Top 5 Questions About The Desert Mist Diffuser

The other day I realized that how to use your Young Living diffuser is the most read post on my blog. At first this felt like a huge surprise. But then I remembered how many questions I get from my own friends and family about how to use their Young Living diffusers, and it made a lot more sense.

Most people are so excited when their Premium Starter Kit arrives, they simply rip open the box and start playing. Which is amazing! Except for one problem…

Each Young Living diffuser has it’s own features and nuances, and without reading the manual, you might be missing out on some important stuff.

So today I’m going to break down the most frequently asked questions about the Young Living Desert Mist Diffuser. I’ll cover whether it shuts off automatically, and share all the details about the light modes and cycles. I’ll even get to the bottom of the where the fill line actually is.

Your Desert Mist Diffuser Manual

For those of who you threw out all of the packaging in your Premium Starter Kit in a fit of excitement, or have the  manual somewhere (but couldn’t put your finger on it for the life of you)… don’t fret. I got you.

I have a .pdf version of the Desert Mist Diffuser manual, and am happy to share it. You should save this! Seriously! Even if you’re “not a manual person” (I know, we all feel that way sometimes), you really should save this. Someday when your diffuser stops working, you’ll want to have the handy trouble shooting tips. I promise.

And for those of you who just got your Desert Mist Diffuser, please give this a read. It includes some important information about mist settings, light settings, how to use the two buttons, filling the diffuser, and… very important, cleaning the diffuser.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee and take 5 minutes to at least skim the Desert Mist Diffuser manual. Seriously, it’s worth it.
Download the Desert Mist Diffuser Manual

Frequently Asked Questions about the Desert Mist Diffuser

Okay, now let’s get to it. Here are the top 5 questions I get asked about the Young Living Desert Mist Diffuser.

1. Where can I find the Desert Mist Diffuser manual?

Click here to download the Young Living Desert Mist Diffuser manual.

2. Does the Desert Mist Diffuser shut off automatically?

This diffuser DOES have a built in automatic shut off, which is wonderful. So the short answer is yes, the diffuser shuts off when the water runs out. That means if you fill the water to the proper fill line, you can expect the maximum number of hours, based on your mist setting. If you fill it halfway with water, it will run for approximately half the amount of time.

  • High mode (click the power button once) runs approximately 5 hours continuously.
  • Low mode (click the power button twice) runs approximately 8 hours continuously.
  • Intermittent mode (click the power button three times) runs approximately 10 hours by running 1 minute on, then 1 minute off.

While your diffuser automatically shut off when the water runs out (meaning no more mist), the light setting does not shut off. So this means you may come home to a powered down diffuser but still see the light on.

You can solve this in one of two ways. First, you may choose to run your diffuser with no light on. Or, whenever you notice the diffuser has stopped misting, simply shut off the light manually. To quickly shut off the light, press and hold the light button for 3 seconds.

3. What’s with the Desert Mist Diffuser light modes?

There are far more light settings on this diffuser then the Dewdrop, which is awesome! But you’ll want to take a minute and learn how to control the lights. Your diffuser has two buttons: the button on the left is the power button, the button to the right is the light button.

When you turn your diffuser on, the LED light automatically turns on to it’s default setting: bright. You can then click the light button until you reach the light setting you prefer.

  • Press light button 1 time for dim white light.
  • Press 2 times for candle-like ficker.
  • Press 3 times to get to the color cycle option! When left on this setting, the light cycles through all 7 color options on a 5-second delay, starting with red.
  • Press 4-10 times to manually select an individual color option: red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, blue, lavender.
  • If you press the light button 11 times, you’ll turn the light off.
  • A much faster way to turn the light off at any time is to simply press and hold the light button for 3 seconds.

4. Can you use this diffuser without a light?

Yes! Thank goodness, because I don’t like to sleep with a bright night light next to my bed. The diffuser’s 11 different light settings can be turned off or on independent of diffuser function.

To turn the light off at any time is to simply press and hold the light button for 3 seconds.

5. Where is the fill line in the Desert Mist?

Some of you might be wondering why this is a frequently asked question. Well, unfortunately the Desert Mist manual includes a depiction of the fill line that is unclear and confusing at best. Take a look:

A drawing of the water fill line that isn't very clear

In the picture above, the line is pointing to a vertical edge on the inside of the diffuser. Not exactly helpful. So here’s a better picture for you that pinpoints exactly which ledge you should be using as a gauge for your maximum water fill line.

A helpful picture of the Desert Mist Diffuser fill line


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  1. Marianne braun wrote:

    Is this diffuser made in the USA?

    Posted 1.28.20 Reply
    • whitney wrote:

      Hi Marianne! Great question. I didn’t know the answer myself so I hopped on live chat to ask a Young Living customer support representative. They said the diffusers are manufactured in China. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Posted 1.29.20 Reply
  2. Kaitlyn wrote:

    Is there a way to use the light without the diffuser?

    Posted 3.1.20 Reply
    • whitney wrote:

      Hi Kaitlyn, my diffusers are a few years old at this point, so this *might* be an outdated answer. The short answer is technically no. When my diffuser is empty and I try to turn on the light, it does not turn on. BUT this is pretty easy to hack. The light setting stays on after your diffuser naturally runs out of water. So the simple trick would be to put in a small amount of water — just enough to allow the diffuser to turn on and run for a few minutes. The diffuser will turn off automatically when it runs of out water, but your light setting will stay on until you turn it off!

      Posted 3.6.20 Reply
      • Joe wrote:

        Hello. I just got my Desert Mist. When I fill it up to fill line it works and smells great but it really doesn’t produce much mist out of the top. Have you noticed this?

        Posted 1.30.21 Reply
  3. geovanni wrote:

    hi. I would like to ask if It is safe to turn on my diffuser on intermittent (10 hours) straight? as some research shows that 30 minutes is the maximum.


    Posted 6.5.20 Reply
    • whitney wrote:

      Hi Geovanni! I’m not a doctor or medical professional, so I can’t make claims about the safety – but from my personal experience (and the hundreds of women in my oil community), YES! I run diffusers in our house all day long. I too have seen some bottles say things like “diffuse for 30 minutes”. Perhaps there is a point of peak effectiveness? I also do know some people’s noses kind of “adjust” to the oils their diffusing, so after an hour or so if they’re in the same room they may not smell it as strongly.

      But yes… I diffuse things for hours straight.

      Posted 6.22.20 Reply
  4. Audra wrote:

    If I want to prematurely turn off the diffuser, how do I do that?

    Posted 7.2.20 Reply
    • whitney wrote:

      Hi Audra! Good question, and definitely doable. It just depends on which mode the diffuser is currently set to. You’re going to look at the bottom of the diffuser where there are two buttons: on the left is the on/off, and on the right is the light button. You’ll push the on/off button some number of times until it cycles through all of the modes, and then the final position will be “off”, regardless of whether there’s still water in there!

      So here’s an example.

      If my diffuser is CURRENTLY OFF:

      Pressing 1 time would turn the diffuser on high.
      Pressing a 2nd time would turn it to low
      Pressing a 3rd time would turn it to intermittent
      Pressing a 4th time would turn it off again.

      Posted 8.24.20 Reply
  5. Nikkita wrote:

    Hello, I was given the Desert Mist by my sister in law. I was wondering if you could run this without any essential oils (my boyfriend doesn’t care for them and wants to use it as a humidifier). Thank you for taking the time read and answer!

    Posted 8.8.20 Reply
    • whitney wrote:

      Hi Nikkita, I’ve never done that myself, but the product page and manual does state that Young Living’s Desert Mist Diffuser functions as a humidifier, atomizer, and aroma diffuser in one simple-to-use product. It runs for 5–6 hours in High output mode and covers about 30 sq. m.

      Posted 8.24.20 Reply
  6. Egita Sergejeva wrote:

    I am using this diffuser just as light sometimes. All you need to do is press the turn on the button (left button) and hold – the light will turn on, but the diffuser won’t diffuse 🙂

    Posted 10.21.20 Reply
  7. haydee wrote:

    Thanks for this! I was actually wondering why it says that it automatically shuts off, but then the light remains on.

    Posted 10.24.20 Reply
    • whitney wrote:

      You’re so welcome!

      Posted 10.26.20 Reply