A look at light / dark mode and why they are everywhere nowadays

The contrast between light mode and dark mode is becoming increasingly prominent, as this relatively new approach to websites attempts to solve several user issues. Many of the top sites in the world now offer a dark mode option, and this is an aspect of the modern Internet that is increasingly hard to avoid.
A MacBook Air demonstrating a dark mode page. Photo: via PXHere

Second theme

Dark mode effectively functions as a second theme for any website, usually implemented via the settings of a particular site. It typically involves inverting the text and color scheme of a website, meaning that the black text on a white background will switch to white text on a black background.

There are a few reasons that big names in technology such as YouTube, Windows, Twitter, Facebook, and MacOS have implemented dark mode. The first issue relates to the fact that we now spend vast amounts of time staring at technology. While this can enrich our lives, it is not necessarily good for our eyesight, particularly when viewing devices in the dark.

Equally, this can also lead to difficulties with sleep, and so major producers of operating systems and websites have provided users with the ability to eliminate what is described as blue light. This term refers to an aspects of the visible spectrum of light, with a wavelength between 400 and 450 nanometers.

The Live Quartz app in dark mode. Photo: Rhapso97 via WikiMedia.

Reducing eyestrain

Dark Mode thus attempts to reduce eyestrain, while also ensuring that those who need or choose to use devices late at night can then get the sleep that they require. The setting is now being incorporated into a range of products that involve users spending a significant amount of time reading content, but also products that users interact with on a daily basis, such as productivity tools.

Another advantage of dark mode is that it can seriously reduce the amount of power used by devices. It is particularly beneficial for OLED screens, which can experience as much as a 60% reduction in power usage when dark mode settings are active. This has been proven by extensive testing, and is obviously an attractive aspect of dark mode for many users.

Considering the benefits for the user, this has meant that many companies, sites, and technology manufacturers are actively promoting dark mode. Raising awareness of the feature helps to communicate to their users that they are valued customers, and it could be argued potentially has positive legal consequences for manufacturers. Noone wants to be sued because they have damaged someone’s eyesight.

An appropriate Wikipedia page for dark mode. Photo: JMatazzoni via WIkimedia.

Social media

As a consequence of this, dark mode is becoming an increasingly commonly discussed topic on social media, and websites are being expected to include a dark mode in their provisions. This has posed challenges for some companies, who have had to jump through hoops in order to produce content that is compatible with the concept of dark mode.

But as awareness of the advantages of this new phenomenon become more obvious, it is clear that that dark mode is here to stay, and that it will become a more prominent aspect of the technology landscape.

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