If the basis of f.lux and copycat programs is that blue light keeps you awake, then could I be more focused during the day if I have a blue rgb light strip (provided the room is fairly dark, like when it is overcast) ?

1 Answer 1


f.lux works like this: at the end of the day (sundown), sunlight contains decreasing proportions of blue light. This lack triggers the production of sleep hormones like melatonin.

In the morning, sunlight triggers the 'wake up' routine of the body. This can be simulated with bright light (a.k.a. winter depression therapy). This light can be full-spectrum or blue, and it has to be bright: 10,000 lux full spectrum, i.e. way brighter than your normal sitting room lighting. It has to simulate sunlight on a clear day. You can get purpose-built lamps for light therapy, no ordinary lamp is bright enough.

Note: if you suspect you have a winter depression (Seasonal affective disorder), see a doctor.

Adding extra blue light in the middle of the day doesn't accomplish anything.

There are alarm clocks ('Wake-up light') that include a light to simulate sunrise. These are effective because they help you wake up gradually, instead of rudely interrupting your sleep. They are not meant to treat winter depression, and are not bright enough to be used for that purpose.

  • just to be clear, depression therapy can use just bright light? or it requires those vitamin d or uv lamps?
    – ycomp
    Sep 11, 2017 at 15:55
  • No UV light required, just full-spectrum visible light. Vitamin D is a separate issue (but can be related), your doctor can tell you whether you need vitamin D supplements.
    – Hobbes
    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:53
  • are such lamps generally considered full spectrum? there was no mention on this page amazon.com/Philips-Hf3470-Wake-up-Light-White/dp/B003XN4RIC - I found that lying in a chair in the sun for a few minutes will wake me up more than cold water on the face or a showever even, I'm hoping to emulate this in some other way since I can't get such sun opportunities every day
    – ycomp
    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:27
  • The Philips wake-up light is not effective for winter depression (and it's not meant to be). It's not bright enough. See e.g. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/…
    – Hobbes
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:18
  • Not depressed just groggy in the morning a long time
    – ycomp
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:52

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