Many Android devices have notification lights: small LEDs that blink to indicate missed calls, new text messages, and battery status. These lights are great—silent and unobtrusive to those around you (unlike ring tones and vibration patterns), and color-coded to denote different types of notifications. A hastily blinking red light, for example, usually means your phone is about to die.
Think of how helpful these lights would be if you could harness the LED and force it to blink custom colors for different apps, contacts, and system statuses. Super helpful, right? Awesome, you’re in luck, because you can absolutely customize your handset’s notification light with a simple, free app called Light Manager.
Light Manager: For managing lights
There are actually several light management apps out there, but Light Manager is my favorite, because it’s free, easy to use, and light on system resources. Light Flow, another popular LED management app, is almost three times the size of Light Manager, and I’ve found it has a tendency to drain your device’s battery.
Getting started with Light Manager is simple – just download, install, and open the app, and you’re ready to start customizing your notification lights. The app can look a little overwhelming at first, but its simple black-and-white menu is really pretty straightforward. At the top, you’ll see the app’s settings menu:
Here, you can choose the operating mode: “Normal,” which flashes only one color notification light at a time, or “Alternating,” which cycles through colors if there are multiple notification lights. Light Flow has a similar feature, but its cycles take about 12 seconds if you’re using the free version (2.5 seconds in the paid version). In the settings menu you can also configure advanced settings, such as adjusting LED brightness and redefining colors (via hex code).
Below the initial settings menu is the meat of the app: LED Setting for Notification. Here, you’ll see a list of apps and functions that you can set custom notification lights for, including missed calls, text messages, email, and Facebook and Twitter.
To setup a custom notification light, tap an app or service to open its notification menu. Here you can enable the LED, choose a flash rate (between 1 and 5 seconds), pick a custom color (choose a preset or enter your own hex code), and test the notification light to see what it looks like. For some notifications (such as missed calls) you can add individual custom notification lights for different contacts.
Light Manager lets you set custom notification lights for apps, services, network connections (for example, a light might blink if you’re no longer on a 3G/4G network), and system statuses.
When you’re finished setting up your custom notification lights, go to the top of the screen and tap Restart Light Manager to restart the app and enable any changes you’ve made. Light Manager starts running when you startup your device, so there’s no need to ever open the app again. Tuck the app away in a miscellaneous folder on your home screen and enjoy your new rainbow of notification lights!