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How Do I Disable My Gadgets' LEDs?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the back-to-school-day dept.

Hardware Hacking 259

pHatidic writes "My college dorm room is never dark, even with the lights turned off. This is because of LEDs. Between the Airport Express, laser printer, surge protector, and Logitech mouse there is the constant nuissance of light polution. The powerbook has to take the cake though, with a green LED built into the power adapter and a white pulsating LED indicating it's in sleep mode so bright that I can actually detect it even with my eyes closed. Short of actually unplugging all of my devices every day, is there any way to disable all of these LEDs so I can actually get some sleep?"

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OK, so this won't turn off your LEDs... (5, Funny)

tao_of_biology (666898) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114729)

...but this will solve all your problems [] . And it looks cool, too!

Re:OK, so this won't turn off your LEDs... (1)

rgbe (310525) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115046)

Dunno if it looks cool, but I suppose it's one solution.

-- "An egg is an chicken's way of making another chicken."

Black Electric Tape (5, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114732)

Cheap, Effective.

Re:Black Electric Tape (1, Funny)

pbox (146337) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114745)

So is a hammer. Or a pick-axe.

Re:Black Electric Tape (4, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114862)

And if the tape doesn't block it out by itself, you can use it to tape a piece of paper or cardboard over the LED.

Or, if you prefer (as I do), use the "handy man's secret weapon": duct tape. Duct tape fixes everything.

Re:Black Electric Tape (1)

erpbridge (64037) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115067)

And if one layer of tape don't work...
use two. or three. The thicker, the better.

Personally at home, I have an AC in my room with a freakin bright green LED displaying the temperature and functional mode, and also a rechargable mouse with a bright green battery.

I have a sock hanging over the AC, and an old Best Buy Receipt folded in half, then half again over the mouse (happens to be the receipt for the mouse...)

Those work wonders. Really. Now the noise of the AC could use some work, but I don't have a white noise generator, or a sound nullifier (or, for those who would get the reference, a cone of silence.)

Re:Black Electric Tape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115192)

I'd have more problem with the AC noise than the lights. This summer, when my small business finally started paying a little extra, the first thing I bought was a nice window unit so I could stop using the old one that rattled all the time. I am finally able to sleep for more than 2 hours straight during the summer.

I haven't had any problem with lights, especially after Isabel rolled through here and knocked out power for almost 2 weeks. I was okay, but came damn near losing the business because there was no way to run my computers (my system was still under development, spread out over 3 systems, held together with bailing wire and I wasn't about to move it and try to remember which cables had to be routed just so because they had a loose connector). Ever since then, when I wake up in the middle of the night and it's all dark and I can't hear the furnace or AC, I think of the computers going off for another few weeks, and my business going belly up. I finally put a tiny nightlight in a hallway -- it's just bright enough I can see some light and shadows from the bed. It's not a "scared of the dark" thing, but I find it always relaxes me because I can see a bright patch through the door and know power is on.

The final deaththows of Slashdot.... (4, Funny)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114945)

Q) How to darken LED's
A) Black electrical tape
Mod) +4 insightful
Need I say more...

Re:The final deaththows of Slashdot.... (1)

jebiester (589234) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114988)

Why? A cheap and easy solution was offered to the problem.

Re:The final deaththows of Slashdot.... (5, Funny)

optikSmoke (264261) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115749)

Yes, a *blazingly obvious* cheap and easy solution. Like, for example:

Q) My feet hurt when I walk on pavement. What should I do?
A) Wear shoes.

Q) The sun is bright; how can I keep it from hurting my eyes?
A) Try sunglasses.

Q) I took the screws off the hinges of my door, and now it doesn't stay closed. How do I solve this dilemma?
A) Screw the hinges back on.

Q) Why I am so stupid?
A) You might as well just kill yourself.

And this is modded insightful?

Re:The final deaththows of Slashdot.... (2, Insightful)

optikSmoke (264261) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115772)

On second thought, I guess I'm complaining more about the fact that a question with such an obvious answer was even allowed on Ask Slashdot.

Oh, wait.


Ask Slashdot.

Slashdot. Slashdot editors.

My bad.

close eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10114968)

cheaper, more effective.

Re:Black Electric Tape (4, Funny)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114980)

Tape over your eyes.

Cheaper, effective.

Re:Black Electric Tape (4, Funny)

austad (22163) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115210)

But temporary. I suggest drinking wood alcohol. Still cheap and effective, but permanent.

Everyone has suggested taping the LEDS.... (3, Funny)

growlydog (589804) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115014)

What about taping your eyelids? Less tape!

Re:Everyone has suggested taping the LEDS.... (2, Insightful)

jebiester (589234) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115254)

Less eyelids too - once you remove the tape

Re:Black Electric Tape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115132)

Tape is annoying since you obviously don't want to be removing and re-applying it every night. Heh.

But yeah, I have the same problem. I have seven monitors - each with at least one light (even when they're "off/standby"). Then I have about a dozen machines, each with at least a couple lights - and two with windows in the sides causing more light (such as the power LED from the mobo in your typical ASUS board) - and one of them a multi-colored lighted PSU, which shines like mad. Then there are three lights on my VoIP box. My printer has a light. My radio has one. All of the keyboards have a couple each. Each of my two dozen USB-linked hard drives have one. My cable modem has four. My router has seven or eight. My four power strips have one on each. My speakers have one under each satelite. My phone has two to four depending on the state of receieved voicemail.

Then, on the other end of the room, the audio system on my 60" widescreen projection TV has a full face of bright blue/grey LEDs. My digital cable box has a red one and a face full of orange LEDs. The DVD player has a red one. The alarm clock has a face full of green.

Even with all the lamps turned off, you can practically read a book in the dark in my room.

Re:Black Electric Tape (2, Interesting)

Idealius (688975) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115169)

Actually, speaking from experience black electrical tape may not be the best solution.

A. Not aesthetically pleasing.

B. Black electrical tape is known to come off of smooth objects with little effort if the object is exposed to a reasonable amount of heat. Eighty+ degrees Fahrenheit if I were to guess. Hopefully you don't keep a computer in that hot of an environment, though! (unless you get lucky you college nerd; queue drum line.)

C. This kinda goes with A. When you take black electrical tape off of something when it's been there for say 2 or 3+ months expect this black tape electrical goo to be stuck around where the tape lay. Easy to get off of one of these devices? Probably, but that would depend mostly on the device.

The reason I know all of this is because a past roomate of mine had his stereo ripped out of his car outside our apartment.

I put black electrical tape over the LED on the webcam I put in our window.. hoping they would strike again. They never did, filthy crooks :)

Re:Black Electric Tape (1)

Segway Ninja (777415) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115218)

And if you don't like the color, try BluTack or Utac (you know, that stuff for sticking posters to the wall)

Re:Black Electric Tape (5, Funny)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115364)

I used to deliver news papers. There was an older couple on my route that tried the tape over the blinking 12:00 on their VCR. Only I guess they didn't have electrical tape, and used Scotch Invisible Tape instead. So instead of blocking out the light they just sort of diffused it. I could no longer make out the digits, but there was a soft pulsing blue rectangle very noticable from across the room.

So remember, the tape you use must be opaque.

Re:Black Electric Tape (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115394)

Seriously. You'd think he'd be a little more creative being a nerd. This is about as bad as that "How do I wash my LCD screen?" post.

better solution in one word: (2, Informative)

boisepunk (764513) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115400)


Re:Power Switch (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115424)

Cheaper. More effective.

Simple Solution (-1, Redundant)

ragnarok (6947) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114735)

Electrical Tape.
Problem solved.

black duct tape (-1, Redundant)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114736)

or electrical tape to cover the led

Re:black duct tape (2, Interesting)

krate (796236) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114751)

Black sharpie

Re:black duct tape (1)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114765)

black nail polish

Re:black duct tape (1, Funny)

Sancho (17056) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114870)

Too bad those are illegal under the DMCA as an anticircumvention device....

Umm Electrical tape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10114742)

Electrical tape.

TAPE (1, Troll)

jpmkm (160526) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114743)

That stands for Put Some Fucking Tape Over It. Okay, so it doesn't stand for that. Do that anyway. I understand the white light may be annoying, but the rest of it is causing light pollution? They are indicators, not spotlights. If those little indicator LEDs are preventing you from falling asleep then maybe you need to upgrade your eyelids.

Cut or hide? (2, Interesting)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114748)

Though I can't make any guarantees, I don't think it'll break anything to cut the power to the LED's in the vast majority of cases. But if you'd rather be safe, a very popular and respectable choice, paint or masking tape ought to do the job.

Unplug it at the wall.... (2, Insightful)

gus goose (306978) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114750)

... nuff said.

Why do people insist on running things 24x7...


Re:Unplug it at the wall.... (1)

applegoddess (768530) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114815)

well, if you're not running servers or anything...
i dont see a point to turning these things off - dsl modem, both airport base stations, computers, external drives, cellphone, so what (:
my solution is simply some tape and a post it note...maybe folded once or twice or some electrical tape. LEDs are useful (especially with that airport express and other routers like that), dont remove them or something :p

Re:Unplug it at the wall.... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114914)

"Why do people insist on running things 24x7..."

If you don't know why they need to run it, then how can you suggest they unplug it?

Re:Unplug it at the wall.... (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114967)

"If you don't know why they need to run it, then how can you suggest they unplug it?"

I want to know why somebody with a mod point thought a suggestion that completely disables the functionality of his devices would be an 'interesting' solution.

Re:Unplug it at the wall.... (2, Funny)

redJag (662818) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115253)

People always talk so tough when they post as Anonvmous Coward!!!

Just like your motherfuckin' mom, bitch! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115861)


ummm (0, Redundant)

ralphus (577885) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114753)

cover them with black electrical tape?

unplugging devices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10114754)

Unplugging all the devices (which is trivial if they're in a power strip, i.e., turn the strip off) does have the advantage of saving power. Sure, it's a dorm room, so you're not paying the bill, but remember someone is....and ultimately, you are, too.

Re:unplugging devices...with a power strip (2, Insightful)

Siniset (615925) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114854)

You should really consider connecting everything to a power strip, and then shuting everything down ever night. After starting to do that, I'm saving at least 5 dollars a month on electric bills. Living in the dorms it doesn't really matter, as far as costs go, but it's good to get into the habit.

Put everything under the bed! (2, Informative)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114756)

Simple, elegant, no cost involved! :-)


Re:Put everything under the bed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115216)

That's where I sleep, you insensitive clod!

One way I solved... (5, Informative)

atgrim (103715) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114766)

my light pollution issue was to connect everything to multiple surge protectors. My 21" monitor, system, speakers and sub, camera adapter and charger are connected to a strip on my desk. My wife has all of her gear coneected through a strip on her desk. Then I have the electrical board which contains the DSL modem, D-Link router and NGear switch on it's own strip. At night or if I am going away for a few days, everything goes through a shut down. Boxes go off then all the strips are turned off. Light goes away, and the crickets come out because the noise pollution has gone away as well :-). A definite side benifit that I have noticed over the few months I have been doing this is that my eletrical bill has decreased significantly. Anyway, that what I do and it works for me. Maybe you can experiment a bit and see what might work for you. Cheers.

Re:One way I solved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115146)

But what if you're downloading stuff overnight? Or what if someone wants to contact you? Hard to jabber you when you aren't online. Not to mention, if you use VoIP, shutting down your router and modem shuts down your phone line.

Simple: (0, Redundant)

Ed Thomson (704721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114776)

Black electricians tape. It stays in pretty well any no light will penetrate it.

Problem Solved.. Next Question (0, Redundant)

_aa_ (63092) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114781)

Try this [] .

Uh, duh... (0, Redundant)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114786)

Put tape over them, or an object. Isn't this obvious?

simple (1)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114790)

well, I find a sledge hammer to be particularily effective

One idea (4, Insightful)

Izanagi (466436) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114791)

Get a night mask.

Ah yes... (1, Troll)

topher (23024) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114797)

I've run into this problem as well. May I suggest one of these: []


Re:Ah yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10114841)

Fixed link: []

Do what I did: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10114799)

Build a loft, put your computer under it, then sleep on top facing the wall. The lights were great for finding things in the dark then.

Bluetack (2, Insightful)

soccrates (634152) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114833)

Since tape is a little harder to cover the small LED's _only_ without making it look ugly, just whop a little bit of bluetack over it.
Aesthetic Geek.

Void your warranty (1)

boredMDer (640516) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114834)

Pop it open, take out the LED.

Problem solved.

Or masking tape, that works.

Two Words (0, Redundant)

pcbob (67069) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114845)

Black ducktape

Get used to it? (1)

hex(57005) (808596) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114860)

Seriously, I have problems sleeping if I don't have a few dim leds and the hum of a computer fan or two... So dark and quiet, I can hear my heart beat, hell I can hear my neurons firing. But, if you can't get used to the lights, either tape them, or if you want to have some fun, and void your warrenty, cut the wires, though if you do this you might break something, sometimes the led is in the middle of a chain. If the leds have seats, like the power and reset leds in most boxen, just pull them. Or face the other way.

Lightweight (1)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114865)

I remember an /. poll asking how many LEDs were on right then, or something, and a good percentage (myself included) answered 50+ (or whatever the highest option was, who wants to dig it up?). Two or three Apple products making light is nothing.

Black Sharpie marker (5, Informative)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114868)

I've used a black Sharpie marker on LEDs before. It dims the LED and it's not very noticeable, a lot less ugly than duct tape or any kind of tape. Plus you can wash most of it off with rubbing alcohol if you ever want it bright again.

Re:Rubbing Alcohol (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115367)

I discovered the hard way that certain plastics don't take well to being scrubbed with rubbing alcohol. I haven't figured out exactly which ones they are what with the not wanting to ugly-fy every tenth gadget I own. (Not that I own ten. Sigh.)

That said, don't waste your money on rubbing alcohol. Everclear is cheaper. And it's not denatured, so it won't kill you as quickly should you have to resort to drinking it in a pinch.

Re:Rubbing Alcohol (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115773)

Try salt water. It'll fix the blinking LED problem too.

Re:Black Sharpie marker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115859)

I did the same thing on a 3Com X-Jack WiFi card. The blinkenlight was really disturbing. After the marker treatment it was fine, and the card was even better looking (as if that matters...)

Seriously (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114872)

" Short of actually unplugging all of my devices every day, is there any way to disable all of these LEDs so I can actually get some sleep?"

Try a night-mask.

Re:Seriously (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115176)

Ferion []-- Like Master of Orion, only played against other people.

See also: Amway.

Re:Seriously (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115307)

"See also: Amway."


two words (2)

gnovos (447128) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114880)

duck tape

Re:two words (2)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115431)

You probably meant "duct" tape. Unless of course you were referring to that special tape huntsmen use to secure their birds to the wall for display...

Re:two words (2, Informative)

morzel (62033) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115713)

No... Parent poster was actually referring to "Duck Tape [] " (ie: Duck Tape brand duct tape).

Captain Obvious to the rescue! (1)

KingPrad (518495) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114889)

Mr. Silly Question Poster, meet Mr. Electrical Tape. and Mr. Duct Tape. and Mr. Sticky Note. and Mr. Ragged Piece of Paper Taped Over the LED. and Mr. Some Random Object Propped Up In Front of the Damn Thing.

Is this a mental agility test where you name as many ways as you can in 60 seconds? This is not a difficult question. I mean, tape a gerbil down there. Set a crystal turning via a little motor and get some psychedelic room effects going. Set up mirrors to direct the lights to your roomate's side of the room.

NOT Captain Obvious!! (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115372)

It's Obviousman! [] DUH! []

Hope you're skilled (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114933)

with a soldering iron. That's what I did to my PowerMac's white LED. Damn thing was WAY too bright, and I didn't like shutting down since bootup took too long (especially when I needed to shoot off multiple "I woke up late" emails :)

It's rather like a vasectomy for a Mac, moreso since it's reversible.

Re:Hope you're skilled (2, Funny)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114978)

You don't have to be that skilled. Heat up iron, poke at the LED. You don't even have to open the case.


Re:Hope you're skilled (2, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115570)

The Mac mods on /. have just declared a fatwa against you. []

Uh... (0, Redundant)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#10114966)

...a little square of Black Electrical tape does fine.

You can probably find a little patch of sticker in whatever color needed to match any device you want to block out.

Heat it. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115036)

If you don't want to go cutting into the LED's heat them until they die. Of course you could just wire in extra voltage until the LED's fail. Either way you're likely to damage your electronics in the process, and are better off just using black tape.

step 1 (1)

sexygirl.jpg.vbs (777027) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115042)

stop bragging. /me holds five-year-old ThinkPad and cries.

Tape is good, Black Electrical Tape is not. (4, Informative)

EvilJohn (17821) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115047)

Find a roll of Gaffer's Tape. Electrical Tape and Duct Tape both use heavy residue adhesive that can be a pain to remove from plastic. Try using some Gaffer's tape instead. It's far easier to clean up after.

Re:Tape is good, Black Electrical Tape is not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115195)

use fresh semen to wipe off the residue of electrical or duct tape. but then you have to find something to wipe off the semen residue.

Re:Tape is good, Black Electrical Tape is not. (1)

mooreBS (796555) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115289)

If you're going to go the tape route find some high quality painters masking tape, gaffers leaves nasty residue that's worse than duct tape if left on for extended periods of time.

I like the sharpie idea; it's transparent and easily reversible.

Logitech - tone it down will ya?! (2, Funny)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115165)

The most offensive LED equipped product I own is a logitech 5.1 channel speaker system... the center channel speaker has a fricking blue laser beam aimed at my left eye.

Gah! My EYE!

Re:Logitech - tone it down will ya?! (1)

atrader42 (687933) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115625)

Have you considered moving your head? Lasers tend to only focus over small areas :) ...or is it tracking the movement of your head? if that's the case, I suggest holding a mirror in front of your face until you smell the sucker smoking.

project on source forge (0, Troll)

cybergeak (318482) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115186)

i think its called, pull your head out of your ass and quit asking slashdot stupid fucking questions. what in gods name is wrong with you. they're LEDs, they're on when your shit is on, and they're off when your shit is off. did you honestly expect some mystical snmp solution to disable your lights because your too stupid to put some tape over them? or put all your blinding devices under a towel or in a drawer? jesus ask slashdots suck.

Re:project on source forge (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115298)

One really had to wonder what the world is coming to. I mean, if the poster is really too stupid to figure this out him/herself, should they even be allowed to buy a router or use the internet?

Maybe theres a market for Open Source Black Opaque Tape for Dufuses that are too Stupid to do the Obvious. I could get a piece of that action.

Why would you want fewer?! (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115211)

Send them all to me. If my roommate can put up with xscreensaver illuminating the room all night, a few LEDs wouldn't hurt any.

Re:Why would you want fewer?! (2, Funny)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115447)

xscreensaver is cool, and the new RSS ports are even cooler, until you accidentally leave on the fireworks one with audio one night.... while the computer is plugged into your sound system instead of headphones. Yea... whoops.

Jesus H. Christ (5, Funny)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115228)

Worst. Story. On. Slashdot. EVER.

Here you go, skippy. Get yourself some index cards. Cut off enough to cover twice the length they'll need to cover the LEDs. Fold in half. Now cut off a strip o duct tape and apply half of it to an edge of the paper. Tape just above LEDs.

Now you have something that you can use to cover the LEDs at night by slipping out the bottom part of paper. During the day you can slip the edge of the index card up to hide it.

What? Did you really think that someone was going to track down the arcane (if even possible) instructions on quieting your lights for a myriad of unrelated devices? Holy crap.

That's the wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115271)

.. and the answer to the question you REALLY wanted to ask is, drink a lot of coffee.

Best, most obvious answer (2, Insightful)

JeffHunt (129508) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115440)

How about turning all of that stuff off at night? Do you really need to use your laser printer while you're sleeping? It'll be quieter in your room, to boot!

Re:Best, most obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115711)

Maybe the have one of those laser printers where the only way to turn them off is by pulling the plug. They spend about 1-5 Watts IIRC idling in some low power mode.

Got to love the responses... (4, Interesting)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115457)

First of all we have the responses that say 'Do what you told us you don't want to do. Turn the stuff off."

Next up are the 'Cover those lights with some sort of tape that will leave a residue that pretty much can't be washed off.' with variations such as 'use a black sharpy or other marker'

Of course you have the other variations on this, such as the 'post-it' notes, or other obstructions directly attached to the device.

Lastly you find the people advocating taking the equipment appart and (in most cases) desoldering the led's, or clipping their leads.

So, Rusty0101, what kind of solution do you have?

Regardless of whether the monitor you have is a flat panle LCD, plasma, or CRT, in most cases you don't need it on when you are trying to sleep, and if it isn't integrated into a computer you want left on 24x7, you can probably turn it off.

For the equipment that you want placed up high, but don't want to see the lights from, get the rough dimmensions, then head to a dollar store, or possibly a household goods store, and pick up some opaque storage boxes to put them in. Plastic and cardboard are often opaque to light, but transparent to microwave frequencies, so your 802.11abg equipment should continue to run just fine. If you are concerned about heat, place a piece of black paper over the equipment and leave the box top off. Remember to lable the box so you know what's in it, and if there is room for other stuff as well.

That nice bright light on the front of the laptop? While you are at the dollar store, pick up a plate holder. When you are done with the laptop for the day, and fold it up, set it in the plateholder so that the front led is facing down, (behind a book or something.) If you have a power book, or something with leds at the back of it instead, find (or get your craft inclined so to make) a laptop sleeve that you put your laptop in, and which wraps around any plugs that generate light.

Base computers? If you assemble your own, you know how to disable the leds on the front. This doesn't help for those nice self lit cooling fans, but we'll get to that. Ok for those, get the dimensions of your pc, and make a wooden box with a light baffled slot at the top back of the box, open most of the bottom, and get a 9" fan fitted to that opening, drawing air from below. Filter this properly so you are not picking up all kinds of dirt. Make sure that the holes for cables is also light baffled, and can be accessed easily with the top of the box off. I personally recomend lining the insides of this box with egg separators to baffle the noise as well, but that's your business.

Mice. Get or make a black box, just large enough to drop the mouse into, and just deep enough to hide the led. Replace your mouse with a trackball. Replace your mouse with a Wacom tablet, and do not leave the mouse thingie on the tablet. (usually this activates a 'sensor' led on the tablet which is otherwise off.)

Printers: see monitors or base units. My own experience is that the Samsung ML-1750 turns all leds off when in sleep mode, which it automatically goes into about ten minutes after it is done printing. Ink jets have such a short expected lifetime these days, I am not opposed to covering the leds with something you can easily peel away to see what is happening when needed.

If you are handy with tools, you might be able to make a roll top 'top' for your desk that would hide all of this for you on demand, and if you used light enough materials it would not cause signal degredation for things like wifi equipment.

As a last option, if you have a closet, or can make a large enough storage cabinet for your dorm, get a 'long' kvm extension and only have the mouse, keyboard and monitor sitting on the desk, everything else tucked away. Just make sure that the closet does not get too hot, and do not throw dirty clothes and stuff on top of your electronics. So it isn't the best gaming option? So what. you are looking for a peaceful way to get some sleep.


It is not our fault... (2, Informative)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115565)

... if this guy does not want to do the obvious: turn the damned stuff off.

Sometimes you may want to do something stupid, that does not mean other people should aid you in your pursuit of stupidity.

For all of those who suggested tape... (3, Funny)

JeffHunt (129508) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115466)

It's DUCT tape, not DUCK tape. Get it f***ing right! It's good for DUCTS, not DUCKS, you sniveling... you... um, you...

Arg, I can't even finish this. That's how annoyed this makes me!

Re:For all of those who suggested tape... (1)

atrader42 (687933) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115650)

It's good for DUCTS, not DUCKS, you sniveling... you... um, you...
Umm...oops....Well, I guess if experience teaches anything, I guess it's that even a simple misunderstanding can lead to animal cruelty charges.

Re:For all of those who suggested tape... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10115729)

Is it? []

Re:For all of those who suggested tape... (2, Informative)

morzel (62033) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115744)

Not necessarily. []

It's a brand name, c'ptain.... so anybody who mentions Duck Tape® is equally correct as the people who're talking about duct tape. Some even might argue that Duck Tape® is better, since most non-English speaking folks haven't got the faintest idea what a 'duct' is, but they do know what Duck Tape® (the brand) is and where they can find it in the hardware store.

business opportunity (1)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115484)

1. Find college students that are annoyed by the toys they told daddy they "had to have" for school.
2. ???
3. PROFIT!!!

I actually prefer velcro tape over electrical (1)

millisa (151093) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115504)

Whenever I use electrical tape, it eventually peels off since it's only a little piece. That and it leaves a pretty gummy residue that takes a bit of goo gone to remove.

I actually have started using velcro tape pieces. It doesn't show as much since its not reflective and just leaves a little fuzzy divot and when I've peeled it off after a year, it didn't leave any residue (it more just popped off like rubber feet do that are on a device for a long time).

For that matter, spare rubber feet work pretty well too and usually don't leave residue (though I think they stand out a bit more).

Hm... (5, Funny)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115523)

I see a lot of suggestions to use tape: electrical, duct, gaffer's, etc.

I don't know what's the matter with you kids these days.

When I was in college and being kept awake by the glow of all those vacuum tubes, I'd attack them relentlessly with a big can of black enamel spray paint. Sure, made it harder to identify which tube blew when stuff shut down. But you can generally tell by the temperature, if you hold the tip of your finger to the side of the tube. And a good spray of enamel keeps the light way down. Remember to turn the machine off before spraying, though, because most spray paints use a flammable propellant, and those tubes can get hot under heavy use.

The tube machine, needless to say, was a huge improvement over the machine I had in my room the previous year. I set up a web server on my Burroughs Mark II. That machine didn't have any lights of any sort, but the fuckin' racket the relays would make! Especially when someone tried to download some ASCII porn, and it used ever one of the memory cells in the 4kb array. If you haven't heard 4096 relays clattering at once, you don't know what noise is!

(and if you actually believe any of this, you kids are worse off today than even a old curmudgeon like me can imagine)

When I was at University... (2, Funny)

EvilNutSack (700432) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115636)

We didn't have time for sleep! Get back into that deathmatch private and let me hear your war cry! AAAARRGGHH!!!

Answer is bloody obvious (4, Insightful)

Celt (125318) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115695)

Well it is...
Cover lights in tape
open device, disconnect lights

Why is /. posting a question that a 10 year old could answer, even a 5 year old might suggest the tape as a idea.

Two words... (1)

BrianRaker (633638) | more than 10 years ago | (#10115801)

Duct tape. It worked for MacGyver, it'll work for you.
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