How to Enable Night Light on Windows 10

Windows 10’s Creators Update includes Night Light, a “blue light filter” that makes your display use warmer colors at night to help you sleep better and reduce eyestrain. It works just like Night Shift on the iPhone and Mac, Night Mode on Android, Blue Shade on Amazon’s Fire tablets, and the f.lux application that started it all.

Screens emit bright blue light that looks a lot like the sun, throwing off your body’s internal clock at night and preventing the secretion of melatonin, which causes you to become sleepy. Night Light makes your screen use dimmer, warmer colors at night, helping you sleep. That’s the theory that some studies have supported, although more research on the subject would certainly be helpful. Aside from better sleep, many people also report that using the softer colors—especially in darkened rooms—is just easier on their eyes.

Enable Night Light

You’ll find this option at Settings > System > Display if your Windows 10 PC has been upgraded to the Creators Update. Set the “Night light” feature here to “On” to enable it, or “Off” to disable it.

If you enable this feature during the day, Night Light won’t take effect immediately. Instead, you’ll see that it’s “Off until” whatever time sunset occurs in your current location. At sunset—that’s the time displayed in this window—Windows automatically enables the Night light filter. Windows automatically disables it at sunrise, too.

Configure Night Light

While enabling it is all you have to do to get started with Night Light, you can configure it further by clicking the “Night light settings” link under the toggle.

Click the “Turn On Now” or “Turn Off Now” button to immediately enable or disable the Night Light feature, no matter what time of day it is. You can use this button to see exactly what Night Light mode looks like without waiting for sunset.

Adjust the “Color temperature at night” slider to make the colors on your screen look cooler or warmer, if you like. You’ll see the colors change on your screen as you drag the slider, so you can immediately see what different colors will look like.

Choose whichever color temperature is most comfortable for you. However, be aware that choosing a color temperature far to the right side of the slider will cause Windows 10 to not filter much blue light at all, reducing Night Light’s effectiveness.

Windows automatically sets up a schedule for Night Light after you enable it. Windows activates Night Light from sunset to sunrise, and it automatically adjust these times to stay in sync with the movements of the sun in your geographical location.

If you prefer, you can manually schedule Night Light hours instead. Perhaps you work on your PC until after sunset and don’t want colors changing until later at night. Turn the “Schedule night light” toggle on and then select the “Set hours” option so you can choose the times of day Night Light should turn on and off.

Because this feature changes how colors appear on your display, you won’t want to have it enabled if you’re doing any sort of color-sensitive work with images or videos at night. But it probably doesn’t matter if your screen looks a bit different when you’re just browsing the web, for example.

Windows also offers a Night Light quick action button for the Action Center, so you can turn Night Light on or off without having to dive into Settings. If you don’t see it in the top row of quick action buttons, just click “Expand.” And if you’d like to move your button to a new location—or make other changes—we’ve got a guide customizing your quick action buttons.

So whether it ends up helping your sleep or not, you should give Night Light a try. It certainly beats staring into a bright, white browser window in a darkened room.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.