Is your Mac too bright in dark places? Whether you need to work in the dark without being noticed or want your screen to be easier on your eyes, we’ve found apps for that.
If your eyes hurt when you use your Mac, it might be because you’re staring a bright light in a dark room. Turning on some lights around you is a good idea, but it also might help if you make your Mac less bright.
The first step, of course, is to simply turn down the brightness. But if that’s not enough, there are apps and tricks you can help make using your Mac in the dark as pleasant as possible.
Tranquility Inverts Your Colors
Your Mac’s monitor is basically a lightbulb, something everyone will notice if you’re using it in a dark place. Don’t subject everyone around you to that – use Tranquility (free) to vastly reduce the amount of light you’re emitting.
This app adds an item to your menubar, which can be quickly used to invert your Mac’s screen colors. It also lets you set whatever tint you want – I recommend a combination of black and red, for minimal light leakage.
This obviously isn’t ideal for everyday graphics work, but is perfect in other situations. If you’re using your computer to program the lights in a dark theatre, for example, software like this is essential.
You could just as easily use this to do a bit of night-time reading. It’s a simple way to give your Mac a nighttime mode, something your eyes will likely thank you for.
Invert Without Software
If all you want is to invert colors, you don’t need a dedicated piece of software. Just press Control, Option, Command and 8 at once – the switch should happen immediately.
Try it right now. Didn’t work? Newer versions of OS X (Mountain Lion and later) don’t enable this by default. Don’t worry: you can turn this back on quickly. Open up the services preferences, under Finder > Services > Services Preferences:
Now scroll until you find Invert Colors, then make sure it’s checked:
That’s it. You can now invert your colors anytime you want using the keyboard shortcut. You won’t get the color options of Tranquility, but on the plus side there’s nothing to install.
F.lux Tints Your Screen Automatically
Of course, you may not care to invert your colors at all – you may depend on those colors to do your job. F.lux (free) prevents late-night computer usage from disrupting your sleep cycles, and could be just right for you. The app tints your screen at night, meaning the light emitted is comparable to the lightbulbs around you. The app uses your location and the time to automatically apply its tint, meaning you might not even notice it’s doing anything at all.
If you’ve had trouble sleeping after late night computer sessions, give this a shot. Even if you haven’t, you’ll probably find that using your computer at night is more pleasant with f.lux. Give it a shot.
Tools like these can reduce computer-related eye strain, but they’re only suitable in some instances. You could look into Shades, which gives you more control over your Mac’s brightness. It was a little buggy in my tests, and it puts a floating brightness switch over your entire system, but you might like it.
Can you think of any other software that makes using your Mac in the dark better? Please share them below, so everyone can find out about them.
Image Credits: tobiasbischoff Via Flickr