One of the problems with online videos sites such as YouTube is that while there is a great of choice for content, there are also a lot of distractions on the page. In addition to the video you want to watch, it is likely that the page you are viewing is filled with other content such as recommended links, comments and much more. Turn Off the Lights is a free addon for Chrome and Firefox that can be used to make it easier to focus on videos.

The extension works by turning your web browser into a cinema screen, and just as the lights are dimmed at the theatre when you’re watching a movie, so the extension dims the lights in your web browser. What this means in practice is that all of the unnecessary page furniture is dimmed so it is far less of a distraction while the video you want to watch is highlighted so that it stands out better.

This is a fairly simple extension, but it serves its purpose well and provides you with a range of customization options. You can choose to make the screen automatically darken whenever the play button is hit on a video, or you can stick with using the manual option as and when you need it. If you find that the screen dims too much or not enough, you can adjust the level to suit you liking.

You can also choose to highlight videos using custom colors and you can also use the extension in conjunction with image sharing websites in very much the same way. If you have found that web pages make it too difficult to concentrate on the content you want to see, this is an excellent extension that does its job amazingly well.

What's new in 4.1.4.0 (see changelog for more)?

+ Improvement video detection only on z-index position absolute/relative/static
+ Add option for the Night mode switch automatically hide after 3 seconds no mouse movement
+ Add the list of Active Permissions in the about page
+ Improvement ARIA
+ Add Omnibox launch functions
+ Add search box
+ Add Easter egg game
+ Fixed context lost in eco.js
+ Improvement content security policy CSP
+ Add rate this extension panel
+ Improvement Analytics kWh value up to 5 decimal
+ Improvement performance video preview with atmosphere lighting effects in the options page
+ Improvement Firefox browser theme when the is lights off
+ Improvement for multiple Audio visualizations
+ Add new user-gesture option to enable the Night Mode feature
+ Add canvas low-latency rendering with the desynchronized

Verdict

If you’re a fan of online video, this is a great, simple way to remove on-screen distractions.