Dark Mode has become increasingly popular on smartphones and other devices within the past few years. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Dark Mode? Is Dark Mode better for your eyes? I will do my best to thoroughly answer those questions in this blog post.
What Is Dark Mode?
Dark Mode is a color scheme that uses light-colored text, icons, and elements on the user interface on a dark background.
Dark Mode reduces the amount of light that’s emitted by the display screen while maintaining the color contrast ratios that are required for readability.
Dark Mode reduces eye strain and makes it more comfortable to view the display screen at night or in a darker environment.
It also makes the device run more efficiently by conserving the battery power and enabling you to use the device for a longer period of time without charging it.
There is an option within the app’s settings that gives you the ability to turn Dark Mode on or off on your device via a toggle switch on the display screen.
Non Supporters Of Dark Mode:
Adam Engst who is a well-respected technology writer at TidBITS, stated that “Dark Mode can hurt your productivity” and dark text on a light background is better for readability.
Windows 10, macOS, Android 10, and iOS 13 have all adopted Dark Mode. Firefox and Chrome also have their own Dark Modes.
Before Dark Mode was so readily available it was a feature that was admired primarily by tech-savvy people.
However, things have changed, Dark Mode has become so popular that it’s a standard feature that’s now baked into the operating system on many devices.
However, the critics may be right on certain things, because some of the Dark Mode promotion has been a bit absurd.
On Apple’s website, Apple claims that Dark Mode on macOS is “easy on the eyes—in every way.” That’s not completely true.
Engst has highlighted vision research which has proved that dark-colored objects on a light background are easy to see.
So he basically stated, that black text on a white background is easier to see than white text on a black background.
He has highlighted studies that have shown black on white (positive polarity) text is easier to read:
“To summarize, a dark-on-light (positive polarity) display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and at least some older studies suggest that using a positive polarity display results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort.”
Engst did a great job of highlighting the problems associated with Dark Mode and he explained why it’s not the best option for everyone at all times.
For example, if you spend all day staring at a display screen, Dark Mode will not necessarily be able to help you to reduce eyestrain.
Dark Mode may not be an improvement for everyone at all times, thus the reason why it’s disabled by default.
I’m not saying that Dark Mode is bad, because I believe that there’s a time and place for it.
Dark Mode Is Great In Low Light Conditions:
Dark Mode is better for most people in low-light conditions. If you’re laying on the couch reading something on your phone at night, it’s much easier to read white text on a black background rather than the inverse.
You also have the option of reducing the brightness of your display screen in a darker setting. However, you’ll end up squinting your eyes at a dim display screen trying to read the text.
From my own personal experience, I know that it feels better to look at a darker display screen in a dark room.
We all know that we should not be staring at the display screen on or phone or any other device right before we go to bed.
However, many of us do it anyway, myself included, doing this is bad for the circadian rhythm and it will negatively affect our sleep cycle and our overall health if we do this over an extended period of time.
Dark Mode May Be Better For Some People:
Even though most people prefer dark text on a light background in a well-lit setting, this is not ideal for everyone.
Google did a great job of explaining this when they made a reference to Android’s dark theme for developers.
Google stated that Dark Mode “improves visibility for users with low vision and those who are sensitive to bright light.”
For example, people who have “photophobia” which may cause bright lights to trigger migraines. Dark Mode may be beneficial for these people.
Other people may have vision problems that make it easier for them to read bright text on a dark background.
Thus the reason why there’s an invert colors feature on Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems. This feature was implemented long before Dark Mode became popular.
For people who need a darker user interface, Dark Mode will be a pleasant upgrade in comparison to other solutions such as the high contrast theme offered by Windows.
Dark Mode Saves Battery On AMOLED And OLED Display Screens:
If you have a device with an AMOLED or OLED display screen and you’re in a situation where you’re trying to conserve battery, you should consider switching to Dark Mode.
Your battery will last longer in Dark Mode due to the fact that when a pixel is showing true black, the pixels will not light up, so it will not use any of the battery’s resources.
On an LCD display screen, the backlight will stay on the whole time, and the same amount of power will be used regardless of what color is being displayed.
So an AMOLED or OLED display screen uses less power when it shows a black display screen with white text in comparison to a white display screen with black text.
Google has publicly stated that using YouTube’s dark mode will save between 15% and 60% battery life, depending on the brightness of the display screen.
Power can only be conserved if the pixel is completely black, so if the pixel is a very dark grey, power will not be conserved.
You should be aware that many Dark Modes have been opting for dark greys instead of true blacks for aesthetic reasons.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Dark Mode?
- On devices that use AMOLED or OLED display screens, it saves energy.
- Dark Mode does a great job of reducing eye strain in a darker setting.
- Dark Mode reduces glare from the display screen which minimizes blue light.
- Using Dark Mode in a well-lit setting will cause eye strain and fatigue because it will be difficult to see the text.
- Bigger paragraphs are more difficult to read in Dark Mode.
There are many people who support Dark Mode, while there are others who are against it.
Should You Use Dark Mode On Your Devices?
Dark Mode is neither good nor bad, it varies based on the individual. If you like Dark Mode, then you should use it but if you don’t like it, you should not use it.
In a well-lit setting, Light Mode may be easier on your eyes and you may be more productive if you use it.
However, if you prefer to use Dark Mode in a well-lit setting, then you should use it. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all solution to this problem.
Now you know everything there is to know about Dark Mode. If you have any comments or questions about any of this information, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.