Eye strain is a huge issue for those of us who spend a lot of time looking at screens – whether those screens are a desktop monitor, a television, or even a smartphone. Improper screen brightness settings can cause your eyes to fatigue faster, and overly bright screens at night can make it difficult to fall asleep. With these android brightness apps, those worries will be in the past – at least when it comes to your Android phone.
Research has shown that blue-light exposure (the kind you get from electronic screens) at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm, a biological process involved with sleep cycles. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an android brightness app that reduced, or even eliminated, this impact? What about apps that kept your eyeballs from being blinded by overly bright screens when you’re in the dark?
Well, they exist, and they have the potential to change your life. Check out these apps and start reaping the benefits right away. Note: Keep in mind that having multiple brightness apps can result in compatibility and control issues. For best results, try these one at a time.
Lux is one of the best android brightness apps I’ve ever encountered. Its best feature is its auto-brightness adjustment, which senses the lighting of your environment and adjusts your screen’s brightness to optimal levels for visibility and battery life. But unlike Android’s default auto-brightness, which is sorely lacking in configurability, Lux gives you all the power.
One thing I love about Lux is that it can do sub-zero brightness. Sometimes Android’s lowest brightness setting is too bright – especially when you’re in a dark room. Lux can go even darker than that. It comes with a widget that you can use for quick control changes to the brightness settings. Lux even comes with built-in support for Tasker and Locale.
For $2.98 USD, you can upgrade to Lux’s pro version and unlock some extra features: using the camera to read ambient light, advanced power-user settings for precision control, astronomer mode for stargazers, and automatic night mode for time-based color temperature control, showing warmer colors at night.
You may have heard of F.lux – if not, you’re in for a treat. F.lux automatically dampens the harsh light of your monitor into warmer shades of red-orange depending on the time of day, where the dampening grows stronger as it gets later in the night. Twilight is an app that does something similar for your Android. If you use your phone late at night or before you sleep, you really need this.
Twilight works by taking your location (which can be set manually or detected automatically) and using sunrise and sunset times as indicators for dampening your screen. After sunset, Twilight will begin to dampen your screen’s color temperature using a combination of blue-light filtering and warmthy intensity.
For $2.54 USD, you can upgrade to Twilight Pro and unlock the Pro settings: custom sunrise time, custom sunset time, and custom transition time (the time it takes to fade from no-dampening to full-dampening when you hit sunrise or sunset times).
Velis is a replacement for Android’s default auto-brightness feature without all of the other bells and whistles that come with other brightness-related apps. The learning curve for Velis might seem steep at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it if you stick with it. Fortunately, the app comes with a six-step setup wizard to get you on your feet within minutes of installation.
Velis also gives you a graph (ambient light reading along the X-axis, screen brightness along the Y-axis) and allows you full control over what the auto-brightness graph should look like at every point. At such-and-such light reading, you can set the brightness for A; at so-and-so light reading, brightness B. Velis fills in the gaps with its graph. This is a degree of control similar to that you find in Lux.
Other great features you’ll find in Velis: superdimming (even darker than Android’s default minimum brightness), excluded apps (Velis won’t run when these apps are in focus), multiple profiles for different auto-brightness graphs, and support for Tasker and Locale.
If you don’t like the automated nature of the previous items, then Backlight! might be right up your alley. It’s a widget that sits on your home screen and lets your manually change the brightness of your screen on the fly with just one tap. It’s more convenient than having to navigate through your settings every time you want to tweak the brightness.
In Android, brightness values range from 1 (darkest) to 255 (brightest). The app allows you to declare your own list of brightness values, separated by commas, and it will cycle through this list whenever you tap the widget icon on your home screen. It’s a simple solution to a non-critical problem, but it works and I like it.
Note: Does not work on Sense UI devices. Potential compatibility issues with Juice Defender.
Screen brightness is one of those things where you don’t realize just how much of an impact it has on your daily life until someone shows you. I used to think the fuss over it was all hogwash until I tried it for myself – suddenly, my eyes were less fatigued and my sleep pattern normalized. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of the apps above!
If you have any suggestions for other android brightness apps that you think deserve a mention, please share them with us in the comments.
Image Credits: Blank Phone Via Shutterstock