Dark Mode has become increasingly popular in recent years, with large companies integrating this feature into their websites and applications. While many research claims that using dark mode may reduce eye fatigue and cut back blue light exposure, others claim these findings to be inconclusive.
So, is dark mode better for your eyes or it’s just a UX trend? Before reaching a conclusion, let’s learn more about this trending feature and take a closer look at various scientific findings.
Table of Contents
What is dark mode
Dark mode is a display option for digital devices that enables a dark background with lighter text (negative contrast polarity) to reduce the amount of blue light emission.
The primary reason behind using dark mode or dark theme is to offer a comfortable viewing experience, especially in low-light conditions. Most popular websites like YouTube and Google have now embraced this feature and provide the option to choose the dark theme from settings.
What are the advantages of dark mode?
A recent statistic shows that on average people have 6 hours and 58 minutes of screen time per day. This alarming increase in average screen time comes with severe effects on our vision and causes fatigue and other diseases including Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
The blue light that emits from digital devices is considered one of the key reasons behind such eye conditions. In this regard, the default black background that comes with dark mode may have a good impact as it reduces blue light (a type of high-energy visible light) exposure and can improve screen time.
Also, texts appearing on a dark background have more contrast and can reduce strain on the eyes.
Another popular benefit of the dark mode is increased battery health. Especially on an OLED screen dark mode can significantly improve your battery health.
Is dark mode better for your eyes?
Several pieces of research over the years have found the dark mode to have positive effects on our vision, resulting in reduced eye strain and better visual comfort. In addition, dark mode helps significantly to reduce screen glare mostly in dark environments.
What does the research say?
A group of researchers from the University of Central Florida found a significant increase in visual acuity and reduced visual fatigue using dark mode. The research was conducted on head-mounted displays and the dark mode was favored among the participants in complex and low-light backgrounds.
Another 2022 study published in the Ergonomics journal found that younger age groups showed more positive emotions while using dark mode and preferred it for aesthetic reasons.
An article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends setting devices to dark or night mode in the evening to reduce exposure to blue light. As the lower screen brightness and warm colors of dark mode help our bodies to think it’s nighttime and it can help us get a night of good sleep.
Although these studies present the possible benefits of dark mode for eye health, there is still no concrete evidence of the impact of dark mode on improving eye conditions. Most of such research is still in the early stage and is likely to provide better results in the future.
So, it’s important to use dark mode in moderation and find the best possible way to comfort your eyes.
The benefits of dark mode for eye health and other use cases
There are many practical benefits of dark mode related to eye health including reducing eye strain, cutting down blue light exposure, and making text legible. In addition, it can also help us concentrate and saves our battery.
1. Dark mode helps reduce eye strain
In a dark environment, our eyes tend to work extra hard when looking at a bright screen. Enabling dark mode can prevent that and add comfort to our eyes.
2. Dark mode may cut down blue light exposure
Blue light is considered a culprit behind conditions like dry eyes and blurred vision. It also influences our sleep cycle and can prevent us from getting sufficient rest if we expose ourselves to it before bedtime. Dark mode can prevent such exposure and provide us with a good night of sleep.
3. Dark mode makes the text more legible
While thinking about readability, text tends to pop out more in a dim background. The high contrast ratio between a dark background and light text can make it easier to read texts, especially in low-light situations.
4. Dark mode improves concentration
When we work on a computer or mobile device without break, our eyes get tired and we experience complications like headaches, and eye strain and eventually interrupting our concentration. In such cases, dark mode is known for reducing screen glare and improving focus.
As the texts appear more prominently on a dark background, the contrast ratio alone helps us concentrate more on the content visible on our screen.
5. Dark mode saves battery life
According to a study conducted by Purdue University in 2021, on OLED screens dark mode can save around 39% to 47% battery life while keeping the phone at maximum brightness. So it’s an excellent choice for someone who’s conscious about their battery health.
The potential drawbacks of dark mode for eye health
Despite having many benefits, the dark mode also has some possible drawbacks that are worth mentioning.
- Increased glare and reflections in bright environments: Dark mode reduces glare on the screen in dark environments. But in a bright environment, it can also create distractions with other lit areas in the surroundings. This can result in headaches and eye strain.
- Potential for increased screen time: Considering dark mode reduces eye strain and blue light exposure at night it can promote increased screen time. Regardless of the display setting (night mode or light mode), spending large amounts of time in front of the screen can still lead to eye strain and other visual diseases.
Tips for Using Dark Mode Safely
When should you use dark mode?
As mentioned above dark mode can reduce eye strain and provide a comfortable viewing experience. But like any other feature, you should also use dark mode in moderation. As dark mode performs better in a dark environment, you may use it at nighttime to enjoy its benefits.
Also, you should keep in mind that only using dark mode will not prevent you from getting most eye problems. So also try to follow other popular practices like the 20-20-20 rule to provide your eyes with regular rests.
How to add dark mode to your website?
If you are using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress adding dark mode to your website is child’s play. Simply install and activate the WP Dark Mode plugin from your WordPress dashboard to enable a dark mode version of your website to visitors. This plugin also allows a time-based dark mode feature to let you decide exactly when you want the dark theme on your website.
Bonus: 10 reasons to use a night mode plugin.
Dark mode may provide you comfort during long work sessions in front of screens. But you should still use it in moderation and remember to take good care of your eyes.
If you have any other queries regarding this topic, please let us know in the comment section, and we will get back to you.
Is putting your Phone on dark mode better for your eyes?
Dark mode can reduce eye strain and provide a comfortable viewing experience in a dark environment. So putting your phone in dark mode may be a better option for your eyes depending on your surroundings.
Is dark mode better for eyes than light mode?
There is no concrete evidence behind that. However, dark mode reduces blue light exposure in dark environments and may provide longer screen time than light mode.
Is dark mode good for daytime?
Dark mode can create distractions while used in a light environment. You may try both dark mode and light mode before choosing one during daytime
Why do people prefer dark mode?
People prefer dark mode as it helps with eye strain and improves concentration. Also, texts pop out in dark mode and look more attractive in general.
Does night mode reduce blue light?
Night mode can reduce blue light exposure and can improve sleeping habits.