Like many, I've been so excited since I switched to dark mode on macOS. I've been able to work at night and in my studio with dim lighting so much easier. My eyes feel so much better now! But this has come at a price...

I'm now frequently finding myself having "lines" and shapes in my vision when I look away from my monitor. It's really very similar to CRT or even LCD burn-in from what I can tell. The longer I stare at a design or document, the worse it is and when I simply blink I see the afterimage still pretty darn acutely.

Are there any suggestions or aids for preventing or minimizing this both for ourselves personally and in our designs for users of systems we design?

  • 2
    I think the real answer is to start working ONLY 8 hours during normal office hours.
    – joojaa
    May 14, 2019 at 16:12
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not really graphic design related. It may be more suited for medicalsciences.stackexchange.com as this is more a "how the human body works" type of question. It's really not any different than moving from a bright environment for an extended period to a sudden dark setting - it takes time for the cones and rods in the eyes to adjust. Minimizing exposure time, or making the transition between dark and light more slowly are really the only solutions I'm aware of.
    – Scott
    May 14, 2019 at 17:20
  • 2
    Switch the lights on. Don't work in the dark. You're just fooling yourself into thinking it's 'better'.
    – Tetsujin
    May 14, 2019 at 17:30
  • Honestly guys, I think you're really wrong here about the lights on stuff vs dark work. I figured out the solution after really thinking hard about this after seeing your comments. The real solution I'm finding is reducing contrast while maintaining a dark env. Sepia levels can help to reduce the blue a bit (which seems to help), but yeah, I'm finding my eyes are in much better shape just after an hour of really going through and reducing contrast where possible. I think Apple and Microsoft will probably understand this soon and implement this themselves to help users to have less "burn-in".
    – kewardicle
    May 15, 2019 at 2:33
  • .. unless.. as a designer.. you want to actually have accurate color representation on screen :) There are apps such as Flux which are designed to eliminate some blue-cast as the time of day changes. But.. they alter color... which is horrible in a design environment. 30+ years with black type on a white screen and I have no complaints. Dark mode is a fad.. a trend... a mistake for a designer. But that is just my opinion.
    – Scott
    May 16, 2019 at 12:15


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.