Power-efficient browsing

A black background redefines the appeal of any digital content.

Google on Black Background

“Environmentally” speaking, the world’s most used page consuming the least power on your laptop! Its a fact that the LCD screens consume less power for darker colors. So why not use a black background for sites which we use most? Not quite a green revolution in logical sense, but it certainly looks cool.

You’ll need two “recommended” add-ons for Firefox (can be obtained from Firefox site itself): User Styles and NASA Night Launch Theme. Then, go to http://userstyles.org, a community maintained free site for CSS and XSL stylesheets. Search for ‘Dark Google’ and ‘Dark Wikipedia’ (for this example, we take Google and Wikipedia). Select the stylesheet containing only the sites you wish to mod (there will be a list of them when you install the stylesheet to User Styles). A word of caution – don’t use any stylesheet which promises to tweak login sites – e.g. Hotmail, Skype, etc., unless you validate that stylesheet to ensure there are no malicious links. If the stylesheet says all sites would be affected, you can either verify the scripts yourself or avoid it. You may also use the Noscript addon in Firefox to block untrusted/ unverified scripts.

Once done, simply go to the site you modded, and it will appear on black.

Google Search on Black Background


Wiki Article on Black Background

You can check that User Styles is only modding your selected pages when you see a small ‘S’ logo at the bottom right corner of browser. The logo is colored for sites where User Styles is active, and colorless otherwise. The theme shows as a small rocket taking off on the top right as you load pages, and also appears in browser properties.

In case you are unable to get good contrast, check some alternative stylesheets with same tags. You can also disable the stylesheet temporarily, in case you find problems with some Wikipedia articles/pictures. To do this, just click on the ‘S’ logo at the bottom right of that webpage, and uncheck the User Style temporarily. Also, check for updates of the stylesheet you are using; often Google and similar sites change their styles which must be incorporated in your stylesheet else they’ll look ugly.

You can tweak a few colors in the stylesheet to taste, and add more sites to the list already included. To edit the stylesheet, select the addon under User Styles in Tools > Addons and “Edit”.

This works in Windows XP and Linux. In Linux, the addon files might have to be put manually in /home/[user]/.mozilla directory.


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