Across various mobile and desktop platforms there is a “night mode” feature that will reduce the blue light levels let off by the display. While some operating systems have such a “night mode” feature built in, others will need to have a third-party option installed. This article will cover the various “night mode” options available for a few common platforms and what exactly they do.
What does Night Mode do?
Put simply, a device’s output of blue light can throw off the natural human circadian rhythm. This is the internal “clock” that keeps us aware of daytime and nighttime. Blue light, typically seen from daylight, can hamper the ability to sleep and quality of sleep if seen during late-night hours. In addition, it can strain your eyes.
For those late-night mobile or computer users, it could help to try out one of the following night mode options. Ultimately, when you are ready for sleep, it will help you get some rest quicker.
Also, for dark places such as movie theaters, if you must use your phone, a night mode will reduce the overall bright glow coming from a display. Again, the orange-ish glow is easier on the eyes.
The “night mode” being covered here is different from a “dark” or “black” mode that simply inverts white backgrounds. While that can help with eye strain, various orange-hued night mode options are far more superior as they influence every pixel on the display.
iOS and macOS – Apple’s Night Shift can be found in both the iOS and macOS control centers. On Mac this is under the “Today” view. In Settings you can adjust the overall intensity or even just set Night Shift to be active between dawn and dusk. If you are sporting an older version of iOS for a jailbreak, options like f.lux from Cydia will allow for an extremely similar function.
Linux Gnome – “Night Light” is an option for Gnome that was added in the 3.24 update. It allows for the adjusting of intensity and a timeframe for which it is active. Activate it in system settings under “Display.” If you have an older version of Gnome, this extension will also add a button in the system’s menu for a very similar capability.
Windows – With the Windows 10 Creator Update on April 11th came a “lower blue light” option that can be found in the display settings. If you have not or do not plan on updating, an app like Redshift will work for most Linux GUI platforms and some Windows PCs. A more stable option, however, would be f.lux for Windows.
Android – An Android night mode is built in to the operating system. Surprisingly, it is a bit hidden in the system settings. To access it, just tap “Settings -> Display -> Night Light.” If you do not see this option, update your device to the most current version. If you still do not see the option, your device and/or software likely is not supported. Still, this is no problem as an app like Bluelight Filter on the Google Play Store is an easy solution. The app offers the ability to set timers and choose an intensity level based on symbols such as incandescent bulbs, candlelight, fluorescent lamps, dawn, and more.
How do they compare?
Almost all night mode or blue light reduction mode options share extreme similarities. So much so, in fact, that built-in options from any OS should do the trick for the average user. From what I have seen, developers of third-party applications are constantly updating their apps with new features to try to keep their apps one step above first-party night modes. That stated, you do not necessarily have to settle for the night mode feature that your particular OS provides. As previously stated, apps like Bluelight Filter offer intensity level icons, and apps like F.lux give the option to manually select a location.
Whether you are just trying to get some reading done or catch up on some email before sleep, enabling a night mode will help reduce strain on your eyes and help you have better quality sleep. Which of the above-mentioned options do you like best and use most often? Are there any others that you like that were not stated? Let us know in a comment below.