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Back in the S10 series times, Samsung went with an ultrathin top bezel and the so-called “hole-in-active-area” design for the front camera. Unfortunately, that also meant that the LED light that used to bring us visual notifications about charging status or missed calls and messages in the Galaxy S9, was also gone.

Granted, there was a light ring animation around the in-display front camera area when you do face recognition and such, but it doesn’t serve other notification purpose by default. Eventually, Samsung updated its experimental Good Lock app with the EdgeLighting+ plugin that was intent to take on third-party solutions like the Holey Light or ARC Lighting applications from the Play Store that proliferated as a stopgap solution for visual notifications.

Samsung Galaxy S21 smart notification light switch

Starting with the Galaxy S20 models, though, and now with their S21 series successors, Samsung takes its stock notification light replacement solution, called Edge Lighting, to a whole new level that doesn’t require you to search for any extras.
Here’s how to turn on and set the Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra smart notification light:
  1. From Settings (app icon or cogwheel in notification bar), tap Notifications > Brief pop-up settings > Edge lighting.
  2. Tap Lighting style to customize the color, effects, width, transparency and duration of the Edge lighting.
  3. Tap Color by keyword to configure a smart lighting effect triggered by specific text in notification titles and body.
  4. Tap Show Edge lighting to choose whether it replaces notification pop-ups when the screen is on/off/both.
  5. Tap Choose apps to pick those applications that can activate Edge lighting when a notification is received.
  6. Turn on the Show even when screen is off setting.
  7. Tap Done when finished.
There you go, you can now trigger a red notification light running around your Galaxy S20 when there is the word “coronavirus” mentioned in your Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Gmail alerts. We kid, but it’s still a rather cool feature that will hopefully trickle down. As for custom call lighting, here’s what Samsung has to say: