News Article

Does Dimming the PS4 Controller's Light Bar Increase Its Battery Life?

Posted by Kell Andersen

Fingers crossed

The DualShock 4 is generally regarded to be a pretty nifty piece of tech. However, some have voiced concerns that the controller's persistently operational light bar may be affecting its battery life. Luckily, a recent firmware update allows you to dim the contentious luminescence. Which begs the question: exactly how much difference does this new option make?

Well, the crew over at DualShockers did a bit of good old fashioned science, and their results were intriguing to say the least. They found that on the standard setting, the input device lasted around 11 hours, while on the 'medium' option, it lasted 11 hours and 42 minutes. Interestingly, on the dimmest possible brightness, the DualShock 4 lasted 12 hours and 21 minutes.

Obviously, these aren't mammoth differences, but it is nice that the Japanese giant is now giving us the option. Which setting have you had your controller on? Does this result surprise you? Go wild in the comments section below.


User Comments (37)



get2sammyb said:

I've got it on the dimmest setting. I actually like the light bar, but I find that the dimmest setting prevents it from lighting up the whole room when dark, while I can still clearly see the colour on my lap.



MANTAGTJ001 said:

Dim is now my current, but it does say that when games require them it will turn back up which is super fine by me and having an extra hour and a bit battery life can only be good, right?



wagleton said:

Dim but it don't really matter when I'm 6 feet away from a 50" plasma. That thing just lights up the room anyway.



Paranoimia said:

Which basically disproves everyone who said that the lightbar significantly shortened the battery life.

That said, it apparently can be turned off by developers at the software level. So if they're not going to let you turn it off manually, why not patch the firmware to detect if you've got a camera connected, and if not, disable the light?



BarrettJChris said:

You know what is really sad? Mass amount of people. Almost everyone in today's world has something to complain about. "Oh my playstation doesn't play mp3's, oh my playstation controller light won't shut off, I can't broadcast videos to youtube so I'm gonna whine about it. Do us all a favor and shut up. Be grateful for what playstation has provided to you and stop acting like 13 year old drama queens. Eventually Sony will provided more and more patches to accommodate and satisfy your never ending demands but for the rest of the people who have heard enough of the crying shut up for the time being.



get2sammyb said:

@BarrettJChris While I wouldn't put it quite like that, I do agree that - generally - you can't satisfy a vast majority of people. Reading restaurant reviews for perfectly fine establishments can be hard work...



N711 said:

@BarrettJChris there can be legit 'complaints' or asking for more options but I agree in that there s a lot of spoiled children whining on the internet.



Carl-G said:

Hmm it might of lasted longer because now(YAWN, sorry to say) the Rumble is messed up :-/ + The only thing i feel like moaning about is can't SONY(& nearly all the other Companies) get it right & not give us broken updates 'most' of the time?!?!
Anyway the DS4 pad seemed to last longer this week for me(in DIM Mode. Not that i was bothered about the lights brightness in the 1st place really)



BarrettJChris said:

@N711 I agree there is a way to do it and most people don't want to do it the right way
@get2sammyb you are right you can't satisfy everyone. Everyone wants something more. It's like these people were spoiled as children and all they know is if they voice disappointment they will eventually get what they want.



iSillyBoiJudas said:

I have my controller set to medium & have not had it die out on me yet, but that's also because I have gotten into the habit of charging my controllers whenever I'm done playing my ps4 now



iSillyBoiJudas said:

I have my controller set to medium & have not had it die out on me yet, but that's also because I have gotten into the habit of charging my controllers whenever I'm done playing my ps4 now



McSterls said:

I keep mine on dim now, had bought some sticker originally to go over the light bar, but found that annoying as the light would seep around the edges, and it didn't look clean. I recall Sony saying turning off the light bar would have no discernible affect on battery life - seems like it does to me, If I get an extra hour and 21 minutes on a controller that only lasted 11 hours originally that's a big jump. They should just add the ability to turn it off at this point, let us decide - probably get another 30 minutes with if off.



GraveLordXD said:

@BarrettJChris yeah let's not **** about things that could be approved just take what they give us
I'm gonna still **** and whine about my ps4 not being backwards compatible I'll shut up when I damn well feel like it thank you very much



N711 said:

@McSterls they did the test with rumble off to have it even but time would be dramatically shorter in normal order I would think



Midzark said:

Mines on Dim, this test proves that I will get another 1hr+ out of it I'm happy only changed it for the extra life as the light never bothered me



baconcow said:

I have both controllers set on DIM. When playing Child of Light, one is blue and the other is red. The red controller hardly looks dim at all. Even the blue really only seems about 50% of the original setting. I was expecting a nice dim setting that would provide just enough light to see the colour, without being a flashlight. The dim setting is pretty poor at doing just that. My gaming environment is pretty dark, at night, and I have a plasma TV with a fairly reflective glass screen (it is a Panasonic ST-60, so there is a small amount of anti-reflective on it), so even dim reflects in the TV considerably.

It is a start, but Sony doesn't really know what dim means.



ComicBookGuy said:

Dunno if its just me, but I've grown quite fond of the light and have decided to leave it on Max. After playing Fez, I was just blown away by how much it adds to the experience when it follows the colour changes of the sky. On dim, it doesn't have the say oomph if you will.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@BarrettJChris If nobody would've complained, we'd have always-online, DRM-infested consoles now. MS only caved in because of user backlash...and Sony rode the wave of the crapstorm MS' original plans evoked. Sony also has a patent for connecting disk-based games to a user profile and I'm not sure they would not have gone the same way as MS if the backlash hasn't been so severe.

I agree that the whining tone and the "I WANTS IT NAOWE!1" tone can get on ones nerves, but in general, user feedback is a good thing, because it keeps companies sharp and on their edge.

Besides, the light bar is an issue for me, as it is clearly visible on the screen of my HDTV when I play in the dark. Others may not have the problem, but there's roughly a gazillion different TVs out there, with different screens and reflectiveness, so the dimming option is appreciated, and I'll take over an hour more of battery life any time.

And about the no-mp3-thingy? Again, the tone may be immature, but I too can not understand why a feature that was implemented in the PS3 isn't available on PS4, same goes for video files. When I had a PS3 around, the ability to copy music and videos onto the PS3s HDD and watch the videos on the big screen was highly appreciated and used by me.

Oh...and complaining about improper tone an immaturity on the web and then personally insulting somebody and with him dead? Yeah, right...

Luckily, people with your attitude and vulgarity are a minority in the Pushsquare community. Maybe go somewhere else, plz?

BTT: I have my DS4 on the lowest setting. Glare is better, but still visible, but I'm not too bothered.



JaxonH said:

Fully dim for a good hour of extra battery life. Whatever. I've got mine fully dimmed, but I keep two controllers on the docking station so if one dies, I charge it and grab the other. That's how you gotta do it...



Ginkgo said:

Not surprised by the results at all. LEDs do not consume much power. Still I have set mine to the dimmest. I don't have the camera yet, so why waste battery on something not being used.

I have personally never found the DS4s glare or reflection distracting.



get2sammyb said:

@LDXD Thanks for commenting. Please mind your language.

@BarrettJChris Debate is perfectly acceptable on this site as you know. Comments like the one you made - which I have now removed - are not. You have one more chance.



viciousarcanum said:

i keep mine at max because i don't sit 1 foot away from the tv with the controller upto my face to find any fault with it at all like the whiners who nitpick at everything different from the norm.



Squiggle55 said:

Thanks for the article. I was hoping for someone to run a test. Seeing that it does save battery life, I wish they would just provide the option to turn the light off completely, since they already went through the trouble of patching in light settings. I suspect they don't want to admit that it was a silly idea. If they simply included "off" while they were already patching in new settings, that's what mine would be set to, because I'll take every hour of battery life I can get. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't "bother" me, but the light serves zero purpose 99% of the time. The default should be off with the option to turn it on if you want to see your torch flicker gimmick in Tomb Raider.



BarrettJChris said:

@get2sammyb look would u just do me a favor and just delete my account. You always have something to say about anything I write. You seriously act like some uptight preacher boy he finds the slightest words unbearable. I gotta say you are worse than my grandmother who finds flatulation discusting. Oh another thing I gotta tell you. You are over using your power. Mr forum moderator. I got news for you buddy you are not as powerful as you think you are. You think you can threaten me with "one more time" I don't care what you do. Go ahead delete my account, ban my account, I don't care. For the people who live in the real world and who work for a living and have actual friends your just a blonde haired panzy boy. Go find a real woman



NathanUC said:

I still keep mine on max. As often as I take breaks to go do other things, being able to quickly spot the bright blue glow quickly has cut down on my time finding misplaced controllers. It's a band-aid to a different issue, but I still like it a lot. I'd even opt to make it even brighter since I sit so far from my tv and rarely see the glow reflecting on my walls.



BertoFlyingFox said:

I dont even think my DS4 lasts 11 hours on one charge, gotta check again though since the PS4 is packed up.

It's good to know that it does bump the battery life up slightly though, hopefully Sony will drop the stubbornness and just let us turn it off.



AD-80 said:

@Paranoimia Yeah I was an original complainer about the battery life for the light bar. Someone brought up the obvious LED inside that would consume very little battery life, which totally made sense once I realized. The remote has the touch screen which I bet is the main battery drain.

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