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#1 2013-01-18 09:32:22

Shark
Member
From: /dev/zero
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 663

Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

Hello!

Recently i have found on kde-look.org a dark color scheme named Optimal. Author of this theme, on the basis of two web sites, argues that dark themes are better for the eyes or reduces eyes strain. There was a great discussion on Stackexchange forum with very different opinions. I have found out that for me the best color scheme is black on dark grey.

What is your thought? Which color scheme is better for the eyes by your opinion?

Last edited by Shark (2013-01-18 09:33:07)


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#2 2013-01-18 09:35:02

10PinkPanther
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From: Croatia
Registered: 2012-11-10
Posts: 333

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I always have dark themes.Don't know if it's better for my eyes but it's prettier to me than bright ones.

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#3 2013-01-18 09:41:06

Shark
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From: /dev/zero
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 663

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

10PinkPanther wrote:

I always have dark themes.Don't know if it's better for my eyes but it's prettier to me than bright ones.

For me the best dark color scheme is Optimal because it doesn't have high contrast. But i was thinking if you have only a dark UI and not the content too (i.e. dark on white on web pages, for example) then there isn't really an issue between dark vs. bright theme since UI takes very little space (at least in web browser case).


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
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#4 2013-01-18 09:58:07

graysky
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From: The worse toilet in Scotland
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,818
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Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

Show me a valid scientific comparison of the two.  Without relevant data, the author''s claims are baseless.


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#5 2013-01-18 10:10:57

AndrzejL
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Registered: 2012-12-07
Posts: 160

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

graysky wrote:

Show me a valid scientific comparison of the two.  Without relevant data, the author''s claims are baseless.

On top of that I find it very difficult to find anything when using (most of if not all) dark themes. I find myself starring at the screen when it happens. Starring to the point of not blinking / involuntary tears and a headache. I tried to use dark themes as I do find them very attractive but after several days of trying to get used to it I had to change to a bright theme coz my eyes were sore.

Regards.

Andrzej


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#6 2013-01-18 10:51:50

Shark
Member
From: /dev/zero
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 663

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Registered Linux User: #559057

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#7 2013-01-18 10:54:51

satanselbow
Member
Registered: 2011-06-15
Posts: 536

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

There is loads of "colour theory" research out there - mostly contradictory...

If i'm doing graphic design stuff i'll use a dark theme to help tunnel the focus to the colour palette involved. I, contra-wise, find it difficult to program in a "white on black" enviroment... No science to it - just personal preference and trying stuff out.

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#8 2013-01-18 11:15:02

Shark
Member
From: /dev/zero
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 663

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

@satanselbow
As far as my personal taste, i hardly read white text on dark on web pages but i don't have any problems if we are talking about white on dark GUI.

What about solarized theme? As af as i know they follow CIEALAB lightness relationship.


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
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#9 2013-01-18 11:18:24

Unia
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From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2010-03-30
Posts: 2,476
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Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

Overall I prefer my theme to be bright. For some reason I can't stand dark themes. There's one exception: coding! When I code, I'm only comfortable on a dark(er) background.


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#10 2013-01-18 12:02:38

FreeTheBee
Member
Registered: 2011-01-02
Posts: 125

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

For me it depends a bit on the light in the room as well. Usually I have a light background (Vim with Solarized most of the time). When it is a bit darker in the room I'm working I switch to dark sometimes, or reduce the screen brightness. Both seem to reduce strain for me then.

Last edited by FreeTheBee (2013-01-18 12:02:54)

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#11 2013-01-18 12:10:03

CrashLog
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From: Finland
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 133

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I use dark themes, that's probably just because it's what I'm used to, and I find myself having an easier time looking at the screen that way. I don't know which is more straining, but I guess the environment has a big effect on it.
If you sit in the dark, then I imagine that using a bright theme will kill your eyes dead pretty fast.


"There are no problems, only opportunities for solutions."

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#12 2013-01-18 13:42:54

ozar
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From: USA
Registered: 2005-02-18
Posts: 1,681

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I used to always go for light-colored themes, but recently have grown fond of darker themes.  However, I find some very bright colored text hard to read on dark backgrounds.  Not sure which is the best overall for one's eyes, but it probably depends on who's eyes it it doing the looking at the theme.


oz

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#13 2013-01-18 14:18:11

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,779
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Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

Really?  No offense, but this is becoming a signicant problem now that there is so much "information" available: people cannot critically evaluate the source of information.

Graysky sensibly raised skepticism about the "random person on the internet" that you referred to.  And in response you not that he, in turn, cites two other "random people on the internet".  The fact that one web page links to other web pages that agree with it, does not make it's claims any more reliable.

I would not be surprised if there was good research on this - and I myself tend to like dark themes - but random links are just that: random links.


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#14 2013-01-18 14:25:33

Shark
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From: /dev/zero
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 663

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

Trilby wrote:

Really?  No offense, but this is becoming a signicant problem now that there is so much "information" available: people cannot critically evaluate the source of information.

Graysky sensibly raised skepticism about the "random person on the internet" that you referred to.  And in response you not that he, in turn, cites two other "random people on the internet".  The fact that one web page links to other web pages that agree with it, does not make it's claims any more reliable.

I would not be surprised if there was good research on this - and I myself tend to like dark themes - but random links are just that: random links.

First of all – i didn't say anything about "scientific sources" etc., i just said that it was based on two internet sources which can be or not true. Nevertheles, it is interesting because this color scheme is built systematically on premises in these websites. I didn't say it is true but it is interesting, tough. And that led me to create this topic in order to better educate myself regarding colors.


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
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#15 2013-01-18 14:48:03

Onyros
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From: Lisbon, Portugal
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 295

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I prefer white text on black backgrounds, even on my tablet/e-reader. It's just a matter of preference, but in my case, I feel less strain on the eyes, less tendency to get headaches when looking at a less bright screen for a long periods of time. I've been using OMG-Dark from the OMG suite and I can't see myself going back to brighter themes, really.

I could whip out a few studies out of my ass to prove both camps, so I'll stick to what works for me wink

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#16 2013-01-18 14:58:17

winBUG$_hater
Banned
Registered: 2013-01-12
Posts: 25

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

graysky wrote:

Show me a valid scientific comparison of the two.  Without relevant data, the author''s claims are baseless.

nice one 'pal'!(    thus between quotation marks)

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#17 2013-01-18 15:06:22

omeringen
Member
Registered: 2012-05-28
Posts: 109

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I'm using KDE's "Evening Lilac" color scheme which is dark. Yeah i prefer dark themes, focusing is easier and less exhausting IMHO.
I tried the Optimal color scheme then i switched back to Evening Lilac. It takes some time to get used to it, gonna try it again later.

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#18 2013-01-18 15:06:34

alphaniner
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From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,778

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

@Trilby

It seems a bit heavy handed to dismiss Shark's links as just the work of "random people on the internet".  The first is someone who built an extensive site devoted to Occupational Health and Safety; not exactly the work of your average Joe. It also doesn't seem to make any claims re: dark or bright at all, but does have a link to the Colour & Vision Research Laboratory at the Institute of Ophthalmology UCL.  There's also another link which appears to be to the Ophthalmology department at U of Iowa, but it seems to be dead.

The second page, if nothing else, cites an extensive list of sources.

Last edited by alphaniner (2013-01-18 15:15:34)


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#19 2013-01-18 15:32:59

winBUG$_hater
Banned
Registered: 2013-01-12
Posts: 25

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

omeringen wrote:

I'm using KDE's "Evening Lilac"

how to get it pal?

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#20 2013-01-18 16:10:00

omeringen
Member
Registered: 2012-05-28
Posts: 109

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

winBUG$_hater wrote:
omeringen wrote:

I'm using KDE's "Evening Lilac"

how to get it pal?

System Settings -> Application Appearance --> Colors

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#21 2013-01-18 16:11:11

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I'm pretty sure* that it only matters if you're switching back and forth between light and dark schemes. Once you give yourself a chance to adjust to a particular color scheme, you'll get used to the contrasts it uses and you'll be convinced it's the best.

Far more important is the brightness of your monitor. I keep mine near the lowest settings, particularly in the evening.

* speaking empirically, not with any sort of hard evidence to back it up....just like everyone else

Last edited by jakobcreutzfeldt (2013-01-18 16:11:30)

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#22 2013-01-18 19:00:07

Tzbob
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2011-04-12
Posts: 61

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I went to bright themes in my terminals about 2 years ago and never went back to dark themes.

It definitely reduced strain on __my__ eyes. For one, I blame this on the websites I so often visit which are themed in brighter colors but also the fact that, as a student, I often switch back and forth from my books to my screen. Lowering the contrast of colors between everything I read made it easier on my eyes since they had to adjust less.

Bright color themes do require me to lower the brightness on my laptop at night though!

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#23 2013-01-18 19:41:09

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,779
Website

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

Oops.  I want to offer my sincere appologies to Shark.  The result of my post was not at all as it was intended - and i see I did not communicate my point well.  So again, I appologize.

The point was only that, while I hope there is good research on this topic, the idea fact that someone gave citations does not back up their claims unless those citations are both to reliable sound sources and those sources actually support the point in question.  That does not seem to be the case for the website from the author of "optimal".

One can, in contrast (no pun intended), find many good peer reviewed empirical studies on this topic with a search on scholar.google.com.


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#24 2013-01-21 18:30:46

w0ng
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From: Australia
Registered: 2009-06-04
Posts: 88
Website

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

I personally prefer light on dark for terminals and coding, but dark on light everywhere else.

Last edited by w0ng (2013-01-29 20:30:33)

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#25 2013-01-21 18:57:02

bohoomil
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Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: Dark or bright theme? Which is better for the eyes?

! term bg/fg
URxvt*background:  #090C19
URxvt*foreground:  #E6E6E6

! X.org apps bg/fg
*background: #D0CECB
*foreground: #090C19

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:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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