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How to make your Android screen extra dark at night

Use these tips to tone down your screen brightness beyond the usual slider.

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Bright screens are great, except when you want to dial them down.

Angela Lang/CNET

Staring at your phone's bright blue screen at night can make it more difficult to fall asleep, and the harsh light can also cause eye strain. Until Dark Theme in Android Q becomes available on your phone, there are several ways to turn down screen brightness other than the usual brightness level slider to make your screen even darker. Keep in mind that different Android phones, say the Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3 ($460 at Walmart) and LG G8, may use different names for the same tool.

Enable Night Light on Google Pixel ($215 at Amazon) phones

Night Light dims your screen light to a sepia color, making it less harsh on your eyes. You can access it through the settings menu or the quick settings area you can find by swiping down from the top of your phone.

Method 1: Settings

1. Go to your Settings app.

2. Tap Display.

3. Select Night Light.

4. Tap Turn on now.

5. Adjust the intensity color.

6. You can also adjust the start and end times (if you don't want to leave it on all day) by tapping Schedule.

Method 2: Quick settings

Pull down the notification tray at the top of the screen to reveal the quick settings menu. Tap the Night Light icon to turn it on.

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Turn Night Light on to dim your phone screen.

CNET
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Screenshot by CNET

Turn on night mode for Samsung Galaxy phones

Night Mode changes your white screen to black, making it easier on the eyes at night.

1. Open your Settings app.

2. Tap Display.

3. Turn on Night Mode with the toggle switch.

4. Choose to turn it on now, set a customized time or select to have it on from sunrise to sunset.

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Turn on the blue light filter for Samsung phones

This filter reduces the amount of blue light that comes through your phone.

1. Open your Settings app.

2. Tap Display.

3. Turn on the Blue Light Filter by sliding the toggle switch.

4. Adjust the opacity to your liking and choose to turn on now or set a schedule.

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Reduce your phone screen's blue light with this filter. 

Alina Bradford/CNET

Android wind down mode

Phones running Android Pie all have wind down mode, which you can turn on before bed to make your phone turn greyscale. Colors are muted this way, giving the overall impression of making the screen less bright.

1. Open your Settings app and go into your Digital Wellbeing dashboard.

2. Tap Wind Down.

3. Select Use Wind Down.

4. Choose the time you want the feature to be enabled. For example, from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

5. Tap Night Light Schedule to change your screen light color to sepia.

Invert the colors

Most Androids have the option to invert the colors on the screen -- white changes to black and the other colors change to be less harsh on the eyes. This does, however, affect the way the photos and videos look.

If you have a Google Pixel, you can just pull down your screen menu and tap Invert Colors. On your Samsung Galaxy, go to your Accessibility Settings, tap Vision, then scroll down and turn on Negative colors.

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Invert the colors on your Android.

Angela Lang/CNET

Turn on battery save mode

When you turn on battery save mode on your Android, the screen will get darker. You can turn this setting on through your settings menu or through the quick settings toggle. This won't work if your phone is plugged into a charger.

Method 1: Settings

1. Open your Settings app.

2. Tap Battery, then Battery saver.

3. Tap Turn on automatically and change the battery percentage to 100% so it never turns off.

Method 2: Quick Settings

Open your Quick Settings and tap the Battery Saver icon.

Download an app to lower screen brightness

There are many apps out there designed to turn your Android's screen brightness down even further. A couple of options are the Lower Brightness Screen Filter app and the Screen Filter app. Both of these have the option of lowering your screen brightness from zero to 100%. You'll have to go into the app each time in order to adjust your screen's brightness.

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Lower your screen brightness with an app.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET
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