What is a blue light filter? Also known as night mode, this handy function is available on many Android smartphones. It allows you to apply a filter to the screen, minimizing eye strain and reducing the blue light emitted by your smartphone screen. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can activate this function in your settings, and recommend a blue light filter app in case you can't.
- What is blue light filter and why do we need it?
- How to activate night mode/blue light filter by default on Android
- How to activate night mode on phones from other manufacturers
- Get a blue light filter app from the Play Store
- Blue light filter on e-reader apps
More and more users are having problems with eye strain due to the amount of time they spend in front of screens. It’s not surprising when you consider our modern lifestyles (staring at the TV, computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.). Eye protection mode, as Huawei calls it, is an effective way to reduce blue light. It has a negative impact on sleep as it disturbs the production of melatonin, an essential sleep hormone. Fortunately there are ways to reduce your exposure to blue light, either in your smartphone's default settings, or via a blue light filter app.
How to activate night mode as a default setting
Recognizing the importance of this mode, Google decided to integrate it into newer versions of Android such as Android Oreo. The latest, Android Pie, also has the night mode function. So long as your phone has reasonably up-to-date software, you can enable night mode like so.
To activate it, just go to Settings > Display > Night Light. You can also configure it so that Night Light will turn off automatically at certain times.
Other manufacturers aren’t waiting around for the next Android update to introduce a Night Mode or Blue Light Filter on some of their phones. This is the case for Honor, Huawei, Asus, OnePlus, Samsung…generally, all you need to do is just go to Settings (then usually Display) or the shortcuts to activate it.
Most of these night modes can be scheduled, usually with an automatic setting designed to activate at sunset and switch to 'normal' light at sunrise, but you can customize it to your preferences.
So, you've looked through your current phone's settings and it doesn't appear to have a night mode. This can happen, especially if you're on Android One or stock Android, without any extras added by Google or the manufacturer's UI. You shouldn't worry though.
At the moment there are a number of apps available on Google Play that allow you to achieve the same result. One of the most popular ones around at the moment is Bluelight Filter. It has the same functionalities as those you find on Android, with even more options - selecting the filter color from seven available shades, shortcuts on the home screen, a notification widget and an activation time schedule.
- App version: 2.4.3
- App size: 5.56 MB
- Compatibility: Android 4.0 or higher
- Price: free
If you do a lot of reading on your smartphone or tablet, then it's better to do it using a dedicated e-reader app. Not only do these apps offer a range of convenience features, but many also integrate a blue light filter to ease the strain on your eyes during your nighttime reading.
One of our favorite e-reader apps, Moon+ has a great blue light filter features integrated into the app. Google Play Books also has it in the form of its own Night Light settings.
Do you use a light filter on your smartphone? Do you find it helps minimize eye strain? Let us know in the comments below.