Are dark themes as useful as they are talked about?
From the point of view of readability, the answer is again simple – black text on a white background looks best. It all comes down to the properties of color, light and iris. White color essentially reflects waves of any length in the entire color range. This means that our iris does not need to open too much to capture a sufficient amount of color and this allows it to remain in its natural form. Therefore, the lens does not need to be deformed, and we can see things more clearly, especially high-contrast colors, such as black, which absorb light instead of reflecting it.
Readability when using dark themes
White text on a black background does not read so well, because the eye needs to open the iris wider in order to capture more light, as well as to tweak and deform the lens. When looking at such a text, a so-called “halo effect” can arise, when around the object we see a kind of glow, a halo.
However, some scientific studies have shown that the readability of a dark text on a white background is much better than a light text on a black background.
With the readability of the text figured out, but what about eye fatigue? Viewing the white background on the screen definitely strains the eyes, but the exact scientific explanation in this matter is not yet and the colors may in fact have no effect on eye fatigue. This is what we know at the moment.
· Dark themes can reduce eyestrain in low light conditions.
· High contrast between text and background can ease eye strain.
Text in applications that require syntax highlighting, such as text editors for programming, is easier to understand when using dark themes.
· Dark themes may irritate your eyes more when there is sufficient light, as text may be more difficult to read.
· 100% contrast between the text and the background (a completely black text on a pure white background) is usually harder to perceive, and it can irritate the eyes more.
· In applications where light text is used on a dark background, it will be more difficult to read a long text.
Which of the above can we conclude? Dark topics are most useful when there is not enough light or you don’t need to read large amounts of text. It is also necessary to maintain a fairly high level of contrast, but the choice of pure black and white most likely will not be the best option. If you need to read a large amount of text, then you should choose themes with a dark font color on a light background (you can experiment with a light gray background and black text). Additionally, try adjusting the screen brightness and ambient light instead of changing the displayed colors.
Go to the dark side! We have a cookie!
If you like to use dark themes – just use them. Do everything that will allow your eyes to be less tired. Themes do not always increase the autonomy of your device, only if you do not use OLED matrices, and do not always reduce eye strain, but there is certainly not much evidence against using them, especially if the dark style does not use high-contrast colors. Try to choose dark themes at night, and light in the daytime, thus you will maximize the load on your eyes.
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