Dark mode vs. Light mode

There’s a lot of chatter about the dark mode these days. Google will add dark mode to Android Q and any app worth its salt is adopting it. And Apple has added a dark mode to iOS 13. And the Mac already has it with macOS Mojave. As does Windows 10. Dark mode can increase your battery life. But how much? If you want to increase battery life using dark mode you will need to have an OLED screen. That’s because OLEDs actually turn off the individual pixels. That’s not the case for LCDs, which use power regardless of light or dark mode. So if you have a smartphone with an LCD or laptop or tablet with an LCD (almost universal), dark mode has no impact on battery life, however using dark mode can still be easier on your eyes in darker conditions. 

 

Tests on the iPhone and Android in dark mode and night mode, showed that battery life on devices with OLEDs can increase dramatically in some cases.

Battery life on devices with OLEDs can be increased dramatically when dark mode is enabled 

The test done by Digital trends, used a fully-charged iPhone 11 Pro and a robotic arm, which was programmed to do various things on the display while the device was in Light Mode and in Dark Mode. The tasks included typing text on the Messages app, scrolling through Twitter, playing videos on YouTube, and accessing Google Maps.

By the time that the battery of the iPhone 11 Pro in Light Mode was depleted, the iPhone 11 Pro in Dark Mode still had 30% of its charge remaining. The test was conducted with both screens at a brightness of 200 nits, and iPhones on different brightness levels may lead to different outcomes in terms of percentage — though a longer battery life for an iPhone in Dark Mode should stay true.