Enabling Dark Mode On Websites Based On Surrounding Light

January 04, 2019  |   2 min read

Now you can switch between a “dark mode” and “normal mode” on a website based on the surrounding light! It can really help in curating a better user experience based on the conditions users are viewing your website.

So, here’s how you do it-

Adding the short and simple javascript.

if ( 'AmbientLightSensor' in window ) {
  const sensor = new AmbientLightSensor();
  sensor.onreading = () => {
    console.log('illuminance level :', sensor.illuminance);
      if(sensor.illuminance < 15) {
      else {
  sensor.onerror = (event) => {

Then, add specific css for your dark mode under the class you’ve just set. Like here I am adding and removing the class dark based on the level of ambient light. You can play around with the illuminance value and see what works better in your case.

I also found this cool experiment by @tomlokhorst, where he changed font weight based on ambient light using variable fonts. {{< tweet 837037624003031040 >}}

However, he mentions further in the thread that he did not use the aforementioned AmbientLightSensor but it still makes a pretty good use case.

Disclaimer: The browser support for this feature is low. On chrome it’s only available under a flag. Check the caniuse stats for more details. Despite that the future of web is bright or in a dark mode, however you like it! :)

Update: If you’re getting an error, something like AmbientLightSensor does not exist on type Window while trying to make this work in Angular, you can fix that by doing following -

You need to extend the existing Window interface to tell it about this new property. So, before your class implementation add this code -

declare global {
    interface Window {
        AmbientLightSensor: any;

Then you can add your AmbientLightSensor code in the following way -

    if (window.AmbientLightSensor) {
        const sensor = new window.AmbientLightSensor();
        sensor.onreading = () => console.log(sensor.illuminance);
        sensor.onerror = event => console.log(event.error.name, event.error.message);