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F.lux major update (justgetflux.com)
267 points by cconstantin on Aug 14, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 131 comments

Windows 10 and OS X now offer "flux" natively, as does iOS (after the whole debacle of forcing fl.ux out of the app store and then implementing the feature into the OS for themselves).

I was a loyal f.lux user for a long time, but now there's really no point.

Additionally, f.lux doesn't (perhaps didn't, I should check the changelog on this new version) take into account OS-native color shifting and (at least on Windows) caused "night mode" to be enacted on top of the OS' own "night mode" leaving me with a... let's just say very drab screen as a result.

I thought the same thing, so I disabled f.lux and turned on Nightshift on Mac OS. To my surprise, nothing happened. It turns out that it doesn't work with my monitors for some reason. They are non-Apple and thus not supported. Back to f.lux which works perfectly. Additionally, f.lux has more con-figurability, it's easy to disable quickly if I need to for a short period, etc.

I personally prefer the OS doing less, but more stability and better, and allowing me to customize through apps. I feel that over the last few years, Mac OS has gone "wide" with features and has gotten less stable.

> doesn't work with my monitors for some reason. They are non-Apple and thus not supported.

I've got a 2012 Mac Mini with Dell display connected over DP, and night shift just works. So at least some non-Apple displays are supported. Not sure what's the difference here.

FWIW, windows night mode works fine on any monitor.

Also you need a "powerful" GPU (i.e. Metal), so not every Mac which is able to run Sierra supports Nightshift.

flux blows away the native options, which really feel like hacked together afterthoughts

I came here to ask this- can you briefly tell me what's better? I'm the guy who only cares about two things- red in evening and blue during day. Should I care for something more?

Flux has much wider colour options, for one. I'd love for night shift to go warmer.

I like having darkroom mode. Don't think macos/nightshift has that yet.

And so does latest Gnome on Linux (like Fedora 26)

comes with built-in redshift? couldn't find the option.

Settings > Displays > Night Light

$ gnome-shell --version

GNOME Shell 3.24.2

F.lux was never in the iOS app store; it affects the whole system and uses private APIs to achieve that (or a jailbreak). They (ab) used the enterprise distribution for a while to circumvent the app store. I forgot what exactly happened, either Apple pulled the certificates, or they asked to have it removed.

Same with Android, as I just found out.

KDE Plasma has support for redshift as well.

The best tip I ever got (other than to use f.lux at all) was to set it to 5800K during the day. It's an almost unnoticeable difference, but makes a huge improvement in reducing my eyestrain.

I've found the lower the value the better for reducing eyestrain. Slowly lowering it down in about 100K chunks it doesn't take long to get used to each step. I currently have mine at 4900/4200 (day/night).

Why so high at night? I do fine with candle setting at 1900K (though I turn my brightness up a notch from lowest).

The night value hasn't bothered me so I haven't given it much thought. I set it to that value when I first started using it as lower just looked weird at that time. I should probably try lower values at night and see if it effects my sleep.

My low setting makes me feel old. 3800 day / 2800 night. However, this is redshift (Linux), not sure it translates 1 to 1.

The new eyestrain preset is 5900K, so good call.

Where do I find that? I'm using the latest f.lux but I can't find all the new features...

Not sure if other platforms are different, but it's here at least on Windows:


Fascinating. On my Mac only have a few of those:


Nice, just tried this. It reminds me of the "comfort view" tint on my phone that I forget is on over time.

Setting it to 5700-5800 seems to have made a noticeable a big difference to me, as I'm plugging into my monitor at home right away my screen had less of a bite.

Thanks for this! I just changed the setting and my eyes immediately felt less strained.

I just did this and I have to say I felt my eyes relax a little, and it looks the same. Thanks.

Something I've been pondering recently: If there is broad acceptance of the research, and sufficient industry agreement to justify programs like f.lux and other night lights, should web developers like myself be more considerate as to what colours we splash over our websites?

I ask this as someone whose most recent project is bathed in a deep blue background, while posting on a site that is comfortably orange.

> should web developers like myself be more considerate as to what colours we splash over our websites?

Please please don't write grey on white. It's illegible. I have to ctrl+a all the time. Black on white, like most books. Also take into account that the user may disable websites picking their own fonts. I do this because I don't want to download them fonts for no apparent reason and because it's usually illegibly thin type. Thin type + #ddd color only helps in the process of becoming blind.

Off topic: while at it, I wish pages used the first screenful for more meaningful information.

I don't know why this was downvoted. For people that have astigmatism grey on white is not very pleasant for reading.

Your last sentence is not quite off topic. If we didn't have to scroll past so many useless giant stock photos before getting to actual content, we wouldn't need to spend as much time looking at screens :)

Many times colors go with branding, in most cases it wouldn't be possible to change the color according to the user's time.

You could put a switch to enable "night mode" for your website, but if your visitor knows about this problem he'll already have either f.lux installed, or native options enabled.

Yep. And although my own work leaves me with complete creative freedom (I do all the branding), I am looking at Facebook and thinking that the small blue bar at the top is probably subtle enough to not have a big effect on the eyes. Certainly not vs. my site (https://suitocracy.com) which has... uhh, a bit more blue than that.

The problem is not blue parts of the picture, but overall level of blue light, which is coming mostly from white parts of webpages. In particular, the dark blue parts of your page have the blue channel at less than 1/10 as intense as the blue channel in the white parts of your page (remember, the sRGB values are gamma-adjusted).

It’s better to make your design look good (I recommend lots of lightness contrast especially for text, and nothing too outrageously colorful), and leave minimizing blue light exposure to the user/browser/OS.

Looks good.

I don't think that shade of blue is that bad for your eyes. I for instance have a gradient between fuchsia and purple, and it's probably worse.

Not to further add to your workload, but one thing I've noticed a few times is that some already subtle colour schemes become even less usable once f.lux has activated. Verifying usability with f.lux/Night Shift/whatever Android solutions there are is probably the biggest win.

I'd just leave it up to the browser or even the monitor.

> "I'd just leave it up to the browser or even the monitor."

As long as it is is easy to disable said behaviour. Case in Point: My rather fancy and expensive Dell monitors have got a so called intelligent powersave mode where they automatically power down if there is no activity after a period of time. Unfortunately there is no way to disable this "intelligent" behaviour. Also unfortunately this behaviour is buggy (tested on more than 1 Dell monitor). I can be typing, playing a game or just browsing around and bang, monitor powers down. It turns out the underlying cause is the type of connection I am using to the monitor.

It turns out that this "intelligent" powersave is rather dumb, buggy and best of all can't be disabled because why would anyone ever not need this glorious new feature, right? /s

I wondered this the other day while working on a website. On the top of the site there is a header with three words, each a different color. The third word is blue. It looked fine during the day but at night, with flux turned on, I was unable to see the blue text against the black background.

I actually made the decision to paint the header the same color as the body text. No idea how many people will view the site with flux on but since _I_ need to look at it a lot, I figured it was a good change to make.

That's an interesting thought. Related to this, I love Microsoft's Dark Theme (search for "theme" for the selector) on their docs:


Personally I think its sufficient to have a low contrast mode on your website.

In general I think its never a bad idea to reduce strain on the eyes of a user, reducing excessive contrast is one way to do it

I'm not a professional web designer Tho.

Since starting to use f.lux, I've had to use custom stylesheets to make some websites usable at night. It's surprising how some features just disappear when you remove the blue.

Windows 10 has this built-in now, and I use redshift on linux. I don't see how f.lux is going to compete against Windows 10's built-in feature tbh.

I tried the Windows 10 built-in product, called Night Light, and switched back to f.lux because the Windows 10 solution doesn't do scheduling correctly.

I had it set to switch the colors at sunset in my location, which it detected to be at 7:56p. While using my computer late one evening, I wondered why everything was still so bright and obviously not using the appropriate yellow and orange hues. I checked on the Windows settings, it told me Night Light was "off until sunset (7:56 PM)", even though it was 8:52p. So it didn't realize that 7:56 < 8:52, and that it should have already turned on Night Light. f.lux just works, Windows 10's solution does not.

This bug has been fixed in recent builds. It's kind of amazing to have such a stupid bug in the release of windows.

That's funny, I uninstalled f.lux out of frustration with its scheduling. I don't sleep normally and it didn't seem to have any custom settings, I use a simple widget someone cooked up with a script to manage scheduling.

With W10 you must enable location service to enable "sunset to sunrise". If you keep LS disabled you can only mechanically set up & down times, which slowly drifts by seasons.

With f.lux you can insert your location manually.

Frankly: why would you want to follow sunset to sunrise? That's clever and all, but not useful. What matters is your sleep schedule; just because the sun doesn't set until after 10pm doesn't mean you monitor needs to be on it's bluest setting until then; similarly, even when the sun sets at 1630, I really don't need my monitors to start putting me to sleep yet.

And in general, if I need to wake up early, I'd rather the monitors be at their bluest immediately, and not wait until sunrise.

A fixed schedule is better than the fancy sunset times.

It matters if you are in places with windows and/or tend to take breaks from your computer - in general, you'd want the "white" on your computer to be comparable to white materials in your surroundings, or the colors will be weird. There's no point making your computer already "red" if your room is lit by sunlight.

having used these programs for many years: the color casts caused by f.lux don't typically match surrounding light, even when everything switches roughly simultaneously (which is rare, because of all kinds of artificial sources that are on/off unpredictably to f.lux). I regularly set my night schedule well in advance of sunset, and it's not a problem; you always keep screen out of direct sunlight, and so far I've also managed to avoid direct sunlight in the visual vicinity simply because the contrast is too great. And that means that even in well-lit rooms, it's fine to have a screen slowly turn red. While it takes some getting used to - the same can be said of f.lux in general.

To each their own of course - if it bothers you, don't do that ;-). But from personal experience I can assure you that not everyone minds a reddish screen before sunset (honestly, many visitors don't even notice unless there's some other screen right next to it).

What is the difference? You're still revealing where you are--although of course if you enter it manually you can enter random coordinates in the same timezone.

The difference is giving it to the F.lux team specifically vs giving it to MS and other supported programs on your PC.

I'd rather just give it to F.lux. MS will use it to sell me Bing search results.

Ah, ok, it's a global setting.

I thought it was something like when websites ask for your location temporarely.

In the case of redshift, the location is only used locally so it's not sent to anyone. The concept of having to send a company your location information just to dim your screen strikes me as insane.

I tried it out and found the gradual transition to be still too abrupt and distracting. With flux I don't notice it gradually changing over the course of the evening, and that's enough for me to stick with it.

Especially since OSes with it integrated can probably do a better job of consistently dimming the screen. It's not really the competency of a third-party app.

Although ironically macOS's "Night Shift" is far buggier than f.lux was (widespread known issue where it doesn't turn off on the morning)

It seems as pretty much every platform has it already built-in.

Apple was first (?) to stole the idea from f.lux, and since then everyone else followed suit.

I don't see a lot of people going out of their way to install f.lux. On macOS I use the native option because it allows you to disable it for projectors and similar.

I find F.lux useful because it allows easily disable the feature if you need it. Also you can automatically turn it off for full screen apps, like movies or games.

Excellent! Great update. I run F.lux all the time, day or night. I recently attempted to switch to Night Shift but it's much less effective.

May they manage to find a rewarding and stable business, they've done my eyes and I an important service. Before F.lux, I had strained "computer eyes". It was a drain on my energy and made me grumpy. It is no more.

I switched to ligthbulb in the meantime (https://github.com/Tyrrrz/LightBulb) Haven't really looked back, and I actually prefer it.

Thank goodness, I've been looking for a f.lux improvement that would actually let me control exactly when and across what duration the shifts happen. The f.lux developer is very stubborn about wanting it synchronized to sunrise and sunset, regardless of any user preference or reason (third-shift work, daylight saving time, working the same hours on June 20 and December 20, etc) for any other use case.

> The f.lux developer is very stubborn about wanting it synchronized to sunrise and sunset, regardless of any user preference or reason (third-shift work, daylight saving time, working the same hours on June 20 and December 20, etc) for any other use case

Ohhh, this explains so much. I uninstalled for the same reason as you and figured it was surprising the program shipped with such a locked-in scheduler as the only option, when there would invariably be a fair bit of overlap between people who'd like to manage their lighting and people who want more custom setups than the incredibly constrained one offered.

I'll look into Lightbulb, I have a piecemeal self-rolled fix - which is usually my favorite solution :P but still worth replacing with a maintained app if one exists.

Not to mention that the Windows app was abandoned for years.

Why do you prefer it?

Works way better on windows. Doesn't have the issues on sleep /wake. Doesn't destroy performance on fullscreen windowed apps.

> Unlike f.lux, LightBulb is optimized to make as little WinAPI calls as possible to prevent FPS drops and hitches. It also allows way more customization, albeit the most intricate settings needs to be changed manually in the config file. LightBulb also offers an option to temporarily pause its gamma control routine when a fullscreen window (like a game) is in foreground.

A good summary can be found in this thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/osugame/comments/5rpq1q/lightbulb_g...

To be fair, that post is six months old and this update specifically addresses gaming performance:

> We've improved performance, so f.lux will have much less impact on your system and on games especially.

Thanks, it seems to have the same simple interface as f.lux used to have.

You can donate via PayPal off their install page.


I have to assume that this burst of activity came because Apple and Microsoft are both now just do what f.lux does in the OS (Apple fans will be familiar with the term "getting Sherlocked"). Can't see how f.lux is going to survive long-term, to be honest.

I still use f.lux because it has way more options and control than the built in Apple product. I wish I had it on my phone too, but I just suffer with Night Shift instead.

I've been very happy with Twilight on my Android device.

My Android (Pixel XL) has it built in as "Night Light" in the Display settings which I prefer.

I've used both Twilight and f.lux (rooted only) on Android in the past and Twilight's defaults are rough and needs too much fuss & attention to get the settings right. f.lux was buggy even tho I was rooted. "Night Light" is OK.

I've set iOS Night Shift to be active all day (start at 8:00 AM, end at 7:59 AM, something like that), can't look at the phone without it now.

Sorry, what exactly is causing you to "suffer"? It's an option to warm up the color temperature on your screen.

The lack of programmability, like I have with f.lux.

I can only make it come on and off at a certain time, and the color temp is just a slider with no numbers.

With f.lux, I can have day, evening, and night, and it adjusts automatically to my location. When I travel, I have to adjust the time on my phone.

All little things, but it shows how f.lux is polished and Night Shift is not.

Um, your time updates as you cross time zones on a cellular phone. Why would you have to change Nightshift? 20:00 is 20:00 no matter where you are.

Because time zones span ~15 degrees of longitude, and the sunset can be up to one hour difference between each side of the time zone. Also, I move north and south during my travels, which also changes sunset, and is not reflected in the time zone.

Those are some very specific requirements then, you are indeed suffering, I hope you find peace.

My main gripe is that it only has a single color temp setting. I use three with f.lux and it makes a huge difference. 5800K during the day, 3400K in the evening (between sunset and 11pm) and 1900K after 11pm, until an hour after sunrise.

My phone is jarring in the evening because it's way cooler than my display.

Night Shift's warmest setting is nowhere near as warm as f.lux's. I, too, miss it dearly on my iOS devices.

How much warmer do you want? The screen is basically burnt orange at this point.

I want candlelight. I replaced a bunch of bulbs in my house so that before I go to bed I have no light sources warmer than a candle, other than my phone.

If you're jailbroken you can use f.lux on iOS. I've been using it for years.

true. but if you look at apple maps vs google maps/waze. google is succeeding despite not being integrated with ios. if f.lux is the better product and apple screws up royally by ignoring, f.lux still has a chance.

Except in the case of iOS/Android, you don't really have a choice. Apple and Google forbade screen temperature apps from being allowed to make the necessary changes, unless it's their own respective system app.

f.lux may live on as a MacOS and possibly Windows desktop app, but it's pretty much impossible as a mobile app now.

Wrong, on Android twilight works very well. Only limitations are not being able to draw over on screen buttons and some important system dialogues.

Twilight just draws a transparent red color over the entire screen. That's different from what f.lux does.

Night Shift only gives a small red shift compared to f.lux.

Night Shift is decent on iOS (well it's the only option) because screen is relatively small, but I'll keep f.lux on Mac for now - candle setting makes a big difference - I've worn blue-blocking glasses before and it really helped but better to not have to wear them.

Night Shift on iOS isn't terrible, I feel the benefit from it watching some streaming as I lull to sleep. But when I had f.lux on my iPad, I had shorter times to get to sleep. The screen would become so devoid of blue...everything was extremely red. Like weird red. The weird thing though, my brain adjusted to it after about 2-3 minutes. Science officer uniforms (Star Trek) still looked blue to me, even though they were more akin to a reddish-block in actual color.

IMO Apple chose the aesthetic of less red shift and traded away the sleep-assisting benefits of a more pronounced shift.

Perhaps even too much (at least for me).

The fact that our eyes adapt so well to the light temperature change by flux makes me wonder if there are other tricks we could be burning into operating systems to reduce eye strain or other benefits for health just by applying filters or alter treatments to the display. It seems like "health-oriented graphics methods" is pretty uncharted territory.

I'm pretty sure there are a whole host of color schemes that apps/sites/terminals are supposed to use because they decrease eye stress.

Does the Linux version work with Wayland already?

Edit: Apparently this is now built-in to Gnome 3.24+, using the name Night Light. I am happy camper again!

Do I still need to set a location or can I just use timed based? Most annoying part of flux...

I just set mine to Quito, Ecuador (anywhere on the equator will do). That keeps things relatively consistent throughout the year, instead of following sunset/sunrise times which have no bearing on my sleep/wake schedule.

Using location is more accurate as depending on how far away from the equator you are light levels can change drastically.

This covers some of the details around it: http://www.ccfg.org.uk/conferences/downloads/P_Burgess.pdf

I think the gist isn't to match the outside so much as to set a pattern of turning on F.lux at the same time every day, to settle into a night-time routine.

I know the reasoning, I guess I'd just prefer to set it manually based on when I'm actually using my machine. As in, near the end of my usage at night I want it to be very orange no matter what the time is.

I agree. I live in Iceland and during the summer months it does nothing.

Many people aren't attuning it to outdoor light levels.

Very happy to see this, as I use f.lux less often than I'd like because of some shortcomings (slowdown when transitioning, and lack of customization). What I'd really like to see is direct and unbounded control over brightness and red-shift separately. At night flux just doesn't go dim enough for me, and the 1200k loses more contrast than I think it ought to.

I had a chance to try out the update at home and I'm happy with it. There's an 800K color temperature now that's accessible using the Alt+Shift+PgDown shortcut, and many more dimming increments (Alt+PgDown). I'm at 800K and the most dim it will go without entering "darkroom mode". I still wish I could make it more dim, but this is a good improvement.

This new interface is the most confusing UI yet.. Also, the update managed to "forget" all my existing settings..

Is F.lux open source software? I don't see a link to source code on their site and a quick web search didn't turn anything up. I wonder why they would lock down development when they could get a lot of great community support (not much to lose; it's free and they just ask for a $5 donation).

Unfortunately not. However, there is an open-source project Redshift[1] that I'm sure would be greatly welcoming of community support :). It also has a GTK client, etc.

[1] https://github.com/jonls/redshift

I prefer OS X's nighttime mode. Except that it always forgets to turn off when on Sunset to Sunrise mode.

I'm constantly surprised at how many designers use flux and its alternatives. I can't stand the color shift and I'm not even a designer. How do you put up with it?

I use the 'turn flux off for an hour' feature when I'm actually thinking about colors in the evening. There's a lot of parts of the process where color accuracy isn't important.

The fact that the color change makes drawing a little bit harder may also serve as a gentle reminder to get the fuck off the computer and go to bed instead of staying up until the wee hours of the morning.

It is jarring at first, especially if you set it to too much red. If you sloooowly ease into it, each day changing it the lowest amount you might get used to it. And when you get used to it, there is no going back.

I love f.lux, but it disappeared from my work computer recently, and the f.lux site is blocked on our network now. I'm not sure why we would have flagged the program and/or site as bad. It seems like a pretty harmless utility to me, and I don't recall there ever being any issues with it. Oh well. At least I can still use it on my home PCs.

I've been using this version on macOS for probably over a year now, I'm not sure exactly how long.

I don't believe I opted into any betas, and I couldn't find a similar featureset for Windows/Linux.

Still, good news for anyone running Windows/Linux, I'm actually going to go update ASAP.

Yeah, I've had this version for a while on Linux. I believe it was just the Windows build that was behind a few months.

Weird, I didn't have it available on Ubuntu whatever I use at work either...

Looks like their appcast hasn't been updated for 4.0 yet. I'll wait for that so I can install it with Homebrew.


Hue integration is one of the most interesting applications of IoT that I've read about in a while. An entirely obvious application once I think about it, but something I never thought about until now. Looking forward to trying that out!

Looks like for now, Hue integration is only available in the Windows build: https://forum.justgetflux.com/topic/1912/f-lux-and-philips-h...

Installing the last update was an awful experience for me. I was prompted to update at night and during the upgrade f.lux turned off without warning and I got blasted with brightness. I hope they handle this better in the future.

The supposed performance improvement is really the only thing I care about as I am happy with the amount of red shift I currently have. It's nice they are bothering to integrate more pro-sleep functionality for those who care though.

When I originally set up flux, it had the default night time colors way too orange, somewhere like 1900K. This made my eyes strain quite heavily and I had to turn it up to a usable level. Has this been changed/fixed?

>Better performance with games (no stutter)

Hopefully this fixes my main issue with f.lux. It seems to cause severe input lag during transitions, making my Windows machine nearly unusable.

Have they added custom times yet? Last time somebody requested that feature the dev basically told them to f themselves.

When does the new version become available?

It's been available for a while now, since April 3: https://forum.justgetflux.com/topic/3675/f-lux-beta-for-wind...

But I guess now they've made it official.

Now. Go to the homepage to download.

The mac version is still the old one look like.

Awesome!!! It works with my display adapter finally!

Was expecting them to announce a $5 monthly subscription to use the new version too. Lol. "SOFTWARE SHOULD BE SUBSCRIPTION"

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