7.0 Nougat Pixel

Pixel: How to Turn on the LED Notification Light

Pixel LED Light

You can follow these steps outlined below to turn the LED notification light (AKA Pulse Notificatoin Light) on and off with the Pixel and Pixel XL.

If you have an LED notification light on your smartphone or tablet, then the company who sold you that product has likely enabled the feature by default. In fact, on most devices, there isn’t a way for you to disable this feature. This is changing with the most recent versions of Android, but people have been forced to root their smartphone or tablet if they wanted to disable the LED notification light in the past.

For some reason, Google felt like doing this differently on the Pixel and the Pixel XL. So, these two Pixel phones both have an LED notification light hidden right next to the earpiece speaker. However, Google has chosen to keep this feature disabled by default. So most people probably don’t even know that there is a Pixel LED light because it’s not enabled by default. So today I want to show you how turn this feature on and off.

Pixel LED Light

  1. Launch the Settings application
  2. Scroll down and tap on the ‘Notifications’ option
  3. Then tap on the Gear icon at the top right of the screen
  4. And toggle the ‘Pulse Notification Light’ option on/off

Explanation

I am the type of person that I would rather not have my smartphone or tablet play a sound (or vibrate) whenever I get a notification in. I would rather keep this set to silent (other than the ringtone) and be alerted to my notifications via the Pixel LED light. This doesn’t help if my phone is in my pocket, but if it’s there then I’m going somewhere or doing something and would rather not be bothered with app notifications anyway.

I generally keep my phone on my desk while I work and can see the LED light blinking when a notification comes in. So I was shocked when my Pixel XL didn’t blink the LED light from a notification coming in. At first I thought there wasn’t an LED light in there, but it turns out that Google has simply disabled it by default. So to turn it on, we will first need to dive into the Settings application and then tap on the Notifications option.

Pixel LED Light Demo

This is what the Pixel LED light looks like when you have a Pushbullet notification waiting for you.

From here, you’ll want to tap on the Gear icon that is right next to the 3-dot menu in the upper right corner. This is the location that you’ll file the Pulse Notification Light option and there will be a toggle for you to turn this feature on and off. As shown in the image above (and demonstrated in the video too), the LED light is hidden in the corner of the earpiece speaker cutout. This is what will blink when you have a notification waiting for you.

I haven’t tested the number of colors that are available from this LED light though. So you may be limited, or you may not. You’ll have to experiment and see how many colors are possible. As with all of these features hidden in the Settings application, you can come back here and turn it on or off at any time. So if you want to try it out, simply turn it on, as you can always come back here and turn it off if it turns out you don’t like it when the LED blinks.

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