We’ve shared a few ways to make your screen more eye-friendly in the dark, but Google recently released an extension designed to make the web more night-friendly. Here’s the lowdown on it and a similar extension for Firefox.
High Contrast Inverts Colours on a Per-Site Basis in Chrome
Google’s official High Contrast extension for Chrome is pretty great. By clicking on its icon in your menu bar, you can invert the colours of your web pages, making blindingly bright black-on-white sites white on black for easier viewing. It ignores photos too, so you can still see pictures without them looking like film negatives. You can also choose an inverted greyscale if the colours get too wonky for you.
What’s especially nice is that you can set it on a per-site basis, so if you frequent sites that already have “night modes” built in, you can ignore them from being inverted. And you can set Ctrl+Shift+F11 to toggle inversion on any site you want. Above all, it actually looks good when it’s enabled — a lot of colour inversion tweaks can really make your screen look weird, while this extension makes everything look somewhat natural.
Blank Your Monitor Lets You Customise Your Inverted Colour Scheme in Firefox
Firefox users have a similar extension called Blank Your Monitor that, with a keyboard shortcut, will invert the colours in your browser for easier night reading. Unlike Google’s extension, however, you can open up the options and customise the colours for page backgrounds, text and links, so it looks exactly how you want it to look. It also has a cool feature in which you can select text and press a keyboard shortcut to put it on a reader-friendly, inverted page.
That said, certain page elements can sometimes look weird with this extension (like Google’s Instant Previews, page logos and text boxes), so if you prefer an alternative, check out the Myflavolours userstyle, which also inverts your colours but leaves these things intact.
These aren’t the only ways to make your browser more night-friendly, of course. Mac OS X users have a built-in shortcut for inverting the entire screen, and apps like F.lux will change the colour temperature automatically based on the time of day, but this is a slightly more extreme solution for those of us with ultra sensitive eyes. If you have any of your own solutions for nighttime screen brightness, share them with us in the comments!