Technology has undoubtedly become integral to our lives. Whether it’s for work, gaming, surfing the internet or communicating, we spend a substantial amount of time staring at screens.
This fact makes the topic of ‘Dark Mode’ vs. ‘Light Mode’ much more than just an aesthetic preference. In this blog post, we will delve into which of these iPhone settings is more conducive to your eye health.
In a study by the University of California San Francisco, researchers found that “Computer users who spend many hours a day in front of computer monitors may be at high risk for permanent damage to their eyesight.”
The study used an eye-tracking device on participants for five minutes at a time over the course of one week and found that people who used light mode had more eye strain than those who used dark mode.
Dark mode offers several advantages over light mode. It reduces glare from bright white backgrounds and improves contrast between text and background images which can help reduce eye strain.
Dark mode also helps reduce blue light output from your phone which can help improve sleep quality and reduce headaches caused by screens emitting too much blue light during the evening hours when most people are trying to sleep.
Understanding Dark Mode and Light Mode
Dark Mode and Light Mode are two different modes that you can use on your iPhone. These modes change the appearance of your phone’s interface, which can help you get more out of your device.
Dark Mode features a black or dark grey background providing a dark atmosphere, with text and other elements in lighter colours. This mode is great if you are using your iPhone at night or in low-light conditions because it allows your eyes to be less strained by the bright screen. Dark Mode also makes it easier to read text due to its darker colours.
On the other hand, Light Mode is traditionally iPhone’s default theme characterized by a white or light grey background with darker-coloured text and elements. It is designed for daytime usage when there is more natural light available.
The Screen Time Conundrum
It’s no secret that we’re all spending more and more of our time staring at screens. It’s also no secret that this can cause eye fatigue, which is why so many people have been asking: dark mode or light mode? Which one is better for your eyes?
Before we get into that, let’s take a step back and talk about how we read. Up until the rise of digital screens, most reading was done on white paper with black text. This was because of the natural lighting conditions in which most people read—lights were on during the day, but they were off at night. So when you sat down to read a book or magazine, your eyes adjusted to the light conditions around you and could focus clearly on black text against a white background. That’s why white paper works so well for print materials; it’s easy for us to read under those conditions.
Flash forward to modern times, though. Now we’re consuming content on digital screens capable of producing light—and often under varying lighting conditions. The eye discomfort experienced from prolonged screen time is what leads us to question: Dark Mode or Light Mode, which is better for our eyes?
I’m going to answer this question by telling you something
The Case for Dark Mode
- Reduced Blue Light Exposure: Prolonged exposure to blue light from screens can strain the eyes, affect vision and disrupt sleep cycles. Dark Mode significantly reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your device, thus alleviating these problems.
- Eye Comfort in Low-Light Settings: If you find yourself in dimly lit environments, Dark Mode is clearly the victor as it reduces the overall screen brightness and contrast which subsequently reduces eye strain.
- Battery Efficient: Not directly related to eye health, but it’s worth noting that Dark Mode is more energy-efficient on OLED and AMOLED displays as they only light up the required pixels, saving power.
The Case for Light Mode
- Visibility and Detail: Light Mode can provide better visibility and detail perception, especially in bright environments. This minimizes eye strain when the surrounding light is stronger than the screen light.
- Readability: Black text on a white background is generally easier to read. Reverse contrast, such as white text on a black background in Dark Mode, may lead to decreased readability and cause halo effects.
In the past, many people have been concerned about the harmful effects of blue light on our eyes. However, recent research shows that, while Dark Mode can indeed be a saviour in low-light conditions, in bright environments, Light Mode can be more comfortable on the eyes.
For the healthiest screen-viewing experience, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Do you love to watch movies, play video games, and work on your computer in the dark? Or do you prefer to work in a well-lit room with enough natural light to help you see comfortably?
If you’re looking to get more comfortable while working on your computer, then it’s important that you consider the amount of light being reflected back into your eyes by the screen. This is called ambient lighting and can help reduce eye strain or dryness as a result of staring at a screen for long periods of time.