If you work or live in a noisy environment, have a hard time hearing your iPhone alerts, or simply want to take advantage of a cool iPhone case feature, you’ll likely appreciate the ability to have your iPhone light up its camera flash LED to let you know about incoming notifications. This feature is built into the iPhone, although it’s not located in an obvious place, as Apple designed it specifically for those users with hearing problems who may not be able to hear their iPhone ringing, even at the loudest volume. As a result, the setting lives not under Sounds or Notifications, where you might expect it to be, but in the Accessibility section, under Settings, General.
You’ll find a number of settings in this area designed to make the iPhone easier to use for people with various special needs, and the LED Flash for Alerts feature is among them, near the bottom under the “Hearing” heading. Simply toggle it on and your iPhone will flash the camera LED every time it would otherwise make a notification sound. There are a few catches here, however: firstly, you can’t control which notifications cause the LED to flash, so if you enable this, you’ll get a flashing LED for everything from calls to Facebook notifications — basically anything that would cause your iPhone to sound a notification alert will cause the LED will flash as well. Further, since it’s primarily an accessibility feature, it only works when your iPhone’s screen is off, and you’re not using an Apple Watch to receive your notifications; presumably in these latter cases, you won’t need the LED to flash as you’ll either get the notification on the screen you’re looking at already, or on your wrist. Lastly, just to add another wrinkle to the mix, we’ve observed a bug that sometimes disables the feature if the flash in the Camera app is set to “OFF,” so if you’re trying to get it working and having trouble, that’s something else to take a look at.