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My eyes are hurting from computer use.

I use dark colors when possible, but some applications only use bright white backgrounds. They are resulting in physical pain to my eyes.

I have turned my monitor's brightness down to zero, but pure white (#FFF) is still too bright.

I would like to reduce the maximum brightness without lowering the overall brightness any further.

In other words, I would like to display the area "X'd" out in the image below as a light gray without affecting everything else too much:

grayscale with x's over the whitest area

What I've tried:

  1. Reducing overall brightness. This makes all the less-bright colors too dim and only reduces the brightest white a little bit.
  2. Adjusting contrast. This doesn't reduce the brightest whites.
  3. Adjusting gamma. This doesn't make the brightest whites less bright.
  4. SunsetScreen. This helps a little, but when it reduces brightness, it reduces overall brightness, thus making everything very dim and muted.

The monitor is currently connected to a Windows laptop via HDMI.

I'm interested in any software that might help solve this issue.

Although gratis, open-source, portable software is preferred, I am open to paid, closed-source, and installer-based software as well.

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'too bright' you feel is actually 'too blue'. f.lux can solve your problem.

After using it, I can keep working for hours without feeling my eyes a little bit of hurt.

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This can be done with an utility which can edit and load custom LUT. I have tried Lutcurve utility, there is a trial version for testing.
https://www.atrise.com/lutcurve/

You can edit the brightness curve to dim the white color. (see the "highlights" tab in the GUI). The curve editing GUI is not the easiest, but after some time I got used to it.
Here is the curve with 7 points I've made to dim the white color:
enter image description here
Black dots below the curve show curve points location. One issue I've noticed is that you can not set the point value lower than -100, which means you can only reduce the whites by ca. 10% at best, so beware of that.

Besides, there is an utilty "f.lux":
https://justgetflux.com/

It does something different, but it can help if you work in the evening. It shifts the screen color hues from white to red so it should be less
eye-straining. But it cannot do any brightness curve editing or customisation, it only does hue shifting and it cannot work together with other software that modify the LUT because I believe it also uses the LUT loader.

It all shows that it is indeed possible to do any color transformations via custom LUTs. Maybe there is some utility with more possibilities for customisations, I haven't found it yet.

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  • 1
    Since OP already used SunsetScreen, I think f.lux is not what he's looking for. – Thomas Weller May 27 at 20:00
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I do not know if it is a medical condition. But let's explore some options:

1. Put a lamp near your desk

One reason the brightness of a screen hurts our eyes is that we have "too much dark" around the screen. Putting a lamp near our desk will increase the overall amount of light and making our pupils close a bit, reducing the perceived light from the white of the screen.

2. Use brighter decoration around the monitor

Similar to the previous point this will make our eyes a brighter scene.

3. Try some orange glasses

Although the monitor does not emit UV light, that is the one that hurts the cells, probably you can find some glasses to use when working. If you already use glasses there can be some filters to use over them.

4. Ok. I got it, you want a software solution

What you can try is using your graphics card configuration. I know you already try it, but what you need to do is combining two things. Brightness and gamma.

See these 3 graphs. The red one is the normal configuration. The orange one actually reduces the brightest zone but makes the overall image darker. Let's say that the dark point 1 is moved now to point 2

enter image description here

What you need to compensate is how the graph develops on the dark zone, so the dark points remain somehow "normal".


I do not know a specific program to make a custom curve for the output. Clipping abruptly is probably not a good idea, because you simply will not see any data brighter than X.

But @Mikhail V recommendation is an option.

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