Using Night Light Feature in Ubuntu and Other Linux

Save your eyes by utilizing the night light feature that comes backed in Ubuntu and most other distributions.

You probably already know what the night light feature is. The computer or mobile screen could be stressful to the eyes, specially at night.

This is why almost all major operating systems like Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, etc. provide this night light or night sift feature. Basically, it is a display-based setting that cuts down on blue light exposure at night and provides a warm yellow light that’s easier on your eyes.

The night light turns on automatically after sunset in your location or at a predefined time. When it is turned on, the screen goes yellow. You should be able to change the yellowness of the screen most of the time.

Sounds good? Let me show how to activate the night light feature in Linux.

Activate night light on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions using GNOME/KDE Plasma

Night light (also termed as night shift) is no more a luxury feature. It is considered an essential feature these days, and most operating systems provide it as a built-in feature.

Linux is no different. GNOME and KDE, two major desktop environments, have added the night light feature in the settings.

On Ubuntu or any other distribution using the GNOME desktop, search for night light in the menu. It will show display because the night light feature is under the display setting.

Searching Night Light in Ubuntu Activities Overview shows Displays settings
Search Nigh Light in GNOME Shell Search

In the display setting, go to the Night Light tab and toggle the Night Light switch.

Activating the Night Light Feature in the GNOME Settings Application. And then, set the color temperature, to control the yellow tint on the screen.
Night Light Settings

You can decrease or increase the color temperature (yellowness of the screen). Less warm means less yellowing of the screen, and more warm means more yellowing.

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By default, it will be set to automatically start from sunset to sunrise in your location. So please ensure that you have set the correct time and time zone on your system.

Enabling/disabling Night Light on a need basis

Watching a movie or web series at night? Having your screen yellowed in such a case is not a good idea. You can disable and re-enable Night Light by toggling the same button that you saw above.

At least in Ubuntu, things are a lot better because it allows applet indicators on the top panel. This means you can easily access the Night Light settings here. If you want to temporarily disable it, choose the ‘Disable until tomorrow’ option.

From the Ubuntu top panel, select “Night Light On” and then select “Disable Until Tomorrow” to disable the Night Light Settings until the next day.
Disable Night Light Temporarily

Similarly, KDE also has a Night Light feature built in. You can click on the system tray icons on the panel and select Night Color Control.

Select Night Color Control from KDE Settings
Night Color Control in KDE Panel

This will open the settings, where you can control various aspects of Night Light.

KDE Plasma Night Color Settings in System Settings
Night Color in System Settings

Conclusion

Since popular desktop environments brought the Night Light features by default to the interface, there is little need for a third-party solution in most cases. 10 years ago, there were tools like f.lux and Redshift for desktop. These tools no longer see development and there is no need as well.

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries 🕵️‍♂️

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