F.lux automatically dims your computer display at night

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screenshot of F.lux

If you've ever had a roommate—or a partner, spouse, kids—who came into your bedroom at oh-dark-thirty in the morning and turned the overhead light on, you know what a pain in the neck—and the eyes—that can be. Your eyes are all used to the dark and all of a sudden, blam!, they've got to deal with regular light. You can run into the same problem with your computer as well.

When you use your computer during the day, you may have the brightness on the display turned up so that you can see the screen with all the ambient light around you. At night, though, the room lights may not be so bright, so you don't need your screen to be lit up like noonday either. And first thing in the morning when you're all squinty-eyed, you definitely don't need to be jolted like in the turn-the-light-on scenario outlined above.

F.lux is a tool that may come in handy here. Based on your location, it does a little calculation and makes its best guess as to when sunrise and sunset ought to hit for you, and dims your display appropriately after dark. You can choose from several different settings, with nighttime color temperatures ranging from 2700K up through 5000K, as opposed to normal daylight operation at 6500K. While it dims the lights automatically, you can disable it for an hour at a time, just in case you need things to stay extra bright.

F.lux is a free download. It's available for Windows (XP and Vista), Mac (OS X 10.4), and Linux.

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