Tunnel vision

Minimize onscreen distractions with this handy Chrome add-on.

Every now and then we run across an application that we never even knew we needed until we tried it. Turn Off the Lights is one such program. This Chrome add-on lets users obscure everything on their screen except the Flash video they're watching, minimizing distractions and making for a more pleasant viewing experience. Although this seems like a minor task, we found that we really enjoyed what Turn Off the Lights did for us.

The program is quite easy to use. A lamp icon is displayed in Chrome's menu bar when a video is detected, and users simply click the icon to make the screen surrounding the video fade. Clicking outside the video restores the rest of the screen. Users can adjust the opacity of the screen blocking and select a color other than black if desired. The add-on can also be set to dim the screen automatically, and there are a variety of YouTube-specific features as well. A keyboard shortcut gives users quick access to the program's services. Overall, Turn Off the Lights didn't blow our mind, but it was a surprisingly pleasant enhancement to our online-video-viewing experience. Even those who typically view videos in full-screen mode will find that Turn Off the Lights is a nice alternative for videos that are of too poor quality to be viewed at a larger size.

Turn Off the Lights installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this add-on to everyone.

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