Keyboard lights/Screen darkens. Why?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by poppe, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #1
    Hello,

    My computer keyboard and my screen (less often) go dim once and awhile. They are already lit up and it is in a dark room. I know they come on automatically, but the problem is that they change sporadically. It is that they both drop down the the 2nd and 3rd bars.

    I have found that when my hands cross the speakers (where the sensors are) this causes the problem. But surely I don't have to live like this, that is working in the light or constantly fixing the brightness of the screen and the keyboard.
     
  2. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Southsea
    #2
    You can turn off the ambient light feature through System Preferences.
     
  3. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #3
    That's not what I want though. What I am asking for is for my keyboard to stop dimming randomly just because my hand passes the speakers once and awhie. It's a little annoying that I have to pull my hands towards me and then move them over if I want the screen and the keyboard to stay at the correct brightness.
     
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    Why do you want your keyboard illuminated? Are you working in the dark or something?

    You can stop the screen dimming down as already mentioned, I've not found a way to manually control the keyboard backlight (i.e. prevent it coming on), but I've not had any problems with it coming on when I don't want it to. It rarely comes on, and it can be turned off by pressing F8.
     
  5. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #5
    I always use my computer in the dark at night in bed. So that is why I would like this non sense to stop.

    It's not a problem about the keyboard coming on or off. The keyboard comes on write when I want it to. The problem is the keyboard dims randomly. It is at full brightness and then will fall down to 3 or 4 bars of brightness. This is very annoying.
     
  6. SSpiro macrumors 6502a

    SSpiro

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    Atlanta, GA
  7. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #7
    they also vary the intensity of both keyboard and monitor based on darkness...its a variable brightness...not like either on or off.

    also if the room is dark enough, your screen can be angled in a way that affects the sensors.
     
  8. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #8
    Yes I know all this. Again the problem though is that I can't keep it from dimming. And I am asking is there a way from say about every couple of minutes having to adjust my keyboard because my hand reached across my speakers. It is extremely annoying...
     
  9. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    Southsea
    #9
    Try this: Turn off ambient light in Sys Prefs and then manually control the keyboard backlighting using whatever F- button it is. That should work.
     
  10. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
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    #10
    Ok cool. I'll check it out the next time I work in the dark and I'll get back to you guys. Thanks a lot!
     
  11. maxp1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #11
    I really have nothing to add to this conversation except one annoyance. Whenever the keyboard light sensor is on it seems to want to light the keys up to the exact point where there's no contrast between the keys and the lighted portions. So in effect it's making it harder to see. Grrrr...

    Other than turning off the keyboard lights altogether is there any way to change the keyboard light sensor behaviour?
     
  12. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
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    Woodland Hills
    #12
    That's basically what mine does. Except I have it on full blast brightness then all of a sudden it goes so dim as you said "there's no contrast between the keys and the lighted portions." Very annoying..
     
  13. ryanwarsaw macrumors 65816

    ryanwarsaw

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    #13
    Here is a tool to control the keyboard lighting. It works well and I think it is the solution you need.

    http://labtick.proculo.de/
     
  14. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #14
    I had a similar problem in my old Powerbook, and Apple ended up replacing the ambient light sensor, because they said it was faulty. If you still have AppleCare, I'd recommend calling them up about it.
     
  15. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #15
    Thanks. I actually already have it and use it once and a while.

    Oh really. I was thinking about doing that, but I am gonna feel bad. I just took in my charger the other day because while I was on vacation I plugged in my charger to my computer and it started a fire in the outlet. The outlet crackled and then a flame about a foot and half high flame. Scary stuff since it was our friends parents cabin at Lake Arrowhead. I'm not sure if it was the old house since the cabin was about (20 years old now) or if it was a faulty charger, but Apple took and replaced the charger no questions asked.... So I feel bad making a complaint about something like a light sensor.

    Maybe when I take it in for the other problems I can mention it. Thanks alot for the advice!
     
  16. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #16
    Bummer... I was going to recommend Lab Tick, but ryanwarsaw already beat me to it. I downloaded it for my Macbook Pro specifically for this same reason.
     
  17. wronski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #17
    Isn't this a feature? It dims the screen and keyboard light when it's really dark so that it isn't an eye-soar. Moving your hand over the speakers makes it think that it's really dark; it should go back to normal when you move your hand away. Unless I'm missing something it's working perfectly fine.
     
  18. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
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    Woodland Hills
    #18
    That's exactly how it should work, but it is not working that way. When my hand grazes the speakers the keyboard dims, but never goes back up to the original brightness. It stays exactly at a couple bars until I manually fix it.
     
  19. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #19
    Well, you paid for AppleCare, and as such Apple has the obligation to fix defects as long as your AppleCare is in effect. So I certainly wouldn't feel bad for taking in a MacBook Pro to determine whether a certain behavior is a defect or not (and correct the defect if it really does exist).

    It also isn't your fault that that your charger caught fire. Unless somebody really screwed up the wiring in that cabin so that it was unsafe, an 85W charger shouldn't cause electrical wiring to burn up, even if it is 20 years old. The fact that people have continually run 350W+ desktop computers in buildings that have 30-50 year old wiring without incident bear that out.

    By the way, I hope you know you're not the only person who's had issues with your charger burning up.

    Apple practically makes AppleCare mandatory (unless you're okay with paying $49 every time you want to use the last 6 months of your warranty). You paid for it, and if you have a genuine concern, avail yourself of its advantages. Apple can respond in only one of three ways: Deny the repair and anger one customer, raise the price of AppleCare and anger a LOT of customers, or fix it and hopefully improve the build quality of future products coming down the production line.
     
  20. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
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    #20
    Very true. Thanks a lot. I suppose I should then. I would have felt worse taken it back to Apple if the house had the old circuit breaker, the one that has filaments inside a plug instead of the ones with the switches like most today. Since it was the newer style I figured the wiring couldn't have been to faulty or told old.

    Anyways. Good way to put it. Thanks
     
  21. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #21
    FWIW: from what I can determine on my own MBP, the ambient light sensor appears to be integrated into the power switch/button, or is just above it. I figured this out by running a flashling around the keybaord on my MBP in darkness, until the keyboard dimmed and the screen increased brightness.
     
  22. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #22
    Oh weird... From my not as scientific experiment of putting my hands over the speakers, more pressure at where I thought the sensor was, I thought I discovered the sensor to be on the bottom left speaker. Haha. I never thought about trying it with a flash light.
     

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