Ultimate blue light filter apps and extensions for Windows and Mac

Extended exposure to blue light may lead to issues like cataracts, macular degeneration, and even certain cancers
The image shows a man using a computer in the dark. — Pixabay
The image shows a man using a computer in the dark. — Pixabay

The surge in digital screen usage has brought about an unexpected adversary: blue light. With detrimental impacts on sleep patterns and productivity, the relentless exposure to blue light demands our immediate attention. Every illuminated display emits this harmful light, making it essential to tackle this issue head-on.

What is blue light?

Blue light, a part of the visible light spectrum, possesses the shortest wavelength and highest energy. Its unique properties enable it to affect our eyes profoundly. Unlike other colours, our eyes lack a natural defense against blue light, allowing it to penetrate easily to the retina.

What’s so bad about blue light?

Numerous studies highlight blue light's disruption of our circadian rhythm, the body's internal clock governing sleep patterns. While the sun serves as the primary natural source, digital screens, fluorescent lights, and televisions contribute significantly to prolonged exposure. The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes how blue light aids alertness during the day, impacting our ability to fall asleep at night. Extended exposure may lead to issues like cataracts, macular degeneration, and even certain cancers.

The solution? Blue light filters

The solution lies in blue light filters, offering protection against this pervasive threat. Let's explore a comprehensive guide to blue light filters specifically tailored for PCs and Macs.

Built-in blue light filters on Windows and Mac:

Both Windows' Night Light and macOS' Night Shift serve as commendable first-party blue light filters. These features provide adequate functionality for most users, offering options such as scheduling and intensity adjustment.

Blue Light Filter apps:

For those seeking precise control and advanced options, dedicated blue light filter apps prove invaluable. Here's a rundown of top-notch options catering to Windows and Mac users:

f.lux: An open-source app automatically adjusting screen colour temperature based on the time of day.

Eye Saver: Protects eyes from blue light and screen flicker, including a useful pause reminder.

SunsetScreen: Allows custom intervals for screen adjustments, ideal for unconventional sleep cycles.

Iris Mini: A minimalist app with preset temperature settings and additional features in the Pro version.

NightTone and NightScreen: Streamlined macOS apps simplifying viewing comfort with adjustable settings.

CareUEyes: A feature-rich app with custom temperature settings and several eye protection functions.

Blue Light Filter browser extensions

For users predominantly working within browsers, blue light filter extensions offer convenience and efficacy. Here are some recommended extensions:

1. Screen Shader: Automatically adjusts web page colors based on wake-up time, aiding in reducing eyestrain.

2. Night Eye: Combines dark mode with a blue light filter, enhancing comfort for prolonged viewing.

3. Midnight Lizard: An extensive Chrome extension offering multifaceted customization options.

4. Blue Light Filter: Brings the benefits of CareUEyes' Windows app into the browser for added eye protection.

5. Color Temperature (Change Lux): Provides meticulous control over RGB color values, allowing precise adjustments.