The benefits and harm of the dark mode on the phones

Dark Mode has proven to be one of the most requested features among mobile users.

devices.Many manufacturers, knowing this fact, have included night mode in their operating systems (shells), however, on the same iOS platform, for example, the function will only appear officially in the fall. It has long been known that dark mode reduces eye strain, reduces eye fatigue, and promotes more stable sleep at night. Is it true? Or is this just another marketing ploy?

What is dark mode?

At its core, dark mode — this is colorinterface diagram that displays bright text and interface elements on a dark background. Light mode — a much more common color scheme of displaying darker text on a bright background.

Surprisingly, dark mode precedeslight regime for a couple of decades. The feature itself was not an intended solution, but merely a by-product of technology in the early stages of personal computing. Back in the early days of the personal computer, monochrome CRT monitors with phosphor were used, and under normal conditions the phosphor inside appeared dark. Phosphorus only lit up when it was hit by an electron beam. Being monochrome, early computer monitors could only display one color, which was determined by the type of phosphor used — The most common were green monitors due to the green phosphorus P1.

Advantages and disadvantages

Now the dark mode is perceived by a stylish and fashionable feature. Such an interface may seem less intelligible, but at the same time it is very sophisticated, bold. And if we are talking about marketing, then all this, of course, attracts the audience, because black is a very strong color, causing people to have strong emotions. Content on a dark background may look much different.

However, it is quite difficult to get a good oneinterface in dark mode. One of the biggest problems — blur. There is a visual decrease in sharpness. Dark text on a white background tends to look sharper to your eyes. It is also important to know that for users with visual impairments this function generally stands apart. A big problem here can be ghosting, which makes white text appear blurrier against a dark background than it actually is. This is especially true for people with astigmatism and/or myopia. For these people, dark mode interfaces may seem suboptimal and may actually cause more eye strain. This is why people suffering from the unpleasant effects of astigmatism are advised to use Light Theme rather than Dark Mode.

Scientific studies have concluded that the human brain works better when exposed to positive rather than negative polarity.

In the scientific field bright text on a dark background,which we now call the “dark mode” is “negative polarity”. Conversely, a dark text on a bright background, which we call the “light mode”, is known as “positive polarity”.

A study conducted by A. Buchner and N. Baumgartner in 2007, argues that the human brain is prone to positive, not negative polarity, when it comes to focusing on speed, concentration and corrective "performance". Buchner and Baumgartner believe that regardless of the ambient light (day or night), light-mode interfaces will allow you to focus more on text and displayed elements, while dark-mode interfaces will make it difficult to distinguish (text and visual elements of the interface), by reducing reading performance and eventually straining your eyes.

There is a completely good reason for this — white text on a dark background seems unnatural to us because it is very different from text printed on paper.

Another study found that positiveDisplay polarity is especially useful when it comes to reading small text on displays. The study showed that this applies to all types of devices that use displays to present information, but mainly for modern phones, since they are naturally the most common means for using text and multimedia.

And this is not even all the studies in whichissues of positive and negative polarity were addressed. Tinker (1963). Radl (1980), Bauer and Cavonius (1980), Kushman (1986), Gould et al. (1986) and others found that the human brain perceives and prefers dark text and objects displayed on a light background.

In a scientific report entitled "Reading andMyopia: Contrast Polarity Issues,” by Andrea S. Aleman, Ming Wang, and Frank Scheffel, published on, examines the effects of contrast polarity on the human eye. The conclusion was that negative polarity (dark mode) is much less harmful to your vision in the long run than light mode. The report finds that light mode accelerates the development of myopia. "Dark Mode", negative polarity (bright text displayed on a dark background) suppresses myopia. So is this good or bad?

Dark Mode on the phone

Most modern smartphones already havedark mode or get it by the end of the year. It is difficult to indicate who was the pioneer in this area, but we can probably link the appearance of dark interfaces with the appearance of OLED displays. Being rare, these displays will now stand on 9 out of 10 flagships. It will take a little time, and OLED-displays will also stand in the phones from the middle segment.

One of the frequently cited reasons why darkmode is such a desired feature for phone users, it is one that has little to do with content legibility — This is battery saving. Of course, the energy saving potential of OLED displays can hardly be ignored — As you know, when OLED displays appear black, the corresponding pixels are turned off, which saves some battery. This is in stark contrast to LCDs, which are always on no matter what image is being displayed, and use the same amount of power whether you're looking at a bright white web page or something black.

Application of general system dark mode onyour OLED phone and coloring all the most used applications in the dark is unlikely to double or triple the battery life in daily work, but it will probably give you an extra hour for the battery, which can be vital in certain situations.


Use dark mode or not?

Yes, but you should also use the normal light mode.

Regardless of all available evidence andresearch using dark mode and light is ultimately the personal choice of each person. No matter what science says, if you prefer the dark mode, you will use it. Personal preferences play a major role here.

However, it is worth using the dark theme correctly. You do not have to simply activate this feature and forget about it once and for all. Dark mode should be enabled only at night if you use your phone to combat insomnia or in some applications that are more saturated with content and do not require a large amount of reading, where there is little text. When it comes to reading a large text or writing it during the day, it is preferable to use a light theme.

There is a simple experiment that will help you.To decide whether you need a dark mode during the day or not: just go outside under the bright sun and use your phone as you would like. Even at maximum brightness, the dark mode interface will be harder to disassemble than the light one.

Thus, we urge you to use the Dark Mode function for its intended purpose only, without neglecting the standard light mode. Based on your goals, choose the right path!