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beatzfreak
Feb 9, 2008, 08:50 AM
Thought I would start a new thread about this issue, since it seems pretty common and the fixes are buried in other threads.

So, how do you fix this? Mine seems to be backwards, ie: keys light up in bright light, and dim in the dark.

Otherwise, my MBA is flawless.



Cybergypsy
Feb 9, 2008, 08:52 AM
Thought I would start a new thread about this issue, since it seems pretty common and the fixes are buried in other threads.

So, how do you fix this? Mine seems to be backwards, ie: keys light up in bright light, and dim in the dark.

Otherwise, my MBA is flawless.


Install lab tick...do a search

petestein1
Feb 9, 2008, 09:21 AM
Just cover over the light sensor (little tiny grill to the left of the iSight camera and then adjust the keyboard brightness (Function-F5 and F6) back forth a bit.

Once you uncover the light sensor all is better.

dahcheet
Feb 9, 2008, 09:51 AM
Just cover over the light sensor (little tiny grill to the left of the iSight camera and then adjust the keyboard brightness (Function-F5 and F6) back forth a bit.

Once you uncover the light sensor all is better.

Seems I'm having the same problem. I tried this and now the keyboard light is just on ALL the time...

beatzfreak
Feb 9, 2008, 09:58 AM
Just cover over the light sensor (little tiny grill to the left of the iSight camera and then adjust the keyboard brightness (Function-F5 and F6) back forth a bit.

Once you uncover the light sensor all is better.


I tried this a couple of times and it didn't work for me.

jdcrow711
Feb 9, 2008, 10:02 AM
same problem with my backlight working backwards. please dont tell me to cover it up with my thumb and turn up the backlight -- i put the light up to half with the sensor covered. i am sitting in a room with an open glass door and as soon as i cover the sensor the backlight goes from halfway to completely out.

its schizo and working backwards. apple wants the laptop back so they can play with it. i already had to return my superdrive and the guy in texas swears they have one to replace it with and i wont be without a laptop for more than 7-10 days if i return it.

only other option is to go see a genius and have them tell me yes its broken and we have none in the store to replace it with.

beatzfreak
Feb 9, 2008, 10:09 AM
Install lab tick...do a search

Thanks!! I can live with this.

petestein1
Feb 9, 2008, 10:11 AM
Apologies. While that fix seemed to have done the trick for me for a moment, my problems are back too.

Since the problem can be mitigated manually for a few weeks (turn the light on when you go into a dark room) I'm gonna wait a month or so and see if Apple fixes it with a software patch or someone else comes up with the solution. If not, then I will take it to the Apple store and get a new machine once they don't have such a shortage.

Fortunately, because of Time Machine it won't be too tough to migrate to a new machine if that's what it takes.

beatzfreak
Feb 9, 2008, 10:22 AM
I also found this posted by Othodoc:

My backlit keyboard problem is solved! I just got off the phone with a product specialist at Apple. He had me shut the computer down and unplug everything including the power cord. I then held down the power key for about 15 to 20 seconds until a loud beep was heard. He then had me let go of the power key and let it boot up normally. Once it came back on, the backlit keyboard was working properly.

I tried it, but it didn't work. I'm just going to use Lab Tick for now, though I may swing by an Apple store next week.

petestein1
Feb 9, 2008, 10:26 AM
I also found this posted by Othodoc:
I tried it, but it didn't work. I'm just going to use Lab Tick for now, though I may swing by an Apple store next week.

I just tried that as well and no dice. :(

instant hit
Feb 9, 2008, 10:30 AM
calling the COPS worked best in my situation. it's still not perfect, but i'll take it for what it's worth. covering the light sensor now dims my keyboard, and in low light it will brighten it a few ticks, and finally turning off when there's ample lighting.

larryj
Feb 9, 2008, 10:55 PM
I just realized my Air is confused about the keyboard backlighting. Holding down the power button for 10+ seconds worked initially, but a couple of minutes later it was back to lighting up when the room was lit and turning off in darkness.

COPS didn't work either.

sosnow
Feb 9, 2008, 11:35 PM
Install lab tick...do a search

What does lab tick give me that the F5 and F6 keys don't?

Thanks

admanimal
Feb 9, 2008, 11:59 PM
What does lab tick give me that the F5 and F6 keys don't?

Thanks

It will override the system backlight settings and keep the brightness constant. It doesn't actually fix the problem of the light going off when it gets dark, though.

Kwamster
Feb 13, 2008, 09:47 AM
Odd. I didn't start to have this problem on my MBP until 10.5.2, which tells me it's more of a software issue. I have found that another temporary fix is to click the "automatically adjust" option off and back on again -- that seems to fix the dyslexia for a while.

I also submitted a bug report to Apple, FWIW.

Kwamster
Feb 19, 2008, 11:31 PM
Anyone notice if keyboard illumination issues are fixed by the new keyboard firmware update?

shoulin333
Feb 20, 2008, 02:21 AM
maybe a 10.5.2 issue? seems everyone has this problem now.. i didnt have my MBA until after 10.5.2 was released, and first thing i did was update, so i dont know if it happened before the update..

However it deff seems like a software issue... a simple IF-THEN statement gone wrong.

Hopfully we will see an update soon! :)

dibara2003
Feb 20, 2008, 04:42 AM
i played with the keyboard settings in system prefs. and it fixed itself

dahcheet
Feb 20, 2008, 06:57 AM
The problem has been coming and going with mine. Quite odd. I don't think there's a real solution to this yet.

shoulin333
Feb 20, 2008, 08:16 PM
Ya i've noticed this too..

Opened it and turned on in the library today where the lights are really bright and it worked correctly...

since then i have tried turning it on under my desk lamp and it works fine,... but if i turn it on in a dark room, or in "normal lighting" it doesnt work correcly most of the time...

can others try turning it on under a bright lamp and tell me if you get the same results?


-thanks

EDIT:: I found that i think the sensor just really isnt sensitive enough... because even while on, if you put it under a BRIGHT light like direcly under the lamp it kinda fixes it, and works perfect... but the normal room light / dark doesnt seem to work... anyways, anyone else confirm the "bright light fix" ?

The problem has been coming and going with mine. Quite odd. I don't think there's a real solution to this yet.

saisrujan
Feb 20, 2008, 09:45 PM
I didn't try this "bright light" fix, but I found a work-around.

Some idiot in apple coded this backlight just the way they coded the monitor. The monitor's brightness increases in bright ambienace and dims itself in darker places. The keyboard stupidly mimics the monitor.

The cure for this stupidity. Get to a dark room (switch off the light, or if you cannot find a dark place, cover the light sensor). NOW adjust your keyboard back-light to whatever way you want in the dark, or while still covering the light sensor. About 60% was fine for me.

Switch on the light. The keyboard back-light goes slightly brighter (maybe 100%). Ignore that. Switch off the light again. The keyboard is lit to the level you want (60%).

One problem with this approach is that the keyboard is lit unnecessarily in bright light situations, ignore it (or show off your back-lit keyboard) but more importantly, the keyboard is lit when needed, and that's just what I care about.

If your MBA doesn't work this way, do an SMC reset and try again. (I tried SMC reset before I tried this, no idea if SMC reset worked and if it worked, I have no idea if it had any effect).

But the bug is still there, waiting to be fixed, when the developers at apple wake up and flip their > to < in the code to fix the behavior.

jdcrow711
Feb 20, 2008, 09:46 PM
easy fix i found. i went to the apple store, handed them the MBA and walked out with a white macbook 2.2 which left me with 600+ on a gift card for the 3g iphone when it comes. also bumped it to 4gigs ram and it just seems so much faster than the MBA and getting much better fan speeds / battery life. the mba was definitely cool for a few days but it (sadly) wasnt perfect for me.

Flyer0815
Feb 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
I second the other posters who recommend Lab Tick.... It really gets rid of the up and down nauseating default control that the laptop does without it. My MBP and my MBA both have it on there... Its so nice to have an even, consistent user-controllable backlight... and the app is tiny and unobtrusive.

devilot
Feb 21, 2008, 08:24 PM
I did a brief search through the MBA forum... I'm not sure if I'm having the same exact issue (or if there are multiple similar backlit KB issues).

My screen (and KB) were crazily oversensitive to the ambient light. So I unchecked Sys Prefs> Displays> Auto adjust brightness (like so):

104315


But still wanting the KB to remain illuminated I made sure to keep Sys Prefs> Keyboard & Mouse> Illuminate KB checked (like so):

104316


So, the display no longer twitches out on me. However... the KB backlighting is so aggravating! It was way too bright (sunlit room) and so I manually turned it down a couple of notches. After a few minutes-- it was off completely. I manually turned it back on. Few minutes later, completely off. (Mind you, the lighting hadn't changed at all.) Again, I manually turned it back on only to have it completely turn off on its own again.

Is this the issue y'all are experiencing?

If so.. ARGH! :D I'm so bummed! I was really really looking forward to this feature, and am disappointed that it's not quite working out as I'd hoped.

NC MacGuy
Feb 21, 2008, 08:57 PM
I've tried every type of iteration and calibration but it all leads to plain frustration!

May try lab tick but am hoping for an Apple "fix" shortly. Enough people have complained about this and going to the Apple store, they seemed very aware of issue. Said it is "normal" for an Air even though not quite right.

shuffles
Feb 23, 2008, 08:22 PM
I got a question bout the illuminated keyboard....it only turns on when there is a light on...when i turn off the lights it turns off. How do I fix this??

I went into the keyboard settings but all u can do is turn illumination on or off!!

PLEASE HELP!!!

aaronw1986
Feb 23, 2008, 08:24 PM
Use Lab Tick to have greater control. I'm sure a search would've revealed this.

http://labtick.proculo.de/

shuffles
Feb 23, 2008, 08:35 PM
Cheers, but i only have it a day so if i have to download a program to fix a problem after just one day then i might as well bring it back n get it fixed.

Is there anything else i can do? Its supposed to illuminate in the dark right?

aaronw1986
Feb 23, 2008, 08:39 PM
Cheers, but i only have it a day so if i have to download a program to fix a problem after just one day then i might as well bring it back n get it fixed.

Is there anything else i can do? Its supposed to illuminate in the dark right?

Do you have it set to "illuminate in low light conditions" ?

NC MacGuy
Feb 23, 2008, 08:45 PM
This is a pretty widespread issue. I'm sure it will get cleared up in a subsequent software/firmware revision. It's an annoyance but in my opinion, not enough to be a deal breaker.

shuffles
Feb 23, 2008, 08:49 PM
Dont worry, i love my MBA!!! its the best laptop ive ever used!!! and yes, i have it set to illuminate in low light conditions. How many others are experiencing this problem???

NC MacGuy
Feb 23, 2008, 08:51 PM
I can bet just about everybody....

alpinadvl
Feb 23, 2008, 09:04 PM
Not trying to snipe anyone here - but I do not have this problem.

I am really surprised to hear this is "widespread" - I would be upset if this was the case with my computer !

devilot
Feb 23, 2008, 09:18 PM
shuffles, I've merged your thread with this existing one as it's very much so related. In the future, please try to do a brief search before starting a new thread in case the issue is already being discussed elsewhere on the forums, thanks. :)

Not trying to snipe anyone here - but I do not have this problem.

I am really surprised to hear this is "widespread" - I would be upset if this was the case with my computer ! MR isn't indicative of every MBA and every MBA owner, but it's not only shuffles who is having this and other issues w/ the backlighting.

NC MacGuy
Feb 23, 2008, 09:29 PM
Three of the four Air's on display at my local Apple store when I covered sensor shut OFF keyboard illumination. I was thinking mine was broke too until I went to Apple Store and checked myself.

My first MBP had similar issues that were somewhat remedied in software updates.

happyslayer
Feb 23, 2008, 10:51 PM
I am also having the keyboard issues.

The only useful solution is Lab Tic. I have tried all the posted fixes. Sometimes they work for a little while (a few minutes at most) but they do not last long.

I love this laptop so far, but I really want the keyboard backlighting to work as it is supposed to. I certainly will not be returning it over it since lab tick will let it work, but I am definitely hoping that they (Apple) release some kind of software fix.

Anyway, just mentioning that I have the issues as well.

applestew
Feb 24, 2008, 02:21 PM
This is likely to be a software issue.

I've read somewhere that the MBA ambient light sensor has got several trigger points. From Very bright down to no light.

I tested this myself. Hold ur hand over the sensor and gradually move in, u will see the screen gradually darken as the perceived ambient light reduces.

Now I've played with the sensor and keyboard backlight options.

And found like what people say...

You HAVE TO totally COVER the ambient light sensor, then you proceed to adjust the keyboard backlight settings.

This way the keyboard backlight will behave itself as it should.

I think many get the problem when they are attempting to adjust the keyboard backlight in the intemediate ambient light levels. This makes the keyboard backlight go flipflop.

Why? I don't know. A software fix is likely on the way. Till then this is a good way to remedy your problem.

NC MacGuy
Feb 24, 2008, 03:13 PM
This is likely to be a software issue.

I've read somewhere that the MBA ambient light sensor has got several trigger points. From Very bright down to no light.

I tested this myself. Hold ur hand over the sensor and gradually move in, u will see the screen gradually darken as the perceived ambient light reduces.

Now I've played with the sensor and keyboard backlight options.

And found like what people say...

You HAVE TO totally COVER the ambient light sensor, then you proceed to adjust the keyboard backlight settings.

This way the keyboard backlight will behave itself as it should.

I think many get the problem when they are attempting to adjust the keyboard backlight in the intemediate ambient light levels. This makes the keyboard backlight go flipflop.

Why? I don't know. A software fix is likely on the way. Till then this is a good way to remedy your problem.


This seems to work for a while for me but loses its calibration after moving room to room and sleeping the processor in-between.

anfield11
Feb 24, 2008, 07:11 PM
Mine isn't working either...it was wonderful while it did. I do notice though that when I try to press the F5 & F6 keys that the guage/icon that appears on the screen has a little "no entry" sign under it. Anyone else see this?

anfield11
Feb 24, 2008, 07:27 PM
I just did a software update and there was a download for Leopard graphics [which involved a re-start after]. I don't see why a Leopard graphics update would effect the keyboard, but my backlit keyboard is working again??? :D

NC MacGuy
Feb 24, 2008, 07:47 PM
I just did a software update and there was a download for Leopard graphics [which involved a re-start after]. I don't see why a Leopard graphics update would effect the keyboard, but my backlit keyboard is working again??? :D

Maybe it was just restarting that reset it. I've done the update and it made no real difference to mine. Now on the other hand, restarting the system will make a difference.

Mr X
Feb 25, 2008, 06:03 PM
Mine isn't working either...it was wonderful while it did. I do notice though that when I try to press the F5 & F6 keys that the guage/icon that appears on the screen has a little "no entry" sign under it. Anyone else see this?

Yep exactly the same symptoms here :(

saisrujan
Feb 27, 2008, 12:06 AM
Another thing that annoys me is that the backlight is off in a dark room just when I wake it from sleep. I squint my eyes, type the password and press enter, lo and behold, the backlight dramatically lights up!

rroback
Feb 27, 2008, 12:15 AM
Hopefully they can fix this in a somewhat timely manner. It's not huge, but it is annoying. I tried all the fixes on my air, but none seem to work. I don't care a whole lot, as the keyboard stays mostly lit ( since my laptop is basically stationary), but when the air starts to venture out ( when I get a darn case), I'll care a lot more.

shuffles
Mar 3, 2008, 11:10 AM
Does anyone know if the backlighting issue has been fixed yet???

dahcheet
Mar 3, 2008, 11:47 AM
Does anyone know if the backlighting issue has been fixed yet???

No complete fix. Just the temporary ones listed in this thread. It is quite a pain. :(

shuffles
Mar 3, 2008, 11:55 AM
I hear that dude...i hear that. Hope they fix it soon

cbeyond
Mar 4, 2008, 09:32 PM
I purchased my Air about 2 weeks ago.
The light sensitive keyboard backlight seems to be working backwards.
It does not turn on when the ambient light dims...but then illuminates as the background lighting increases.
In fact it has come on when a light was shone directly on the computer, but turns itself off as the light goes off.

I've tried resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) according to Apple Support directions, but nothing seems to change.

Any ideas?

junglebutterfly
Mar 6, 2008, 08:40 PM
OK heres mine my keyboard and screen are doing the same thing at the same time

when it use to work when i turned the light off the screen dimmed and the keys brightened

now they dim and lighten at the same time

I tried the move the hand closer to the sensor and it made my screen and keys get brighter.

I did just turn up the key brightnes so now its always on but for the money this notebook cost it needs to work the way it is supposed to :mad:

sidenote.. I have the graphics update loaded and it didnt fix anything

caelem
Mar 17, 2008, 10:45 AM
Any word on a fix yet?

skiesforme
Mar 17, 2008, 06:36 PM
easy fix i found. i went to the apple store, handed them the MBA and walked out with a white macbook 2.2 which left me with 600+ on a gift card for the 3g iphone when it comes. also bumped it to 4gigs ram and it just seems so much faster than the MBA and getting much better fan speeds / battery life. the mba was definitely cool for a few days but it (sadly) wasnt perfect for me.

Loved this post of yours !! Sounds pragmatic !! :)
Speed + 2 goodies + a happy user who also got the chance to use the MBA. It's like being married but still dating :p, jk.

digitalfx
Mar 21, 2008, 08:38 PM
My keyboard lights worked perfectly since the day the MB Air arrived...suddenly today the reversed.

macanudo
Apr 9, 2008, 11:01 AM
For those that have had this problem - the new firmware update seemed to have fixed the ambient light sensing issue. I just installed it on mine and it works beautifully!

strokes
Apr 9, 2008, 02:36 PM
For those that have had this problem - the new firmware update seemed to have fixed the ambient light sensing issue. I just installed it on mine and it works beautifully!

Is your keyboard really working automaticly in dark like if you go to the dark room, keyboard put lights on automaticly without touching any key or to mousepad? mine is not working like that. It should work like that in dark...

Mr X
Apr 10, 2008, 04:52 PM
For those that have had this problem - the new firmware update seemed to have fixed the ambient light sensing issue. I just installed it on mine and it works beautifully!

New firmware didn't do it for me, worked fine when new but 10.5.2 killed it - I wish they would hurry up and fix it!:mad:

macanudo
Apr 11, 2008, 06:03 PM
Is your keyboard really working automaticly in dark like if you go to the dark room, keyboard put lights on automaticly without touching any key or to mousepad? mine is not working like that. It should work like that in dark...

Yes, mine is working as you described.

sookainian
Apr 12, 2008, 10:31 PM
Seems like it's some software problem.

I got fedup by the keyboard light problem and reformatted my MAair yesterday. I also install all the updates before using my MBair. And the keyboard backlit work as it should. Lit up in a dark room and off when there's light.

But when i manually adjust the light by pressing the short cut keys, someone the backlit got confused again....

Reformatted again and everything is back to normal. I won't dare to adjust the light manually again......

This is crap.

joegomolski
Apr 15, 2008, 09:05 PM
I have a different type of keyboard illumination.

When the keyboard is illuminated, my light seems to come from the left side of the keyboard. The right side is lit but nowhere near as bright.

Are both sides of the keyboard suppose to have even lighting?

applestew
Apr 15, 2008, 11:00 PM
It is a software problem.

I've read it somewhere and this works for me.

The light sensor system responds to multiple levels of light, from completely dark to very bright light directly shone onto it.

The problem comes up when you try to adjust the keyboard sensor whilst the sensor senses INTERMEDIATE light levels. Then somehow it goes bonkers.

Trick is to...

1. Completely cover the light sensor with your finger (completely dark mode)
2. Adjust the keybaord back lighting to be lit.


There you have it! Simple. Now it lights up when completely dark AND it also scales itself throughout the light levels and becomes off when in a very bright environment.

Mr X
May 28, 2008, 07:11 PM
Can't believe no one's posted this yet but happy to report that updating to 10.5.3 has fixed this issue and mine now works perfectly! :D

sookainian
May 29, 2008, 03:14 AM
Can't believe no one's posted this yet but happy to report that updating to 10.5.3 has fixed this issue and mine now works perfectly! :D

10.5.3 when came out ?? o.0

dibara2003
May 29, 2008, 04:18 AM
i just notice, too, that 10.5.3 fixed the backlight problem on my air. The screen actually dims now

dudup
May 29, 2008, 08:37 PM
Yup, 10.5.3 resolved the issue completely! Yay! :D:D:D

MBANooB
May 1, 2009, 04:04 AM
I am currently running 10.5.6 and i have this problem....

Does anyone know if ther eis a recent fix?

Mine is doing the opposite thing.

when dark it dims, when its lighted out it brightens up......