in spite of its name, and have noticed a difference in my ability to sit long hours in front of a light generated by a monitor. Staring at a light all day long can really get you AGGRAVATED AFTER A WHILE!

You can read all about it, and download it, at this F.lux site. Try it out and let us know how you like it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. (You can always uninstall it if it doesn’t suit your tastes.)

As always, if you have any helpful suggestions, comments or questions, please share them with us,

Richard

Note: Going forward, I will also be accepting off-topic questions within these Quick Tips articles. I hope to keep a record of them to learn what most interests our readers and to be able to create requested articles based on that response. Don’t be shy.

 

About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.

9 Comments

  1. Night light works for me! The issue I had with F.Lux was that it didn’t work when I installed it under my PC Admin user and then tried to run it under my standard (“every-day”) PC users on the same PC. I also tried Iris and that worked better in above user scenario but to reduce third party apps I have removed it and now use Night Light instead.

  2. F.Lux worked for me till I installed the update and it didn’t work as well.
    Could have gone back to the previous version but found another software called Lightbulb
    Tried it and never went back.
    This software works perfectly.

  3. Hello Richard. Happy to see you also praise third party utilities. We should remember that M$ might provide an excellent operating system (some times), but the extras we’ve come to enjoy are easier to produce for other experts, as they might only focus their talents on one or two. One of the many reasons I put my trust to those companies and when satisfied support them by purchasing the Pro version, Mindblower

    • Hi Mindblower,

      The “applets” bundled with Windows many times fall far short of what I would consider to be minimal requirements. The Photo App, unless they’ve fixed it, is a classic example of a dumbed-down version of the original and was nearly useless. MS seems to have adopted a “we’ll work on it later” attitude. They push out elementary software to meet their deadlines with no regard for quality.

      Third-party “tools” are often far superior and many of them are offered at no cost, so why not use them?
      Of course I support them! 🙂

      Thank you for your comment,
      Richard

  4. So I’m trying out F.lux on one monitor (have two side by side) and in the evenings can see the truer difference. The monitor which has F.lux installed, is dimmer.

    Then I started to think about the type of light I use in the computer room. It’s florescent. Remember doing some reading about if it’s good or bad, and it seems most of the information is either old or does not apply to everyone. This type of lighting has come a long way, and though I’m still using the older florescent tubes, mixed with the spiral, I do not have a flicker, humming or get any of the symptoms mentioned. Could also be the amount of time I spend in that room as well. Have not looked into the latest led tube replacements.

    So my question is “does anyone have any positive or negative comments using F.lux and the type of lighting they use in their computer room, Mindblower!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *