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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

Blue Light Glasses vs. Night Mode

Updated: Mar 30

We live in a digital age, so we are exposing our eyes to screens all the time. Whether from smartphones, computers, or tablets, the mass use of electronic devices deepens computer vision syndrome (CVS) discomfort, such as persistent headaches, eye strain, and blurry vision.

But while the digital strain on the eyes will not ruin your vision, it's only natural to seek relief. Two popular methods for reducing eye strain are blue light glasses and dark mode settings (night mode).

There is no question about the necessity to find effective ways to ease CVS symptoms and protect our patient's eyes. But let's figure out which one is better in this detailed blue light glasses vs. night mode discussion.

Blue Light Glasses

Blue light from screens isn't all bad. Yet, too much of it may tire the eyes and maybe even give you a headache. These types of glasses act like a shield, blocking some of the blue light from reaching your eyes.

Pros of Blue Light Glasses

  1. Reduced blue light exposure

  2. Minimal screen color alteration

  3. Better usability

Blue light may potentially disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to digital eye strain. So what blue light glasses do is filter out a small portion of the blue light emitted by digital screens. Reducing the exposure can be beneficial during nighttime screen use.

Unlike dark mode, which alters the color temperature of the screen, blue light glasses maintain the true colors of the display. Thus providing a more authentic viewing experience.

In terms of usability, a person can carry blue light glasses everywhere, so they can put them on when needed. Essentially, that's helpful whenever it's not possible to can't alter the brightness and contrast settings or when dealing with a new or unknown device.

Cons of Blue Light Glasses

  1. Cost

  2. Limited protection

  3. Personal preference

Quality blue light glasses tend to be more expensive, unlike software solutions like night mode, which is free. They are even more costly than regular prescription glasses because of the extra coat on the lenses.

Despite the cost, blue light glasses are a long-term investment in eye health.

While blue light glasses are relatively effective at filtering out some of the blue light, they may not address other factors contributing to CVS. For example, they don't filter out screen glare or fix an improper viewing distance, which are much bigger causes of eye strain than blue light.

There's also the factor of personal preference in the blue light glasses vs night mode dilemma. Some individuals may find wearing glasses uncomfortable or inconvenient, more so if they do not need vision correction.

Night Mode Settings

Dark mode is a special setting on electronic devices. Instead of shining bright white light at you at all times, this mode dims the display, lowers the brightness and contrast, and gives it a warmer, softer glow.

The device understands when it's getting dark and changes screen settings to make it easier on your eyes. On most devices, a dark mode may also auto-adjust the display in different lighting environments or keep a device on night mode permanently.

Pros of Night Mode

  1. Free or low-cost solution

  2. Reduced eye strain

  3. Customizable

Most devices offer free built-in "night mode". So it is a convenient and accessible option for reducing blue light exposure without spending extra money. Click the pre-set option in the settings and your screen will adjust automatically.

By shifting the color temperature of the screen towards the warmer end of the spectrum, night mode settings can reduce CVS symptoms, especially in low-light conditions.

On most devices, users can also customize the settings to suit their individual preferences. Thus achieving maximum eye comfort.

Cons of Night Mode

  1. Altered screen colors

  2. Limited protection during daytime

  3. Device compatibility

Night mode alters the colors of the screen, giving it a warmer, yellowish tint. Some users may find the change in colors less appealing or distracting.

In addition, these settings are primarily for use in low-light environments or during nighttime. They may not protect against blue light exposure during daytime since ambient light levels are higher.

Last but not least, older devices or certain applications may not support the dark mode feature, limiting its availability for some users.

Blue Light Glasses vs. Night Mode

Blue Light Glasses vs. Night Mode: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, choosing between blue light glasses or night mode boils down to personal preferences and needs. But since both options claim to reduce eye discomfort by extensive screen use, we must factor in their effectiveness and practicality.

Blue light glasses have been marketed as a "miracle" solution to ease eye strain from screen usage. However, from a scientific point of view, their effectiveness may not be as significant as claimed. While glasses with filters may provide relief for specific individuals, their overall impact on reducing eye strain remains inconclusive.

Night mode, available on most electronic products, is often effective in promoting better sleep quality and minimizing digital eye strain. The feature is also a convenient and cost-effective solution without additional purchases or accessories.

In most cases, practicing healthy screen habits, taking regular breaks, and adjusting screen settings can reduce eye strain, regardless of the chosen method.

What would YOU choose in the blue light glasses vs. night mode debate?


Checked by Atanas Bogoev, MD.

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