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How much time do we spend staring at our phones on a daily basis? An hour or two maybe? 11,000 users of the RescueTime platform spent an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes a day according to the 2019 study. Of the 11,000 users, the top 20% spent more than 4 and a half hours a day on their phones. A lot of us fall into this category.
As things stand, this number has most definitely gone up in 2020 due to lockdown protocols. We are using our phones a whole lot more under the current circumstances. With our smartphone screens comes blue light and its unwanted health consequences.
As such, limiting our exposure to blue light is to our best health interests. With this post, we take a look at the best apps to reduce blue light and safeguard our eyes even as we use our beloved phones.
Twilight is a tried and tested blue light filter for smartphones. It has a simple but very intuitive interface that has controls to change the phone’s colour temperature, intensity, and dimming levels. It also helps us set custom schedules for turning the filter on and off. Multiple schedule profiles can be set, and can even get triggered based on location and local sunrise and sunset times.
The developer has tested the app for over 5 years and has found no negative effect on AMOLED screens. It is a free, ad-free app.
The Night Shift app promises not only to filter out blue light but also to save on 15% of battery while in use. The app lowers screen brightness and allows us to choose our desired filter colour. It has one-tap functionality that turns on the filter with a quick tap of the ‘ON’ button. We can set an auto-timer that turns the filter on and off without the need for user intervention.
Night Shift is a free app but is not ad-free.
This app is another capable blue light filter. It changes the phone screen into a natural colour to prevent our sleep cycles from being affected. It has a slider to help easily adjust the filter intensity. As a bonus, it helps save battery by greatly reducing the screen’s brightness.
The app is user-friendly, with easy-to-use controls. It is available as a free download.
This app is a bit on the complex side compared to the other filters. For starters, we get to choose 1 of 5 anti-glare blue light flux filters. This activates night mode and warm light for eye care. The app allows us to create and edit night shift filters.
Blue Light Filter & Night Mode has temperature customization for even greater control over your filter. It allows the screen to dim beyond the system minimum.
Like some other filter apps, it reduces battery usage and lets us set automatic schedules for the filter.
5. Bluelight Filter for Eye Care
Bluelight Filter for Eye Care takes a different approach to filtering. Rather than dimming the screen, it adjusts the screen colour to reduce the blue light levels. This allows us to use the phone throughout the day with the blue light filter on. In Auto Mode, it automatically adjusts the screen colour according to external light. It also is capable of excluding the filter from screenshots.
The app is easy to operate with an easy way to toggle the filter and starts automatically.
6. Darker (Screen Filter)
The main selling point of the Darker app is its ability to lower the screen brightness to extremely low levels. This is great news for those of us who love using our devices at night. The app is available for free download but has in-app purchases that unlock even more features.
Paid features include a ‘root’ mode, customizable notification buttons, quick toggles, automatic on and off, brightness lower than 20%, and custom colour filters.
Darker has Tasker support, which allows commands to be sent to the app.
7. Night Owl – Bluelight Cut Filter
Night Owl claims to be the ‘guardian of your night sight’. In addition to being a blue light filter, it also has a flashlight and up to 12 different light effects.
Night Owl does not darken the screen but has a brown filter that allows us to read the fine print very comfortably still.
The app is for true night owls. It recommends popular games at night based on rankings by the other app users.