The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Oasis has a feature called Dark Mode. This is a system that inverts the text and background, so the background would be black and text is white. This makes reading on the Kindle easier at night, so you won’t disturb others. The latest generation Paperwhite has a front-lit display and color temperature system, which allows users to augment Dark Mode further.
Amazon used to make Dark Mode buried in the settings menu and it was hard to find. Modern Kindles have it in the dropdown menu, by clicking on the inverted arrow at the top of screen, above the search bar. Dark Mode is one of the settings next to Airplane Mode and Sync. When you turn Dark Mode on, it engages it on a system level. The text is enabled on the home screen, menus, sub-menus, the entire UI and the reading experience. What I like about the Dark Mode is the black background blends in with the black bezels.
When you turn on the front-lit display when Dark Mode is on, it is less of a great experience, if you have the light cranked to the max. The black background is more muted and the white text is really bright, making it harder to read. I recommend turning on the front-light from 5% to 25% to get that sweet spot.
If you engage the color temperature system, or warm light, in conjunction with the front-light, the reading experience is vastly different. Instead of the background being black, it becomes brown. Instead of the text bring white, it also becomes a lighter brown, similar to old parchment. I actually found mixing the front-light and color temperature system looks better, since there is less contrast. I would recommend turning the warm lighting on between 10% to 40% to get the best reading experience.
However, mixing and matching the front-light and warm lighting only applies to specific Kindle models, such as the 11th generation Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, along with the Kindle Oasis. The 10th Generation Paperwhite and older models, do not have a color temperature system, ditto with the base model Kindle, but they do have a front-light.
Do you want to see Dark Mode active on the Kindle? We have a YouTube video below. If you are more of a visual learner or just want to see what all of the fuss is about, you can watch it. Seeing it in action might make the difference between keeping your old Kindle and maybe upgrading.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.