According to research at The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute exposure to bright screens, especially before bedtime, disrupts the natural secretion of melatonin, leading to immediate and long-term detrimental health effects.
Cool light of the 460-480nm wave-length has the greatest impact on melatonin levels. The effect is increased exponentially the closer the user is to the screen, making smartphones, tables and latops particularly problematic sources of white-blue light exposure.
A partial solution is to use F.lux which greatly reduces the amount of light in this part of the spectrum reaching the eye, thereby reducing the effect of screen-time on melatonin levels.
The program matches your monitor’s light to the natural solar cycle based on your location, automatically adjusting the screen color temperature from bright and cool at 6,500 Kelvin during the day, to a warm and glowing at 3,400 Kelvin at sunset and during natural darkness.
#1 Download & install F.lux
- Windows: https://justgetflux.com/dlwin.html
- Linux: https://justgetflux.com/linux.html
- Mac: https://justgetflux.com/news/pages/macquickstart/#download
#2 Set your location
Click the F.lux icon by the taskbar:
#3 Adjust speed
For a smooth sunset select Slow (60m).
#4 Temporarily disable for hue-sensitive work
Remember to disable F.lux by right-clicking the taskbar icon, before doing an all-nighter in Lightroom. You do not want to be manually adjusting white-balance with F.lux on.
- Basics – F.lux research
- “Why Healthy Sleep Matters” – Harvard Medical School
- “Bright Screens Could Dealy Bedtime” – Scientific American
- “The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students” – Figueiro MG1, Wood B, Plitnick B, Rea MS