<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/dim-light-youtube.jpg”>There can be several reasons why you would love to watch your favorite YouTube videos on a dark background with no extra page elements visible: it creates a cool “cinema watching” experience, it removes all clutter and moves the focus to the video.
With “lights” off you don’t feel yourself distracted by “related videos” to the right or users’ comments (which are usually a mess by the way). Full-screen mode could be a good solution to see the video only, but sometimes the video resolution doesn’t allow that. Besides, as you’ll see from the screenshots below, videos on the black background just look somehow nicer.
I was able to find 4 different browser extensions that allow you to dim the light for any YouTube video. Here they are :
1. YouTube Cinema [No Longer Available]
YouTube Cinema hides everything on the page except for the video and lets you easily select the background color (as well as the video size) from the handy bar on the right:
With this extension, the videos will open in YouTube Cinema mode by default. You will need to hold the CTRL key down while clicking to open a video in the usual mode.
YouTube Cinema’s options allow you to:
- Disable / enable the auto-play;
- Set the default video size;
- Disable / enable video description:
Firefox 3.5b4 – 3.6.*
2. YouTube Enhancer
YouTube Enhancer is a feature-rich user script (I already mentioned it in my post on getting rid of popular YouTube annoyances) that lets you dim the lights for any YouTube video once you click the “light” icon.
The icon dims everything except for the YouTube Enhancer player controls:
Clicking anywhere outside the video will bring the light back on.
Firefox (via Greasemonkey), Opera, Google Chrome (the latest version), Flock, Safari, SeaMonkey (with a patch).
3. Turn Off The Lights
Turn Off the Lights is another cross-browser extension that adds some fun to YouTube video viewing.
Similar to the one above, it works via a little lamp icon (but this one is located in your bookmarks toolbar) that fades the page to dark and brings focus to the video. Clicking the icon again brings the light back on.
If you see no Lamp button after the installation, go to View > Toolbars > Customize in the menu and drag the “Turn Off the Lights” addon onto your toolbar.
A few fun features of this extension:
- It supports multiple video sites: YouTube, HTML5 video, embedded videos, etc.
- It support multiple image sites: e.g. Google Images Search, Flickr, etc.
Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari
4. Lights Out
Lights Out is another user script that does only that: dims the light on YouTube videos. So if you don’t want to mess around with other options and features, this could be a good choice.
It works via an icon:
- Clicking the icon once brings a semi-transparent background;
- Clicking the icon twice creates a black background;
- Clicking the icon yet again brings the light back on:
Firefox (not tested on other browsers)
Do you think dimming the lights could improve your watching experience? Which of the addons above are you willing to give a try? Do you know of any others? Share your thoughts!