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Smart Home

Dim or kill your devices' bright LED lights once and for all

If blindingly bright status LEDs are keeping you up at night, use these easy fixes to put an end to them once and for all.

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Chris Parker/CNET

There are few things more annoying than chargers and other devices or appliances that come equipped with blindingly bright status indicators. During the day they seem innocuous, but at night they can feel downright offensive.   

Unfortunately, I somehow always manage to get the products that appear to be the worst offenders. Most recently for me, it was a six-port USB charger. I set it up on the shelf, hid the wires, and plugged it in.

All was well. Until it was time to tuck in for the night and cut out the lights. The brick's tiny LED emitted a bright green light so aggressive, it somehow lit up the entire room.

Here's how to snuff them out and sleep in total darkness once again.

Now playing: Watch this: 3 ways to cover bright LED lights so you can sleep
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The DIY method

The first option can be done with materials you may already have lying around. All you need is a piece of electrical tape, wax paper and a hole punch of some sort.

  • Cut a small length of tape and stick it to a piece of wax paper. 
  • Use a hole punch to eject a few pieces of what are now effectively blackout dot stickers.
  • Remove the wax backing, center a sticker over a status indicator and press into place.

This should completely block all light coming from the LED. If you ever want or need to remove the sticker, it should come off easily and leave behind little to no residue.

Stickers that dim your LEDs

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Still need to see the lights? LightDims make them less bright.

Chris Parker/CNET

You might still need to see those indicator lights -- just not so blindingly. Instead of killing the lights altogether, you can instead dim them.

Unsurprisingly, there is a ready-to-go solution to the problem: stickers designed specifically for "dimming" LED lights. One brand is Light Dims, which come in an array of opaqueness.

There's a variety pack that comes with each of the four varieties, each of which come with stickers of various sizes and shapes. It also comes with a customizable sheet, which you can cut and use however you need.

Going this route allows you to dramatically dim the light without completely blocking the status indicator. In some cases, this may be more practical, as status indicators typically aren't for naught.

The quick fix

If you don't have electrical tape on hand and you can't wait to get some Light Dims in the mail, there is another way, though admittedly less attractive.

  • Cut a small piece of transparent tape and place it over the status light. 
  • Draw over the tape with a black permanent marker. 
  • If that doesn't diffuse the light enough for your needs, try painting over it with a couple coats of black fingernail polish.

Your status LEDs should be dimmed or diffused enough to where they don't distract you while watching television or keep you awake when you're trying to sleep.

Use light to help you wake up when you want to: Why I ditched my alarm and you should too.

Can't sleep? Here are 12 proven ways to help you rest better.