Tech Review: f.lux

This month, the Rutgers Comp Lit Magazine will be expanding its coverage of tech tools that Comp Lit students and faculty use professionally and personally. If you have a tech tool you would like to see featured here, please leave a comment or send an email to

F.lux is a simple piece of software that can have a noticeable impact on how you use your computer. If you frequently use your computer late at night, you might notice that the light of the screen seems much more intense at night. The f.lux website says, “During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.”

F.lux provides a surprisingly easy solution to this problem. The software monitors the time of sunset in your timezone and after sunset transitions the light of your screen to match indoor lighting. Unlike simply dimming your screen, the f.lux filter makes your screen easy to read, but without the strain on your eyes. It can also help you sleep better after computer use.

At first, you will probably notice f.lux, because at the moment of sunset, a red tint comes over the screen. However, within a few minutes your eyes adjust and the color change is no longer noticeable. If you need to do color-sensitive work at night, like photo editing, f.lux can be easily disabled for a period of time.

F.lux is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iPhone/iPad. Unfortunately, the iPhone app operates as a stand-alone reader app, so you cannot use f.lux to control the brightness of the iPhone as a whole.

I cannot recommend f.lux highly enough for anyone who spends a lot of time on their computer in the evenings. It requires little effort to install, and I saw a dramatic change in my ability to work on the computer at night without straining my eyes or disrupting my sleep.