Do I need to use the Blue Light filter feature on my Android?

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.

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Why do you need a blue light filter?

If you want to minimize eye strain and lower the blue light coming from your smartphone screen, then yes, you do want to use the Blue Light filter! 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, which 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 Android since the Android Oreo version. The latest, Android 12, also has the night mode function. So long as your phone has reasonably up-to-date software, you can enable night mode like so.

  1. To activate it, just go to Settings > Display > Night Light.
  2. You can also configure it so that Night Light will turn off automatically at certain times.
Screenshots showing how to setup the Night Light feature
Night Light on the Pixel 5. It can also be configured in the color settings. / © NextPit

On phones from other manufacturers

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.

Get a blue light filter app from the Play Store

So, you’ve looked through your current phone’s settings and it doesn’t appear to have a night mode. You shouldn’t worry though, because 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.

Bluelight Filter app working on a Samsung device
Bluelight Filter is perfect for getting access to the Android Night Mode function / © NextPit
  • App version: 4.3.0
  • App size: 11 MB
  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 or higher
  • Price: free, in-app purchases €0.99 – €4.99 per item

Blue light filter on e-reader apps

If you do a lot of reading on your smartphone or tablet, using a dedicated e-reader app is much easier on the eyes. 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.

This article was updated in May 2022 and comments prior to the update have been retained.

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