Smartphone is everywhere, everybody owns a smartphone. The whole world is moving towards a Mobile First approach. People are using Smartphones for all kinds of activities from making calls to browsing websites and social medias. Prolonged usage of Smartphones can definitely harm your eyes especially at night. Today we are going to have an article on How to Protect your Eyes while using Smartphones at night or dark environments using Night Mode or Blue Light Filtering Applications.
Eyes are vital parts of our body and should take good care of it. People are exposed to prolonged usage of Smartphones which are straining the eyes and it can cause for poor vision. Most people especially youngsters are Night Birds. They use Smartphones during night time.
Blue Light Contributes to Digital Eye Strain
Using the Smartphones at night or in dark environments can cause irritation and strain your eyes. Using smartphones for long during night time can also cause for sleeping disorders, and headaches. People using smartphones before sleeping are having difficulties in sleeping peacefully.
What is Blue Light and Why should we be concerned?
The cause of this issue is the light that is emitted by the Display of the smartphones. Mainly the blue gradients of the screen is seen to cause strain to the eyes at night. Blue being a high intensity light, emits more light with a dark background.
Blue light waves are the among the shortest and highest energy wavelengths in the visible light spectrum. Because they are shorter, they tend to flicker more easily than longer, weaker wavelengths. This kind of flickering creates a glare that can reduce visual contrast and affect sharpness and clarity.
This flickering and glaring may be one of the reasons for eyestrain, headaches, physical and mental fatigue caused by many hours sitting in front of a computer screen or other electronic device.
More info at Blue Light Exposed
How can we Protect our eyes from Blue Light?
There are many ways to reduce the Blue Light to protect our eyes. Many of the Smartphones and gadgets have dedicated Night Mode, which will reduce the intensity of Blue Light emitted from the screen. But Don’t worry if your device doesn’t have a Night Mode.
Some Phones also has screen temperature settings which we can adjust the screen to be warm or cool. This is basically adjusting the colors of the screen. But today we will be looking at some of the apps that will help us protect our eyes from the Blue Light.
Night Mode or Blue Light Filter Apps:
Lets look at some of the options that we have for night mode or blue light filter apps available for Android. There are many apps, but we are going to select a few from them. Lets see which is a better option, the functionality is pretty simple- The apps helps reduce the Blue light emitting from the screen.
I personally use Night Modes apps during night as I’m a Night Bird myself…. These apps are very helpful as you could easily feel the change while using them. The eyes doesn’t strain as before and it is perfect for reading also. If your like to read books from your phone then this app is really a great addition to you.
Night Owl- Screen Dimmer:
Night Owl is a very simple App with some additional features. There is a basic Dimmer setting which can be used to further reduce the screen brightness.
Then the main option- Color Filter: This is the option which reduces the Blue Light. Just turn on the Blue Light Filter option and the app will automatically adjust the Blue Light.
You can also adjust the levels of the colors manually using the advanced Mode. Play around with the color levels and find one that fits your preference.
Additionally there is a Scheduler Feature which is kinda handy. It can be used to set timings for when to start and stop the filter. You can either choose your own time like say from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am. Then there is a Sun Timer setting which will automatically toggle the Night Mode based on the location and time.
One thing i really like about Night Owl- Screen Dimmer is that there is widget support for the app. You can place a switch to easily toggle the night mode from the Home Screen.
Blue Light Filter – Night Mode:
This app is another great choice if you are looking for a Night Mode or Bluelight filter App. The App is having only the basic functionalities of adjusting the Color Temperature and Intensity.
There is a Scheduler feature for this app. It has a basic timer where we can set the On and Off time.
The App has a Color temperature selector preset like candle, incandescent, etc. You can also control the color temperature using a slider.
The App also allow us to Dim the screen brightness using a slider. I have used this app for long and is a fan of its very minimal design. The app doesn’t have a widget that can be used for easy access.
Night Mode (Only Screen Dimming):
This app is very light and has a size of under an MB i guess. This app is very basic. And when i mean basic, really basic with just one function.
You can only dim the screen further than that is possible via the phone’s default setting.
There is no option for color overlay or filtering the blue light.
This is often used to save battery in AMOLED screens.
Sometimes when we just need to lower the brightness but don’t want to filter the blue light and also need a very very basic and light weight app, then this might be the one to go with.
Twilight is an advanced App with many more features. For those who doesn’t need more features I would recommend sticking with any of the ones mentioned above.
Twilight has a option to set different profiles like one preset for reading, one for gaming, etc. There are sliders for controlling the color temperature, intensity, and also the screen brightness.
There is option to schedule the filter automatically based on the location and time and also manually set them as well.
The App has 2 widgets available for easy access. The app is having a bit of a weight for it. Twilight has more features which might be desirable for certain people. I personally like to go with basic ones.
This app is another very basic Night Mode App that you can find in the Google Play. The App is similar to the Night Mode App that we have stated above. The App has the basic Dimming Feature.
The App is very light with very less options. When we launch the Application, a slider appears where we can adjust the Screen brightness.
In the Settings page there is an Option to enable blue light filter. But we cannot control the intensity or the color temperature. The application has a Pro version which will enable the scheduling feature of the app. Only the pro version features a one click widget for easy use.
Research suggests exposure to Blue Light produced by the screens on our mobile phones may distort the natural circadian rhythm and cause inability to fall asleep. Also using mobile phones at night before sleeping can cut short your sleep by almost an hour.
I personally use Night Owl-Screen Dimmer.
So while playing around and chatting with your friends at night, make sure you protect your eyes. Using a Blue light filter Application can help you. Install any of these apps can really save your eyes and get you a good sleep. These apps all are under few MBs, so download it today itself whether you are reading books or playing games or browsing the internet.
Stay Safe!Sleep Tight!