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Most of us stare at our iPhones for far too long, and this constant exposure to a bright screen can strain our eyes, especially in low-light conditions or during the twilight hours. That's where the ability to dim your iPhone screen beyond the standard brightness settings becomes a game-changer.

iphone-in-bed.jpg

If the screen of your iPhone or iPad is too bright for comfort, the usual solution is to go to Settings ➝ Display & Brightness and drag the Brightness slider to the left, or open Control Center and adjust the corresponding setting from there. However, if the lowest setting offered by the Brightness level just isn't dim enough for you, there's another way to make your screen even darker.

This feature is particularly useful if you find yourself needing to use your device in dark environments, such as in a bedroom where a partner is sleeping, or in a dimly lit theater. It's also a boon for anyone with light sensitivity, providing a more comfortable viewing experience that minimizes eye strain and fatigue. Let's look at how to set it up below.

Reduce White Point

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Select Accessibility from the list of options.
  3. Scroll down and select Accessibility Shortcut.
  4. Tap Reduce White Point, then drag it up near the top of the list using the three lines icon.
reduce-white-point-setup.jpg


Now that's set up, simply triple-click your iPhone's Side button to display the Accessibility Shortcut menu, then tap Reduce White Point.

reduce-white-point.jpg

Your iPhone display will now be dimmer than the dimmest setting offered by the standard Brightness level.

Reset White Point

To return the white point to its normal level, simply triple-click the Side button again and tap Reduce White Point to uncheck it.

Adjust White Point

If the White Point is still too bright (or too dim), you can adjust it manually: In Settings, go to Accessibility ➝ Display & Text Size, then scroll down and turn on the switch next to Reduce White Point.

adjust-white-point.jpg

This will reveal a slider that you can move left or right to change the brightness level.

Trigger Reduced White Point at Bedtime

It's possible to make the Reduced White Point setting come on when Bedtime starts, or when your Sleep focus is enabled. This offers an automated approach to minimizing screen brightness, which is particularly beneficial for winding down before bedtime.

Blue light is known for its potential to disrupt natural sleep patterns by inhibiting the production of melatonin, a hormone crucial for sleep regulation. That makes an automation especially useful if you have a habit of reading or browsing on your iPhone as part of your nighttime routine, allowing you to do so without significantly impacting your sleep quality. Here's how it's done.
  1. Open the Shortcuts app, then tap the + icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Add Action.
    add-action-shortcuts.jpg

    Type "White Point" in the search field, then choose Set White Point when it appears below.
  3. Tap the blue "Turn" text, then choose Toggle from the dropdown menu.
  4. Tap Done in the top-right corner of the screen.
    toggle-white-point-shortcut.jpg
After following the above steps, you should see your new "Set White Point" shortcut in the Shortcuts menu.

set-white-point-shortcut-gallery.jpg

The Shortcut is now ready to use in a new custom automation. It's easy to make, just follow these steps.

  1. In the Shortcuts app, select the Automation tab, then tap the + icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Under "Personal Automation," choose Sleep.
    white-point-bedtime1.jpg

    On the "When" screen, choose Bedtime Begins and Run Immediately, then tap Next.
  3. On the "When Bedtime Starts" screen, choose your custom Set White Point shortcut.
    white-point-bedtime2.jpg
You're all done. In the future, when Bedtime starts or when you enable the Sleep focus, your screen's white point will be automatically reduced.

Trigger White Point When Bedtime Ends

To make sure the white point on your iPhone's display is reset when bedtime ends in the morning, you just have to create an additional automation. This basically involves the same steps you just used to create the first custom automation, except instead of choosing Bedtime Begins in step 3, select Waking Up. Here are those steps again for your convenience, but with a modified step 3.

  1. In the Shortcuts app, select the Automation tab, then tap the + icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Under "Personal Automation," choose Sleep.
  3. On the "When" screen, choose Waking Up and Run Immediately, then tap Next.
  4. On the "When Bedtime Starts" screen, choose your custom Set White Point shortcut.
That's it! The white point on your iPhone display will now return to normal when your bedtime ends.

Article Link: How to Make Your iPhone Screen Less Bright in Bed
 

rb24

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2017
138
133
It would be good to have an explanation of what "reduce white point" actually does. If I understand correctly it doesn't dim everything but only the brighter colours or something? What's it really for? How does it work?
 

fdrizzo88

macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2021
5
0
Great tip!
Now, can the same type of thing turn Standby on and off when the Sleep focus comes on?

I have to plug my phone in when I use it in the car and it’s mounted horizontally. Manually turning Standby on and off is an inconvenience.
 

JosephAW

macrumors 603
May 14, 2012
6,075
8,126
Only problem with reducing the brightness too low is the visual strobing effect it causes on my iPhone 14 Pro.
Never had this problem on my iPhone 8 Plus. That was really comfortable on my eyes even on really low light setting. :rolleyes:
 
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fdrizzo88

macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2021
5
0
It would be good to have an explanation of what "reduce white point" actually does. If I understand correctly it doesn't dim everything but only the brighter colours or something? What's it really for? How does it work?
I believe a good way to think of it would be that’s reducing the brightness while still keeping the perceived relationships between colors to white the same. It’s a type calibration. Did my best to avoid the math. 😬
 

RedWeasel

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2010
408
876
I always (when I need it) use the "Low Light" filter.

Triple-tap with three fingers, Choose Filter, Low Light.

Not sure if this has to be activated first somewhere in the Accessibility Settings though.
 
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wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
1,575
4,527
Great feature - I had no idea this existed. However I take great exception to the phrase "or in a dimly lit theater"! No one should ever be getting their phone out there - it's just rude to everyone around you.

"ever" does a whole lot heavy lifting in your comment

If you pause for a second, I'm sure you can imagine a circumstance or two where someone might genuinely need to take out their phone while in a movie theater

EDIT: Since I am getting some dislikes for this comment, here are a couple of examples to illustrate the point:

1. My wife is in labor and I want to know how many of our triplets survived
2. I'm a Russian sleeper agent and I need my phone to know when I have been activated to destroy democracy
 
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ApplesAreSweet&Sour

macrumors 68020
Sep 18, 2018
2,019
3,724
Or….hear me out…

Don’t use your phone in bed. It screws up your sleep. 🤷‍♂️
Exactly.

I've read one article after the other "debunking" how certain colors of light don't impact our melatonin product more than others. So there's no reason to get blue light blocking peripherals.

While the part about the specific color of light might not matter is probably true, the whole discussion and all of these articles fail to mention that _all_ light, from the brightest to the dimmest, will signal to your brain that its daytime and either keep you awake or completely override your body's need to sleep at the end of the day.

It's purely instinctual and not something you can or should mess with as both short term and long-term lack of sleep or lowering of sleep quality leads to numerous negative health outcomes.

You should be looking at the insides of your eyelids when sleeping, not your iPhone or any other source of light.

Donald Trump, Tim Cook, Taylor Swift, Putin, Elon Musk, etc., will all be there to distract you again tomorrow, I promise!
 

klasma

macrumors 603
Jun 8, 2017
6,260
17,594
You can make it even dimmer by additionally using the Low Light option under Accessibility > Zoom.
 
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klasma

macrumors 603
Jun 8, 2017
6,260
17,594
It would be good to have an explanation of what "reduce white point" actually does. If I understand correctly it doesn't dim everything but only the brighter colours or something? What's it really for? How does it work?
Apple doesn’t document it. But it seems to compress the color space on the brightness axis. I.e. if pixel values normally correspond to a brightness range of 0–100, they are compressed into 0–60 or whatever. This means the dynamic range of pixel values is reduced before they are sent to the display. The normal brightness slider in contrast controls the brightness on the level of the display hardware.
 
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