Lighting in Thyme and Rosemary is embarrassing
That problem is everywhere for interior lighting (CDPR actually stated that interior lighting took a big hit when they changed the lighting system). And it's mainly because of the backlight that they put there to see the character better. While I was using Asmodean's mod though, that problem nearly went away completely. I would suggest you to go to Rosemary and Thyme using that one Of course STLM isn't bad for interiors too.
But yeah, when it comes to "grim world = almost black & white world", I agree with @Nolenthar. Witcher is one of my favorite literary series, and I read them many many times. I don't remember feeling like the world actually "looked" dark in any one of them, except from some swampy areas with ancient manors in them When explaining Brokilon, or some forests that they camp in, or some destroyed elven ruins (etc.) Sapkowski always mentioned the vibrant beauty and colors of the place. It actually underlines the darkness of human action, and the grim qualities of the monsters and sentients alike much better, because it draws a nice contrast there. Of course people can prefer all kinds of things, and I respect that immensely. But for me, wanting the world to not just feel dark and grim, but to "look" like it, is kind of emo. When I look at how people live and act, and the effects of the war all around (burned villages, people hanging from trees, refugees and so on) I feel that this is a dark world, in its dark times. But when I see some beautiful places, some green, lush forests, I get that it is so insignificant to the overall "world". Nature simply doesn't "care", and colors are indifferent about human actions. They will be there muuuuuch longer, after everyone is dead and gone. Which was a great design decision from CDPR, for me.
Now, wouldn't have I wanted all this with the improved lighting system that they had? Sure, anyone would have I think. But it's been a year now, I'm okay with it Besides, there are several cool mods around, so it's alright. After all this debacle, I can't see them doing the same thing in the future anyway. Oh, and of course we shouldn't forget the important facts like we didn't see much of the game before (maybe other areas were totally rubbish...), and there are some improvements over the older builds, where there are reductions of quality as well. It's not a one way street. Anyway, it's been a long time, we should let somethings go at this point I think