In my own personal and subjective experiments, I came to the opposite conclusion. Light themes rock. Some of friends who did similar tests complained about their eyes hurting. Upon checking it out, we realized that the problem was not really the light theme but the display brightness and the colorscheme. People often mix light theme with “LET’S BLIND THE USER WITH A WHITE BACKGROUND!” and their brightness set to supernova levels. That doesn’t work at all.
Light themes is not about them being white, it is about choosing lighter shades. The sweet spot for me is pastel colours. Choosing subtle pastels made my editor of choice much more pleasing to use. A good example of pastel interfaces are old HP Vue and CDE screenshots. Yes, there were dark themes for them, but most themes were towards the light part of the spectrum. Plan9 also makes good use of pastels.
I advise people not to be turned out from lighter themes by this post, try it out for yourselves, but for for subtle shades, not for high contrast white backgrounds. Heck, the linked theme is using #ffffff as the background, that alone will make your eyes hurt a ton. Remember most of your screen real state is background, choose a pleasing tone.
Yes I love a nice pastel – I was vibing with #ffffef for a long time. Plan9 has the best pastel scheme.
Also +1 to turning down the brightness – I have my screen at about 30% unless I’m outside in the sun.
Thanks for this reply soapdog! I have honestly been trying out light modes in everything for months, on and off, and this is nice to know!
Thank you, Tomisino for doing this experiment so the rest of us don’t have to.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Light Mode is Best Mode.