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Why Most Developers Prefer The Dark Theme IDE?

surajsrv11 profile image Suraj Vishwakarma Updated on ・2 min read

Introduction

According to a survey, 70% of software engineers prefer a Dark theme IDE over the light theme. You will always a lot of dark theme in the popular theme section of any IDE. So why? Developers love the dark theme. So here I am going to list some reasons why I like the Dark theme.

1. Soothing to Eye

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As obvious a dark theme helps us to focus on the screen without having irritation in our eyes. The dark theme doesn't make we go dry as compared to the white theme. During the low light situation, Dark theme is the most preferred theme.

2. More Concentration

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Human eyes easily find something brighter in dark surround, it comes from our ancestor. So Dark Background helps us to see the font colour clearly in the editor. Also, the different colour for the different element is easily recognizable in the dark theme. It makes code easily readable because of contrast.

3. Save Energy

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This point doesn't sound like an obvious reason but a dark theme help to save energy. It might be not a lot of energy but still, if you are working on the laptop for a long session it can be helpful. Also if most people use dark theme it will result in a large quantity of energy being saved.

I would love to know your reason to use a dark theme. You can tell your favourite dark theme also. Thank You guys for reading this blog post.

Discussion

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santtuhelea profile image
santtuhelea

Light attracts bugs. We don't like bugs, right?

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manishfoodtechs profile image
manish srivastava

One line answer.

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futureistaken profile image
R Z

It's not bugs, it's features!

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Nice one bro 🤣🤣

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braydentw profile image
Brayden W

Amen 😂😂

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michaelandreuzza profile image
michael-andreuzza

You are everywhere....man

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braydentw profile image
Brayden W

Haha I try my best 😂😂

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michaelandreuzza profile image
michael-andreuzza

I feel you mate.

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braydentw profile image
Brayden W

Yep :D

Btw, how is WickedTemplates going?

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michaelandreuzza profile image
michael-andreuzza

I am reworking it. Just sold 1 bog package n a single template.

I am going to upgrade it. How is your react life?

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braydentw profile image
Brayden W

Very cool :)

Currently I'm learning more about REST APIs, Firebase Auth, and creating some small projects to put on my Github.

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michaelandreuzza profile image
michael-andreuzza

Superb. Sounds really fun and interesting.

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mzaini30 profile image
Zen

😂😂😂😂

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sebring profile image
J. G. Sebring

I've never fallen for dark mode but this make me consider a switch =)

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yep, you should give a try ♥️

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sebring profile image
J. G. Sebring

Oh, I've tried it several times. If coding at night I think it's ok but for daily programming I find it makes the other screens appears so bright. I rather have a light mode with low brightness on the screen.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yep, adjusting according to light is good practice.

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hnrq profile image
Henrique Ramos

Case closed! lol

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rootleet profile image
Uyin Solomon

Correct!!

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jlonetree profile image
jlonetree

This is great 😂

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

We can't afford to have bug in our house😂😂😂

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samarthsaxena profile image
Samarth Saxena

hilarious 😂

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madza profile image
Madza

better contrast, easier for the eyes 😉

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dbarwikowski profile image
Daniel Barwikowski

I saw an article that says the opposite.
Let me find it

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dbarwikowski profile image
Daniel Barwikowski

ux.stackexchange.com/questions/532...

However, most studies have shown that dark characters on a light background are superior to light characters on a dark background (when the refresh rate is fairly high). For example, Bauer and Cavonius (1980) found that participants were 26% more accurate in reading text when they read it with dark characters on a light background.

People with astigmatism (approximately 50% of the population) find it harder to read white text on black than black text on white. Part of this has to do with light levels: with a bright display (white background) the iris closes a bit more, decreasing the effect of the "deformed" lens; with a dark display (black background) the iris opens to receive more light and the deformation of the lens creates a much fuzzier focus at the eye.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Might be it's hard for white colour but other colours on black are easily readable. On white, we have a lot of trouble to read bright colour while on black we can easily read the bright colour without any trouble. IDE is made of multiple colours with each element is different, so dark is very suitable is such a situation.

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skyjur profile image
Ski

Depends on color palette. I can't agree that colored code is any less readable on white if the right shades that is dark enough is chosen.

You can also chose shades that are hard to read on black.

Not that this is in any way scientific but:
#ffe0ff on #fff - I can still read
#002000 on #000 - can't read at all, can't tell which color it is

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yep Bro, Everything at last comes to personal preferences and yes there are colours which you can't read clearly on dark but same goes for white theme IDE too.

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ytjchan profile image
ytjchan

My astigmatic eyes approves this.

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nooballday profile image
Achmad Naufal Syafiq

I used to use dark mode on everything cause my eyes hurt when using light mode, but lately I got fatigue really easily and changed my dark mode behavior to light mode, now I can code longer without hurting my eyes, weird huh.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Same here bro, I am using dark mode on almost all my devices.

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dbarwikowski profile image
Daniel Barwikowski

Turns out that it depends.
You should try it and see if you can keep the same reading speed and how fast your eyes get tired.

While dark theme looks kinda Pro then it doesn't change code quality.
Think about what is good for you :)

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madza profile image
Madza

Yeah, it comes down to individual preference anyways 😉

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yesss, it's always a personal preference.

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yes that's why I love dark theme

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faridsa profile image
faridsa

I'm using dark theme everywhere not only in code IDE, because after over 30 years of computer use, I found dark screen so much pleasant for my eyes. I don't agree that light is smooth because I feel so much light from screen to my eyes in that way.

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Bonginkosi Lukhele

I have the problems with light to my eyes but, I have not noticed it reduced with dark mode

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yess, Dark Theme helps eye.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

I also started to maximize the use of dark theme whenever I am looking at the screen.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Thats good for your eyes

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supportic profile image
Supportic

I use Light-Theme on daytime because it's easier for the eyes in a bright environment and keeps the focus.
And on nighttime it switches to dark-mode by using a VSCode extension.
You can set when exactly it should switch and it can calculate when the sun goes down in your region. You can also add or subtract e.g. 30min from that time.
marketplace.visualstudio.com/items...

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Luca Scala

I used light themes for years. Then I suddenly switched to dark ones, because all my colleagues where using them. I found out a better experience, but when the sun shines in the room I think the light themes will perform better.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yes, light play important role in choosing theme in low light dark themes are best and bright light light themes are best.

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kurisutofu

I didn't really like dark themes ... I always used the light "normal" theme or modified it to be more grayish.
Then, most of the development tools went the dark mode route by default and I felt it was too much trouble to change all of them so I stuck with it.
Now, I finally understand it was better all along and it was just that I was not used to it. I should have forced myself to use it years ago.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

I hope now you Can adapt to dark theme era.

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kurisutofu profile image
kurisutofu

I like it now and I think I was wrong to be so reluctant before :D

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bimlas

I would like the dark theme, but I have to switch between the dark IDE and the light background websites and that ruins my eyes. The solution would be to switch the desktop to completely dark mode (via xfce4-night-mode, customized .vimrc to toggle background at night, etc.) and also view the websites in night mode, but I think that would be more work than advantage.

I’ve tried to switch to dark mode several times because I want to try it, but I’ve never been really successful. What technical solutions are there?

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

I use an extension called Dark Mode in my chrome website to toggle between dark and light mode. You can give a try.

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crtl

I first thought dark theme is this gamer kiddy thing to look more like RGB style but in the end when you sit in front of your screen for 8+ hours multiple days dark theme was way easier on my eyes and I stayed with it.

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

I also started using dark theme across all my devices to save my eyes.

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Ian Pride

I've read a lot about this subject over the years and all the so-called "experts" say the exact opposite, but they also say to lessen the contrast to be softer on the eyes, for example a background of 0xEFEFEF and 0x0F0F0F text color...

I personally get massive headaches from light screens, but not other brighter lights except for the sun so I can't do without a dark theme.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Personal preference is the most important. If anyone is comfortable with dark go with dark or comfortable with white goes with white.

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Daniel Ziltener

Soothing to the eye... that depends. A light background can be just as good. Spacemacs e.g. has a very nice light theme. I tend to use the light one during the day, and switch to the dark one in the evening.

No idea where you got that "more concentration" thing for, source please?

The energy saving point is a myth, unless you have an OLED screen, and even then the only way it saves energy is if you have the background set to completely black. And hardly any dark theme does that.

So, yea...

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

You have a point bro.

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Cody Skinner

Definitely easier on the eyes. I typically use blue-light blocking glasses when I'm working, but I love how relaxing dark themes are as opposed to being blasted with bright colors.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yep, dark theme are blessings for our eyes.

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sanidz profile image
sanidz

Because eclipse leaves lifelong traumas...

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

We hate light theme

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mzaini30 profile image
Zen

I used light Theme 😂

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

That's something surprising bit yesss it personal choice

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mzaini30 profile image
Zen

😂😂😂

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Jeremy Rumble

In regards to point #3...

If you ask me, the premise that a dark-themed IDE will use less energy is problematic at best.

Popularised by Blackle, an energy-saving, dark-themed alternative to Google, the energy saving nature of dark themed apps mostly only applies to mobile phones with an (AM)OLED screen and computers running an old-fashioned box monitor.

The boxy CRT monitors of the 90's and early 00's, similarly to modern (AM)OLED screens, creates light pixel by pixel. That means that the more light that's created, the more energy used. Thus, the brighter overall look of a theme, the more energy used.

The vast majority of laptop screens and current desktop displays work differently. LCD screens start with a certain amount of light coming from a backlight. That light passes through a screen which dims certain pixels depending on how dark a theme is. Aside from screens with intelligent, multi-zone backlight dimming, the darker the screen doesn't mean less energy is used because the backlight is still on.

In addition to the backlight, the switching of the LCD pixels from light to dark uses energy. This can differ because some screens use energy to switch from light to dark, and then spring back to light when the power is removed, while others use energy to switch from dark to light. The former screens will even use more energy for a dark theme because it takes power to keep the pixels of the LCD screen dark.

Finally, I personally tend to turn up the overall brightness of my screen when using a dark theme so that the text pops out even more. In the case of an LCD screen that works exactly the wrong way for trying to save energy.

I can say that I'm looking forward to MacBooks with AMOLED Retina (or whatever the follow up to that will be) screens, so that black is truly black and dark themes will actually use less energy.

For now, though, you'll need to get a laptop that does have, or an IDE that will work on your AMOLED mobile phone :)

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Cedric Hopf

Did you ever opened your IDE at night with a light theme enabled? It burns in your eyes 😂

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

I didn't take that risk till date 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Willian Krueger

If you have a bad display, light theme might be better. Because bad displays cant do both good dark and light contrast at the same time.

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nrutledge

Fun fact: it actually takes more energy to display a dark image than a white image on LCD monitors.

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surajsrv11 profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma Author

OLED in screen can save energy

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AlbertMarashi

Probably won't save much energy unless you're running an OLED display

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yes, good point bro

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David Lázaro Fernández

Don't forget the bugs!

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Jake Varness

Easier on my eyeballs.

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Jordan Tryon

Number 1 reason, looks cool and makes all us devs look like hardcore hackers to the outside world. Let’s be honest here haha

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yep most of Dev do this and I am one of them 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Brayden W

I agree with all of these points. Good article!

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Thank you brother ♥️

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futureistaken profile image
R Z

I am programming in the sunglasses.

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Bonginkosi Lukhele

I changed because everyone else was in dark mode, I have no preference

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

But dark theme is goooooood.

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Samarth Saxena

-Helps to concentrate on the texts.
-Helps to reduce strain on eyes
-Can work continuously for more number of hours.
-hence productivity increases.
-But there's always a toll on health in any case.

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Good point bro ♥️

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Loouis Low

My eyeballs feel comfortable with a dark theme, especially mix with an orange-yellowish desk lamp behind the screen... Romantic coding.

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

You get into feel while coding 😂😂. nice bro

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Harshita Raj

Dark theme : Good for the eyes though ,
And the developers possibly do not want to get their vision or as you say 'eyesight' affected.

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yes, a person already having weak eyesight is highly recommended to use dark theme during the low light scenario.

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Tobias Nickel

I once hear the theory, that it is because of our ancestors. hunting in the dark, scanning the surroundings.

maybe searching for bugs

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yes, bro I also heard something on quora regarding this theory.

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Camille RHODON

As someone with a visual disability, Dark Theme is the only confortable way for me to read on a screen. On light mode i always have to squint and doing it 7 hours a day is very painfull

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Same goes for me. I cant stare at light theme IDE for longer time.

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Stephan B. R. Langenau

Especially for me dark themes are better because I have an Eye Disease. And I guess when you code in the evening it's also better for every eye 🤣

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Suraj Vishwakarma Author

Yep in low lighting situations dark theme are best