Skip to main content

‘DarkModeBuddy’ is a new Mac app for automating Dark Mode switching based on ambient light

The Mac added support for a system-wide Dark Mode with macOS 10.14, and support for automatic Dark Mode switching came the following year with Catalina. Since then, Apple has made few changes to the Dark Mode experience on the Mac.

A new third-party app, DarkModeBuddy, released today expands the macOS Dark Mode feature with support for switching modes based on the ambient light sensor.

Developed by 9to5Mac’s Gui Rambo, DarkModeBuddy is a Mac utility that runs in the background to automatically switch your Mac between light and dark modes based on the ambient light sensor. For those unaware, the ambient light sensor is what also determines your automatic brightness level.

In the app, you can set your own preferences for the ambient light threshold and delay time. The delay time is there to prevent flickering, so the ambient light level must persist for your preferred amount of time.

Here’s Rambo’s explanation on how the app works:

The solution for that is DarkModeBuddy. It’s a tiny app that keeps running in the background and reads the ambient light sensor on your Mac (the same one it uses to adjust the brightness of your screen). When the ambient light level falls below the configured value, DarkModeBuddy automatically switches the Mac into Dark Mode. When the ambient light level rises above the configured value, it goes back into Light mode. This does not happen instantaneously: in order to prevent flickering, the change in ambient light level must persist for a certain amount of time, which can also be configured in the app’s settings.

DarkModeBuddy is available on Gumroad with a “pick your pricing” business model. It’s a very nifty new macOS utility for Dark Mode fans, and it’s compatible with macOS 10.15 and newer. Let us know what you think of it down in the comments.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

Tips, questions, typos to