There are good reasons for insisting (here is the first post) on bluelight filter apps (in addition to being one important factor to figuring out How to sleep better at night):
- photophobia researchers have found that blue light induces pain in light-sensitive people (on a personal note: we had red and blue lights on our Christmas tree – the blue ones caused pain in my eyes immediately, I could not stand looking at them, vs. no problem at all with the red ones!)
- the question how to sleep at night in relation to blue light exposure may be even more relevant for people with photophobia – some years ago (before coming across bluelight filter apps) I had serious problems with night sleep – a terrible vicious cycle
- bluelight filter apps may be used to decrease brightness and reduce glare of your computer screen (or other electronic display devices)
- I just run across a new bluelight filter app: PC SunScreen – free only until March 5! So I had to hurry.
Last Friday, when I “bumped into” PC SunScreen (another bluelight filter app specifically designed to address the question How to sleep better at night) I immediately tweeted on @GLARminY knowing the review should follow soon as the free promotion deadline was coming up fast:
— GLARminY (@GLARminY) February 20, 2015
At the time of the tweet I thought the review would be confrontational, i.e. f.lux software vs. PC SunScreen, but soon it became clear to me that the light-sensitive people could benefit from using both f.lux and PC SunScreen bluelight filter apps together.
How to sleep better at night: using the PC SunScreen bluelight filter app
Although f.lux and PC SunScreen address the same problem, namely how to sleep better at night after evening and late night computer use, there are a few differences between the two bluelight filter apps:
- PC SunScreen adapts its bluelight filter based on your sleeping habits while f.lux software adapts its bluelight filter based on sunrise and sunset times.
- PC SunScreen offers the user a possibility to set the color and transparency of its bluelight filter, in the case of f.lux software the bluelight filter is always yellowish (except in the DarkRoom mode) and you set the transparency in terms of light intensity/brightness.
- f.lux bluelight filter app covers the whole screen. PC SunScreen also allows you to set the bluelight filter over only a portion of it (see image below).
- f.lux software’s bluelight filter offers three different modes (Movie, DarkRoom, and Safe) vs. PC SunScreen’s that doesn’t offer this type of functionalities.
PC SunScreen bluelight filter: May cover only part of your screen (left half in the image), pick your color
It is precisely these differences that make them complementary for a user with light sensitivity.
Reduce glare/brightness on computer screen using two bluelight filter apps simultaneously
Installing PC SunScreen I was cautious thinking that the two bluelight filter apps might interfere one with the other. But no, it turns out you can run both at the same time! And the two filters add as if wearing two pairs of sunglasses! That opens new possibilities for light-sensitive people!
In the post on f.lux software I suggested some unexpected ways how a glare / light sensitive person might use this bluelight filter app to his or her own advantage:
- use f.lux to further reduce brightness / glare on computer screen in dimmer conditions
- use the bluelight filter app to reduce glare in complete or near darkness
- use the bluelight filter to reduce glare caused by software (e.g. pdf readers) that doesn’t support changes in computer visuals
- use the app to reduce glare when web browsing
In all of the above cases, running PC SunScreen bluelight filter app concurrently with f.lux you can:
- further decrease brightness / glare on your computer screen, namely use two bluelight filters, like you would use two pairs of sunglasses
- change color from yellowish (f.lux bluelight filter) to one that you chose in PC SunScreen
- use double bluelight filter only on one part of your screen (f.lux – full screen, PC SunScreen – portion of the screen)
Combining two bluelight filter apps
I was hoping to be able to post images of different effects. Unfortunately, the Snipping Tool (or Print Screen) create exact same image with f.lux bluelight filter on or off. The above image should illustrate the three points above.)
Where to download the PC SunScreen bluelight filter and the free promo code
Note that there are many different apps for just about any electronic display device. I’d encourage to find one for your smart phone or tablet if you tend to use them. In the next post I will suggest two more apps, that weren’t designed as bluelight filters but can also help you reduce glare on your computer screen.
Would you suggest any other bluelight filter apps that you particularly like?
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