What Are The Green Lights On Apple Watch & How To Turn Them Off

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Are you wondering about the two green lights on the back of your Apple Watch or smartwatch? Is it normal if they are on or is it some kind of warning? Do not worry! In this article, I will tell what is the purpose of having two green lights on your Apple Watch or on any smartwatch, how to turn them off, and if they are of any harm or not. So keep reading!

Smartwatches these days can do a lot of things other than just telling you the time therefore everyone wants to own one. If you have one, be it of Apple or any other brand, you must have noticed the flashing green light at the back of the watch. It can very well baffle you the first time you see it because it is not at all noticeable once the watch is on your wrist. But do not worry your watch is perfectly fine and you do not need to get it checked.

Let us have a look at why it is there and how to turn it off.

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What Is The Green Light At The Back Of The Apple Watch For?

First of all, let me tell you the green light is present on the back of every smartwatch and fitness tracker, not just on the Apple watch and yes they are there for a reason.

green light on the back of apple watch
Green lights on the back of my Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Heart rate monitoring on smartwatches is a very common feature these days. In fact, many people buy a smartwatch just for this function. But have you ever wondered how these little watches can measure our heart rate?

The answer lies in those little flashing green lights on the back of the Apple Watch! Yes, the two green lights are there to measure the heart rate on Garmin or Apple Watch. So next time you see them flashing then do not worry they are just trying to measure your heart rate and your watch is perfectly fine.

How To Turn Off Green Light On The Apple Watch?

The green lights will be turned on only when your heart rate monitoring is in the process. If you have set the heart rate monitoring function to be always on then the green lights will be on 24*7. But if you have specified the watch to monitor your heart rate after a particular time interval then they will be turned off and will light up once it is the time to monitor your heart rate.

Similarly, if you have selected a particular exercise mode or sports mode on the smartwatch then also the green lights will be turned on during the activity duration. Because during the specified activity the watch keeps track of your heart rate all the time. That said, you can turn them off if you want to. To turn them off you simply have to turn off the continuous heart rate monitoring on your watch. This will also increase the battery life of your watch by a huge margin.

However, one drawback of disabling the green light is that the watch will completely turn off the heart rate monitoring and it will not notify you of any abnormality with your heart rate. And every time you want to know your heart rate you will have to do it manually.

So, instead of doing this, you can set your Apple Watch or smartwatch to track your heart rate after a specific time interval. This will not only keep a track of your heart rate but will also increase your watch’s battery life to some extent.

To turn the green light off in your Apple Watch, you have to follow the following steps:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Click on the Privacy option
  3. Select the Health option
  4. Click on the Heart Rate option
  5. Choose Turn Off or the option that is best suitable for you

Are The Two Green Lights On Apple Watch Safe?

Yes, the green lights on the back of the Apple watch or any smartwatch are safe, they are none other than the small LEDs. The same LEDs that you use at your homes for light. So until and unless you do not face any problem with the lights that light up your home you will not get any harm from these little green lights as well.

How Green Light Tracks Heart Rate?

Once you know what the green lights do, the next question that arises is: How on Earth those little green lights can measure your heart rate? So let us put this curiosity to rest by looking at how it is done.

This is made possible with the help of a Technology called Photoplethysmography. Pretty hard to pronounce right? The working is as simple as it is hard to pronounce.

To understand this in simple terms let us go back to our school days a little. Do you remember we were taught in school that every color that we see is just a reflection of light? So, if you see a blue bottle then it means the bottle is not blue but is reflecting the blue color of light.

Similarly, the blood is not of red color but reflects the red color of light. And you should also know that the red color can absorb the green color completely.

Now that we are done with our foundation let us look at the actual working of the heart rate monitoring.

The watch consists of green lights and an optical sensor to measure the reflection. When the heart beats the blood flows in the body and obviously on our wrists. The watch flashes green light 100s of times in a second and the optical sensor monitors how much is getting absorbed or in the other words how much is getting reflected back.

Blood flow is higher when the heart beats and it is lower between the two beats. As a result, the absorption is higher and the reflection is lower when there is a greater flow of blood because the red color can absorb the green color as discussed earlier. Similarly, the absorption is less and the reflection is higher between two beats. Therefore, the number of times the green light is getting absorbed more or reflected less will be the number of times your heart is beating.

Pretty simple right? If not then you should read it again!

Make sure that your Apple Watch band has a proper fit so that the sensor can measure your heart rate accurately.

Should You Turn Off The Green Lights?

The answer to this question depends totally on you. If you want to measure your heart rate continuously so that you get to know instantly if there is anything wrong with your heart then you should not turn off the green lights. There have been many cases where lives were saved because the watch notified people of the possible heart attack. But the drawback of the 24*7 heart rate monitoring is that you will have to charge your smartwatch more often as it uses more battery.

And if you turn it off completely then you will have to measure the heart rate manually every time you want to know what is going on with your heart. But luckily there is a middle ground too, you can set your watch to measure the heart rate after a specified time interval like 5, 10, or 30 mins. This will save you some battery and will also keep track of your heart throughout the day.

So in the end, you should ask yourself this question, should you turn the green lights off?


How Do I Turn Off The Green Light On My Apple Watch?

Open the Settings app and click on the Privacy option. Then select the Health option and click on the Hear Rate. Finally, select Turn Off or the option that is best suitable for you.

What Do The Green Lights Mean On the Apple Watch?

If the green light is on then you do not have to worry, it just means that the watch is trying to monitor your heart rate.

Are The Green Lights On Apple Watch Harmful?

No, they are not harmful. They are basically LEDs that you use in your homes for light.

How Do I Turn Off The Green Light On My Smart Watch?

To turn off the green light you will have to turn off the heart rate monitoring feature of the smartwatch. You can find the heart rate monitoring option in your watch settings. Go to your heart rate monitoring option and turn it off.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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