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Is Dark Mode Better For Your Eyes?

Dr. Hira Tanveer

5 min read

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Have you tried the dark mode on your gadgets? Almost all of us have at this point. Dark mode is a display setting on your device that replaces the white background on your device with a darker background, also known as night mode. It has become the de-facto option for display mode for many people. Extensive usage of screens is something that you can hardly avoid in this era as everything is either on our laptops, mobile, or televisions.

Moreover, a lot of jobs now demand the use of screens, especially for people from the technology and marketing field. Dark mode claims to protect your eyes from blue light exposure, preventing eye strain. Eye strain can make your eyes itch and burn, causing headaches and other symptoms.

The Rise of Dark Mode

While dark mode dates back to the 1970s, the term for this has recently come into being with the evolution of technology. It started trending on Google in 2019 after major companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft launched dark modes for their devices. With time, all other companies also started launching their dark modes and a lot of people switched from light modes to dark modes. 

Many users claimed that dark was easier on the eyes, making it easier to work on screens. On the other hand, some people preferred it due to its aesthetics. Whatever the reason might be, more than 80% prefer dark mode vs. light mode. Now, most apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook offer a dark mode to increase the stickiness of the app. As a result, dark mode is now a popular display option that you can switch on your smartphones, devices, and apps. 

Benefits Of Dark Mode

Switching to dark mode can have some overall benefits, including having a positive impact on your eye health. Following are some benefits of using light mode:

1. Lowers blue light exposure

Blue light comes naturally from the sun, but screen devices also produce blue light. These rays are harmful to your eyes, especially if you have excessive screen time. Dark mode lowers the amount of blue light exposure to your eyes. It can help you sleep at night whereas bright light can disrupt your sleep patterns by decreasing melatonin levels. Dark mode can also reduce visual fatigue for users according to one study.

2. Reduces eye strain

As dark mode decreases brightness, it can relax your eyes and make it more comfortable for you to sleep. You may feel an eye strain if you have higher screen use. According to a survey, almost 70% of coders prefer dark mode while coding as it helps them work for longer hours. Moreover, it also reduces screen glare, which can minimize discomfort and prevent eye strain. 

3. Increases battery timing

Dark mode can save your battery and make it last longer, which means you will not have to charge your devices frequently. It can also improve the battery life of your smartphone so that you do not have to change it again. If you want to save battery time, consider lowering brightness levels even in dark mode, because getting only this mode may not provide maximum results in battery saving.

4. It looks cool

Many people, especially Gen Z, find the dark mode aesthetically pleasing and like to have this customized feature in their devices and apps. 

5. Improves text readability

Dark mode makes the text stand out due to its black background. It can make it easier for you to read the text even in low light conditions. It also increases reading speed as you can distinguish between letters more efficiently in the dark mode. 

Drawbacks Of Dark Mode

While dark mode can be useful for some, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are some potential drawbacks of dark mode:

1. Increases reflections in bright environments

While dark mode may reduce glare in darker environments, however, it may not be the best option in well-lit environments. You may feel it is tough to look at your screen in a dark mode in such instances and can cause eye strain. It may also not be suitable for people with certain eye conditions like astigmatism.

2. Reduces color accuracy

Color accuracy is what most people in design, especially UI/UX and graphic design, rely on to provide appealing material for pages and apps. Dark mode can change the color accuracy and images may give a different look on dark mode vs. light mode for your eyes. 

3. Increase in screen time

As the dark mode lowers eye strain and is comfortable to watch, you may find yourself spending more time on your phone or laptop. An increase in usage of screens can damage your eyes, whether it is in dark mode or light mode. Keep a check on how much time you are spending in front of the screen. 

4. Accessibility issues

Most devices have a dark mode but it may not be compatible with some devices. It is also not possible for all apps to develop a night mode. Switching to different apps without this feature can decrease the overall user experience.

Is Dark Mode Better For Your Eyes?

So, should you choose dark mode or light mode? It all depends on your preference. Using dark mode vs. light mode for your eyes may provide you with ease in readability and keep your eyes safe from harmful blue light. Consequently, it can lower the chances of an eye strain, improve sleep, and protect from eye damage.

Moreover, it also gives an appealing look and feel, which is why many apps are also opting to add dark mode as a customizable feature. In addition to that, it can also improve the user experience as many people are now switching to dark modes on their apps. Though many people prefer the dark mode, it may not be available for all apps. 

To decide which settings are best for your eyes, you should consider the pros and cons of dark mode. Dark mode can prevent symptoms of eye strain, especially at night or in dim environments. Contrarily, dark mode may also increase screen glare and make you use the screen for longer periods contributing to eye strain. While it does have a better look, choosing dark mode is not the only way to improve your phone’s battery health. Your consumption, phone brightness, and other factors may also influence battery health.

As a result, the choice between dark vs. light mode will depend on availability and your likeliness for a certain mode. If you have certain eye conditions, you should consult a doctor to resolve any underlying eye conditions.

Ways To Prevent Eye Strain

Using dark mode may have its benefits, but there is limited research on the impact of dark mode on eye health. Even if it does reduce eye strain, looking away from the screen completely may be more beneficial for your eye health. Following are a few ways to stay away from eye strain:

1. Wear sunglasses or other protective equipment:

UV rays can harm your eyes. Wearing sunglasses can protect you from these rays and promote eye health. 

2. Take frequent breaks:

Looking continuously at the screen can hurt your eyes. Even if you are unable to completely avoid the screen, look away from the screen after some time to rest your eyes. You can implement the 20-20-20 rule in which you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes.

3. Adjust brightness:

Whichever mode you use, adjust the brightness according to the lighting around you. Lower your brightness at night even when in dark mode to keep your eyes safe. 

4. Limit screen usage:

Screen use may be essential for working individuals, but you should take some time off from screens. If you have high usage during work, consider limiting your screen use after work. Do other activities that do not involve using your screen devices. 


Dark mode vs. light mode for your eyes is a usual debate with the majority of people being for the dark mode. The dark mode trend, while being previously used, gained traction in 2019 after which many devices launched their dark mode. You may find the dark mode beneficial for improving your phone’s battery and making your eyes feel less tired. 

Subsequently, it may have some cons as well. Dark mode can disturb your eyes and make it harder for you to see in more light. Still, there is little research on the claims regarding the advantages and disadvantages of dark mode. Using dark or light mode may boil down to your preference. As some people feel the night mode is better, others may choose light mode. Though dark mode does reduce eye strain, other ways can save your eyes. Taking steps to avoid eye damage can prevent eyestrain, such as taking breaks and looking away from the screen, can be helpful.

For eye health related concerns it can be a good idea to consult a healthcare professional such as an eye specialist for guidance. To book an appointment with an eye specialist near you visit oladoc.com or use the oladoc app.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer
Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.

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