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Tweaks & Tips SunsetScreen helps you sleep better by taking the glare of your screen

PokercheckerNr1

Software guru
Up until now I ran the excellent F.Lux application on my Windows PC to help me sleep better and adjust to the monitor brightness better. The program adjusts the screen of the computer to be more natural to the eye. Instead of being bright all day and night long, it changes the screen throughout the day to take the natural day night cycle into account. SunsetScreen on first glance does the same thing. It dims the screen to match the color of the indoor lightning which in turn may reduce the effect that over-bright screens have on the production of melatonin which helps control sleep and wake cycles.

Unlike F.Lux, SunsetScreen allows you to select sunrise, sunset and transition phase time manually which is beneficial to computer users whose sleep cycle differs from regular ones. In addition to that, it helps take seasons into account. You may want the screen to be a bit brighter during the darker seasons for instance and less bright during the lighter ones.



This means on the other hand that sunrise and sunset are not adjusted automatically anymore. While that means less automation, it gives you more control to adjust the cycle based on your needs. You set the sunrise time and time until sunset in the interface. Depending on where you live, you may need to adjust the default 6AM to 6PM values. The third parameter that you can modify is the transition phase which is set to 60 minutes by default. In this phase, the program switches from day color to night color mode.

Both modes are set up in tabs in the program interface. You find several presets available that let you assign colors quickly. For the night, this ranges from 1850K candle with 50% brightness over the default 2700K incandescent light bulb to 6600K default LCD white screen. For the day, from 5000K horizon daylight to 20000K deep blue clear sky. Instead of selecting a preset, you can also adjust color and brightness sliders manually.

The program adjusts the screen color of the active period (day or night) instantly. There is no preview for the inactive period on the other hand which means that you will have to adjust it once it becomes the active period. Advanced users can enable HSB sliders to adjust brightness, saturation and hue as well which you can adjust next to the color and brightness to match the screen color even better to the available lighting source in the room.

Verdict

SunsetScreen gives you more control over the color adjusting process. While you can adjust colors as well using F.LUX, it does not offer means to manually adjust the sunset and sunrise period. The presets are useful as they allow you to switch between different color configurations with one click but the real strength of the program are the custom options that it provides. SunsetScreen is compatible with all recent versions of Windows. It requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5.

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