1. 17

  2. 10

    I’ve always found it harder to read dark-mode text, and I’m surprised other people don’t. Looking at a dark screen causes your pupils to enlarge, and that decreases the “pinhole-camera” effect, meaning any imperfect focusing by the lens is more apparent. So it aggravates my astigmatism, even when I wear glasses.

    1. 4

      My theory is that many people have their brightness way too high, so the light background is a massive amount of light in your face. Dark mode is preferable in that case. I don’t have any evidence of this, just observation; even many people who spend their entire days in front of a screen never seem to touch their screen’s settings.

      It doesn’t help that adjusting the brightness on many modern screens is a bit of a PITA; I miss the analogue PODs of old CRT screens.

      1. 1

        My theory is that many people have their brightness way too high,

        I always target 100 cd/m2, yet it is still too bright.

        Black text on light background is OK. But not on white background; That’s too much!

        1. 2

          may I ask how you measure luminousity WRT your monitor? reading the grandparent comment made me turn down my brightness to test it out for a bit, at the least.

          1. 1

            I don’t. Fortunately tftcentral.co.uk did the hard work of mapping brightness levels with actual brightness for me, on their review.

            1. 2

              oh cool! I was able to find measurements for my own monitor by searching the model as well – thanks for the pointer.

      2. 3

        On the Amiga, I did prefer Black-on-lightgrey OS2+ color scheme over the white on blue OS1.x color scheme.

        However, I can’t stand white backgrounds. Sure, the contrast is higher this way, but it is very uncomfortable.

        Thus I prefer dark mode, as long as I can’t get AmigaOS-style black on grey.

      3. 4

        I slightly prefer light-mode. What I absolutely hate is switching back and forth. For example, many programmers seem to work in dark-mode terminals and switch back and forth to light mode documentation on websites. I use a light mode terminal color scheme.

        The absolute worst are programmer blogs where code is in dark mode and text in light mode switching every other paragraph.

        1. 4

          Dark-mode displays emit less light than light-mode ones (and, because of that, they might extend battery life)

          Not with LCDs: black pixels just block out the backlight, but the backlight still uses the same amount of power. (Some LCD TVs dim the backlight over large dark regions of the screen, but I don’t think monitors do that, and if they did it would ruin the contrast of the text.)

          OLEDs do use less power for dark pixels, I believe.

          1. 3

            On LCDs, white pixels actually use /less/ power because blocking light is what requires energy. That’s tiny compared to the backlight but I measured it (or at least I think I managed to do it) on my laptop (almost 4K screen from years ago).

            With OLED, there is no backlight and dark pixels are not using power. That also gives better contrast ratios because black is really black. The fact that OLEDs don’t use power for black pixels are also one reason we’re seeing dark themes by large companies, especially on phones.

          2. 4

            I tend to use pure white backgrounds with an aggressive Redshift, and it feels much better for my eyes now than it did back when I was a dark mode elitist.

            The reason that I switched to using light themes was because one of my classmates said that they didn’t see the point in putting effort into a light-dark-mode preference switch because everyone should be using dark mode anyway, and I wanted to be able to say “I do”. Turns out I preferred it; I can’t remember that far back but I probably only started using dark mode because of the stigma attached to light mode.

            I wish more sites would use the prefers-color-scheme CSS now though; I find using sites which enforce a dark background as jarring as many dark theme users find those with light. With light theme the default and an automatic switch to dark, I think the most people would be happy.

            1. 3

              I think that, like a lot of dark mode people, my aesthetic preference for light-on-dark UIs outstrips any small gain I might get in productivity or whatever metric you want to measure one way or the other. I use my computer quite a bit, so I try to keep it enjoyable!

              1. 2

                Both “modes” are alright, as long as you don’t mix them at the same time. Reading text in two places with inverted color schemes is really painful.

                I often use an all-black background, but from time to time I switch to an all-white one (using a script “invert” that changes the color schemes of all the usual programs).

                1. 2

                  I use a dark theme at night and a light theme in the day. This seems harmonious to me, at night I just crave a dark theme. And I do a lot of night shift coding, usually from 2 AM to 6 AM, because that’s when I work the best and it works in our family situation. I also use huge fonts.

                  I don’t trust that usability studies have any relevance to my idiosyncratic habits and preferences…

                  1. 2

                    Dark mode improves the distinction between colors, while light mode improves the distinction between edges.

                    For example, when looking at syntax-highlighted code from a distance dark mode seems advantageous since you can identify blocks of code with different colors more easily. But when you want to read or write the actual text the colors seem to “shine through” the black canvas and produce a blur effect.