Making your monitor easier on the eyes

As someone who sits in front of his computer at least 8 hours every day, I’m pretty picky about my monitors. Three years ago I forked out my own money for two 1600×1200 LCDs from Dell and love them. Oddly I’ve never poked around with the monitor’s color temperatures.

Yesterday I stumbled, via slashdot, over Redshift. This little jewel adjusts the color temperature of your monitor to match the level of the sun throughout the day at your particular location on the earth. In other words, the color temperature of the monitor subtly changes throughout the day: warmer in the mornings, cooler during the day, warmer in the nights. (The “cool” and “warm” labels make intuitive sense if you see the colors — the warmer colors have a red cast to them and the cooler colors have a blue cast to them —  although they are opposite of the actual color temperature measured in Kelvin and the actual temperatures outside at that time of the day.)

The first time I used it the change was very abrupt. By default my monitors have a very cool, almost icy blue, color. Redshift adjusted that up to a warmer color. Determined to give it some time I used my computer throughout the rest of the day and in all honesty forgot about it. The color setting was retained from the overnight hibernation and I decided that I liked the change enough to change my system such that it starts Redshift when my X-windows session starts. Doing so required stopping it, which adjusted the colors back to the defaults, and starting it back up again. Wow – the difference (excuse the pun) is night and day. The default icy blue color was noticeably harsher on my eyes.

I’m probably going to adjust the coolest color to be a bit blue-er but overall I think I’ve had less eye-strain yesterday and today.

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

2 thoughts on “Making your monitor easier on the eyes”

  1. Excellent stuff!

    This sounds like a neat add-on for your monitor. I look at my monitor waaaaaay too much without looking at something else to give my eyes a break. I’ll check it out! I’m glad you found this and thanks for the review! – RSL


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