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The light and dark mode on your mobile phones are more than settings for user interfaces; research says that the two have varying effects on your body. In this article, Tatler finds out which option suits you.

A debate that has been going on for mobile phone users is whether they should opt for the brighter and clearer light mode versions of their screens, or the dim and calm-looking dark mode which was believed to reduce eye strain. 

While the two seem like they are merely options for people who have different preferences, it was utterly shocking to hear that both of these settings have varying effects on the human body.

In this article, we delve deeper into the science behind light and dark screen preferences and what their effects are. 

Read also: Nomophobia Is An Emerging New Phobia That Leaves People Anxious Without Their Smartphones

The light and dark mode settings are available on both iPhone and Android, in more recent times, some PC users are also able to adjust their screens and pick between the two options. 

Light Mode

The light mode is what you see the first time you turn your mobile phone on. In this setting, a light colour text in white or grey is on top of a dark or black screen. This option emulates the look of ink on paper, making texts more readable than other themes.

According to vision experts, light mode is the best option for people who love to read using their phones. “Black text on a white background is best since the colour properties and light are best suited for the human eye … White text on a black background, or ‘dark mode,’ makes the eye work harder and open wider, since it needs to absorb more light.”

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Dark Mode

In dark mode, your phone emits less light that may extend your battery life and influence the time you consume in using your phone. It also looks more stylish and hip than the light mode.

Dark mode is particularly useful when it is used to highlight specific types of content like those we see on Spotify, Netflix, and Instagram. The dark background can make people draw their eyes on designs that would normally lose their appeal on screens with white backgrounds. 

Experts believe that dark mode can reduce eye strain, but it will be hard for people to read texts while using this setting. "In essence, we recommend using a dark theme when you’re in low light or when you don’t plan to read for long periods of time."

"If you do a fair amount of reading, stick to light mode. Even though black text is easier to read, it might be a good idea to try a grey background and control your screen’s brightness. Test out a dark theme at night and a light theme during the day or just experiment," they added.

How to Activate dark mode on iPhone:

  • Go to settings > display & brightness
  • Select dark to turn on dark mode

How to Activate dark mode on Android: 

  • Go to settings > display
  • Tap on advanced
  • Toggle dark theme on or off

The verdict

When it comes to themes, only the mobile phone user has the power to decide whether he or she wants to go for the light or dark mode. In the end, it all boils down to preference; if you spend so much time reading, we suggest that you opt for a brighter background.

If all you do is browse or check your phone from time to time, the dark mode may just be the option for you.