PSLS Help Desk – Dim the DualShock 4 Light Bar

September 22, 2016 Written by Chandler Wood

dim dualshock 4 light bar

This week’s PlayStation LifeStyle Help Desk is another simple one, but something that is very good to know. Many people complained about the bright light coming off of the back of their DualShock 4s after the PlayStation 4 initially released. They worried about the drain on the DualShock 4’s already relatively short battery life, and how annoying the light could be in a dark room, or when reflecting off of the TV at certain angles.

I personally never found these things to be an issue, but having options is never a bad thing. After some time, Sony finally relented and allowed people a way to dim the light bar with one of their firmware updates, and now that PS4 update 4.00 is out, dimming the light bar is more simple than it ever has been before. In this PSLS Help Desk, we’re going to show you hot to dim the light bar, as well as dispel some myths about its drain on the DualShock 4’s battery.

How to Dim the DualShock 4 Light Bar

With update 4.00, dimming the light bar is as easy as holding down the PS button on the DualShock 4, highlighting the Sound/Devices option, then selecting Brightness of DUALSHOCK 4 Light Bar. You can now choose between three options: Bright (Standard), Medium, and Dim. That’s all there is to it!

Does Dimming Help the Battery Life?

I would be lying if I said that dimming the light bar doesn’t help the DualShock 4 battery life, but the differences are marginal at best, and if that’s your primary reason for dimming the light bar, you may want to reconsider. In controlled tests, where the controller is not being used for games at all, the Bright (Standard) setting can last just shy of 11 hours. Each progressive setting adds about 40 minutes to the battery life, for a high end total of about 12 hours and 20 minutes on Dim.

If you move these controlled tests into real world playing conditions, those margins shrink even more, seeming to cut the improvements about in half, so during active gameplay, our findings are that the Dim setting will get you about 40 more total minutes of game time than the Bright (Standard) setting, at best. While it may not massively improve your battery life, if you have a highly reflective TV surface, dimming can help to reduce that glare on the screen.

Things to Note

  • When you go to dim the light bar, the PS4 warns “If you select other than [Bright (Standard)], brightness may be insufficient when using some applications. In situations where the PlayStation Camera needs to recognize the light bar, the light bar will become bright regardless of this setting.”
  • With PlayStation VR just a few weeks away, some games may require the light bar to be bright. According to the above message, it seems that the PS4 will automatically handle the settings when needed. 
  • Some applications needing the light bar for motion tracking with the PlayStation Camera is the reason that the lightbar cannot be turned off completely. 

What brightness setting do you have your light bar on? What do you want to see in the next Help Desk? Let us know via the comments or email us!

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