Maybe that explains the recent proliferation of Mac apps which adjust the screen to reduce some of the blue light you can’t see (the light that can interrupt your sleep quality). A recent version of iOS for iPhone and iPad has a setting called Night Shift which adjusts the color temperature of the screen away from the blue spectrum, ostensibly to benefit your sleep.
Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep… This may help you get a better night’s sleep.
There’s plenty of wiggle room in Apple’s statement about Night Shift’s value, but what about Mac users? We have Retina displays, too. We work late at night, too? Is there Night Shift available for the Mac?
But there are some alternatives that range from free to a few dollars. These apps do much the same thing– give you controls over the screen’s light, adjust various levels that may or may not reduce the blue light emitted from the Mac’s screen, which may or may not give you a better night’s sleep.
Screen Lights – This is one you’ll find on the Mac App Store. Screen Lights has a few controls which allow you to select between four basic colors, control the amount of the filter for each, adjust the dim level, even invert the screen’s colors.
Screen Lights has a scheduler so it can begin changing the Mac’s screen according to a timer you control. Simple slider bars enable both the color of the screen, and the amount of dim applied.
f.lux – At the free end of the scale is the popular f.lux utility that works differently than Screen Lights but to a similar effect. f.lux adjust the screen automatically to match daytime light, regardless of the time of day. That’s no mean feat.
As you can see, controls in f.lux are different, but generally get to the same objective.
f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.
Once you tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, it adjusts the Mac’s screen automatically. Menubar controls are extensive but self explanatory (though a little trial and error seems appropriate as not all screens and all lighting conditions are the same).
To be honest about comparing the two– f.lux vs. Screen Lights– I prefer the former vs. the latter, which really imposes a color onto the screen.
Night Screen – Priced between f.lux and Screen Lights is Night Screen, a relative newcomer that comes with simpler controls that need to be adjusted manually.
Night Screen claims to neutralize the blue light coming from your Mac’s screen, again, with the objective of giving you better sleep after a long day slaving over a hot keyboard. There’s even a one-click option to invert the Mac’s screen so you can see white text on a black background. I’ve tried. I don’t like that.
Am I sleeping better since trying out these blue light screen controllers. Yes. But I bought a new mattress so that may have skewed my perspective.