Is Dark Mode Good For You?

Dark Mode

The internet is divided into two kinds of people. On one side we have people who swear by the light mode and on the other side we have people who love dark mode. Which side are you on? And, what is this? Is it really good for you? This post will try to answer all of these questions.

So, what is this so interesting about this mode that people are so excited about? 

It is the colour scheme that displays brighter interface elements on a darker background whereas light mode is where darker interface elements are displayed on top of the brighter background. 

Dark Mode

People are on a hype about #darkmode these days. And brands have jumped into the bandwaggon. Apple says that dark mode ‘makes it easier to stay focused on ones work’. Microsoft says it can reduce eye strain and improve battery life. And Google says it improves visibility for users with low vision and those who are sensitive to bright light. Are they correct? Not entirely. 

In reality, the dark mode predates the light mode. In early days, monochrome CRT monitors with Phosphorus were used and in normal conditions, the Phosphorus would look dark. It used to lit up only when electron beams hit it. Since the early computers could only display a single colour (defined by the Phosphorus used), most of the computers had a green display because of the P1 green Phosphorus. P3 Amber-Phosphorus and P4 White- Phosphorus screens were also available.

These screens had lesser eye strain. As technology advanced, and monochrome monitors were left behind, the light mode came into being. People liked how the screens could now look like paper with the advent of monitors which could display complex interfaces and render white colours. Similarly, the advent of OLED screens piqued interest in the dark mode again. It is as if technology has come a full circle.

Dark Mode from a users perspective

The Dark mode is awesome. We are personally huge fans of the dark mode. Dark mode is very appealing, however, it could be a bit overpowering if overdone. It is best for apps which need to highlight specific content like Netflix, Spotify, Instagram etc. This is done because our eyes will be naturally drawn to the vibrant colours when the background is dark.  

It is difficult to pull off a good dark mode. Here is what happens when you are viewing something on dark mode. 

As you can see in the above picture when our pupils are dilated it lets in a lot of light. Undoubtedly, this mode forces our eyes to open our pupils more so that the necessary visual information is captured. This reduces the overall sharpness of the image perceived. Studies show that with evolution, humans favoured the light mode to the dark mode which is called positive polarity and negative polarity respectively, scientifically. 


A study ‘Reading and Myopia: Contrast Polarity Matters’ says that negative polarity inhibits Myopia (nearsightedness) whereas positive polarity quickens it. That means this mode is good for the eyes in the longer run. 

Moreover, one of the main advantage of the dark mode is that it saves battery, upto an hour or so. When the OLED screens display are black in colour, the respective pixels are turned off. However, this helps to conserve battery life. At the same time, LCD screens are always on. So it draws the same amount of power irrespective of the colour of the screen. 

However, we would recommend using the light mode during the day and the dark mode during the night. It is possible to automate it so that the mode is on at sunset and off at sunrise. 


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