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Alternatives to the mobile notification LED

Alternatives to the mobile notification LED: Technology trends continually change, leading us to lose functions that were very useful in the past. With the arrival of all-screen mobile phones, the frames have disappeared, and with them, the popular notification LED has been with us for so long. Its main purpose was to alert us of new messages, something that is now more complicated.

Alternatives to the mobile notification LED
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Alternatives to the mobile notification LED

However, with the hardware eliminated that will allow us to enjoy this complement, everything is not lost since we can put notification LEDs on the mobile with a series of options. To replace it, we ourselves are going to rely on new technologies that will allow us to ignore the small light on the top of the mobile.

Why does the notification LED disappear?

The way we use phones has changed over the last two decades. The first mobile phones only had the function of making calls and today it is strange what we cannot do with a smartphone. However, along the way, functions such as the notification LED that we miss so much have been lost.

With the new functions offered by phones, manufacturers have thought that it is absurd to reserve space for this component, which in turn has led to devices with larger screens . Taking the display to the ends of the phone means that there is no longer room for this type of sensors. But that does not mean that we cannot continue configuring different visual alerts that notify us when a notification arrives on our mobile phone.

What options do we have then to replace the notification LED? One of the most popular is the Always On Display screen, which shows the time, date, and icons of the applications that have sent us messages or notices. This function is available on many models from Samsung, OPPO, Xiaomi, and Motorola. The advantage is that we can see at a glance if we have something pending without unlocking the phone. The disadvantage is that it consumes more battery than the Led.

Another alternative is to use the rear flashlight as a notification indicator. Some phones like iPhones, have this option built into the accessibility settings, while others may resort to third-party apps like Flash Alerts or Flash Notification. The problem with this solution is that it can annoy us or others if the phone is face up.

Finally, we can also opt for Edge Lighting notifications, which illuminate the edge of the screen with a certain color depending on the application that sends us the notification. This feature is present on some Samsung and OnePlus devices and can also be activated through applications such as Edge Lighting or Always On Edge.

We discuss all of them below these lines.

Alternatives available on Android

Since it disappeared from common mobile phones, many manufacturers have opted to try to replace this practical function with other alternatives that allow us to know when we have received an alert.

The Always ON screen

The first and simplest alternative with which we can bring back the replacement of the notification LED is through the Always On Display mode. This is a mode present in most smartphones that manages to display the alert we have received in a limited number of pixels on the screen. Depending on the end user’s taste, you can do it one way or another.

The Always ON screen
Always ON screen

We will be the ones who decide what type of alerts we will receive, when they will be displayed, and how to do so. Something that changes in each brand, model, and software version. To configure the AOD mode of our mobile, we have to do the following:

  1. We enter the Settings.
  2. We go to the Screen menu.
  3. We choose the lock screen.
  4. Finally, enter Always On Display mode.

Afterward, a series of options will appear so that we can complete the experience in our own way. Finally, we can see how the mobile phone behaves with the option we have selected just by blocking it and waiting to receive a notification.

Edge lighting

Many smartphones have developed operating systems that incorporate a classic feature of the first Galaxy Edge: the ability to illuminate the edge of the screen in different colors when a notification is received.

Edge lighting
Edge lighting

Brands like Realme or OPPO and, therefore, OnePlus, are the ones that have opted the most for a system that can be configured from:

  • Settings App
  • Alerts and Notifications
  • Edge lighting

By activating this function (which may be in another route, depending on the smartphone you have in your hands), the phone screen will light up at its ends when we receive a notification, imitating what the Notification LED that many users miss so much did in the past today.

The flashlight as a warning

Although the LED that alerted us to notifications may have disappeared without a trace from modern smartphones, they all have a flash on the rear camera, from the cheapest to the most expensive. The good thing is that, although it is not possible in all brands, this rear LED can also be configured as an alert for notifications.

Not all mobile phones have it, so to check it, you must open the settings panel and enter the word “flash” or “Led” in the search bar. Generally, it is found in the Notifications or Additional Settings section. Still, each layer of customization is different, so it would not be unusual for it to be found within the Accessibility options.

Apps to imitate it

There are a series of alternatives that allow us to configure a tiny point of light on the screen that works in a similar way to the AOD mode. In this case, it does look completely like a classic LED and not a derivation. This, however, cannot be achieved from the screen settings of any mobile phone. We have to go to the application store to get it and, in each of these cases, configure it to make it work as we would like.

The permissions in these applications are very relevant since, without them, the software we have installed will not be able to access our lock screen to display elements. When accessing the different options for the first time, we will be shown in a simple way the method to obtain the necessary permissions, the first of which is to recognize the alerts we receive and the second to show this hidden LED.

With the right LED light notification apps, you can customize these alerts to your liking. You can assign different colors to different apps and know if you have a missed call, a text message, a WhatsApp notification, or something similar without having to touch the phone or turn on the panel.


We start with one of the most popular options. An app was originally developed for the OnePlus 6T and published on XDA Developers, but its success led the developers to publish it in the Google Play store, which is available to everyone. Once installed on our mobile, we can begin with the next configuration step.


Once we grant all the permissions, we have to go to the app’s configuration to finish installing the notification LED. We will go to the last tab, from where we can configure various aspects of the LED, including the position of the screen. This way, we can decide if it is located on one side or the other.

We can also choose the LED’s color from any chromatic range or modify the flashing time and duration. As it is a fake alert helper, we have several customization options at our disposal. Remember that the LED emits signals that we must know how to interpret, which can be modified in this app.


Another of the options with the longest run on Google Play and the best results is the app we present to you. In this case, the permissions are necessary again, and after completing this requirement, we can give way to the options indicated by getting a ring of light to appear around the camera of our mobile phone as if it were a futuristic LED and different from the classics.

ArcLighting Dynamic island

After installation and the primary steps, it is time to activate the feature. Within the Cotout Setting section, we have to manually choose the part of the screen where we want it displayed so that it fits perfectly with the mobile camera. By tapping on Indicators, we can also change other options and even use it as a battery indicator.

Holey Light

Last but not least, we found another LED emulator for mobile phones, with which we achieved similar results on the lock screen to those seen previously. It also needs an infinite number of permissions, and after that, we see options such as color, choosing which apps it will work with, the time of day in which it will stop showing, or even how it will inform us about the battery, all in English.

Holey Light

Actually, Holey Light is an open-source tool. This means that it can be used without any restriction, is completely free, and does not involve any advertising. Furthermore, as it is open-source, anyone can make the modifications they consider appropriate. Of course, for this, you will have to communicate it to your main developers.


Actually, NoLED is one of the most well-known and successful applications for on-screen notifications. With it, you can choose different designs and types of visual notifications according to your needs and what you are looking for for your phone. If you wonder about energy consumption, you don’t have to worry since this app was designed to save energy.

Among the different options that the application has, we can choose whether the entire screen will light up or just a point. Additionally, you can determine the notification colors for each application or even choose a specific icon for each notification. Without a doubt, NoLED will allow you to customize how you want notifications to reach your mobile fully, so you won’t have to worry about that.

Light Manager 2

If you still need more options, this program is another LED light notification controller with somewhat more limited features. It is free, although it has ads, but since most of the time the app runs in the background, the ads won’t bother you too much. In any case, if you fall in love with the application and, if you don’t know it, you cannot live without it, you always have the option of eliminating any trace of advertising by purchasing the Pro version from within the application.

Once you have it downloaded, you can choose which contacts, WhatsApp groups, and other applications the alert manager can use to personalize the LED notifications. There is also support for system notifications, battery notifications, and other connectivity notifications, such as data networks or WiFi.

Light Manager 2 – LED Settings

Does it work on any mobile?

Unfortunately, these options will not work equally well on all mobile phones. It is not impossible to use them on mobile phones with an LCD screen since the apps we know do not allow them; however, not only will they turn on the LED, but the entire screen will be activated with a dark tone to imitate the result. This will entail significant energy consumption, so they could lose up to 20% of the battery.

Due to this, it is only recommended to use it on mobile phones that have AMOLED technology on their screen, whereby granting permission to the apps or configuring from the menu, the rest of the panel keeps the other pixels off, and the battery consumption is not as high as on other technology screens. Previously, Amoled screens were expensive technology and could only be found on premium mobile phones. Still, now it is another element of mid-range mobile phones, and more and more people can enjoy it for solutions like these that we have presented.

Will I be able to do it on my iPhone?

One of the big questions that we can ask ourselves when configuring the LED panel is whether all these useful and interesting questions to find out about everything new that comes to your mobile phone in the form of an alert can be carried out. Out from an iPhone. A phone that has always been presented to us as airtight does not allow major changes to be made, and indeed, in a way, it is treated like that. With the notification LED, it was not going to be less, and certainly, it is difficult to find a way to make said LED work on our iPhone, to the point of being almost impossible for it to work on its own; there is no native way to do it.

Now, this does not mean that it is not possible in any way; rather, the native way that we have seen until now on other devices is absolutely impossible. If we help ourselves to some of the many apps that we have talked about previously, many of which are available in the App Store, it is much simpler to use this notification LED, which in this case will not be an LED as such, but rather the camera flash will act as such.

Do you have LEDs, but they are not working properly?

One of the problems that we can have in this sense, which can be most fatal for our mobile phone and the use of the notification LEDs, is that we are waiting for it to work, and it does not do so due to some type of problem, in its operation. Whether we have this LED available on our phone or if we expect it to work through the flash or another LED indicator, it may be the case that it has some problem that prevents it from working normally, so the ideal would be to go to technical service to be able to fix it.

The ideal at this point is that the warranty covers the repair of our mobile phone, which it will surely do unless it is a problem caused by poor treatment of the smartphone, which is why it does not cover any repair of our mobile phone. If we have to pay for the repair, it will not be a drama either because we are really talking about one of the repairs that is apparently one of the simplest, so its payment will not be a drama either.