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Night Shift compared to f.lux (justgetflux.com)
430 points by mattiemass on Mar 28, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 201 comments

One thing I find quite annoying about f.lux is that it doesn't just have a simple custom schedule setting. Night Shift has that, and it's great.

I live very far north. In the winter the sun is up for just a few hours, and in the summer it's down for just a few. Obviously, I don't want to follow the sun for my sleeping rhythm, and exactly nobody over here does.

Most of the time, I go to bed based on the clock. We use lots of artificial lighting in the winter, and window blinds in the summertime. I'd like to simply configure when I expect to go to bed, and possibly when I expect to wake up. With f.lux, I have to try to find a location on the globe where the sun matches my actual sleeping cycle, and hope that it stays that way (it doesn't).

I did notice that there's a new "far from the equator" setting in the latest version, but I don't understand what it does and how it's supposed to help. Just give me a schedule setting.

well, the only thing I find quite annoying about f.lux is this butthurt brag we see every now and then. It's a nice tool, but their communication is slightly unprofessional.

To be honest, I'm not going to hold a "butthurt" brag here-and-there against them.

They've offered a revolutionary — one that can improve people's HEALTH° — software product at no cost to the consumer. The moment said product reaches peak market interest, one of the biggest companies in the world comes along and snatches it from them. (Disclosure: I don't know if there was a bid made, in which case my argument is weakened.)

So much for "Good artists copy, great artists steal"[0], eh... If you were the 'great artist' in this situation, I don't think you'd sit there without letting off a bit of steam via technically correct public information as to how your product is objectively better (at what it's supposed to do).

°How many software utility companies can say that?!

[0] - https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso

Um. The 'great artists' here, per your analogy, is Apple. And in fact that quote was popularized by Steve Jobs, in describing Apple's business model. The moment the Flux people sideloaded their app they should have seen this train coming down the track. They have nothing to whine about.

Oops! You're correct. Apple is indeed the 'great artist' here. I am aware Steve Jobs popularised the quote; hence why it was relevant.

Thanks for pointing out the flaw in my metaphor. Perhaps a better analogy would've been David v Goliath, but that is so intensely overused these days...

Would it have been for Flux possible to patent the idea given how many crazy patents there are out there?

I thought it was patent pending. But honestly, could they really fight Apple? I think Apple would win if only because of the vast amount of cash they have.

Saddens me how plutocratic the patent system is...

It's pretty understandable. Especially considering how that user came in asking how to uninstall because Apple tried to copy them too.

Using f.lux, you could select a location closer to the equator in the same timezone.

I just checked and mine thinks I'm in South Africa and I'm actually in Europe. No wonder my screen was darkening too early!

Edit: Added specificity.

This is my trick. Scheduling would be nice, but for now I just set my location based on the schedule I want instead of the one I live with.

Unfortunately, it's known to decide to change that back to your actual location. Happened quite a bit, it's been one of the more annoying problems.

Your edit commit message ("Added specificity") is really quite vague, which — ironically — is the opposite of the definition of specificity. ;)

I mean no harm with my comment; it's made in jest. Hope you don't mind...

> One thing I find quite annoying about f.lux is that it doesn't just have a simple custom schedule setting. Night Shift has that, and it's great.

redshift has that, and seems to be the popular alternative nowadays (on the desktop).

Yes, please give us the schedule feature, f.lux!

Use a cronjob (or your DE/OS's equivalent).

Ideally, I want a scheduled gradual sunset over one hour or so. I want it to work so that my eyes and brain have time to adjust, and I don't even notice the change, like a slow sunset. I don't see how I could do this with a cronjob and f.lux. Am I missing something?

For this reason, I actually used a patched version of Redshift back when I was on a Linux desktop. Now I'm on a Mac. I used to run f.lux, until Night Shift came out with the superior scheduling options.

I do believe in the "amount of blue-green light" argument from the f.lux guys, and would like to see a way to configure macOS to almost completely eliminate blue light, like f.lux does. If f.lux were to introduce a simple schedule option a'la Night Shift, I might switch back.

The problem with the sunset feature is if you're playing a game it absolutely destroys the FPS I get. Unfortunately I think the shortest interval is 20seconds, which is a pretty long time to be playing a competitive game that stutters.

Or use the alternative tool that he's talking about that supports his use case directly.

That will probably not work in the summer. f.lux won't turn on its effect until the sunset at midnight for example, even if you start it at 9pm (planning to go to sleep at 10pm).

I use a cronjob with redshift[0] and it works. You can set it to simply toggle the effect without any scheduling (`redshift -O 3400` to enable, `redshift -x` to disable). I have it set to enable at 9PM and disable the next morning when I open my laptop lid ;)

[0] http://jonls.dk/redshift/

I can manually set the time i go to sleep, playing with that setting moves around the "curve" of bright/dimmed light. I have set it so that flux thinks I wake up in the middle of the night, so it dims the screen in the early evening.

Personally I wont stop using f.lux, what I really like is that I can set custom colours and get a more orange screen even during daytime. I really like the softer colours, even when the sun is up.

That setting only exists on Macs last i checked so that is quite useless

macOS supports cron, but doesn't have a command line flux tool.

One important advantage with Night Shift is that it doesn't mess up YouTube videos. I get weird artefacts with f.lux when watching videos, and overall Night Shift seems to perform slightly better as well. I'm sad for f.lux but for now I stopped using it.

edit: I don't get the artefacts with NS but I do get the same white border on the mouse cursor after watching a video full-screen for some time

You can fix it using this Chrome Extension:


Yes, but that would require using Chrome.

Here's the Safari fix: https://github.com/clundie/VideoFixer

... and trusting extensions.

...and this extension can read and change data on ALL the sites you visit.

Took me three clicks to view the source code. Have you looked at it? Bloody hell. It's a CSS file. All the hard work is in finding the problem. Which this man has done for you.

In the time it took you guys to comment you could have written the user style yourself after looking at the source code.

I cannot believe the degree of cargo culting that goes on on this website around security.

Something is definitely wrong here.

You're right about me being a security nut. But I don't think it is unwarranted to be paranoid about letting an extension have those permissions. Especially when the extension can auto update without my permission. There's no way for me to stop the extension from updating in the options.

You viewed the source code, but the extension checks for an update every couple hours and updates itself. You might trust the developer to not do anything bad, or not accidentally leak his private key for the extension. The only way to stop it from updating itself is to go to the manifest file and removing the update url.

I'm tired of the anti-security comments that come up against people commenting about bad security practices, even though they're restrictive and paranoid. This is the case when you need to be paranoid. A quick google search give me this[1]

Ever let someone's code have access to everything on every webpage, including all of your financial and personal ones you use? Well you're doing it right now. The only way I'd be okay with letting extensions access and change contents of webpages if they specify the website url they're going to access, and those are the only websites they can access (Reddit Enhancement Suite does this)

I appreciate the developer's time on this and don't mean to disparage their effort. But, how many developers are you going to keep trusting this way? You can't normalize every extension having those permissions! Read and change, not just read all websites.

You know enough to look for the source and check it out. But what about the users who don't know how to do so or can't read code? Even if they can, can they discern malicious code from harmless code? Will you say the same thing you said to me to a user with no understanding of how these things work?

I'd actually love to know how you got to the source code in three clicks. Wish it was that easy to view an extension's source other than digging through the chrome internal data folders.

And I don't think cargo culting is the correct term, or bike shedding. I'd say something to do with tin foil hats would be more appropriate.

[1]: https://arstechnica.com/security/2015/04/google-kills-200-ad...

Thank you.

`opacity: 0.996 !important;`

We can find the discussion where the extensions were born https://forum.justgetflux.com/post/10814

Looks like this is something browser vendors should incorporate? One would think that because WebKit is free and open source it should be possible to have this fix evaluated for everyone built into Safari and chrome by default.

"Bike-shedding" may be a more fitting term for what you are complaining about. Cargo-culting would be almost the opposite in my mind; e.g. people mindlessly copying a pile of magic CSS they don't understand.

Anyway, I guess I'm just another security grump, but knowing it's a single simple CSS property only makes me feel further justified that "Read and change all your data on the websites you visit" is unacceptable. I don't think that's restricted to security nerds on HN either -- there are probably would-be users who can't find a CSS file on Github and translate it into a user style, who will also not install the extension, if that's what Chome tells them it "requires." I don't know if that's purely Chrome's fault for not having an extension architecture capable of requesting less scary permissions to get this job done, or if the developer could do better too.

About the permissions, the developer said it was the minimum permission setting they had to give the extension. You can see someone replying to a user's comment on the extension's review page.

I can't say it's chrome's fault in this case. The extension is effectively acting on every single web page, even though it's just CSS.

People on here barely read past headlines and you expect them to click three times to find the source code for a browser extension?

While that's true, extensions are automatically updated, so the problem is you can't trust an extension just because right now it's just a CSS file.

You can disable the extension auto-update in Safari.

Really? You can't believe people in a technical community, in 2017, are worried about security? That's actually hard for you to believe? That people who talk about VPNs and data breaches and Edward Snowden and Aaron Swartz, you can't believe that people here are concerned about security?

Yeah, really beggars belief, doesn't it.

Hello, I'm the author of the extension. It's ok if you don't trust it. I couldn't find any way to ask for a smaller set of permissions. To my knowledge there is no way to specify this in the manifest. (I can't ask for permission to insert a stylesheet without also having permission to inject JavaScript, even though I don't have any JavaScript.)

I'm sorry if I came off as critical of your work. I did see you commenting on the extension support page and talked about it here[1]. I was pointing out the permission model. I went into a little more detail here[2]. It's just how things are I guess.

Please don't let us security paranoid people stop you from contributing to open source software. And 6k+ users are using it with great reviews so you must already know your work is much appreciated. My gripe was about security practices, not about doubting the security of your specific extension. It is same problem with the way chrome handles all of the extensions' auto-updates.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13984773 [2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13984661

No offence taken. we want the same thing - for Chrome to allow fine grain permissions.

Although when I think about it, even a style sheet could be malicious to a degree (e.g. hiding important warnings, or adding misleading text)

I'm not 100% sure but I believe that extension forces your computer to not use GPU video rendering, increasing your battery usage.

Thanks for the link! Been dealing with this problem for multiple years now :)

This seems like a bug. I've been using f.lux for years across multiple home and work computers and never had a problem with YouTube videos.

It happens when you play full-screen videos on a mac. The full screen mode displays in a more direct screen access manner (but only after any overlays, like video controls, have faded out). In this mode, f.lux's color profile changes can cause weird blooming issues, especially in bright ares of the video (like a blue sky). Apple seems to have built their solution in a way that avoids this issue.

It's likely f.lux cannot ever do anything about it. Until Night Shift was available, I've been in the habit of of creating "low color temp" color profiles and manually setting my display to them when it gets late in the day (a crude approximation of f.lux, but ultimately the same thing they are doing). It always produced the same artifact.

Incidentally, I find it strange that f.lux is claiming they output so much less blue light than Apple's Night Shift, since as far as I can tell, all they do is shift the color profile, just like Night Shift does. Anyone who has seen the video issues I'm describing above can attest that there is still plenty of blue light coming out of the screen with f.lux (and manual color profile adjustments). All three accomplish the same thing, it's just that Apple's implementation appears to be cleaner and work in more cases (not surprising -- it's their system, so presumably they know how to integrate with it better than anyone). I think perhaps at most they have a point that the default settings are maybe not "warm" enough, but that's the only flaw I can see.

I have artifact issues with f.lux whenever I'm watching videos in full screen mode. It seems that anything "white" coloured becomes fluorescent. Making the nav / time bar pop up with my mouse seems to make this all disappear. This is on a 2014 MacBook Air running the 2nd latest version of OS X.

I don't entirely understand the reasons for it, but if you have a MacBook Pro that can switch between integrated graphics and discrete graphics, disabling Automatic Graphics Switching under Energy Saver will fix the problem.

Yep, the issue only seems to happen on the intel graphics card. I believe it's a driver problem.

I have had the same bug for about a year.

Interesting. Is it a subtle effect? Maybe I just haven't noticed it before.

It's not very subtle. I just whipped together an example[1]. Note that I had to take a photo of the screen with my phone to show what the screen is actually displaying.

[1] http://imgur.com/a/2amF8

Not really. These artifacts are very bright white coloured. It's almost as if F.lux can't deal with certain shades of white and forgets them.

F.lux doesn't "deal" with anything, it just takes your existing ICC/ICM file, alters it, and resets your GPU's LUT with it.

I've had the same issue with an Intel GPU'ed MBPR 13" (ie, no Radeon or Nvidia GPU also), and it rarely happened in OSX, but only during certain HW accelerated overlays (such as YUV acceleration in videos, or OpenGL programs doing sufficiently interesting things).

I don't think F.lux has the bug, but OSX's rendering pipeline does. I had similar issues with color profiles I generated myself that noticeably differed from the screen itself (Apple has yet to produce an actually fucking accurate-to-sRGB screen, I don't care how many Photoshop jockeys praise their lord and savior, St. Jobs).

So, yeah. In other news, my MBPr runs Windows 10 and I'm never going back; and I've also never seen the bug here.

The side effect is: F.lux's Windows version is not feature complete with OSX's, and noticeably redshifts at different times than OSX does depending on what settings you prefer.

It occurs on machines with Intel integrated video only in my experience. Does it on my 2011 MBA and 2016 touchbarMBP, but not my 2012 rMBP. It's well documented here:


F.lux team claims that's an Apple bug. If it's true, Apple doesn't have reasons to fix it.

I always use gfxcard status to force machines into integrated only mode and I've still never encountered that issue.

Perhaps because it is related with the automated switching which you disable in this way?

(Also if you have an external display connected, "integrated only mode" is ignored in gfx).

I've got the same problem. It disappears if any UI element other than the video is visible; this includes even UI elements inside the video itself.

But I usually just leave my mouse over the Mac menu bar.

I have constant artifacts with flux enabled and youtube videos.

It's not Night Shift — this seems to be fixed in 10.12.4.

I filed a bug with Apple on it, and in November of last year they duped it to rdar://22180778 and said to expect a fix in 10.12.4… so I've been waiting eagerly for this update, and it looks like they followed through.

Having recently updated from 10.8 to 10.12 I can tell you it wasn't happening before, but definitely one of the annoyances now. My workaround for now is hovering my mouse over the control bar. For whatever reason that removes the artifacts.

I assure you, before I read this comment I thought I was absolutely insane for

A) Imagining the video artifacts; and B) Also moving my mouse around to get rid of them

I'm so glad I'm not the only one these past few months!

I remember having this problem, but I don't remember getting it anymore now. Try updating your flux? It doesn't update by itself apparently.

I filed a bug for this a few weeks ago, and then issue disappeared for me (I'm on the Sierra beta builds).

It seems like the replies here are very much in defense of Apple which I am not surprised about, but I do not really consider it to be warranted.

I have been using f.lux for years and it has definitely had a huge impact on me. I don't have any scientific data to back up my claims, but f.lux is a fantastic product.

When you consider that f.lux released a side loading version of their app on iOS and then Apple threatened to remove their developer license, and then after it was pulled, released their own ripped off version of the software that does not work as well, you can understand how they might be upset about that. I understand that is business, but as someone who has used both I find f.lux to be completely superior.

Apple probably should have bought f.lux and then integrated it into their products, but instead decided to do it themselves. I'm not saying the software is earth shattering, but they spent years on the problem, and it feels as if Apple implemented their version in a few days.

I think Apple should open up the screen/display APIs on iOS to allow f.lux and other similar apps to be installed. I would happily pay for it rather than use night shift.

The reason f.lux sideloaded app got pulled is because they didn't release their source code. Instead, f.lux relied on loading/patching a binary that bypassed some of iOS security features and could load unsigned binarys (read: it could then run pirated apps).

You need to look at what the definition of "sideloaded" is, as you seem to have it fundamentally confused with its exact opposite.

This order of operations is incorrect, though the grandparent set you up a bit by saying "released on iOS". In order to install the f.lux app you would first need to be jailbroken, ie able to run pirated apps.

Not true, f.lux released a version of their app in the App Store. Apple pulled their app and so they added another method to sideload it https://justgetflux.com/sideload/ using xcode. Apple then revoked their development license which broke that method as well. It's always been available as a jailbreak tweak but it's also been available to the general, non-jailbroken public

Why don't they just open-source it? I'm sure that'd get around the reason Apple banned it.

I don't think you understand how Apple works. They love to promote proprietary software in their "walled garden".

Apple's concern was that f.lux changes the color of the screen outside the app, and that fact alone goes directly against Apple's philosophy of keeping apps in their own respective sandboxes. Only Apple is allowed to change UI outside of an app. Consistency at all costs.

I think you don't understand what the comment was implying. If it was open source anyone could build it using xcode and install it in their devices themselves.

If only we hadn't seen this pattern many times before. The first time I watched them do it was with Watson back in the early days of OS X.

I think Apple may have deliberately chosen to go for a less severe difference in colors, so as to get more people onboard the general idea of colors shifting through the day, at first. Expect it to evolve in a future macOS/iOS (hopefully along with the introduction of a true dark mode.)

f.lux, while more effective, may be off-putting to most people. The medicinal orangeness was a bit sickening to me when I first tried f.lux, to the point that I didn't want to use it, though I warmed up to it later.

Exactly this. Apple is building this feature for the average user. If they presented a screen too different from normal, most people would turn it off, thinking that it looks ugly - precisely the opposite of what they want.

You took Razengan's supposition and made it a certainty.

Maybe making it easier for new users is what they were aiming for but it's equally likely with the evidence we have (read: zero) that they fucked up because they don't know what they're doing.

> but it's equally likely with the evidence we have (read: zero) that they fucked up because they don't know what they're doing.

Is there evidence to support the f.lux team's claims at being objectively better in "helping people sleep" other than their word for it? Honest question. Edit: I see there's [0] but it's probably best to try out both f.lux and Night Shift on alternate days and decide for yourself what works better for you.

What stopped Apple from copying f.lux's exact behavior, if they wanted to?

We would have to assume that Apple did 0% testing, or received 0% feedback during the time Night Shift has been out on iOS, before bringing it to the Mac. After all they do have experience with researching health and human behavior from their time on the Apple Watch. They could even compare heart rate, movement and sleep data from Apple Watch users and see how it's affected by Night Shift.

[0] https://justgetflux.com/research.html

>but it's equally likely with the evidence we have (read: zero) that they fucked up because they don't know what they're doing.

We also have the evidence that they're a huge company, with huge resources, and lots of top talent, that can consult scientists, medical professionals etc for such a feature.

We have no evidence to suggest that they put huge resources and lots of top talent on this feature and no evidence to suggest that they used any research to back it up.

Just because Apple is a big company doesn't mean that all they do are big company things.

> but it's equally likely with the evidence we have (read: zero) that they fucked up because they don't know what they're doing

That's a pretty bold claim, and it seems far less likely than it being an intentional decision for whatever reason (and making things easier for new users certainly is a plausible reason).

Why? Apple has botched software before (mobileme, continually shipping old OpenGL, WiFi issues, etc).

Because Apple has a lot of experience with Night Shift on iOS, and it beggars belief that they'd ship Night Shift on macOS without at least looking at how it compares to f.lux. It's simply not reasonable to claim that behaving differently than f.lux is due to incompetence.

I was working a laaate shift (datacenter migration) at work one night and came back to my desk around 4am.. my screens were straight up dark burnt orange.

I thought something was broken, was checking cables, rebooted, etc, until I realized that I'd just never seen what f.lux did at 4 in the morning before. Felt pretty stupid.

You just needed some sleep. ;) It was 4am be easy on yourself.

This. Most of my friends are like "wtf is your screen so yellow" like every time. I thought Night Shift on iOS will change that but nope. I guess it takes time.

Sure, I had the "what's up with your screen" comments too.

Then I'd turn off flux while they were watching & everybody said the same thing as the screen returned to blue-white: "ewwww."

I am still unable to get used to flux. It bothers me a lot, and I think my brain is trying to color correct or something; I swear it contributes to tension headaches. Could also just be getting them from too much screen time but the effect seems worse with flux on.

Have you tried setting it to a very mild color shift, and then perhaps working up slowly?

You're just overthinking it. The key is to forget about it.

And perhaps you've set it to some extreme setting.

How "orange" it gets depends on the color temperature you set. f.lux allows a very wide range of final-spectrum settings, from almost-no-effect to small-medieval-candle-light.

You start slow. I started from mild for few weeks then cranked it up. Slowly you get so used to it that the yellow tint doesn't bother you. And for me I now have a habit that as soon as I start Photoshop or Illustrator I turn flux off.

You can also disable f.lux for specific apps, just click on the menu icon when the app is open, and you'll find the option under Disable > for Photoshop.

I used to do that for a few programs but it was always so jarring seeing the transition happen back and forth when I would tab out of Photoshop to the Finder or another app. Now I just disable for an hour if I'm doing color sensitive work at night.

I end up just lowering the strength when I'm using certain apps - I wish that was an option rather than completely disabling.

Disable for 1hour works great most of the time.

Going straight from full-blown f.lux to "disabled", everything looks extremely blue and harsh to me, and still doesn't look natural, so I prefer a lighter touch of evening mode.

I had to change the default darkening amounts for f.lux because they're too orange, and I still end up disabling it every other night.

Sure, f.lux might reduce blue/green light more at it's default settings, but if it causes me to disable it, it's not actually blocking more light.

Sort of on-topic, I've been using Redshift <https://github.com/jonls/redshift> for years and love it (both windows and linux).

I've used both f.lux and redshift over the years. f.lux worked really well on the mac at work, but I had problems with it on my linux machines. Was using redshift till a few days ago. I recently switched to the "Night Light" that Gnome added as that also works on Wayland (I think f.lux/redshift don't support wayland yet)

[1] https://www.gnome.org/news/2017/03/gnome-3-24-released/

Actually no program can support Wayland to change color temperatures except for the compositor.

You're right, though the compositor could provide an ipc mechanism to let another program tell it to change color temperatures. Sway (a Wayland compositor/window manager) works with a patched RedShift, and I assume this is how it does it.

If I understand correctly, they've implemented a new wayland protocol (extension?) https://github.com/SirCmpwn/sway/blob/master/protocols/gamma...

Is there any chance that Gnome Nightshift will make it into Ubuntu Unity?

Sort of. GNOME's implementation is tied to the compositor (because of restrictions Wayland puts in place), so Unity's would have to either reuse the code in their own compositor, or reimplement it from scratch. I think GNOME implements something that might now become a standard, so chances are that different implementations won't be terribly different.

Thank you!

your link accidentally included the >

Also thanks, uninstalled flux due to annoyance at lack of full customizability over schedules and hue ranges. ended up finding a more general 'display output' modifier, I'll look into this one though.

Recently switched to Linux as my daily driver due to Apple's lack of decent hardware release. RedShift was a lifesaver. For some reason 'vidmode' works better for me than 'xrandr'.

How do you run it? I keep having to kill the daemon then start it up again to get it to kick in.

Which desktop environment are you using? I have used the redshift-gtk package (for gtk based environments) and the KDE redshift plasmoid at various times. Both provide the option to autostart redshift in their GUI.

The arch wiki[1] has a good entry about redshift autostart as well.

The only other problems I've faced running redshift in the past, were related to geoclue.


I just tossed an `exec redshift-gtk` in my i3 config.

Redshift is fantastic. It's much easier to use than f.lux, especially in Linux.

also works on mac btw

I've used f.lux for years and I really like it, as I have noticed my sleep patterns have improved during that time.

However, I do think that the transition is sometimes really too quick. I can be working away, deep in 'flow' and I will alarmingly perceive the screen going darker/changing a couple of times over the evening. It almost feel like I am passing out or getting a precursor to a migraine sometimes, with the change, which is quite jarring.

The other thing is the constant annoying notifications of "You are going to be awake in 'x' hours". Well, actually, no - If I am up and coding until 2am, then chances of me being awake at 6am when you expect me to is just not on.

I also wish they would have an 'emergency awake' function, so that when I jump on to the keyboard to fix a server outage at 5am after many hours away sleeping, that it would immediately go to full brightness there and then, rather than wait until 0630 as per normal. If I am active at that time after a long break, I am NOT going back to sleep and I have to have full illumination of all those red signals on my server dashboard! :)

I'm not sure which OS you're on, or how old a version, but on MacOS it should be on slow transition by default, and I'm not really sure of the details on "fast transition".

On Windows it actually has a more verbose option saying to transition over 60 minutes. I'm wondering if that's the default, not-Fast-transitions on MacOS?

Ok, Thanks, I just checked the preferences, and I noticed that 'fast transitions' was check ON, which is probably what is happening. I will test it out over the next few days and see how it goes - though I just got the update notification for 10.12.4 with Night Shift (I am currently on 10.12.3) so I am torn between trying that out instead.

You can disable those 'You are going to be awake in...' notifications. On Mac, it's Options > Backwards alarm clock

there is a setting in the menu bar:


> For an hour

> Until Sunrise

> For current app

Thanks - yeah that is normally what I do, but sometimes in the rush I just want to start opening up diagnostic apps and don't really realise until a bit later when I find myself squinting and straining my eyes to read a really dark screen in (what is now) a brightly lit room.

It would be nice if f-lux could detect that there is activity after many hours away, and the ambient light in the room is quite high, so let's go "throttles to the firewall" automatically and set the screen back to daylight mode to commence the work day earlier than normal.

I definitely wish there was a keyboard shortcut for this. Especially since I constantly have to turn f.lux on and off because it's not compatible with full-screen YouTube/Vimeo/etc.

you're not crazy. for certain versions of osx, it's "just broken". i've seen it with my own eyes, and personally flux has only worked for me very well recently (like in the past 6 months).

i advise you tell the developer!

Pretty sure this is all snake oil — both f.lux and Night Shift. I don't doubt that blue light affects our brains. But I see no evidence that color filter software has any impact.

If the issue is the number of blue photons per square millimeter of our retinas, why isn't it being discussed as such? This means screen brightness and distance from your face would have a much bigger impact than a color filter.

I personally think the f.lux team knows this and that's why their FAQ is devoid of any questions about effectiveness.

FWIW the only person I've known to use f.lux is an insomniac who barely ever sleeps and is always tired.

>Pretty sure this is all snake oil — both f.lux and Night Shift. I don't doubt that blue light affects our brains. But I see no evidence that color filter software has any impact.

A color filter such as in Flux and NS removes blue light.

>If the issue is the number of blue photons per square millimeter of our retinas, why isn't it being discussed as such? This means screen brightness and distance from your face would have a much bigger impact than a color filter.

No, it doesn't mean that at all.

Or rather, it does, but it's a moot point. All you're saying is: you can reduce blue light with an orange filter, but you can also go away from your screen or dim it so you can't see it. Or even not use a computer at all.

While all of those things hold, the "orange filter" achieves the same thing (removing blue light) without affecting our ability to work regularly on the computer (increased distance, less brightness, etc).

I'm not sure how people come up with such logic errors.

>FWIW the only person I've known to use f.lux is an insomniac who barely ever sleeps and is always tired.

It's not worth much. It's not supposed to cure insomnia (which has 2000+ different causes), just to keep up with the natural light changes and improve sleep.

It would help if it could dim the displays over HDMI whatever or some driver mechanisms

I cannot say I follow.

You acknowledge that blue light does affect our brains and sleep patterns, but then dismiss a solution which limits the amount of blue light while toting an alternative which also acts to reduce the amount of blue light (brightness & distance).

Brightness is meant to apply evenly across the entire color spectrum of a display (it doesn't in reality but that is a convenient fiction without getting into the weeds). Color filters on the other hand reduce the luminosity of only blue light which can be independently measured (see the link).

I know plenty of people who use f.lux and tons more who use Night Shift on iOS devices. My wife is one of them, wakes up in the middle of the night and uses her phone, goes back to sleep a lot sooner after they added Night Shift than before. Obviously all anecdotes are anecdotes but study after study have shown that blue light negatively impacts sleep, and blue filter glasses have been shown by at least one Harvard study to help aleve the impact.

> If the issue is the number of blue photons per square millimeter of our retinas, why isn't it being discussed as such? This means screen brightness and distance from your face would have a much bigger impact than a color filter.

Although I'm no ophthalmologist, I think this is not likely. AFAIK there are retinal nonlinear cascading effects in the detection of light; if you double the distance, you should get 1/4 the incidental photons, but I think you will effectively perceive a less drastic change in reception than > 1/4 of the light, and so downstream a monotonic smaller difference in circadian rhythm disruption?

> FWIW the only person I've known to use f.lux is an insomniac who barely ever sleeps and is always tired.

They would be better off getting more sleep, but it seems like a distraction to say that because f.lux doesn't cause them to sleep, it's not effective. One could just as readily argue that the people who use it well are unlikely to praise their fine-tuned daily sleep hygiene, or that the insomniac's sleep would probably be worse without f.lux, or that they're a hypochondriac, or that f.lux causes insomnia, or any other similar speculative conclusion..

Why would the f.lux team be hiding any uniquely-possessed information for (experimentally) showing how they have duped their users??

It's not snake oil. It's simply more comfortable to lower the amount of blue light you are staring at.

Is it the one perfect way to stop insomnia? Of course not! That is not what it claims to be.

Try it for a while, then switch back to not using it, I'll promise you, you'll notice the difference!

Its also really good for your eyes, bright, blue screens in dim rooms causes excess eye strain.

If you move back from the monitor or dim the brightness your pupils will dilate to let more light in.

When it comes to blue light filtering, all I want is something with good defaults (for me) that works unobtrusively.

My first days of using Night Shift has worked exactly like that. I don't particularly care about configurability of the tool (I live on a pretty well supported latitude I guess). Moreover Night Shift presents significantly less artifacting in videos based on my brief experience. Transitions are also far less jarring than they are with f.lux.

So yeah, I guess f.lux will be the better choice for those who really care about the details of their blue light filter. Night Shift, like LineageOS' LiveDisplay, Windows' Night Time and GNOME's Night Light, take a simpler approach that will get you 98% of the way there in a few clicks, which should be good enough for most people.

The issue pointed out by the herf is that what is unobtrusive is not a good default, because it doesn't actually work. You have to eliminate lot of blue light to get any benefit.

Night Shift's defaults aren't getting you 98% of the way there; they're getting you maybe 15% of the way there.

If you use and love f.lux, consider donating!


Open-source first, donations second.

For me to consider donating, they should consider releasing the source code.

Night Shift lets you set a custom schedule. Somehow, insanely, Flux does not. It's the only thing I want, so Night Shift automatically wins. I don't know why they're so stubborn on that issue, I would've even paid a few bucks for a "premium" version with that feature, but now Apple is eating their lunch.

Bye forever, Flux.

Setting your wake-up time isn't enough? I am new to Flux but unless they introduced this feature in the last 6 days, I don't understand your critique.


>To be fair, we thought it was pretty easy after our first year making f.lux (Night Shift today looks a whole lot like our first version). We figured we'd solved the blue light problem and that there just wasn't much left to do. We couldn't have been more wrong. Every person has individual needs, and those needs are different based on your sensitivity to light, your own chronobiology (imagine early birds and night owls), your own schedule, and other factors too. Those needs change across seasons, and over your lifetime. Today our approach is different: we are working every day to understand how light affects human biology, not strictly sleep, and we are constantly applying what we learn to updates and new features for f.lux.

My life doesn't necessarily fit into a sunrise-sundown bracketed timeframe. I regularly need to postpone dimming until later in the evening, and then return to full color brightness before dawn. F.lux refuses to do this. Night Shift (at least on iOS) does.

Yeah, Flux is useless in places far from the equator. I don't want my screen to dim at sunset/6PM.

Why not? Its better for your eyes if you're working in dim rooms.

You can easily return to full color brightness before dawn with f.lux simple hit the Disable Until Sunrise button.

You should be able to plot in your regular schedule, and have that be the default. Having to hit a button every morning and/or evening is just poor usability.

But how will they further the understanding of human biology! [0]

[0] - "Our goal is to further the understanding of human biology, not just turn things orange on a timer. It's a longer term undertaking and a much more difficult one." https://forum.justgetflux.com/topic/237/custom-sunset-sunrus....

Gnome also has a similar feature now, night light


Night Shift:

> Doesn't apply to projectors or TVs

> Doesn't mess with fluidity (turning Flux on or off gives massive framedrops

> Doesn't give weird artefacts on YouTube

Flux devs also ignored all (!) my e-mails about fixing how Flux reads its settings. You can directly edit the settings file via Terminal, but Flux ignores all the values you set and simply sticks to the ones set in the app itself.. even after a restart of the app or a reboot.

As I have my daytime f.lux setting at 5500k, I don't plan to change over. I prefer to have the blue light reduced slightly all the time

I love f.lux but I always end up uninstalling it because of how it messes up with games when they are running. Performance tanks and I get tired of switching out and killing f.lux every time.

Yeah that's because they insist on refreshing the gamma really fast, and that messes up a lot with games. I had the same problem in the past, and that's why I made my own f.lux where I can just change the refresh interval and set it to change the gamma every one second or something. There's no point in updating it so fast.

Disable transitions and it won't be a problem. At least it isn't for me, on Nvidia.

It might be annoying to do it for every game you play, but f.lux can be disabled per-app.

They are both terrible compared to Quicksilver's little brother, Nocturne. Nocturne can turn a Mac full red monochrome. Coming from the military, it's amazing.

I remember doing this with f.lux back in the day. Unless they've removed it from the options?

There is a Darkroom mode that is red-on-black.

Warning I tried this on my Mac and it's broken for me - it turned the screen completely black and I had to force-shut down the whole computer to get rid of it.

Cool, thanks, I'll try it out

Cool, I never knew that Nocturne was developed by the military. Also, do you have a working link for it? Every link I've tried is down.

I think he was saying he is from the military, not that Nocturne was developed by the military.

I think Nocturne was abandoned long ago. Someone forked and updated it a couple of years ago, but I don't know if it works with Sierra as-is: https://github.com/Daij-Djan/nocturne

I'm coming from the military. Nocturne was made by the guy behind Quicksilver. Population statistics suggest it is unlikely he is, or was, in the military.

I must be out of step with the times as I'm surprised by the favorable comments about Night Shift.

For my eyes, the f.lux nighttime adjustment and configurability is great. at work, i use it during daytime hours as well, helps greatly with eye strain.

Night Shift is like an introduction of the concept to a mass audience, surely it has a positive benefit for the uninitiated but there's a lot missing for folks who rely on it. Android is much better with multiple applications available to control this.

I thought it would have been a good gesture for apple to buy f.lux and get the "market leader", and some built in goodwill, as opposed to just copying them, but I guess such is life when you are the largest corporation in the world.

If Apple bought f.lux they'd cease all development for all non-Apple platforms and people would FREAK OUT. They wouldn't get any goodwill.

People would freak out over Apple buying f.lux, and then install Redshift.

> I'm surprised by the favorable comments about Night Shift.

Apple made it, which means that Apple's PR shills & Apple's fanboys think it's revolutionary. These are the same folks who proudly claim that wireless headphones are awesome & losing the escape key is great for vi-users.

Frankly I think theirs are low-signal comments, but … to each his own, I suppose.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for an Android app that does blue filtering, and:

1. Doesn't require root.

2. Actually filters blue out, instead of adding red (i.e. a pure black screen should remain pure black).

The built-in feature in Nougat previews was great, until they removed it...

This isn't possible - Android's APIs only allow painting on top of the screen, not modifying what's already there. This is why all the non-root solutions are just a red overlay.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it can't be done without root. With root, you have a couple of good options.

The built-in LiveDisplay feature in LineageOS can do this without root.

Sorry, I forgot to specify stock Android as well.

I guess twilight is out of the question? Outstanding app imo.


It doesn't pass #2 - the black areas of the screen are visibly red.

Every application that I've tried so far does this, which leads me to believe that it is an inherent limitation in stock Android APIs (which also explains why apps that require root can work around that limitation).

Latest release on my Galaxy S7 supports this, but it's built-in and would like to be able to set it a bit more extreme than it allows.

Somewhat related - any physical filters for backlit eInk readers? The leds on my kindle paperwhite are pretty blue

That's not a bad idea. The newest kobo reader actually has red LEDs (I assume) to fade to red at night: https://us.kobobooks.com/products/kobo-aura-one

Hopefully amazon copies that feature for their next one.

I can vouch for the Aura One, it's a lovely device. The screen color temperature adjustment goes very warm. Tough to eyeball without a side-by-side reference, but I'd guess at least down to 2200K.

I've seen it referred to as RGB LEDs for the backlight, but I think it's more likely to be two-channel mixing with cool white and warm white, as is common on "tunable white" light fixtures. All you get for control is a cool/warm slider or auto, so the hardware is a bit immaterial the average user (though it would affect the blue wavelengths present in the spectrum). I think we have some sort of spectrometer around the office, I'll have to see if I can track that down and check.


Checked the spectrum, it's a range from 6300K (cool white) down to 1700K (very warm white, could probably call it amber). I measured it at three points: the ends of the range and a point eyeballed in the middle of the UI slider, which may or may not have been quite at 50%.

Points on black body curve in CIE 1931 colorspace: http://i.imgur.com/FCsdxZW.png

That's the curve where we define "white" light, based on the perceived color of a black body object heated to various temperatures. The naming convention is a bit strange; "warm white" refers to the orange end with relatively cool temperatures, while "cool white" refers to the blue end with relatively high temperatures.

Relative spectral distributions, each normalized with the peak wavelength at 1: http://i.imgur.com/3Bw6ltt.png

The "cool" spectrum is pretty typical of a phosphor converted white LED, where you get a strong peak in blue and then a smooth curve across the upper end of the spectrum produced by the phosphor.

The "warm" spectrum has two peaks, dominated by red around 630nm and a smaller green peak around 530nm.

You can tell just from the black body curve that they've used more than the two-channel LED mixing that I guessed in my parent post. With just two LEDs, you're basically making linear combinations of the two colors and can only move in a straight line between them. If it were only the cool white and red LEDs, the color would move along this path between 6300K white and 630nm saturated red: http://i.imgur.com/d2W3sb4.png

Having a 3rd channel green LED allows them to pull it back up to the black body curve. Interesting to see that they're apparently doing a 3-channel color adjustment with cool white / red / green, rather than the RGB system that people are so used to.

Navy ship's were using a lot of cut sheet thick red plastic for computer screens on the bridge.

Are the charts for Night Shift on MacOS? The dataset provided at the very bottom is for the iPad Pro...

"Our circadian system is actually not reacting to small changes in "color". Instead, it is mostly reacting to the "amount" of light. Our eyes are extremely good at distinguishing little shades of color from each other, but this is a different system than the one that drives circadian rhythms."

Is there any data to support this?

One of the primary drivers of melatonin suppression is the IPRGC [1]. So yes, what seems to be more important than the perceived color is the intensity of light in the 460-480 nm range. Which, if the spectral data in the original post are correct, means that NightShift has a major disadvantage.


I've found something pretty interesting myself when using redshift. If I set the display directly to 3000K or so, it looks really weird. Same if I fade from 6700->3000K. But if I set it to 1000K and then to 3000K, it looks fine. Anybody else do this to "prepare" themselves?

It's a good enough argument for a current user like me to keep using it, but I don't know if the benefit is tangible enough for most people (or me on a new system someday) to seek out an alternative to Night Shift.

Makes me wonder if the placebo effect would come into play here as well.

I'm going to try using both in turn on alternate days, and see if there's any difference (to my personal wellness).

There is already lots of blue light in my room, when I use a computer at night. I don't see how it would help to remove all the blue light from the screen, when the room is still bathed in it. I use quite warm light, and have it even warmer in the evening, but still, the standard settings for Night Shift looks very orange to my eyes.

I would love if Night Shift could just shift the white balance to match the surrounding. Does anyone have experience with True Tone on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro? I imagine would work like that.

Any hints on getting f.lux to work in sync with a Hue bulb on macOS?

For all of the squabbles between Night Shift and f.lux, both are doing a great job compared to what we had before. I am sure they will both continue to improve and become standard in all platforms

I am a lot more concerned about street lights, which are headed in the exact wrong direction: https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-adopts-guidance-reduce-harm-hig...

I've just turned the blue/magenta/cyan sliders in monitor controls to 0%(Blue components in images appear as black/grey pixels). Blue light damages the retina and messes up circadian cycles: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/

Windows 10 has a similar feature called Night Light. I have it set to Sunset/Sunrise. The $49 Kindle Fire has a similar feature.

I appreciate the work f.lux did, but this is going to be a core feature of every OS now, and none of them bought their tech to do it. That is a tough spot to be in, but it is probably time to start winding the project down.

I just wonder if they're waiting for some patent to be granted to strike...

How does f.lux make money?

I'd say a big plus of f.lux is that it works on my 2009 mac pro and 2011 macbook pro, while Night Shift does not.

Are there any scientific claims to blue light? Or real studies? I tried using flux for a month and ended up with sore eyes which I don't get when I don't use flux. So I don't know if this blue thing is a legit thing or not. My flat mate says he sleeps better. But I just get sore eyes.

I noticed a massive battery life improvement after removing f.lux and using night shift/night light on mac and windows.

Far less stuttering as well. Whatever f.lux is doing is not worth the janky implementation.

I tried f.lux on the Mac and was very disappointed with the results. To me it looked like a red film overlaid on the screen. Distracting and ugly. Night Shift on iOS looks much more natural.

I loved f.lux, but now I don't need it. Just like many other utilities before the good ones eventually get adopted as base functionality.

They should have sold it when they could have....

I'm very sensitive to blue light and been using flux for few years. After trying nigth shift for few days I'm back to flux which actually works

I've no idea why people use this type of software. I tried it a couple times, and it just annoys the hell out of me. It makes the colors on my monitor all kinds of messed up, and doesn't have any positive effect whatsoever on the tiredness of my eyes. If anything, the effect is negative: the messed up color makes text hard to read.

Try to customise the strength to only a slight change for sunset and bedtime. So hardly any colour distortion, mostly just less bright. And enable the slow transition. Use that for a few days to make sure you no longer notice it.

Then one late evening disable it.

Every time I do that it as if I have been hit with full beam car light.

Really shocks me how bright a non f.lux/night shift/redshift screen is without them. I now really struggle to look at a non-adjusted screen in the evenings. And I am glad my eyes don't have that strain normally. I could possibly deal without it on a small laptop screen by just dimming it but need these tools when using my normal home 34" monitor. That is a lot of brightness otherwise.

How does Night Shift's reddest setting compare with Flux?

Or you can go to astronomy mode (linux):

xcalib -green .1 0 1 -alter

xcalib -blue .1 0 1 -alter

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