IrisTech Review [2020]: The #1 Blue Light Filtering App?

You’re exhausted. You’re just finishing a long day of computer work, and you want to enjoy your evening. But you feel drained.

You can skip the computer-induced fatigue, with a special app that automatically runs in the background of your computer. A dream?

Absolutely not.

Spending hours staring at screens does a number on your energy. At night your sleep, energy, and circadian rhythm suffer too.

Initially, I turned to blue light blocking computer glasses for protection. Then I discovered a far more powerful option that doesn’t require any fragile (and hideous) head wear.

IrisTech protects your energy, sleep, and vision better than any blue blocking computer glasses. Click To Tweet

Saves Your Eyes, Feel Less Drained

What do brains and software have in common?

Computer screens actually flicker HUNDREDS of times per second. Perceivable to your brain, but not to the eye. Behind the scenes, your brain works hard to filter out the flickering for you.

It comes at a cost.

Your brain constantly works to filter the rapid flickering of computer screens. Filtering flicker drains your energy, causes headaches, and eye strain. Click To Tweet

But it doesn’t have to.

You could upgrade to a flicker-free monitor, but that’s expensive, uses a ton of electricity, and isn’t portable.

Better yet.

Special software can use your computer’s video card to filter the flicker for you. Save your brainpower for better uses.

The difference is night and day.

How Blue Light Wrecks Sleep & How IrisTech Prevents That

Speaking of night.

I don’t check my email late in the evening. But occasionally something urgent and important comes up.

An email doesn’t deserve to wreck my sleep quality.

Late night screen use blasts you with light. This light has two problematic qualities:

  1. It’s bright
  2. It’s blue

Bright computer screens can do exactly that. The dimmest brightness setting still puts out a lot of light. That confuses the brain, since it knows:

  • Brightness signals daytime.
  • Darkness signals nighttime.

Color of the light matters too.

Think about sunrise and sunset.

You see photo-worthy blends of red, orange, and pink. Not at noon.

Blue light dominates at noon.

Electronics and modern technology emit mostly blue light. Your computer screen signals your body that it’s day. Production of the sleep hormone melatonin stops.

The end result?

Insomnia, poor sleep quality, and then fatigue.

All of a sudden you need more sleep just to offset the worse sleep quality. Otherwise you wake up groggier than normal, and grab an extra cup of coffee.

Bright blue light destroys your sleep.

You have several options to keep your sleep hormones high so that you sleep better:

  1. Put away the screens for two hours before bed.
  2. Wear blue-blocking glasses.
  3. Make the devices emit less blue light.

Advanced IrisTech algorithms filter the blue light out of your screen. What remains? The natural colors of the evening: pink, orange, and red. That way you can use your computer late at night without needing glasses and still sleep great.

Other software has done the same thing for years, but to a lesser degree.

IrisTech vs. f.lux vs. Night Shift

I used both f.lux and Night Shift for years.

F.lux came first, and then Apple noticed f.lux’s passionate community, and a decade later followed suit, building the “Night Shift” feature. Both reduce blue light emissions.

Each has its own pros and cons.


  • Free.
  • Easy to install.
  • Minimal controls.
  • The origin blue-blocking software.
  • Its filters are primitive.
  • Not built into the operating system like Night Shift.
  • Doesn’t block screen flicker.

Night Shift:

  • Free.
  • Built into recent versions of macOS.
  • Limited color filters.
  • Unable to customize.
  • Doesn’t block all blue light.
  • Doesn’t block screen flicker.

These two are both better than nothing. Apple included Night Shift in macOS, so it’s easy to test out. When you’re ready to notice a real difference, it’s time to bring out the big guns.

IrisTech is f.lux and Night Shift on steroids, with powerful features customizable to the particulars of your lifestyle. Click To Tweet

Customizable to Any Lifestyle

iris custom
Many other advanced options are not pictured (notice scroll bar)

I’ve tried 7 blue blocking apps.

I like Iris because it caters to both the technophobic and techie crowds.

It’s like anti-virus software. You complete the initial setup once, it runs in the background, and protects you around the clock.

The hackers will appreciate all the bells and whistles it offers.

Easy Preset Modes

iris presets
I use Health, Sleep, Custom, and Biohacker mostly.

With the click of a button you can change the mode to accommodate any situations.

This setting optimizes the other settings for the intended purpose. For example:

  • Movie emphasizes accurate colors at the expense of not filtering quite as much blue light.
  • Biohacker inverts white and black to make reading at night easier. Great for the nocturnal or late-night emails.
  • Reading makes the screen more comfortable to read long articles. Think Kindle Paperwhite-esque.

Extreme Color, Light, and Brightness Boosting (and Reducing)

iris brightness
Increase brightness to 150% the normal maximum.

Your screen is capable extreme brightness. And energy-saving super low brightness.

I found this feature by accident. At noon, when the sun is naturally at its highest, I can set my brightness to 120 percent of normal so that I can actually see the screen.

In addition to brightness, you have color choice.

You have a much greater window of potential screen colors. All the way from bright blue, to dark red. You can choose whichever color you fancy. Or, more importantly:

You can reduce more blue light than any other software.

Granular Control

iris controls
I setup Iris to gradually change colors matching real sunlight.

You can control transition timings and colors, and build your perfect schedule.

It’s not just light and dark.

My screen closely mirrors the setting sun’s brightness and color. Before I go to sleep my screen has a very red hue, and low brightness. I don’t notice the transition because it happens over the span of many hours.

Iris comes with the transition controls built-in, or you can define your own.

I couldn’t find the same level of transition customizability elsewhere.

Keyboard Shortcuts

iris keyboard

I’m a productivity nerd and use keyboard shortcuts for everything.

You can control the entire app with nothing but the keyboard. From turning it on and off, starting pomodoro times, adjusting brightness or screen color, the developer thought of everything.

App Exclusions (Color Pausers)

iris pauser
I don’t use many graphical color-sensitive apps, but this is the section of the settings.

This is a favorite among those that work with colors or images.

Photoshop, for example.

You can specify apps to automatically avoid filtering in any way. If you need to get the color just right, you can’t have some other software skewing it. That way you don’t finish the project and realize you accidentally left the blue light blocking on the whole time.

I made this mistake more than once in my f.lux days. I had to go back and adjust all the color settings for each photo I edited.

Dual Monitor & Docking Station Friendly

iris dock

Work with external monitors?

Iris has you covered.

This software performs equally as well in your home or office workstation.

Pro tip: Run Iris, connect your laptop to a TV, and stream a movie or show. You get the blue light and flicker reduction of Iris on your TV.

Built-In Pomodoro Timer

iris timer

More of a bonus than important feature, Iris can remind you to take a break at a set interval.

I set mine for somewhere between 30 and 50 minutes and take quick micro-workout breaks throughout the day.

Get IrisTech Basic For Free (or Upgrade to Pro for Even More)

Seeing is believing.

That’s the thing.

Once you use Iris you won’t have tolerance for bright, harsh light coming off your screenxs.

Sometimes I’ll restart my computer and forget to open it.

That mistake doesn’t last long.

If you don’t want to install anything, Night Shift is a good introduction into blue blocking software.

You can use Iris Mini totally FREE. See if you like it. That’s what I did. Iris Mini is simple and works well. Only after I had thoroughly evaluated it did I decide to go Pro. I haven’t looked back.

When you’re ready to reclaim your energy, save your eyes, and improve your sleep, IrisTech Pro has you covered.

Feel & Look Your Best

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