They say that blue spectrums of light are bad for your eyes, especially at night when you’re more likely to be looking at your phone in a dark environment. This also supposedly leads to poor sleep, which leads to poor health. Here’s how to combat that on your Android phone.
On desktop computers, you can use an app called f.lux. On iOS devices, you can use the new Night Shift feature. Both these feautres give your screen a red tint to remove the blue light spectrum from your display, making it easier on the eyes in dark environments. It can be a little jarring at first, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. And once you’ve adjusted, it’s actually pretty nice—I personally find it to be incredibly soothing to look at.
Android, unfortunately, doesn’t have this feature built-in–at least, not obviously. Android Nougat has a very, very hidden version of this feature called “Night Mode”, that you can access with the help of a third-party app. It isn’t available on non-Nougat devices, and even some Nougat users have had trouble getting it to work properly, so we’ll share some alternatives you can get from the Play Store as well.
Nougat Devices: Enable Android’s Hidden Night Mode
Nougat’s “Night Mode” was originally hidden in the System UI Tuner during the beta, but it was removed in the final version. The menu still exists, though–you just can’t access it as easily anymore.
First, you’ll need to enable the System UI Tuner. If you’ve already done this, skip down a little bit.
Pull down the notification shade twice, then long-press the cog icon. After a few seconds, you can release and it will spin. A wrench icon will then show up beside the cog, indicated the UI Tuner has been enabled.
Now that the UI Tuner is enabled, install the Night Mode Enabler app from Google Play.
Once the app has finished installing, open it up and tap the “Enable Night Mode” button. It should automatically open a new menu within the System UI Tuner and show a toast notification at the bottom that reads “Yay, you should now have a quick toggle for Night Mode available.” You’re so close now.
Before adding the toggle, you can go ahead and turn on Night Mode to see what it’s all about. It’s noted in the Play Store listing for Night Mode Enabler that if you’re having issues getting it to work, tap the word “On” in the upper left, not the toggle on the right. The screen should immediately turn yellow.
For a more effective approach to Night Mode, however, just use the “Turn on automatically” toggle. This will use your device’s location to automatically turn on Night Mode as it gets dark outside. Like I mentioned earlier, it will also change the amount of blue light being filtered depending on the time of day. For example, the display will show a lighter shade of yellow around sunset, but will be much darker around midnight. It’s neat. You can also use night mode to set the brightness—just slide the “Adjust brightness” toggle.
You can stop here, but if you’d like to add a toggle to the Quick Settings shade, you can also do that. Just follow these instructions, and drag the “Night Mode” toggle in.
That’s it, you’re finished. Come sunset, your device should automatically activate Night Mode. Sleep well!
Non-Nougat Devices: Try These Third-Party Options
I get it—non-Nougat users want in on this sweet Night Mode action too! Fret not, boys and gals, there are some options out there for you, too.
It’s worth noting that both CF.lumen and f.lux require rooted handsets, while Twilight doesn’t. That said, both CF.lumen and f.lux have significantly more features that Twilight, though the latter is the most similar to the stock setting with a few more tweaks available.
For what it’s worth, I would recommend giving Twilight a shot before jumping into much more advanced options like CF.lumen or f.lux. If you decide you need more than what Twilight has to offer, then give the more advanced apps a shot.
There’s plenty of research out there that suggests filtering blue light from your device will help you sleep. The ideal solution is probably to not use your phone (or watch TV, do other screen-related functions) right before bed, but let’s be real here: no one is going to do that. Nougat’s built-in Night Mode or apps like Twilight are a great way to give it a go for yourself.