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Red and Black Computer Screen Theme to Preserve Dark Adaptation


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A new member at the CN forum asked what tricks we use to protect our eyes from the glare of the computer screen during live observing sessions.

I use a Windows theme that displays all elements of the of the Windows display in hues of red and black. I mainly use it, when I observe using Starlight Live but it works with every Windows compliant program. This means that when I look for a file or want to save a file, the directory listing and all message boxes are in the red and black palette. If I want to surf the web, Internet explorer's windows are displayed in red and black etc. (The only program that I found not to comply is Google Chrome.)

Here is a sample screenshot  that I made yesterday evening when I saw the CN member's question pop up on the forum. You see StarlightLive that I was using being in the active window and Internet Explorer and a Windows directory in their own currently inactive background windows.


This is achieved by the use a Windows theme file that I made a couple of years ago and have been using during every of my observation sessions ever since. It works on Windows computers. I prefer this to the red plexyglas screen filter that I have tried earlier because it doesn't affect and dim the image itself. Only the user interface elements, the backgrounds and the text.

The zip file below contains the theme file itself and a text file with the installation instructions for those, who would like to try. Installation is easy: The theme file needs to be copied into a particular windows directory.

Dom's AstroRed Theme.zip

Once installed on the computer one can switch between one's regular, often blue and white, Windows screen theme and the red and black one that I call AstroRed. The AsroRed theme will be displayed in the "Personalization" section screen of the Control Panel. (All this is explained in the Description.txt file that is in the zip file.)

Enjoy! Feedback or improvements are welcome.

Clear Skies!   --Dom


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Looks like a good 'inversion' program to reverse bright-to-dark. There are others out there as well, as you likely know. And a few programs to shade the whole screen in red, with adjustable intensity settings.

These programs are excellent! Some folks have found that blue works better for them than red. Some software-programs give you a choice of any colour you wish. I have 4 on my system! :p

Thank you for your contribution -


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21 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Like it ... in fact, I may keep it on permanently ...

Just a quick heads-up. I did need to change it back and found that firefox did not revert to its normal colour scheme until I had closed the browser and reopened it. Could just be me/my system, or may be general. Not a major issue, but worth knowing as I was there pushing the original theme icon for ages before I realised.


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Thank you for the initial feedback. I am heading to the airport for a work related trip. I will be away and off the forums for about a week. I will reply to all questions, when I return.

Clear Skies!  --Dom

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