Hardware devices that I buy seem to come quite frequently with annoying blinking LED lights that cannot be turned off. The first device that made use of a bright blue LED was the Nokia N73 cell phone that I purchased about 2 years ago.
The blue light was automatically turned on when the cell phone entered sleep mode, and initially without the possibility to turn it off. Well that was not entirely correct. Turning off sleep mode, and therefore reducing the power of the battery faster was a possibility. There was however no way to turn off the light without disabling sleep mode.
The light was that bright that I had to turn the N73 so that the LED was on the bottom before going to sleep or working because of the distraction by that light.
My next purchase was the Razer Arctosa gaming keyboard which uses one ultra bright white LED on the top left corner of the computer keyboard. And guess what; It is not possible to turn off that light either.
Now I'm no expert when it comes to usability and quality control but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm overly sensitive to LED lights, or if the manufacturer's quality control fails big time.
The only working way of dimming down those bright LED lights was to use - preferably black - tape placed directly over the light. Do you know of other devices that have annoying blinking LED lights that cannot be turned off?
Another option to get rid of the light is to use a black pen to paint over the LED light so that it does not shine through at all, or is dimmed enough that it is not hurting the eyes any more.
While you may use tape, permanent marker or stickers to reduce the impact of LED lights on your electronic devices, or even blank those out completely, you may lose functionality in the process as well depending on the purpose of these lights.
This may not be a big deal always, especially if the LED lights are just there for visual appeal and not for functionality. Anyway, I'd like to ask companies to consider adding turn off switches at the very least to their devices with permanent LED lights to give users control over the functionality.
Update: It is 2014 now and my most recent smartphone, the Motorola Moto G, is making use of a notification LED as well. Thankfully though it is possible to turn it off this time, but only by downloading a widget to your device to do so.
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