Lightswitch is a script that allows you to tag layers and/or effects so that you can toggle them on/off anytime you need. This allows you to shut off all non-essential layers and effects while you're animating so you don't have to render everything every time you preview while you're working.

Installing Lightswitch

Lightswitch.jsxbin must be placed in the Scripts directory in the After Effects folder. That folder will be named "Adobe After Effects Effects [version]" which has been replaced with "AE" below.


/Applications/AE/Scripts/ScriptUI Panels


\Program Files\AE\Support Files\Scripts\ScriptUI Panels

If After Effects was running when you installed the script, you’ll need to restart it.

Launching Lightswitch

When properly installed, you will find Lightswitch.jsxbin under the Window menu in After Effects.


The Lightswitch panel is dockable and responsive and will change between two layouts depending on the panel size.


Toggle - Toggles tagged layers and effects on/off. If you hold shift while clicking either side, it'll remove all the tags and turn everything on in case you want to clear everything out. This button is stateless on purpose, because sometimes you want to add new things and turn them off before doing a full preview again. Also, if you have trouble remembering which icon is which—like I initially did—remember that O is like Off. 😉

Tag - Applies a tag to the end of the names of layers and effects. It's <---- by default. You can also manually type these in if you'd like.

Settings - Click this to get a popup to modify settings. You can change the token you use from the default, or if you're working on someone else's file who also used Lightswitch, you can put in their token to swap them to yours.

Finally, if you hover over the buttons, a tool tip will pop up to help you.


One of the secret best things about Lightswitch is that since it uses text tokens to determine what effects to turn off, you can save presets with effects that have the token applied, and they'll function with Lightswitch when you use them. Unfortunately, After Effects doesn't maintain the name of a layer in a preset, or that would work too. Maybe one day they'll implement that.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Agustin Eguia, who pushed me to make the toggle switch a lot neater, and gave me the idea for how to design it to be stateless, instead of stuck on or off. And also thanks for the help during testing!

Also, a big thanks as well to Matthew Sienzant, who helped a lot with initial testing!

Thank You!

Thank you so much for purchasing Lightswitch! We appreciate you supporting us and we sincerely hope that it will help save you time in your work! Feel free to contact us to tell us about the awesome stuff you’ve used Lightswitch on. Or contact us if you need help so we can do our best to help you!

Thanks again!