Most video portals like YouTube or Dailymotion display lots of content next to the videos that they host on the website. This includes advertisement, user comments, the site navigation and other features like related videos.
Those elements can be a distraction especially for sensitive Internet users, or if they are not static but dynamic in nature.
Turn Off The Light is an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that can dim all elements on pages with videos but the video itself.
The extension displays a black light bulb in the Chrome address bar whenever it detects a video on a page. A click on that icon dims all elements on that page so that it becomes easier to concentrate on the video that is played on the page.
All other elements on the page, or at least the majority of those, are displayed in black so that they do not disturb you while you are watching the video.
The opacity can be configured in the options of the extension. It is by default set to 80 and the color black. Both the percentage of the opacity and the color can be defined in the options. It is for instance possible to dim the video pages completely so that no element but the video is displayed during playback.
This would render all elements on the page but the video itself black with no elements shining through.
The only other option that is offered by Turn Off The Light is the setting to automatically dim the background on YouTube.
Turn Off The Light is compatible with many different video portals, we have not encountered any in our tests that did not work. The extension can be downloaded from Google's official Google Chrome Extension gallery.
Update: The most recent version of Turn Off the Light supports both Flash-based and HTML5-based videos, and should work on many different websites.
The developers have added other options to the extension to make it more useful.
There is for instance the option to automatically dim the background when you click the play button to play videos, or restrict the dimming to select video sites only.
For YouTube, it is possible to define elements that you want to remain visible on the site. This includes playlists, the info bar, channels, suggestions or the video title among others.
Other options include selecting a desired video resolution and player size on YouTube, and access to a full page of advanced options. Here you can configure the extension for use on non-video pages as well, define a start and end time for that (for instance at night or in the morning), enable keyboard shortcuts, or to show the dimness level bar when the lights go out.
Turn Off the Lights has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The extension offers a lot more than just the dimming of video pages. Especially the option to use it for eye protection needs to be mentioned in this regard.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.