The origin of f.lux
In 2005, Lorna Herf left her job at Google and took up painting. Her husband, Michael, turned a room in their loft into a studio, and installed colour-friendly lights. The bulbs simulated the conditions of daylight, so that Lorna’s paintings would always look accurate as she painted late into the night.
In the daylight room, their computer screens looked fine. But when she left the room, where the sun had long since set and the house bathed in the warm, low glow of evening light, she noticed the house’s other screens looked…weird. They all glowed with the same colour and intensity they did in the painting room, but out here, something was off. They didn’t fit the mood.
Michael Herf was also a Google employee. The two had worked together on Picasa, the photo organization app that Google acquired, and which Michael co-founded and worked at as CTO. Given his photography background, he thought he might have a fix. Michael wrote a small script that altered the colours of their computer displays so that they would look more, for lack of a better word, natural in the evening light.
The script removed blue light—the colour of daylight—leaving behind mostly red, which looked good at night. Michael and Lorna would later call their app f.lux.
A concise origin story for one of the most indispensable apps I use.