We had a viewer ask a question on how the free f.lux computer program prevented eye fatigue vs Gunnar Optik Gaming Glasses.
Let me start off by telling you the main difference. f.lux helps prevent eye strain at night, while Gunnar Optik gaming glasses work in any light source.
f.lux makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again. Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically.
This is all fine and dandy, but f.lux will only work on certain devices and will not work on your gaming consoles like the Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo.
On the Other hand, Gunnar glasses are engineered to eliminate eyestrain all day long no mater the lighting conditions. Obviously they will not help you in a pitch black situation, but you get what I mean.
Here are a few reviews of what people have to say comparing Gunnar glasses to f.lux::
I work on my computer 8+ hours a day and my prescription Gunnars have seriously helped. Hardly any eyestrain and no more headaches. When I take them off while working my eyes start to hurt from all the blue light. I used f.lux for about 20 minutes and I just couldn’t get over the tint of the screen, it was very odd. The Gunnar’s yellow tint is not very noticeable to me and doesn’t feel odd like f.lux tints did. I was able to use my HSA to purchase them directly from the site and my work provides a 25%-50% discount, so that may be something to look into.
Starting Easter of 2014, end of April time frame, I began experiencing this weird sort of eye pain and head sensations. They weren’t headaches that could be ameliorated with Advil or any pain killers. I would typically get it during the work day around 11 in the morning, almost like clock work. It would be this mild, chronic pain for almost the whole day. The dull aching would only subside during night, when I was sleeping. It was this feeling like my pupil was fighting to open and close at the same time, almost as if it was fighting against itself only to cause this odd straining sensation. It wasn’t bad pain, I could live it with just fine, but my eyes never felt relaxed, they always felt stressed.
I saw an urgent care nurse who told me it was allergies. Wrong! This was the beginning of many, wasted, and expensive medical bills.
So, I lived with this for a few weeks after the urgent care nurse checked me out over Easter. I later went to a general doctor. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me, and said I most likely had perfect brain health. Add $150 to that medical bill total. We’re up to $250 now. A couple days later, I went to my first ophthalmologist recommended by the doctor. I got my eyes blasted with light, dilated, eyelids flipped, and eye balls prodded with all sorts of things. I have perfect vision according them. It’s actually better than 20/20, but there’s no cause for any of the pain I’m having. At this point, I forget what it feels like to live without this dull pain and it’s hard to know the difference between being healthy or just having a less painful day.
Plus another $100 for a $350 total. I go for another checkup and different type of examination a month later. An exam they couldn’t have done on my dilated eyeball. Still, nothing “wrong”, but add $150 to the total. $500 now. I go to the normal doctor another time for different pain related to my eye issue, but, even a blood test later, and there’s still nothing wrong with me. Plus another $100 to $600 total.
A month or so later, I get fed up and go to the eye doc another time. Total doctor bills coming up to $750. He suggests reading glasses, but still says there’s nothing wrong with me.
So, I get the reading glasses, but they don’t help at all, they just make things worse on my computer since I can only see things directly in front of me. I’m a software engineer, so I’m on a computer quite often. However, the reading glasses idea got me looking into other types of glasses. Well, surprise, I came across Gunnar. I quickly bought up a silly looking pair at best buy for $50. Since that day in late October, I rediscovered what it felt like to be normal again. I didn’t realize how terrible I was feeling for those 6 months until I was back to normal. I’ve used those glasses since last October, and couldn’t be happier.
The glasses themselves aren’t much, which confuses me as to why they fixed my issues. They do two, maybe three things. They prevent glare, they block blue light, and they are supposed to prevent your eyes from drying out by creating a sort of eye-friendly, eco system behind the lens. Not sure if I buy into that. My only hypothesis is that I have a sensitivity to blue light. I’m under a lot of fluorescent lighting which could be problem. Plus a monitor always blasting. Regardless, after having these glasses on for some time, it’s obvious how bright blue can be. I take them off and almost instantly squint at the drastic increase in blue light. That part does work, and so does the glare removal.
Overall, for what they are, they’re overpriced, but I truly believe they help remove eye strain from artificial lighting and computer usage. You may not have a medical issue to solve like me, but I’m sure most people would see some benefit from a pair of these glasses. I wish I had bought them before spending $750 on pointless medical bills. I’ll be going back to the eye doc in a few days since October to ask him why these glasses solved my issues. Hopefully they will have some sort of explanation and can maybe offer my some sort of medical alternative to Gunnars, but we’ll see! I like my Gunnars, and I would recommend some to people who sit by computers all days.
I also wear them during video watching at home and sometimes driving. I know you can’t do that with f.lux.”
As a programmer and gamer, I live by my Gunnars. I use them 10+ hours a day, and as mentioned by other users, the color change is barely noticeable. A caveat is graphic design applications, but flux can affect this as well.
I purchased my pair 6 years ago, incredibly skeptical at the time, but I consider it one of the best investments in my health and work I’ve ever made. Eye strain is a thing of the past. It helped with the bags under my eyes, as well as keeping me from getting bloodshot eyes from long, long nights.
I’ve gifted several to friends and family at desk jobs. My father swears by them as the thing that kept him from needing readers, but as I’m not an optometrist, I can’t confirm his claims.
Eye fatigue comes from the glossy screen.
There is the real image and a sightly out of focus reflection that your eyes are constantly in a focus mode and between the two images constantly causes strain.
The object is to get a matte screen or apply a anti-glare film to the monitor that will diffuse and scatter the incoming photons from other light sources so they don’t bounce directly into your eye off the screen.
A alternative is to reduce all the alternate sources of light reaching the screen, closing blinds, turning off overhead or behind you type lights etc. Also painting the walls a darker color that absorbs more light rays. This is not always possible or adequate for outside uses, so it’s just better to apply the film.
Flux is a program that reduces the blue spectrum in monitors at a certain time to mimic the setting sun/darkness so your pituitary gland starts producing serotonin so your brain goes to sleep. Otherwise a computer monitor can disrupt your sleep cycle by keeping you awake.
The yellow tinted glasses don’t defect the reflections coming off the monitor as they are mixed with the image the monitor is producing and the glasses can’t tell the difference.
The glasses are for reflections that are coming from the inside of the glasses themselves from the entry point on the sides of your head, not off the monitor. The glasses do help with a brightness a little etc., but nothing for the monitor reflections.
As someone with contacts, the Gunnars are a godsend. They shape their frames & lenses to hug your face, and it really does help with dry eyes. f.lux is great, but whether or not the color gamut will shift as the screen is dimmed will largely depend upon your monitor. If f.lux cost the same amount as Gunnars, I’d take Gunnars over f.lux. But f.lux is basically free, so it does have its own high-value proposition.
Since we’re frugaling, I bought mine from an optometrist with my flex account. Last winter, I had a little money left unused in my FSA and submitted a claim for the Gunnars, thinking at worst, they’ll reject it and I’ll have to reimburse them. I was planning on purchasing a pair either way, so I didn’t have much to lose.
Did they accept it only because I purchased them from an optometrist? Hard to say, but it’s worth considering if you over-allocated your flex account and don’t need $100 worth of band-aids and contact solution.
As you can see, most people see to prefer Gunnar glasses over f.lux. You can easily pick up a cheap pair of Gunnars and try them out for your self. I recommend the Sheadog Crystaline
series if you prefer a clear color, or if you want the Yellow tint, then the Gunnar PPK