Dark-Mode or Dark-Theme is a black-dominated user interface(UI) for the digital display.

Dark-Mode Is Good Or Bad For Us

Dark-Mode has been hovering a lot on the internet over the past few months. In fact, it becomes a trend for all digital service providers. Recently many mountain view digital service providers like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc also showing their attention on Dark mode. As a result of this context, many questions have been popped up quite normally regarding dark mode. Some of those are: Does dark mode really good for us? Does it have any adverse effects? etc.

Therefore, In this article, I will share the good and bad things about Dark-Mode.

Factors that Interpret the Good and Bad Thing about Dark-Mode:

No one can’t strictly tell that the outcome of Dark-mode is absolutely good or Bad. Because the outcome of  Dark-Mode is relative respective to many factors. So to interpret the good and bad thing about Dark-Mode we have to know those factors. Here I consider two main factors that are

  • Effects on our eyes
  • Energy Consumption
  • Readability

Effects On Our Eyes:

Dark-Mode has both good and bad effects on our eyes. lets see how

Dark-Mode Save our Eyes From Blue Light Exposure:

Before understanding why and how Dark-Mode save our eyes from blue light exposure lets have a look at the adverse effects of blue light exposure

Being a high energy visible (HEV) light, exposure of blue light has detrimental effects on our eyes as well as on our health.

  • According to a counterpart of research, exposure of blue light can damage retinal cells in our eyes, which may cause macular degeneration at an earlier age.
  • Another research also suggests that exposure of blue light during the night can stimulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. It may disrupt the circadian rhythm or sleep cycle.
  • Also, blue light exposure may lead to eye strain because of the flickering and glaring nature of blue light.

Dark-Mode Is Good Or Bad For Us-effect of blue light

Now, due to the black dominant user interface of Dark-Mode, Displays with Dark-Mode emits less blue light compared to the traditional mode aka Light-Mode displays. As a result, using Dark-Mode reduce the blue light exposure and saves our eyes from its harmful effects.

Dark-Mode Is Easy To Eye In Low Lighted Environment:

Since Dark-Mode is designed with a blackish user interface, it decreases screen luminance. As a result, the contrast remains low between the low lighted environment and the display. Hence looking at the display with Dark-mode in a low lighted environment becomes easier to our eyes as our eyes need to adjust less against such kind of environment. 

Dark-Mode Is Good Or Bad For Us- Dark mode in dark environment

Dark-Mode Is Not Easy To Eye In High Lighted Environment:

Mainly for two reasons, Dark-Mode is poor while using it in a hight lighted environment. The first one is, it contributes more stress to our eyes because of too much contrast between the screen and ambient environment and our eyes need to adjust more. The last one is, in a high lighted environment, display using Dark-Mode, act like a glossy screen which reflects the light incident on it. Therefore you may see your blurry face on the display if you use it in high lighted conditions.

Dark-Mode Is Good Or Bad For Us - dark mode in lighted environment

Energy Consumption:

Lots of hype are there regarding energy saving and Dark-Mode. Many big companies also officially announced that it saves energy. Yes, it’s true but not all the time. It depends on the types of display you use.

Backlit displays like LEDs, LCDs do not save battery with Dark-Mode because of their color generation technique. In these types of display, a single light source illuminates the whole screen and various colors are created by passing this light through RGB filter (know more). Therefore LEDs or LCDs consume the same energy for showing any color including black also. Hence black dominant dark theme does not save any significant amount of energy but it does save a very little amount of energy in LEDs or LCDs by reducing the overall brightness.

Whereas for non-backlit displays like AMOLEDs or OLEDs, using Dark-Mode can save a significant amount of energy as this kind of display use different technology for color generation. Here every pixel is used as a light source to illuminate the screen. Also, various colors are created by passing the light that’s coming from individual pixels through RGB filters. However, the pure black color is created here by simply turning on the pixel. It means less power required to display black color in AMOLED or OLED displays. Hence, using black dominant Dark-Mode in this type of display saves a significant amount of energy.

Recently, Google also officially confirmed that using Dark-Mode with AMOLED display can save up to 15% and 50% battery depending on the screen brightness. Though, this is applicable only for pure black(#000000) color.

Readability:

Good readability refers to the high contrast between background and text. In Dark-Mode black background and white-colored text are used which have the maximum contrast. But being white-colored text, the light coming from each word and letter is reflected and scatters into neighbor words and letters. This reflection and scattering of the light reduce the readability. However, this can be fixed if we use a tint of gray-colored text instead of pure white-colored text.

Brief Comparision Between Dark-Mode And Light-Mode:

Blue light Exposure:

MODE BLUE LIGHT EXPOSURE
DARK LESS
LIGHT MORE

Ambient Environment:

MODE HIGH LIGHTED LOW LIGHTED
DARK POOR GOOD
LIGHT GOOD POOR

Energy Consumption:

MODE ENERGY SAVE
DARK YES (AMOLED OR LED)
LIGHT NO

Readability:

MODE READABILITY
DARK POOR
LIGHT GOOD

Why and When You Should Use Dark Mode:

From the aforementioned points, it is clear that Dark-Mode has conditional good and bad effects. Dark-Mode is not good during the day or in a high lighted environment. But in a dark environment, it is good for eyes. Therefore you can switch into it in a dimly light environment especially during the night.
Another considerable thing is that using Dark-Mode with AMOLEDs or OLEDs displays can save energy. So if you want to it mode only for saving battery then make sure you are using AMOLED display.
And last but not the list, Dark-Mode reduces the harmful effect of blue light exposure. Therefore if you are glued with digital display for a long time then you can go for it.

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