Keyboard backlighting issue fixes

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by beatzfreak, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
    #2

    Install lab tick...do a search
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    dahcheet

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    #4
    Seems I'm having the same problem. I tried this and now the keyboard light is just on ALL the time...
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #5

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

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    DC
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Thanks!! I can live with this.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #8
    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.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #10
    I just tried that as well and no dice. :(
     
  11. macrumors member

    instant hit

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #13
    What does lab tick give me that the F5 and F6 keys don't?

    Thanks
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #15
    Me, too!

    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.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #16
    Anyone notice if keyboard illumination issues are fixed by the new keyboard firmware update?
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #17
    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! :)
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Location:
    Hawaii!
    #18
    i played with the keyboard settings in system prefs. and it fixed itself
     
  19. macrumors regular

    dahcheet

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    #19
    The problem has been coming and going with mine. Quite odd. I don't think there's a real solution to this yet.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #20
    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" ?


     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    DC
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #23
    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.
     
  24. Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #24
    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):

    ambient.jpg


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

    KB.jpg


    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.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #25
    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.
     

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