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How to schedule the ChromeOS Night Light feature

If you use your Chromebook at night, your eyes deserve a bit of protection from all that blue light spilling from your screen. Jack Wallen shows you how to schedule the Night Light feature.


Image: Jack Wallen

Whether you’re an administrator, a manager, a writer, a programmer, or you just get on your laptop to do a bit of social networking, light reading, or catching up on the news, laptop use can go on well into the night. When you do open that laptop in the middle of the night, the last thing you want is to find yourself staring at a display meant to be viewed in well-lit conditions. Not only can this be a strain on your eyes, it can be a real nuisance to those around you.

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Fortunately, most operating systems have added various takes on the Night Light. Some shift the UI to a dark mode, while others opt for a different approach. 

One such alternative approach is found in the cloud-friendly Chrome OS. Instead of the operating system dimming the screen or shifting to a dark theme, Chrome OS filters out the blue light in your display to make it considerably easier on the eyes when viewing the screen in dim light. For anyone that uses a Chromebook with the lights out, this should be considered a must-use feature.

For those that regularly use a Chromebook at night, ChromeOS has a feature that you should definitely consider–scheduled Night Light.

I do some of my writing at night, between the hours of 9:30 pm and midnight. During that time, the lights are off and my wife is asleep. If I open my Chromebook and the screen is full bore and brilliant blue color is shining through, I catch serious grief, so it was a real boon to finally get to schedule the Night Light feature. By doing this, I knew I could open my Chromebook Pixel (which will, sadly, be seeing it’s EOL) and not have it blasting my eyes in the dimness of night and waking my wife up.

How do you do this? I’m going to show you.

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What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need to schedule Night Light is an updated Chromebook.

How to schedule Night Light

Log in to your Chromebook and open the Settings app. In the left pane, click Device. In the resulting window, click Displays (Figure A).

Figure A

Display settings are under Device in ChromeOS.

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Display settings are under Device in ChromeOS.

In the Displays configuration window, select Custom from the Schedule drop-down (Figure B).

Figure B

Configuring the Night Light feature for a scheduled time.

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Configuring the Night Light feature for a scheduled time.

In the timeline that appears, drag the left handle to when you want Night Light to turn on and the right handle to when you want it to turn off. For example, I set it to start at 10 pm and end at 6 am. 

You can now close out the Settings windows and know that Night Light is going to kick in and off at the scheduled times. 

Note: The one thing Night Light won’t do is dim the display, so you have to still do that manually.

That’s all there is to setting up a feature that will go a long way to protect your eyesight and (quite possibly) relationships.

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