Using LED Flash Alerts

Some smart phones have a dedicated notification light, or flash alert, that comes on when receiving an incoming text or other notification. IPhones do not have this, but instead are equipped with an accessibility feature that does pretty much the same thing. This accessibility feature was added for the deaf and hearing impaired, and it produces an LED flash when incoming notifications arrive. This flash alert can be used in addition to the normal vibration your phone gives off, or it can be used entirely by itself.

The flash alert works great when you want to be aware of incoming notifications, but need to keep your phone on silent. I find it most beneficial to use when I am out with a group of friends, and want to keep in contact with my kids. I can set my pone on the table while on silent and easily see when they are contacting me. Even if I leave my phone in my purse (with the purse open), the flashing light is bright enough to grab my attention, but not obnoxious enough to annoy my friends. It’s also nice to have on during the event of a weather occurrence. When a thunderstorm warning is announced for my area, the bright light gets my attention as the warning comes in on my phone.

It’s extremely easy to set up:

1. Go into Settings and click on the General button.
2. Choose Accessibility.
3. Scroll down and select Hearing.
4. Slide “LED flash for alerts” to the “on” position.


That’s it. Four simple steps and you will know when you have an incoming notification just by a flashing light. You can also set up your alert to repeat multiple times. The light will flash every two minutes for however many repeating alerts you have.

There are few things to keep in mind when using the flash alert feature. It will only work if your iPhone is locked or in sleep mode. It also only works for iPhones 4 and newer. One last thing is to make sure you keep your iPhone face-down so you can see the LED flash when you have an incoming notification.

Be aware that this might possibly draw the attention of others around you. Most likely they will want to try it on their own phones after you explain how to use it. It really is a useful feature that you will want to use again and again.