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Waking up in the morning to a very bright screen is no fun. I'd rather the screen be dimmer in my dark bedroom when I wake up. While I could manually change the brightness before going to bed and changing it once I get up, it's too much bother.

How can I automate changing the screen brightness based on the time of day?

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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you don't mind paying a few bucks, I highly recommend Tasker. This automation utility allows you to set up many built-in (and some 3rd-party app) Android actions based on various parameters, including time of day.

In Tasker you will need to create 2 separate profiles, and to each add 2 actions. 1st action will be identical in both profiles - disabling the Auto Brightness. Second one will be similar - a time-based action to change the display brightness, with time of day and brightness level being the differences.

  1. Start Tasker and tap the + button on the bottom o the main screen to create a new profile. Give it a descriptive name, such as "Brightness Down" for example.
  2. Choose the "Time" context on the presented menu.
  3. For the "From:" option select the time of day you wish to have brightness lowered.
  4. Un-check the "To:" option, and tap the green "Accept" button.
  5. On the "Task Selection" dialog tap the "New Task" button and name it "Lower Screen Brightness" and tap the "Accept" button.
  6. Tap the "+" button to add an action, select "Display" category, select the "Auto Brightness" action, select the "Off" option on the "Set" drop-down, and press the green "Accept" button.
  7. Tap the "+" button to add another action, select "Display" category, elect the "Display Brightness" action, set the desirable low level (20 being the lowest recommended setting), ensure that both "Ignore Current Level" and "Immediate Effect" options are checked, and tap the green "Accept" button.
  8. Tap the green "Accept" button on the "Task Edit / ..." screen.
  9. On the main screen tap the "Brightness Down" profile once, then tap on its wrench button, and select the "Clone" option.
  10. Tap the newly-cloned profile, tap its wrench button, select the "Rename" option and name it "Brightness Up".
  11. Tap on the clock icon, select the "Edit" option, change the "From:" time to the time of day when you'd like brightness increased, and tap the green "Accept" button.
  12. Now tap on the task itself (name you gave it in step 5), select "Rename" option, name it "Increase Screen Brightness", and tap the green "Accept" button.
  13. Tap the task again, and select the "Edit" option.
  14. Tap on the "Display Brightness" action, set the Level to a higher setting, and tap the green "Accept" button.
  15. Tap the green "Accept" button on the "Task Edit / ..." screen.
  16. Ensure that on the main screen, the button on bottom-right reads "On", and exit the Tasker app.

You should now be all set.

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Lifehacker's instructions are a bit simpler, but achieve the same thing. –  Al E. Sep 3 '11 at 16:09
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My phone has no ambient light sensor and I had exactly the same problem. I've been using AutomateIT, it is an application of similar vein to Tasker/Locale, except that there is a free version as well as a paid version.

It can change brightness settings based on triggers, such as time of the day, or whether you're connected to your home Wifi. The paid version allows you to combine multiple triggers into composite rules using AND/OR boolean logic.

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Not sure what phone you've got but most of the higher end Android phones have light sensors, and you can set the screen to adjust its brightness automatically depending on the ambient light at the time.

If you've got the Power Bar widget on your home screen (its one of the built-in Android widgets since Donut) just tap the far-right brightness icon until it shows an "A" for automatic brightness.

Alternatively go into Settings -> Display -> Brightness and tick the "Automatic brightness" option.

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