The Night Light functionality in the Windows 10 April Update last year was a welcome addition for those who hated the tremendous amount of blue light emitting from the monitor screens. But ever since its implementation, numerous users are facing the issue where Night Light wouldn’t work as advertised.
While several fixes help resolve problems with Night Light, each major Windows 10 feature update continues to break the functionality. And that’s why I’ve decided that it was time to ditch it entirely.
If you are fed up with Night Light and its various quirks as well, then let’s take a look at three top-notch alternatives that offer similar, if not better, functionality.
Before Night Light was even a concept, f.lux was the go-to app when it came to rendering the screen in a warmer shade of color. It’s held up pretty great and runs more smoothly than before. The fact that you can download it directly from the Windows Store also makes installing it a super-easy endeavor.
Setting up f.lux is a breeze — type in your ZIP code the first time, and it will automatically apply the default color profile to match your time-zone.
You can also bring up the f.lux control panel via the system tray and easily go about adjusting color temperatures using the nifty slider present on the screen. And the preset color modes (Classic f.lux, Working Late, etc.) also work a treat whenever you want to switch things around to suit the occasion.
Opening up the f.lux menu gives you access to a range of customization options such as enabling multiple color temperature sliders for both day-time and night-time, as well as additional filter profiles.
But the real deal lies with the presence of color effects, some of which are really awe-inspiring — Darkroom Mode, for example, drastically reddens the screen akin to a photo darkroom, while Grayscale turns off the colors and helps minimize distractions.
In a nutshell, f.lux is a significantly superior alternative to Night Light, especially given the healthy dose of customization options that it offers. Give it a try. I am sure you’ll end up loving it.
LightBulb is a tiny and lightweight blue-light filter that’s simply a blast to use. The user interface is quite intuitive, and you can easily configure the color temperatures for both day-time and night-time with minimum fuss.
LightBulb, despite being tiny in almost all aspects, also features several other options that you can access via the tiny icons to the upper-right corner of the UI.
You can, for example, specify when you want the day-time and night-time filters to activate, or you can simply synchronize your time-zone via the internet instead.
Furthermore, you can also bind hotkeys to toggle the blue light filters on or off easily. And you can even configure LightBulb to deactivate itself when using applications in fullscreen mode — perfect for instances when editing photos or playing a movie.
Overall, LightBulb is a perfect fit if you don’t mind losing out on the additional customization features that f.lux brings to the table. It also has a very tiny memory footprint, so expect zero impact on performance during system startup.
Unlike f.lux or LightBulb, Iris isn’t free to use. But if you are into serious customization, this might be the thing for you. And since it carries a free 7-day trial, you can easily test out all the features that it has to offer without having to pay a dime.
By default, Iris detects your location and applies its default set of color filters automatically. The Iris user interface (accessible via the system tray) lets you immediately switch between preset profiles, some of which are jaw-dropping in terms of color effects.
For example, Sleep applies a strong reddish hue and is perfect to use before bedtime. Meanwhile Programming adds a lush color inversion effect and really brings out that inner-geek in you. Don’t forget to try them all out.
But here’s where you get your money’s worth — switch to the Advanced tab, and you gain access to a list of nearly 30 different configurations settings.
From minutely adjusting color temperatures, applying screen overlays, to pausing effects when using certain applications, these settings can really amp up the user experience.
For most of you out there, sticking to either f.lux or LightBulb should be more than sufficient. But who knows, the crazy levels of customization in Iris might be what you are looking for. After the 7-day trial, you need to purchase a one-time license for $15 to continue using it.
Protect Your Eyes
I’m still dumbfounded at Microsoft’s struggle at developing an uncomplicated feature such as Night Light. And especially so since third-party programs have been doing it flawlessly for years. But thanks to f.lux, LightBulb, and Iris, you really don’t need to put up with that any longer.
The choice is pretty simple — use f.lux for a healthy mix of different light filters and color effects, LightBulb if you hate too much customization, or Iris for in-depth management of just about everything.
Next up: Using an Android smartphone? Reduce eye-strain with these five terrific apps.
Last updated on 13 July, 2021
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