Better assume it, there are two types of people in this world. And we are not talking about political or social ideologies, but about the eternal fight between Dark mode and Light mode. We all have a preference according to what looks better to us but… have you ever asked yourself what is truly better?
Believe it or not, both Dark and Light mode have direct effects on our work efficiency, visual performance and eye health.
What is Dark Mode and why was it created?
Dark mode (also known as black mode, night mode or dark theme) is a type of screen display that uses a dark background with lighter text (negative contrast polarity). It is the opposite of Light mode, which uses a light background with dark text (positive contrast polarity).
Nowadays, the increasing popularity of Dark mode has made hard not to find it in any user interface. Dark mode’s point is to reduce the light that screens emit, while maintaining the readability. But, did you know how was it created?
At the beginning of computers, the default screen display was a black background with green text, this is, Dark mode – unlike today that every device has Light mode as its default display. The reason why is because that technology wasn’t able to illuminate the entire screen. Once the technology was capable of illuminating the screen without burning out, developers wanted to imitate ink on paper, and this is how Light mode was created and established as the new default display for computers. By means of this “ink on paper” strategy, they also tried to attract customers who weren’t just programmers.
What are the usability and visual differences of Dark mode compared to Light mode?
Everyone will agree that Dark mode is stylish and modern. It provokes mystery and seriousness with its sophisticated and classy display. It can be ideal for formal situations, especially because it transmits quality and strength. Dark mode is ideal when it comes to make use of these characteristics for marketing. By using a Dark interface, displays as the one that Netflix has, obtain not only the elegant and sophisticated design, but also a bigger attention on what ‘s important: the content.
On the other side, Light mode is simple and clear. It’s visual, clean, natural, and readable. Light mode can display information in a clearer and more visual way than Dark mode. A proper use of Light mode can give the display an image of purity and clarity, and the best example for this is Apple’s marketing.
When reading on Light mode, the reader involuntarily feels to be more awake and the text is highlighted. Exactly the opposite that occurs with Dark mode, which makes you pay special attention to the text because it sometimes can feel complex to read. Check these examples, you shouldn’t have difficulties to read them:
But when the text is larger, things change. The difficulties to read in Dark mode appear. Try reading these:
Did you feel it a little more annoying to read it in Dark mode? This is due to the effect of “halation”. When the background is black, the edges of the bright text blur, so this effect might complicate the reading. As you may have noticed, the bright text emits a reflection to the dark background nearby. It can be challenging to read long pieces of text this way, especially for users with visual impairments as astigmatism and/or myopia.
Which one should I use?
We came here to see how Dark mode and Light mode affect our productivity and eye health. Now that we have seen the context of these two types of display it’s time. Let’s see then!
Which one is better for work productivity?
When using Dark mode, battery consumption is considerably lower than with Light mode. This is because the device finds much easier to run the black background instead of lighting the entire screen. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, this is exactly why the first computers had Dark mode as their default.
When it comes to visual-acuity tasks and proofreading tasks, studies have shown that people with normal and corrected vision perform better with Light mode. This means that text in Light mode is clearer and quicker to understand for people with normal or corrected vision. On the other side, Dark mode allows people with visual disorders to perform better. Dark mode also improves visibility in bright rooms e.g., a meeting room with a big screen. By showing the content in Dark mode, every participant will stay focused independently of reflections in the screen. Besides, Dark mode looks more sophisticated, modern and mysterious than Light mode. Aesthetics shouldn’t be ignored, as they play a crucial role in people’s productivity, comfortability and communication of information. It has been proven that people perform better when they feel comfortable and they like details of their job, and working using a visually amazing display helps.
Also, Dark mode emits less blue light, which reduces eye fatigue and blinking (dry eyes), especially in low light conditions. Dark mode contributes to a better sleep if you worked before going to bed, which can be translated in a better work efficiency on the next day. In addition, it has been proved that people with visual impairments and light sensibility stand better dark mode. Nevertheless, as we have seen, when reading large pieces of text in Dark mode, “halation” effect takes place, which triggers eye strain. So, Dark mode is not 100% anti-eye strain.
Which one is better for eye health?
In large amounts, blue light can increase the risk of eye disease. Although experts still need more proof, the long term exposure to blue light might carry retina damage, or at least, permanent vision changes. Wavelength and exposure time important when talking about the possible harm, which include the risk of macular degeneration and myopia, among others. This is why in the case of using Light mode for large periods, it is recommended to use a blue light filter.
Blue light is also popular for being not wanting you to rest. Using a device emitting blue light can lead you to poor sleep. With a prolonged exposure to blue light before sleeping, the sleep hormone melatonin’s release can be stopped. This is why experts recommend to avoid electronic devices at least 2 hours before going to bed, or if you have to unavoidably use them, use Dark mode or a blue light filter at least.
Dark mode has been claimed to be less harmful with our eyes in the long term, but as we have mentioned before, Dark mode can also be tiring when it comes to reading large pieces of text.
Conclusion and advice
From what we have said so far, the result is simple. The most likely to be better for efficiency and productivity would be Light mode. Studies have shown that people with normal or corrected vision have a better performance, however, people with stronger visual disorders will tolerate Dark mode better. But Light mode has a cost associated to the better performance, and it is the long-term risk of eye disease.
What would be the best decision then?
☀️ ? Use both. Who said that this is a permanent decision? You can change according to the situation or your preference. If you just arrived at the office, maybe you feel on fire and you prefer Light mode to perform better and stay more awake. Maybe it is a sunny day, and you prefer to switch to Dark mode to let your eyes rest, and also show a graphic on the TV on Dark mode so your team don’t have difficulties to read it. Maybe you are planning on reading some extensive texts and prefer to read them in Light mode. If you are working late hours, maybe you prefer Dark mode so you ensure your later rest.
?️❤️ Take care of your eye health. Using both doesn’t mean that you can switch every 5 minutes. Eyes need to get use to the brightness, so give them time and be conscious. Also, if you are going to sit down in front of a Light mode display for a long period of time in a single day, consider using a blue light filter.
Dashboard Hub’s potential with Dark Mode
Our development team has taken all this into account when designing our products. Our Dashboard Hub for Jira and Confluence makes things easy.
As experts recommend to be able to switch between Light and Dark mode to fit everyone’s preference, Dashboard Hub makes this the simplest thing in the universe. Our Light and Dark mode switch is located at the top of the app, so you can always easily access to it.
Dashboard Hub is also designed in order to not contain large pieces of text, so “halation” effect doesn’t occur. This way our Dark mode avoids eye strain as much as possible.
Our Dark mode is also designed to avoid reflections. By using a lighter black color in the gadgets, bright reflections are avoided in the biggest way possible. And by the way…. DON’T FORGET ABOUT AESTHETICS! Aesthetics are usually ignored when talking about a product’s utility but hey, we’ve put so much effort on making our Dark mode Jira dashboards look stunning. Inspiring quality with the design is important. Dashboard Hub allows you to report with style and communication your key metrics in a concise and clear way.
Last updated: 2023-02-28
Dashboard Hub for Confluence - Charts, Reports, Redirections
Jira SoftwareJira Service ManagementConfluence
Iván García is a product marketing manager at Appfire, managing product marketing for Appfire’s BI and Reporting category of apps.
See all content by Iván García
Which screen mode is best for eyes? ›
Dark mode purportedly reduces glare and blue light on your digital screens, making it a better option for your eyes as compared to light mode.Which is better for eyes light mode or dark mode? ›
Dark mode may help with eye symptoms
Some symptoms can indicate it's time to start using dark mode to help protect your eyes and decrease blue light exposure, such as: frequent dry eye. eye strain or pain.
The night mode is known for reducing eye strain to some extent. However, there are no scientific proofs for that. Instead, text and objects can appear blurry on a dark background for some users. This makes reading difficult and increases eye fatigue.Does dark mode reduce productivity? ›
You might just end up wasting more time on your phone
Regardless of what the science says, you might find dark mode more comfortable than light mode—especially at night. That's a valid reason to use it, but keep in mind: this might mean you end up reading your phone late at night when you should be sleeping.
To reduce eyestrain, you want to increase the contrast. What you are attempting to do is make the text you are reading stand out from the background. This keeps your eyes from working too hard. Most people are comfortable with the contrast set around 60 to 70 percent.Should I use dark mode all the time? ›
While dark themes may be better suited for the night, they aren't necessarily helping you read better or saving your eyes from digital strain, or even saving a lot of juice on your device. You may also want to avoid dark mode altogether if you start noticing eyesight issues or increased sensitivity to light.Does dark mode affect your eyesight? ›
While dark mode does lessen the screen's overall brightness, which may seem easier on your eyes, it also causes your eyes to dilate. Since there is less light to take in, your eyes have to work harder to see clearly. Eye dilation can reduce your vision's sharpness, so you may have to strain to see well.What is benefits of dark mode? ›
Reduces eye strain at night and cuts glare
Reading on a bright screen can increase eye strain in low light and cause us to squint. Dark mode users find reading easier in low light with less eye strain. They also claim it helps them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.
User experience expert H. Locke notes that dark backgrounds can cause a "halation effect" for users with astigmatism. Darker displays cause the iris to open to receive more light. For people with astigmatism, this can make focusing more difficult.Is dark mode more power efficient? ›
A smartphone can save about 39 to 47 per cent of battery power at peak brightness by operating on dark mode.
Is dark mode more energy efficient? ›
The Verdict. Thus, it is clear that dark mode does save energy, but only on OLED devices. This is because the construction of OLED displays is such that dark mode does not require energy to block light by manipulating crystals, as is the case in LCD-LED displays.Is working in the dark more productive? ›
Harsh lighting and dim lighting are equally detrimental to the productivity of your workers, and, by opting instead for more natural lighting or other lighting systems that have been proven effective, you stand to not only save energy but also increase productivity among your business's employees.What are the negative effects of dark mode? ›
Cons of Dark Mode
Dark mode may increase eye strain in brightly-lit conditions. Dark mode can cause halation for individuals with myopia or astigmatism, making text less readable for them. Dark mode may lower reading comprehension and focus. Dark mode does not improve battery life on older devices without OLED screens.
The benefits of dark mode
Though dark mode may not help to protect vision, it may help you fall asleep more quickly if you often use electronic devices before bed. Using devices emitting blue light at night may increase your alertness, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Pro: During poor lighting (e.g. night) Dark Mode UI diminishes eye strain. ...
- Con: During very strong lighting (e.g. sunny day) contrast of Dark Mode UI is very low.
This can greatly reduce the strain on your eyes. For example, in an office with normal brightness of 300-500 lux, the display brightness should be adjusted to around 100-150 cd/m2.Which monitor is best for long working hours? ›
- Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor. Best for: Productivity and business tasks. ...
- Acer XR342CK Pbmiiqphuzx. Best for: Multitaskers and large home offices. ...
- BenQ PD3200U. Best for: A 4K computer monitor. ...
- HP EliteDisplay S14 USB Portable Monitor. Best for: Workers on the go. ...
- Dell UltraSharp U2415.
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)
OLED is the king of contrast and black levels, since an OLED pixel that's turned off emits no light at all. OLED generally beats other panel types in color performance and also has best-in-class motion clarity. Viewing angles are great, too.
It has been proven that people perform better when they feel comfortable and they like details of their job, and working using a visually amazing display helps. Also, Dark mode emits less blue light, which reduces eye fatigue and blinking (dry eyes), especially in low light conditions.Is dark mode better for your health? ›
Cuts down on blue light exposure.
Blue light exposure can lead to side effects such as difficulty sleeping and eye strain. A black background on your device may cut down exposure. However, you may also achieve this by adjusting the brightness of your screen, especially when you're in dark environments.
Why is my vision better in the dark? ›
Darkness causes the molecules to regenerate in a process called “dark adaptation” in which the eye adjusts to see in the low lighting conditions.What color is good for astigmatism? ›
Best colored contacts for astigmatism
TORIColors — These monthly color contacts for astigmatism are made by Poly Dev and offer vibrant opaque color. They come in four color choices: horizon grey, emerald green, seabreeze blue and golden amber.
People with astigmatism often report that it is more difficult to see and focus at night than during the day. The reason for this is that the pupil dilates in low light to allow more light into the eye to see.Is astigmatism worse in low light? ›
But if you have astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football, and the light rays entering the eye meet at different points causing blurred vision. At night, or in other low light conditions, the blur gets worse.Is dark mode screen better for eyes? ›
It has been proven that people perform better when they feel comfortable and they like details of their job, and working using a visually amazing display helps. Also, Dark mode emits less blue light, which reduces eye fatigue and blinking (dry eyes), especially in low light conditions.Which screen mode is best for eyes vivid or natural? ›
Vivid screen mode simply provides more intensive colors. Standard screen mode - is also known as Natural screen mode. It provides the most accurate colors, which gives a natural look to images and videos. Vivid screen mode - is an enhanced color mode, which is displaying more vibrant and saturated colors.Is dark mode best for eyes? ›
Dark mode doesn't directly reduce eye strain, but it can offer some relief. For example, in a dim setting, a bright screen has your eyes working harder. On the contrary, a dark screen in a brightly lit room will have the same effect. -Easier to read.What are the best TV settings to reduce eye strain? ›
Lower the backlight or brightness on the television set. Do not view the TV in a dark room in which the TV is the only light source. Adjust feature settings such as Auto Motion Plus, 3D, Dynamic Contrast, etc.What is the purpose of dark mode? ›
Dark mode is a special screen setting designed to make the best use of dim light situations, particularly at night. Dark mode displays gray-ish or light text on a dark background instead of dark text and graphics against a white background, as is typical for most apps.Is dark mode good for astigmatism? ›
User experience expert H. Locke notes that dark backgrounds can cause a "halation effect" for users with astigmatism. Darker displays cause the iris to open to receive more light. For people with astigmatism, this can make focusing more difficult.
Is brighter or darker screen better for eyes? ›
So, while brightness itself is not a concern for eye health (unless you're staring directly at the sun!) having your brightness set to a level that is more comfortable for your eyes, can also reduce the amount of blue light, which will protect your eyes from phototoxicity. References:  Camille Ryan.Which is the safest display for eyes? ›
According to research performed by Harvard Medical School, participants who used curved monitors reported experiencing less eye strain than subjects who used flat monitors. Blurred vision was also 4x less common in users of curved monitors than users of flat monitors.How do I make my screen less harmful to my eyes? ›
Prevent Digital Eyestrain
The center of the screen should be about 10-15 degrees below eye level. Cut glare by using a matte screen filter. You can find them for all types of computers, phones, and tablets. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
The consensus is that the "non-colours", white and black, and the colours yellow, green, and orange are generally most acceptable. These colours (yellow, green, orange) are in the middle of the visible spectrum (the range of colours that our eyes can detect) and are the easiest for the eye to see.Is blue light filter good for eyes? ›
A filter that cuts 94% of blue light has been shown to lessen damage. There's evidence blue light could lead to permanent vision changes. Almost all blue light passes straight through to the back of your retina. Some research has shown blue light may increase the risk of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina.Which is the best type of light to reduce eye strain? ›
The best type of light for good eye health is warm light sources, such as natural light. Many modern windows can allow natural light while blocking the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. These windows will flood your home with natural light throughout the day, which is beneficial to your eyes.What is the best TV for light sensitive eyes? ›
OLEDs are true emissive components that produce light on their own and do not require a light source. Meaning they produce a light that's more natural and less harsh on your eyes. OLED TVs also provide excellent color and contrast because they do not use light from other sources to display colors, as LCD/LED TVs do.Which brightness is good for eyes in TV? ›
[Point 5] Review your display brightness setting
This can greatly reduce the strain on your eyes. For example, in an office with normal brightness of 300-500 lux, the display brightness should be adjusted to around 100-150 cd/m2.