Using a Blue Light Filter on Your Laptop

Using a Blue Light Filter on Your Laptop

Using a Blue Light Filter on Your Laptop is easy than you think. Blue light from your many digital devices can disrupt your circadian rhythm (your biological clock). This, in turn, can lead to insomnia and many other health problems. To protect you from the effect of blue light, make use of a blue light filter. It will change the color balance of your display and eliminate at least some of the blue light being released. Both Windows and macOS operating systems have their own inbuilt blue light filters. There are also some third-party apps that you could use.

The deal with blue light

Blue light can have a serious effect on your well-being. After all, it interferes with your circadian rhythm which is a cycle that controls biological processes. The circadian rhythm is in turn regulated by the amount of light and dark that your body is exposed to. That’s because our bodies evolved to react to the natural source of blue light in our environment – the sun. As a result, we are active during the day and once the sun sets, we sleep. The exact physiology that allows this is quite interesting. Once your environment gets dark, the lack of blue light signals the brain to release the sleep hormone melatonin. The hormone then winds down your body and brain in preparation for sleep.

However, due to artificial lighting and the glow of our various digital devices, we’re exposed to blue light after dark. As a result, our bodies lose the ability to accurately distinguish between day and night. This suppresses melatonin production at night and keeps you alert when you should be falling asleep. That’s why finding a filter for your laptop is crucial.


Microsoft finally added a blue light limiting feature to Windows 10 in an update that was released in April 2017. This feature, called Night Light, essentially shifts the display on your laptop to show warmer colors. The amount of blue light emitted by your laptop is therefore minimized.

Turning on Night Light is simple enough:

Step 1: Search for the settings menu in the windows 10 search box. Alternatively, you could click on the Settings icon found in the windows 10 start menu.

Step 2: In the resulting window, click on System

Step 3: Select Display from the left-hand menu.

Step 4: Toggle on the Night Light switch

You can set your preferences by clicking on Night light settings. The options provided include adjusting the color temperature and scheduling when Night light will automatically turn on and off. Setting a schedule is easy, just toggle the Schedule night light option to on. From there, select whether you want Night light to automatically turn itself on at sunset and off at sunrise. You could also set the time manually. Do this by clicking on Set hours and directly choose the time to the feature should be on and off.


Night shift, the inbuilt blue light filtering feature, was first introduced in macOS Siera in March 2017. It’s a simple app that’s very easy to use. To use Nightshift, open System Preferences, select Displays then click on the Night Shift tab. Night Shift also allows you to adjust the color temperature to find the one that best suits your preferences. You can also set the feature to turn on and off based on a specific schedule.

Other alternatives

Third-party apps

F.lux is a great example of a blue light app you can use that’s available for Windows, macOS and Linux. This filtering app automatically adjusts your laptop’s color temperature by keeping up with the sun’s position in your location. F.lux also has an option to turn itself off when you use full-screen apps. The display is, therefore, not affected when doing some photo editing or watching videos. F.lux can also integrate with some smart lighting systems letting you automatically adjust your room lighting simultaneously.

Screen filters

There are also filters you can place on your laptop screen to reduce the blue light reaching your eyes. A great example is the Ocushield anti-blue light screen protectors. These selectively filter out blue light without creating any distortion in your display allowing for great clarity

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Current Version
September 30, 2020

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