Blackout screens are not only a choice for developers coding late at night. Most millennials are putting the curtains on their screens, claiming it’s much more relaxing to their eyes this way. The dark mode is everywhere and many big brands vouch for its benefits.
Twitter rolled out dark mode back in 2019 and Spotify selected a black background for its app after testing different versions with its users. All major apps, domains, browsers and even devices offer this setting. I admit that the entire look of the dark mode is much more stylish than a dull white screen.
But the question is, do we gain anything from the dark mode or is it just hype? And is it always better than light mode? Let’s find out together.
What is a dark mode?
Being a common setting in all the operating systems, you can find this option in your smartphone, laptop, computer or iPad.
It refers to a black colour scheme that displays light-coloured text on a dark background.
It is often labelled as ‘night mode’ in some OS
From Apple to Microsoft, almost every product we use today has some form of black theme integrated into the user interface (UI). It is one of the prominent features in Modern UI.
Dark mode isn’t all that new
Millennials may not be able to relate to it, but in the early days, computers used to have monochrome CRT monitors that displayed green text on a dark background. Also, the earliest word processor devices allowed people to type white text on a black theme.
Why do people love dark mode?
No matter which operating system you use, it has a dark mode setting. Sometimes, it is called night mode. While some people love how it changes the entire look of their screens, some people claim that dark mode has many benefits for their eyes.
Where some believe that using a black theme is relaxing to the eyes, some argue that it does help them sleep better even after a long screen time.
Does the dark mode have anything to do with blue light?
Dark mode is indeed helpful in eliminating blue light. It adjusts the contrast in your screen and makes it emit more red or orange light instead of blue waves.
Natural blue light is needed to set the internal clock in our body. It reduces the release of a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin. Blue waves are naturally present in the sunlight. This is why spending time in the sun makes us feel more alert and energetic.
However, spending time on the screens after dark triggers melatonin release and you lose sleep. Clinical studies have shown that people who use their devices late at night face more trouble sleeping at night.
This is where the dark mode setting in your phone comes into play. Switching on this feature when the light levels around you are low will reduce the blue light exposure. Moreover, it improves screen contrast so your eyes don’t struggle reading the text on a dark display.
Is dark mode better for your eyes?
Is dark mode better than a white display? Sure. It’s so much easier on the eyes than a bright white screen. But, it makes our pupils dilate and we find it difficult to focus on the screen.
Our pupils react to the light conditions around us. Under bright light, they would constrict resulting in a sharper, crisper vision. So when the darkness rolls in, your pupils relax a bit and don’t help in seeing the little details on the screen in the finest clarity.
So, if you have a refractive error, dark mode isn’t for you as l guess. What you can do is, you can turn on the blue light filters in your device or tune down the brightness of your screen.
No matter whether you are using a light or dark mode, you will only see your screen clearly if your visual acuity is good. Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor and get a vision prescription. You can buy prescription glasses online from us as we customize them to your specific vision needs. Whatever lens coating you want, you can get it from us.
Dark mode for eye strain
The most common benefit of using a dark mode is longer battery life. But, what else does it do for your eye health? Know all about it here:
Advantages of dark mode for your eyes
So many concerns have surfaced from the growing use of digital devices since the past few decades and digital eye strain is one among them. Part of the reason behind eye strain from screen light is the lower blinking rate.
We blink less when looking at a screen and thus our eyes become more susceptible to dry eye syndrome. Headaches and blurry vision are some of the symptoms of dry eyes which turn into eye strain.
How much effort your eyes need to make depends on your surroundings. In a dimly lit room, the main source of light is your screen and thus you become more prone to feeling eye strain. Using a dark display when the light levels are low can reduce the burden on your eyes.
If you are truly concerned about the damage of the screen on your eye health, use blue vision glasses and take regular screen breaks.
Dark mode reduces glare
When you are looking at a bright display in a dark room, the contrast between your screen and the surroundings is uncomfortably high. The default white light on the screen can cause an irritating glare which blurs your vision.
Using a dark mode cuts down the glare coming from your screen and makes the entire experience more comfortable and pleasant. But if you are not so into the black theme, just set your screen brightness to adjust automatically to the surrounding light levels. Either way, you will be preventing your eyes from glare and uncomfortable reflections.
Does dark mode improve readability?
If you are an adult with this problem, consult your eye doctor to determine the safest option for you. You could either go for lazy eye surgery to adjust the positioning of your eye muscles. But this surgery is not a foolproof way to correct vision in the affected eye.
As the reflections from the white screen are bright enough, your pupils don’t have to dilate to get more light in. They stay in their neutral form and give us better visual clarity. However, dark mode is beneficial for people whose eyes are sensitive to light.
What’s the verdict?
From what I have learned through my research on dark mode, these are a few things I could make out.
- Dark mode looks awesome.
- Dark mode can reduce eye strain in dim lighting but not for people suffering from vision loss or refractive error.
- Dark mode saves battery life.
- Dark mode makes the text more readable but only in low light levels.
- Dark mode reduces glare and relaxes your eye muscles.
I hope I had a straightforward answer for you. But the question ‘is dark mode better than light mode’ is not that black and white. It all depends on how and when you are using your devices.
I tell you again, the best way to ensure perfect visual clarity is to get your eyes tested and wear corrective eyeglasses. From blue light to reading glasses online, choose from our wide collection of eyewear for a custom-made experience.