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Is Dark Mode Good For Your Eyes?

Man looking at bright screen in office

Are you using dark mode yet?

Whether it’s Apple, Google or Twitter, every major app or website seems to be announcing ‘dark mode’ as a new feature.

But why now?

Today we use screens more than ever and all the hours we spend front monitors can cause some pretty unpleasant effects. If you've ever suffered with eye strain, headaches or poor sleep, you're not alone. 

Software companies are reacting by adding dark mode (also known as ‘night mode’) to their products. It is a light-on-dark color scheme designed to help ease the strain on our eyes in low-light situations.

But is it really better for your eyes?

How dark mode can help

"Everyone can relate to being in a room where the lights are turned down and you've got this white screen blinding you," said Sameer Samat, Google's VP of product during an interview at Google I/O.

When our surroundings are darker and we’re reading on a bright screen, it can often feel like it’s putting more strain on our eyes.

While we cannot usually perceive it, monitors flicker (very fast) to produce the images and text that we see on our screens.

Over time, this flickering creates glare that stresses our eye muscles and can cause digital eye strain. Common symptoms include eye strain, neck and shoulder pain, dry eyes, headaches and blurred vision.

In general, dark mode is best for low-light environments where it can help to make the contrast between a screen and its surroundings less jarring. But it’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution.

While dark mode can help to reduce eye fatigue, glare from screens can still be an issue.

For people who are especially sensitive to light, dark mode can be very helpful. But, for others, the setting can make it more difficult to read text.

For example, very small text and long blocks of text may be more difficult to process.

Let’s also not forget that everyone’s eyes are different. People with certain kinds of color blindness may find it harder to use. It may also be more difficult to see in dimly-lit environments for some people.

But the bright light from screens doesn’t just cause eye strain. It can also affect our ability to sleep.

Studies have shown that the high-intensity blue light from screens affects our circadian rhythms and suppress melatonin - the hormone that regulates our sleep / wake cycle. This can make it more difficult to get high quality, restorative sleep that helps us to feel properly rested.

Since dark mode cuts the amount of blue light emitted by your display, it can help to reduce the negative effects of blue light exposure.

However, if you’re using a typical LED monitor, dark mode won’t cut all of the blue light since the backlight will still be emitting blue light.

Alternatives to dark mode

If dark mode isn’t working for you, why not try LUMES blue light blocking glasses?

Our lenses filter blue light from your screen. They also come equipped with anti-glare technology that can significantly reduce eye strain

Since LUMES lenses only remove the most harmful parts of the color spectrum, they are virtually clear. Unlike when using dark mode or other blue light-reducing apps such as f.lux, your color perception of the screen will not be noticeably affected.

Want to learn more? Check out what some of our customers are saying in our reviews section and get an idea of how LUMES can help you when you use screens. 


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