Latest F.Lux gets grayscale mode

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2018
Updated • Nov 10, 2018

The most recent version of the display manipulation software F.Lux introduces a new grayscale mode that users can enable in the application.

F.Lux is a popular application for desktop and mobile operating systems to adjust the color warmth and other display and color related settings automatically or manually.

One of the ideas behind F.Lux is to reduce blue light in the evening and at night to improve sleep. Users can set it up to adjust the warmth of the screen automatically based on the time of day, or select a manual setting instead that they prefer to use.

The developer introduces a number of new features in version 4 of F.Lux released in 2017; among them options to select presets and to whitelist programs to make sure color is displayed correctly and not manipulated when whitelisted programs are active.

Presets are custom configurations that users may enable directly.

Tip: Check out the F.Lux alternatives Lightbulb and Iris.

F.Lux 4.84 Grayscale

f-lux grayscale

Grayscale mode is a new mode in F.Lux that displays everything in grayscale. It is an attempt to reduce distractions by colorful screen elements such as icons or the toolbar of the operating system.

The big surprise is how distracting the icons on the top and bottom of your screen are. These icon colors are the kind of thing you see in candy stores and on fire alarms, but we have to ignore them just to get work done. Without those colors, your computer looks more like a magazine that can help you focus on reading or thinking—it feels different, like a sheet of paper.

F.Lux users may toggle grayscale mode with the new keyboard shortcut Windows-End, or with a click on Menu > Effects and extra colors > Grayscale.

F.Lux reduces blue light while in grayscale mode just like it does so for other presets the software comes with.

Closing Words

Grayscale mode was designed to reduce distractions and while it certainly does so to a degree it may also make it more difficult to work with the computer or read text on the screen. The new mode requires some time to get used to it; most users will probably use it only sporadically and not all the time.

Some users reported that the new version washes out colors on their devices. I could not verify this on my end, however.

Now You: What is your take on grayscale mode? (via Techdows)

Latest F.Lux gets grayscale mode
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Latest F.Lux gets grayscale mode
The most recent version of the display manipulation software F.Lux introduces a new grayscale mode that users can enable in the application.
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  1. owl said on September 9, 2019 at 3:46 am

    Now, I noticed the existence of this topic (Latest F.Lux gets grayscale mode) .
    Many of these comments mislead visitors because they don’t understand the app “f.lux” correctly.

    f.lux is an application designed based on the medical viewpoint that “blue light causes serious damage to the retina”, and is intended to prevent eye strain.
    (“Dark mode” and “Night mode” of the Windows function are simply “dimming” functions and cannot attenuate blue light)

    As a measure against eye strain,
    I have been using “f.lux” since 2008 and is my favorite required item.
    f.lux: software to make your life better |
    The screen uses a Windows function to set the light intensity to 50% of the normal value (because it is impractical below that, it is the limit value)
    Still, without this app (f.lux), the screen is too dazzling and painful to the eyes.
    I feel the effect.

    I customized to fixed value of “2900K”, it has been using.
    ● When using full screen or media player, you can select “Disable” setting.
    ● In “Grayscale” mode ([Windows] + [end]),
    the entire display area (icon, favicon, taskbar, etc.) switches to a single gray color.

    Theme (background) prefers “Dark” mode. However, the blue light is emitted without being attenuated. Therefore, “f.lux” is an important function for the countermeasure.
    Blue Light Affects Sleep (and here’s why)
    “Grayscale” mode can realize full mono color and blue cut in all scenes while PC is running. You can easily enable (disable) it with the “Hotkey ([Windows] + [end])”. Since dimming is also a freely, so this is a favorite function.

  2. Clairvaux said on November 12, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    This strikes me as stupid. I’ve tinkered with black-and-white themes for various software. They might be elegant, but getting rid of colour entirely brings a huge drop in usability.

    Colour is difficult to master. Developers, especially, are often very poor graphic designers, and unless that know-how is brought into a project, you can’t get the user interface right.

    One program which is very successful in that respect, and which shares with F.lux the aim of soothing the eyes, is the browser extension Dark Reader (for Firefox and Chrome-based browsers). It gives a dark theme to all websites.

    The colour combinations it uses are very good. They are elegant, while being at the same time very readable, and easy on the eyes. It’s quite difficult to bring all those qualities together. Those are automatic themes, and that’s how they should be. Don’t let the user choose his own colours. That’s way too difficult for an amateur. I’m sure Dark Reader has a provision for customised colours, but I’ve never looked for it, because either of the two main pre-set options will work beautifully most of the time.

    Of course, do offer an option for custom colours, but that has to come in the background, as an advanced feature, and it shouldn’t be an excuse not to polish the themes offered out-of-the-box.

    Another program I like for the graphic design of its icons (including their colours) is Edit Pad Lite. It’s also a very interesting substitute either for Notepad, or other, more sophisticated text editors.

  3. John G. said on November 11, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    I like this program, however it is unable to work automatically detecting the bright inside the room, or while some black clouds appear at the sky, letting you into darkness. Probably the best way to solve this is through one bluetooth connection using some Android application or whatever (light sensor, probably). I sincerely don’t know how, though I’m using W10 night light.

  4. Rush said on November 11, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    You’re very kind, Thank you.

  5. Rush said on November 11, 2018 at 3:48 am

    For me, F.Lux is…a must have program. I use it only at night…others may be tasked with the howling of the biggest and brightest moon…reflective from the ceiling to your toes…and in the middle of the night…a simple wake-up…during the brightest stage of your lit monitor… ..can be hurtful to the eyes and your mind.

    But with F.Lux, the moon transcends to harvest…w/orange glo…much, much more palatable, and very easy on Freud’s Libido.

    Late night, can be very easy…even sublime with F.lux.
    Gray scale or no…one should try out this program…life is too short. (And no…I am am not paid to say those much needed words to hear by F..lux ) one of my favorite programs ever.

    1. Tom Hawack said on November 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      @Rush, what a pleasure to read a comment so nicely thought and expressed.

  6. Flot Sam said on November 11, 2018 at 1:42 am

    I would like its use to have masks for links or elements that the user needs to exclude or blur from absolute gray.
    But too much work for the user …

    Sorry, I only understand Google Translate.

  7. Peterc said on November 10, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    I’m pretty sure I usually find color to be more helpful than distracting. I typically use a lot of toolbar buttons and have a lot of pinned tabs, and it would be exponentially more difficult for me to distinguish among buttons and favicons without color. And when I need help toning down visually loud or chaotic webpages, “Reader View” browser features/extensions, full-screen modes, and the “zap” bookmarklet have done the trick for me so far.

    That being said, I think grayscale is probably an invaluable tool for designers — *thoughtful* designers — so they can make UIs, elements, and content that work for the colorblind. (Being borderline colorblind between dark blue and true black — I have to see them side by side to be sure — I’m sympathetic. Also — SPOILER ALERT — I loved the movie Little Miss Sunshine, and that kind of helps me to avoid forgetting about colorblindness.) And using f.lux to switch to grayscale sounds a *whole lot easier* than the steps described here:

    Can You Force Windows to Display in Grayscale?

  8. Emil said on November 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    More than anything you need a monitor with a low enough minimum brightness. There are otherwise great monitors that are just too bright to use them at night by candlelight.
    And of course, white backgrounds are an old design error but can often be changed by various means.

  9. user17843 said on November 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Seems to be windows exclusive, I am not seeing it on Mac.

    1. iponymous said on November 11, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Also available on
      Linux( linux version is basic and has not been updated since 2013. This means F.lux adjusts
      color temperature according to time and location only on Linux, no filters or grayscale)

  10. Tom Hawack said on November 10, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Old school here, I use my monitor’s brightness & contrast settings.

    I must say I haven’t tested dedicated applications such as this F-lux even if I did try several scripts and extensions aimed at screen dimming and “re-coloring” which all ended on my nerves rather than in my toolbox. But I must admit dimming has my favor.

    I’d agree basically with chesscanoe’s comment above when it comes to reducing the screen color spectra to shades of gray (whatever the number!) : color is nice, color is life. That doesn’t prevent me from the pleasure of old black&white movies (I dislike them being colorized), and even recent films intentionally color-free, as well as photography, but in those cases we’re dealing with art not with a screen whose purpose is to remain faithful to the original layout : I wouldn’t like to use a B&W TV to view a movie turned in color.

  11. chesscanoe said on November 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Grayscale has its rightful place when viewing an Ansel Adams print, or the start of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” in the 1959 release. But color is used reasonably or tolerably well most of the time in the PC world, so grayscale is a rare thing to desire these days. My majority use is to intentionally print PC stuff in only grayscale as I hate the cost of using a color cartridge that has no added value most of the time.

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