Removing blue from your screen at night, and circadian light bulbs

(Diane D) #1

Perhaps beyond the scope of this list, but I’ve become interested in lights that “follow the sun” to help in restoring the natural circadian rhythm. I’ve bought a sleep bulb that removes blue for reading at night and it seems to help. I then found the GE Sleep bulb which is doesn’t need a hub and appears to change throughout the day, if you use the GE app.

My sticking point is that one needs to create an account to use the app. This is a bluetooth item that will connect to my phone and I’m unclear why these companies continue to force us to “sign up”. I don’t have to create an account to use my mouse, keyboard or BT speaker - or even my car stereo.

It seems that the ones that work with HomeKit are more costly and require a hub (which also raises the price).

I realize my account complaint adds another level to my question, but what I’d really like to know is if there are any bulbs besides Phillips that do this that will work with HomeKit. It’s possible the technology isn’t completely there yet and more options will appear in the next few years.

I have my MPB Retina set to Night Shift as well as my phone. I think my phone was more warm (orange) at some point in the past. I tried f.lux for a few days and it was great, and then it kind of stopped working so I uninstalled it. Would like to try it again, but I’m not sure if f.lux should be not be used with Night Shift?


(Will M) #2

I can’t help with your question, sorry. However, regarding your attitude toward signing up for things where there is no apparent reason, you have touched a nerve and I support you fully. Even if I didn’t choose to act like a top-of-the-line paranoid (and being paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me), one more username-password combination is high on my list of things I do not need.

Like you, I have my iOS devices set to Night Shift. I am not aware that I can do that for a plain MacBook, but I generally don’t use the MacBook in the hour before going to bed.

(Richard Rettke) #3

I’m running Sierra on an iMac and Night Shift is in the Displays Preference of System Preferences.

(Diane D) #4

Fitness apps have been doing this for a long time, I assume for the “social” aspect. But last thing I ever want to do is to have viewable on the web, where I start and stop my workouts from. Basically any app that requires me to sign in gets immediately deleted. I’ve contacted developers about this, especially when there are similar apps that don’t require it, and get a variety of (bs) responses. (IMO)

As far as the lights go, I did find Lifx bulbs after sending this. I have 2 on order and they were “reasonably” priced compared to the others and didn’t need a hub. They can work through HomeKit or their own app, so I’ll try HomeKit first.

As Richard said, Night Shift is in System Preferences. f-lux made the screen really orange but then got flaky on me. I’d like to try it again, especially as it gets dark before 5 now and I’m usually still working. After the first week of making these changes, I find that a very bright screen in the evening really hurts my eyes, even though it was what I always used in the past for contrast.

(Will M) #5

Sorry, I should have said that I’m running 10.11.6 El Capitan.

(Diane D) #6

Looks like it started in Sierra last year.


(B. Jefferson Le Blanc) #7

You can customize the screen color in f-lux. You don’t have to settle for the defaults. It takes a little tinkering, but you can get flux to use your preferences. For instance, I don’t use the bedtime setting, which is, as you say, too orange. Rather, I use 5000K for my Sunset (night time) setting. I find that to be restful without being too warm. YMMV. What’s more, with f-lux you can exclude any app you don’t want color adjusted, like Photoshop or Lightroom. If you don’t need to exclude any apps, then Apple’s Night Shift will probably suffice. You can adjust the color there, too.

(Diane D) #8

Thanks Jeff! I stopped using it because it didn’t seem to be turning on and off correctly after a few days. I didn’t realize you could exclude apps - that’s good to know!

Do you use it with Night Shift or on it’s own? I wonder if I had them both on together.


(B. Jefferson Le Blanc) #9

To begin with, launch f.lux and open the f.lux preferences from the menu bar icon. Enter your zip code so it will know when sunset and sunrise are in your area. Click the Start at login checkbox. Then set the screen temp for Daytime and Sunset. Under Bedtime I have the slider set all the way to the right which gives me Sunset only under that setting. If you wish to have the screen even warmer at Bedtime you can set it there.

You probably could use f.lux with Night Shift, but why would you? It would be redundant. They do the same thing, adjusting screen color in degrees Kelvin. Use one or the other. If you don’t want to return to daylight in specific apps for color consistency then use Night Shift only. If you want more flexibility, use f.lux only. If you don’t use graphic apps where color is important, then Night Shift is probably all you need. Just as with f.lux you can customize screen color to suit your night time viewing preferences. This is best done with a text document open so that you can see the adjustment against a white background. Unlike Night Shift, in f.lux you can set a daytime temperature as well, though there is usually no need to do so. If you want to calibrate your monitor/monitors you can do so under the Color setting in the Displays preferences—where you also find Night Shift. This might be important if you use an external monitor with your Mac. If you use an iMac or Mac laptop the color of a third-party screen is likely different from your main monitor and some adjustment might be desirable. Pardon me if this is more information than you need but I find that too much information is usually better than too little.

(Diane D) #10

Jeff, I’m always up for more detailed info - thanks! I reinstalled f.lux and I think I probably had them both turned on when I first tried it. The screen is very orange when they are both on, but at 4:49 pm it my screen is much warmer using just f.lux than just Night Shift.

Tomorrow I’ll check it with my external monitor. From what I remember, that monitor stayed pretty bright while the laptop display got warmer. Again it may have been because both were one.

My adjustable bulbs come this week, so I’m curious to see how they work out too.

Thanks again