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Is Dark Mode Good for the Environment?


Is Dark Mode Good for the Environment?

If you’ve visited our site before you may have noticed something different. We’ve turned off the lights and switched to dark mode! Aside from looking sick (in my opinion), it has environmental benefits. I always wondered: is dark mode good for the environment? Yes, by turning your phone in dark mode, you are playing a small role in slowing climate change. In case you're not aware of what dark mode is, it's when your device displays bright text over a dark background, as opposed to dark text on a light background. Think about a book with black pages and white text. Here’s why we switched to dark mode: 

The two most popular display technologies for devices such as smartphones and personal computers are LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). Backlights are required to light LCD displays, meaning that every pixel must turn on to use the device. OLED displays don’t require a backlight, and therefore, some pixels on an OLED display can light up while others stay off. Because of this, parts of the screen can achieve a pitch-black color; LCD displays cannot achieve perfect blacks because every pixel must light up during use, so blacks look more like dark blue. Because of this, OLED displays are more efficient and allow for longer battery life. 

If dark mode is better for the environment, the battery life would have to be longer on devices in dark mode as opposed to those that aren’t. If battery life lasts longer in dark mode, the devices wouldn’t need to charge as much, saving energy. 

PhoneBuff has a full battery comparison between an iPhone XS in dark mode and one in light mode, seen above. Note: the iPhone XS has an OLED display. After one hour and thirty-three minutes, the phone in light mode died at the time when the dark mode iPhone was at an estimated thirty percent. LCD displays save little to no battery life in dark mode, however, because every pixel is lit anyway. 

If you have an OLED device, EarthPlex recommends turning on dark mode. Even if you don't, dark mode looks pretty cool.

WIRED has an article explaining how to turn on dark mode on all of your apps and devices, which you can read by clicking here. 

For you: Should You Turn on Dark Mode?

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