Set up color LED alerts on the Galaxy Nexus

Use colored LED alerts to show you what kind of alert you missed on your Galaxy Nexus.

Nicole Cozma
Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.
Nicole Cozma
3 min read

The Galaxy Nexus has a hidden LED near the bottom of the glass on the front of the phone. Normally, you'll see it blink white for notifications, but what if you want more information than "you missed something, *blink blink*"? With one app, you can adjust the color of the LED so you can see what you missed at a glance. Additionally, you'll be able to set audible reminders that repeat as often as you tell them to. Here's how to get started:

Step 1: Download and install Light Flow from the Google Play store. There are Lite and Pro versions available; try Lite first to make sure it works on your device.

Step 2: On the first run of the app, you will be told to enable Light Flow in your device's accessibility menu. The app will open the correct menu for you, and you just need to check the box next to Light Flow.

Step 3: Once you're back in the app, open the General Settings area. For the most part, the options you'll need are enabled by default. In case this isn't true, the important or interesting options are listed below.

Enable Light Flow: if this isn't checked, none of your notification settings will do anything. Be absolutely sure that this is enabled.

Sleep settings: if you later choose to adjust the vibrate, sound, or repeating reminders for your alerts, these options may be of interest to you. Here you can allow times that the phone options will be disabled, like when you're trying to sleep, or you're busy at work.

Charge settings: notifications, especially ones that repeat sounds, take up battery life. Having them running while you charge your device will also cause the device to charge more slowly. Here you can disable the app while your device is charging.

Step 4: Go back to the main menu of the app and enter the Notifications menu. You'll see a list of several notification types, such as system events or specific apps, which you can adjust settings for.

Step 5: Select an event or app from the list to change its settings. There are a lot of options that can be set but, like the General Settings menu, chances are most of the options you'll want to set are enabled by default. Here are the important and interesting options.

Enable notification: make sure this is enabled, otherwise the notification settings will not take effect.

Light settings: the whole point of this how to! Adjusting these settings will allow you to, at a glance, tell the difference between a new e-mail or SMS message just by looking at the blinking light on your phone. You can set the color of the LED, the rate it flashes, as well as how long it will flash (a great option to set to conserve battery life). Two hours seems to be a good starting for the duration.

Repeating notification sound settings: set custom sounds for the notifications. While most apps have similar options built-in, setting them from within Light Flow has added benefits. You can set an alert sound, enable or disable it while in calls, and set up a frequency to repeat the notification. This is great for missed calls or SMS messages, making you less likely to miss something important.

Despite the app's long list of features, it can pretty much be used "out of the box." Additionally, it may work on other Android devices with LEDs that support colors, but make sure to try the free version (as recommended by the developer) before you spend money on the Pro version. If you can't get Light Flow working on your device, or you don't have an LED, you might consider reading on how to add LED-style alerts to your Android.