f.lux is a very similar tool in its function as RedShift GUI which is to adjust the color temperature of your screen depending on the time of day and light condition of the local environment. Your location can be retrieved from a webpage on the f.lux website which can then be entered into the program. The only options are the transition speed between temperatures and the temperature selection itself for day and night. The program can be disabled for an hour if you want the proper color range for a period of time.
Dimmer is a plain, simple and tiny utility of around 50K that will lower the brightness of the desktop whenever you launch it. Run the portable executable and the display will immediately dim. Right clicking on the tray icon will offer the chance to configure the amount to reduce the brightness by, ranging from the minimum of 5% up to the almost completely black 95%. A slight downside is the taskbar, Start menu and right click context menus don’t reduce brightness to match the desktop. Requires .NET 1.1 or above.
FriendEye as a program has been abandoned by its developer, but is still a useful tool which will allow you to quickly lower the brightness of the screen by a click of the icon in the tray. Launch the portable executable and right click the tray icon to configure the amount to dim the screen by entering a percentage into the box. There’s also an option to add a black/grey, sepia or green tint to the dimming color. The brightness reduction effect is very smooth and you simply click the tray icon to turn it on and immediately lower the brightness, clicking again will restore to the original level.
9. Monitor Bright
Monitor Bright is a portable tool very much along the lines of the Dimmer utility above, but has the ability to use a color tint for your screen brightness adjustments. This can be any color you choose from a standard RGB palette and has a useful side effect. Select plain black and it will simply reduce the brightness by the percentage you set in the right click tray menu, selecting white will actually increase the standard brightness if for some reason your current display isn’t bright enough. It does also suffer the same slight issue of the taskbar, start menu etc not following the brightness setting of the desktop. Requires the .NET Framework 2 or above.
10. Changing Brightness Using the Built-in Video Driver
If you have one of the popular video adapters from the likes of nVidia, AMD or Intel, you will have the ability to change settings such as brightness, contrast, gamma and other related settings from within the driver’s own configuration window. If you just want to make a fine adjustment and leave it, this could be all you need.
For nVidia Graphics Adapters
1. Right click on the Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
2. Click on “Adjust desktop color settings” in the display tree on the left hand side navigation bar.
3. Choose the display if you have more than one, and then select “Use NVIDIA settings”, you can now move the slider for Brightness, Gamma and Contrast. Click Apply once you’re finished.
For AMD Displays
AMD/ATI video drivers also have the ability to alter brightness, contrast and gamma settings for the display, although access to the settings pane for these values can differ between driver versions. For example, the Catalyst legacy driver 10.2 which works for all older ATI adapters (pictured below) has a Color entry down the left to enable the brightness adjustments. All you need to do is right click on the desktop and select “Catalyst Control Center” from the context menu.
For Intel Displays
1. The Intel driver brightness settings are easy to get to, right click on the desktop and select “Graphics Properties…”, or find the Intel driver option in Control Panel.
2. Click on “Color Correction” down the left and adjust your settings for gamma, brightness and contrast. For our laptop display in the screenshot, the Gamma was already at the minimum setting as default which would mean we can’t reduce it further via the driver settings window. Click Apply or OK when done.