MacOS now includes Night Shift, a feature which adjusts the screens hue color as daylight shifts to night. When the Night Shift feature is in use on a Mac, the display will shift to a warmer color in the evening hours and shift back to the regular color hue again in the daylight hours, this happens automatically on a schedule.
Night Shift is a great feature that is recommended for all Mac users to enable if you use your computer at night, the warmer hues can help to reduce eye strain and might offer other benefits as well, including improvements to sleep quality. We’ll show you how to setup and use this great feature on your Mac.
Before beginning, note that Night Shift in Mac OS requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or newer. However, if you have an earlier version of Mac OS or Mac OS X you can install Flux and get the same general effect. iOS users also will find Night Shift available on iPhone and iPad.
How to Use Night Shift in Mac OS
- Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
- Select “Displays” and choose the “Night Shift” tab
- Pull down the “Schedule” tab and select either “Sunset to Sunrise” or “Custom” (I prefer Custom)
- Next adjust the “Color Temperature” to suit your preferences, as you slide the dial you will notice a the screen warmth will change to preview the setting *
- Close out of System Preferences when finished adjusting Night Shift
Now in the evening hours, either when the sun goes down or at the custom time you set, the color temperature of the display will change to become warmer automatically. The display will also reduce the warmth automatically in the morning either at sunrise or at the time chosen.
* Generally speaking, the warmer the display temperature is set with Night Shift the better the effect is supposed to be by reducing blue light emission, and yes there is some science behind this. My personal preference is to have the warmest possible setting for maximum theoretical benefit to the eyes.
What does Night Shift do? What does Night Shift look like when enabled?
It’s important to point out that while display colors shift warmer when Night Shift is on, those warmer colors do not transfer over to images, pictures, screenshots, or anything else created on the display. Thus to demonstrate the effect you either have to test it out yourself on your Mac screen, or create a mockup as we did below. Basically, the display colors will be warmer when it is enabled.
As mentioned before, if you don’t have Sierra for whatever reason, you can get the same effect on your Mac or Windows PC with the help of the flux app discussed here. iPhone and iPad users can also use Night Shift scheduling as well in iOS.
Do you use Night Shift? Have you noticed any personal benefit or reduction in eye strain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!