Disable The Dualshock 4 LEDs To Extend The Battery Life Time

November 27, 2013

xn0 from neogaf decided to test the effects of the LEDs in the new Dualshock 4 Controller. After disabling the 6 extremely bright LEDs in one of his controllers he did some testing and shared the results online:

So the test is going to go like this… I have taken apart one of my DS4 controllers and realized that I cannot desolder the LEDs without breaking the board (ie heat gun did not work and I’m fond of my DS4 even with the annoying light). There is a simple ribbon cable (circled below) that joins the microUSB port and the LEDs to the main board, and if I remove this cable the controller still works and functions normally. I have both controllers charging currently. I am going to wait until they are both fully charged then I am going to turn both of them on and see which one runs out of batteries first. I won’t be touching the controllers they will just be on all night and I’m guessing the one with the LEDs attached will drain faster, how much faster is the real question.

I’ll report back my findings and maybe a non junior member could start a thread on it.

So what I discovered when taking apart my DS4 is that these are some serious LED’s in this controller. The LED’s are actually so bright they sit behind a defuser and 2 shields (with 1 of those shields being completely opaque) the 4 LED’s in the 360 controller are less bright by a significant amount. There appear to be 6 extremely bright LEDs inside of the array, and my experience with both LED light bars on ATV’s and LED strobes on guns I can definitely say LED’s do consume a measurable amount of power. If I had to guess what is eating up batteries in the DS4 it would be Rumble motors

I think it will be a short time before this is a configureable option. Until then I just discovered that PIN 14 is the power to the LED for anyone who cares to disable the LED without tape/paint/etc, I’m doing it now.

So far there is no data on the test. I am just using the battery indicator light on the OS, both are still at full bars and they have been going for about 3.5 hours. I now doubt the light has a significant impact but tomorrow morning I’ll check it again and use a voltmeter on both batteries and post back on this thread.

So I’m not a patient man…. I just took a multimeter to both batteries…


DS4 w/ LED enabled: 3.66V
DS4 w/ LED disabled: 3.88V

Verdict so far… Well this means nothing unfortunately since I did not measure each battery fully charged with the multimeter. However based on this data I don’t see any way the DS4 with the LED disabled is going to drain more battery than the DS4 with the LED enabled. Continuing this test might be pointless I’m afraid, as the outcome is going to be exactly as I expected, the DS4 w/ LED is draining batteries quicker.

That said the LED’s likely have little impact on the battery when compared to the 2 rumble motors and the capacitive touchpad.

UPDATE: As of 1:40am the DS4 with the LED on hit 2/3 bars, the DS4 with the LED disabled is still at 3/3 bars. That is approximately 4.5 hours to discharge 1 bar on DS4 with just the LED.


So I just tested again and the DS4 with the LED on is at 1 bar, however the DS4 with the LED off is still at 3 full bars. The reading is 3.67V on the DS4 without the LED controller which is more than the DS4 was with the LED on was last night after a few hours. The battery draw isn’t huge for the LED’s but its still there and noticeable. I think I can safely assume that the DS4 with LED on isn’t going to last 24 hours of being on and idle whereas the DS4 with LED off will probably be scratching at 2 bars.

I did start with the controllers fully charged but I only used the OS to give me that data that the controllers were full an no longer charging. I did not however think of hooking both batteries up to a multimeter and taking a reading before the test started to make sure both were equally charged. Only after a few hours did I think of doing that.

This test is really easy to preform, I’m definitely going to preform it again with more measurements, and I’m hoping more people will do the same given its extremely easy to conduct, and add some weight to the findings.

For more information and updates, visit the source:

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