Eye strain can be a huge issue for anyone who spends a lot of time looking at screens—whether that’s a desktop monitor, a television, or even a smartphone. Improper screen brightness settings can cause your eyes to strain and fatigue, while staring into bright screens at night can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Research has shown that exposure to blue light (the kind emitted by 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 issue? These same apps can help keep your eyeballs from being blinded by brightness when you’re in the dark.
That’s why you should start using one of the following Android screen brightness apps. You’ll be surprised how helpful they can be.
If there’s one thing that puts CF.Lumen ahead of all other brightness and screen temperature apps, it’s this: CF.Lumen adjusts colors by directly manipulating gamma values rather than using a tinted transparent overlay (although an overlay option is available in the settings).
All of the automatic brightness adjustments are done according to your location and time of day. You can customize the adjustment amounts, and you can toggle some nifty options like “Force sleep mode in the dark” or “Force day mode in bright ambient light”. Useful when, for example, you’re in a bright room at midnight.
And here’s something really cool by the developer: the Pro version of CF.Lumen adds new features like quick toggle buttons, notification options, and removing the few upgrade nags—but if you want, you can just toggle the “Freeload” setting to get all Pro features without paying. Buy it if you can, but if you’re strapped for cash, it’s nice to know this option is there.
Download:CF.Lumen (Free with in-app purchase for Pro upgrade)
Lux is one of the best Android brightness apps available. It’s simple and minimal and walks you through setup with the Lux Wizard, meaning you won’t be overwhelmed with confusing settings. It offers four different methods for auto-adjusting backlight:
Ascending (adjusts as ambient lighting changes)
Dynamic (adjusts only with significant changes in ambient lighting)
Periodic (adjusts based on a predetermined schedule)
On Wake (adjusts when the device is woken from sleep)
But if you want more granularity, you can dive into Lux’s settings and manually adjust almost everything you want, including minimum and maximum brightness levels, when brightness changes, how quickly brightness fades in and out, etc. 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 still too bright—especially when you’re in a dark room. Lux can go even darker than that. It also comes with a widget that you can use for quick changes to brightness controls.
There’s also an optional Pro version with extra features: using the camera to read ambient light, advanced power-user settings for precision control, astronomer mode for stargazers, automatic night mode for time-based color temperature control (i.e. reducing blue light at night), and more.
Twilight is an app that does something similar to F.lux, the well-known blue light filtering app for PCs:using sunrise and sunset times as indicators, Twilight automatically adjusts the screen temperature (how much blue light is emitted) so lessen disruption of your circadian rhythms. After sunset, Twilight dampens screen temperature using blue-light filtering and warmth intensity.
Don’t care about blue light? That’s fine. Twilight also has a dimness factor, so you can ignore all of the warmth and temperature controls and just automatically adjust screen dimness based on the same sunrise and sunset settings.
There’s an optional Pro version with extra settings: custom sunrise time, custom sunset time, custom transition time (the time it takes to fade from no-dampening to full-dampening when you hit sunrise or sunset times), and more.
Velis is a replacement for Android’s default auto-brightness feature without all of the other bells and whistles that come with other brightness management apps. The learning curve for Velis is slightly steep, but that’s because it gives you maximum control over what you can do. Fortunately, it also comes with a setup wizard to get you going within a minute of installation.
Velis 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 ambient lighting, you can set the brightness for A; at so-and-so ambient light, brightness B. Velis fills in the gaps.
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), and multiple profiles for different auto-brightness graphs.
Let’s say you don’t want to fiddle with settings at all, but you also don’t want automatic brightness adjustment. All you want is an instant and no-hassle way to toggle brightness at will, preferably in the form of a widget. Is there something for you? Yes!
It’s called Brightness Widget. This lightweight app (it’s less than 1MB in size) lets you put a simple widget on your home screen. Tapping the widget cycles through three brightness settings: minimal, medium, and maximum. That’s all there is to it. The app doesn’t even have a settings page.
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 nonsense until I tried it for myself—and it didn’t take long for my eyes to feel less fatigued and my sleep pattern to normalize. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of these apps!