Ochra Light promises ambient lighting but doesn't deliver

Ochra Light screenshot

Let's talk theory, because Ochra Light, free with ads and available on all iOS devices, is great in theory. It adds an extra layer to standard white noise relaxation apps by using color therapy. As the name suggests, the colored light aspect should be the app's primary feature, but it is completely useless.

Ochra Light should light up your room with one of four color palettes - red, blue, yellow and green. These colors cycle through various shades and intensities while you listen to white noise. You can choose to apply one of 4 patterns to add dimension to the light the app emits.

Ochra Light screenshot

Given these features, you expect the app to cast ambient patterned lighting around your room, or at the very least in part of your room. Otherwise, what's the point? Unfortunately, the light is so dim that it barely reflects on the wall of a pitch-black room, even when you put your phone close to the wall. And you can forget about seeing the pattern.

This fault is not lost on the developer who suggests placing a water bottle, sans label, on top of your phone to disperse the light. I did not test this method because I have an aversion to using my iPhone as a coaster. I imagine you do too.

The sound options on Ochra Light are basic, but nice. You have rain, forest, bonfire and sea. As with similar apps, there is a sleep timer. There is a 30-minute interval option, which is good for people who use the pomodoro productivity method.

You can set the timer and change the sound by swiping right or left respectively. However, to change the color or pattern, you need to go back to the app's home screen. It takes seconds, but a more seamless approach would provide a better experience.

Another drawback is that you cannot pause the sound. If you want to stop it for any reason, you must go back to the home screen and then go through the process of selecting your color, pattern and sound all over again. This is yet another misstep.

With all of the other white noise apps out there, Ochra Light isn't worth the download.