Have you been working late at night on a report, because you spent the entire day messing around and found the incessantly white background of your word processor or in your web browser to be unbearable? Well, indeed we are staying in front of our screens later and later into the night these days, and that’s where Dark mode comes in.
Often times it isn’t obvious whether an app or a program features a dark mode, and its often a little unassuming option buried in a menu somewhere. But for those of you who are night owls, you’ll that is works by reversing the usual colour scheme of your windows, putting light coloured text on a dark background.
But it isn’t as simple as just inverting the colours on a webpage and calling it a day. You can see this if you have a browser extension that applies a dark mode, as some elements on the page don’t look as nice, while other ones such as images won’t invert or dim properly. So, coding a good-looking dark mode that is specific to a certain website often requires a fair bit of finesse.
However, this often end up being worth it as dark mode end up delivering quite a few benefits. You see it’s pretty common for phones and computers to have a built-in night mode to reduce blue light.
Related Topic: Is Blue Light Bad for You?
The Basic idea is that blue light from your screens can affect your ability to properly fall asleep. So, night mode reduces blue light emissions by giving everything a yellowish or reddish tinge. This might not be a big deal if you are just trying to read text, but it can result into nearly everything else looking noticeably discoloured, and that’s where dark mode can be advantageous, particularly on phones.
Many smart phones these days use OLED screens, which don’t require a back-light like standard TV or computer monitor would, so any fully black areas of an app in dark mode would just have their pixels turned completely off. As a result, much less light ends up assaulting your eyes, and although you won’t get this effect if you are using a regular monitor as you will still have its entire back-light omitting blue light.
Dark Mode can still make thing much easier to look at during the night if you do not have another way to reduce eye-strain, such as bias light. It isn’t just about making screens easier on the eyes, on those phones with OLED screens that we just mentioned, having fewer pixels illuminated means that dark mode can extend your battery life as having your brightness turned up is a notorious battery hog, leading some people to run their apps in dark mode even during the day time.
In fact, Google claimed a few years ago that having a predominantly white screen can use up to 6 times as much battery as a predominantly black one on the original Pixel. So, it might be worth switching to dark mode if you find yourself consistently fighting poor battery life.
Android currently offers options to enable dark mode on frequently used apps like phone and messages, and iOS has a smart invert colours feature the switches Apple apps to dark mode pretty elegantly, and also works with third-party apps with varying degrees of success.
On the desktop side of things, you can enable a dark theme in Windows 10 that can tone down the excessive white of the settings menu and File Explorer. Although dark modes aren’t universally present yet, it’s great to see developers putting some thought into saving our eyes.