Chrome extension: Turn Off the Lights

When covering Chrome extensions, I generally like to alert readers to software that is a fresh release, or older, but deserving of more attention. Today, I’m posting on an extension that has been available for well over a year, is available for every major browser, and sees nearly 30,000 installs per week on Chrome alone. Turn Off the Lights is popular for good reason, but there are plenty of people out there who haven’t heard of it, so I’m taking the opportunity to spread the word.

Turn Off the Lights (Chrome Web Store link, developer home page for other browsers) is a free browser extension that provides a little light bulb icon in your browser’s address bar:

Clicking the icon while visiting a page with embedded video causes everything around the video to be darkened. This can be triggered by a hot key as well. Supported sites include YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and many, many more. Turn Off the Lights recognizes a page with videos and can automatically darken the background when the video is played, only show the toggle icon on video pages, and even show an ‘easter egg’ movie theater background.

The settings page allows the user to change the background color and opacity, fade in and out settings, and more.

Here is a choppy video demonstration on the extension running on the developer’s apparently slow computer:

Turn Off the Lights may not be the hottest new extension in the Chrome Web Store, but it performs a practical function and many people won’t browse a video site without it. This one is definitely worth the download. While you’re at it, visit the Google Code project page and make a Paypal donation. Stefan has half a million installs on Chrome alone! This guy needs a faster computer. Help a brother out!

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