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Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Smartphone in Dim Lighting: Understanding Screen Brightness and PWM Dimming

In this technologically advanced era, we are constantly glued to our screens, especially our smartphones. However, there’s a hidden aspect of smartphone usage that many users are unaware of – the impact of screen brightness and PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming on our eyes, especially in dimly lit environments.

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) Dimming

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) dimming is a technique used to control the brightness of displays, including those on smartphones. This technique involves rapidly turning the backlight on and off, creating the illusion of reduced brightness. Manufacturers use PWM dimming as a cost-effective way to manage brightness levels in displays.

While PWM dimming allows for brightness control, it can have adverse effects on some individuals. The rapid flickering of the backlight at lower brightness levels can cause eye strain and discomfort, particularly for those sensitive to flicker or suffering from conditions like eyestrain or migraines.

Frequency of screen flicker at low brightness

The Connection: Screen Brightness and PWM Dimming

The relationship between screen brightness and PWM dimming is essential to comprehend, especially regarding our eye health. Inadequate screen brightness, combined with PWM dimming at lower levels, can intensify the strain on our eyes, leading to discomfort and potential long-term eye issues.

When using your smartphone or any device with a screen in a dimly lit environment, the screen tends to be set to a lower brightness level. If this lower brightness level is achieved through PWM dimming, the rapid flickering can be more pronounced and, consequently, more detrimental to the eyes.

Frequency of screen flicker at high brightness

It’s prudent to use your smartphone or any screen-based device in well-lit environments. Adequate lighting reduces the need for lower screen brightness, consequently reducing the risk of eye strain.