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On mobile phones and desktop: protect your eyes with the ”night mode”

Thomas Hartmann

Blue LED light can damage the eyes, sunglasses won't help. But you can customize the colors under many systems.

It is not yet possible to say with certainty how one can avoid the danger to the eyes from the bluish light in displays - and whether there is any great danger at all. The "night mode" implemented on devices of the most varied of platforms, at Apple this is called "Night Shift", in any case ensures a reduction in the strain on the eyes. According to the latest findings, activating this blue filter also makes sense during the day, but then you have to put up with a slightly yellowish coloration of the display or monitor - so no solution for image processing. However, you can adapt the blue filter to your own needs on all devices. Different measures are necessary for this, depending on the operating system and device.

Android

On our Huawei smartphone P10 with Android 8.0 and EMUI 8.0 (the manufacturer's own operating system substructure) we can already find the item "Protect your eyes" in the quick settings, which you can simply activate, and the spectrum of the light shifts to reddish. With a long tap on it, the "visual comfort" setting opens, here the color temperature can be shifted towards cold or warm with a slider and a schedule can also be created for it. This may look completely different with other Android smartphones.

We therefore looked at the "Blue Light Filter" app from the Google Play Store just in case. In addition to well-made background information, this offers the possibility of setting the intensity of the color temperature more precisely in units of K (Kelvin), either after preselection or with a slider. There are also other setting options such as dimming the display brightness, autotimer and more. The system requirements vary depending on the device and are not given as a blanket. Anyone who finds the advertising annoying pays a little over three euros for it.

Before you load an external app, you should first find out on your device whether there is already an option for night mode.

EnlargeThe visual comfort settings of the Huawei

iOS

It's relatively easy on the iPhone and iPad, because Apple has long since implemented the eye-friendly night mode called “Night Shift” on its own devices and expanded it with iOS 11. To do this, simply go to the system settings, continue to display & brightness and there you will find the area for ”Night Shift”. This can be activated according to the schedule or as “Manually by tomorrow” and the color temperature can also be adjusted here with a slider.

macOS

Under macOS there is also the “Monitors” category in the system settings, there the “Night Shift” tab, which works in principle in the same way as under iOS and is practically self-explanatory. So also with a schedule, direct activation until the next day and setting the color temperature.

Windows

We can also find the corresponding option under the current Windows 10 operating system. The easiest way is to enter “Night mode” as a search term in the Cortana search field at the bottom of the task bar, right next to the start menu, and then click on the corresponding system settings display. After a brief explanation, there is a button to activate the night mode immediately and permanently, again a slider for the intensity and below the option for scheduling.

Conclusion

All of the operating systems presented here offer the option of significantly reducing the blue light component in the display, even during the day. Given the current warnings, we recommend doing this accordingly. The dark mode, which the upcoming macOS 10.14 Mojave brings to the Mac, does not filter blue light by itself, but is also easy on the eyes and therefore also advisable for frequent computer workers.