Brightness adjustment for non-Apple external displays on 10.9

youbzh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2013
17
4
Hi there, this is my first port on this forum, which has given me lots of useful information... but here's one thing I'm looking for and haven't found:

I used to have Shades (www.charcoaldesign.co.uk/shades) installed under Snow Leopard to control the brightness of my external display. It had functions that I really loved, such as assigning keys to control the brightness (so for instance on my keyboard I could map F5 and F6 to increase/decrease the brightness just like OS X can do with F1 and F2 keys for Apple displays).

I switched to Mavericks a week ago, and Shades doesn't seem to be supported anymore, and hasn't been updated in a while.

So I'm looking for something which would have similar features. So far I've tried:
F.lux : nice but not what I'm looking for
Nocturne : not what I'm looking for
Screen Shades : seems to slow down my computer a lot, and is lacking some features
Dark Adapted : lacking the key mapping feature

Maybe there are solutions with commercial software. I'd prefer free because I'm not sure yet to keep Mavericks. Anyway, any suggestions would be great, and save my eyes ;)
 

skeleb

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2011
30
1
How about adjusting the brightness using the hardware buttons on the external display? Does the job but might not be very functional if you change the brightness often. :)
 

youbzh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2013
17
4
Well, on the displays I use you have to navigate inside a menu to do that. Being incredibly lazy :) , I love using the keyboard to adjust that, and I happen to adjust brightness a lot, as my eyes are very sensitive to light.
Thanks anyways ;)
 

natd1993

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2011
138
7
UK
I had exactly the same issue with Mavericks and Shades, luckily I found a near perfect solution. Firstly, download a free app called Brightness Slider here at the MAS: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/brightness-slider/id456624497?mt=12. This is essentially the same thing as Shades, except you can't remove it from the menubar.

Next, install FunctionFlip, also free; http://kevingessner.com/software/functionflip/. This will allow you to map the F1 & F2 keys on an Apple keyboard, instead of F5 & F6, although you can map these too, (these usually have brightness symbols printed on them) to control the screen with Brightness slider.

Hope this helps.
 

youbzh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2013
17
4
It does the job, indeed!

Thank you so much, my eyes are happy now :)

I found out it was possible to map the keys directly with Brightness Slider, and I mapped F5 and F6 as F1/F2 are already in use for OS X Brightness control. If yours are not working directly, it might have something to do with some system preference option, which I don't remember, but I could look it up.

The only thing that isn't as nice as Shades is that all displays get dimmed together, but that is more than perfect for me, as I use mostly my external display.
 

sundram

macrumors newbie
Nov 27, 2013
1
0
I found this in an apple discussion.
It works perfectly :)


I was able to solve this problem.

I got the following .kext files from a computer running mountain lion.

AppleBackligt.kext
AppleBacklightExpert.kext
AppleUSBDisplays.kext

The files are placed in /System/Extensions

Then i placed the kextfiles on the desktop, and ran a tool called "KextBeast". This app installs every kext file on the desktop. Then i rebooted and voilá..

1. Get kext files
2. Run KextBeast
3. Reboot
 

ApprentiSorcier

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2010
4
0
Sundram, I tried your method but didn't work. I also think your location of "Extensions" in System is not correct. (Isn't it /System/Library/Extensions ?) But I trust that you made it work for you. Would you mind writing more detailed steps here?
 

youbzh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2013
17
4
I have to say I haven't understood the point in Sundram's intervention. Can you explain it to me? It seems to me that it's not related to the thread.

Nice to see that Shades has been updated, thank you, though I might stick with Brightness Slider.
 

adsybads

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2013
1
0
Screen blackout due to Brightness Slider

Hi there,
I have brightness slider installed on my computer as shades stopped working when I upgraded the Mavericks. Brightness slider seemed to be working fine but I think I have finally isolated the reason why my screen goes black when my computer wakes up or if I turn my external monitor off and then back on. I turned off all my third-party apps and then turn them back on one at a time and found that with brightness slider turned off I no longer had the screen blackout issue.
Has anybody else had this problem?
 
Last edited:

youbzh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 4, 2013
17
4
No issue for me with Brightness Slider...

Have you tried the updated version of Shades? It might do the trick. I personally stick with Brightness Slider because Shades didn't always behave properly with my different external displays and switching from one to another.

I'd be curious to know if Shades is different now.
 

Awediohead

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2013
11
1
Thanks so much for the link to Shades!

My situation: dual monitors in Mavericks with a Mac Pro 1,1 original running a Radeon HD 5770 - the brightness (except by manual adjustment) is a right royal PITA. Brightness slider only works on one monitor - and wierdly it only ever worked on the monitor that wasn't the "Finder" with dock and menu bar etc . . . install Shades and it automatically recognises two monitors and I'm good to go!

Fantastic! Will definitely be making a contribution if it proves reliable over the next week!

cheers
 

quicksite

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2013
4
0
2019 — Here's another solution that works beautifully:
https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/6kj0oh
Use the *real* brightness keys on a *real* Apple keyboard for a third-party, external monitor

tl;dr: do this https://github.com/b-/NativeDisplayBrightness/releases/tag/0.0.5x
There was an application released called "NativeDisplayBrightness" which was a very simple program to remap the F1 and F2 keys to send actual "brightness down" and "brightness up" commands to your monitors. (And believe it or not, your monitors are probably compatible, as long as they're not ancient. The tech is called "DDC-CI.")
So, anyway, the problem with it is that some applications (notably Excel) use the F2 key for things, and NativeDisplayBrightness hijacks that away from excel because it's hardcoded to use F1 and F2.
Solution: I forked NativeDisplayBrightness and altered it (very simply) to map to the (normally not mapped to anything) F16 and F17 keys. In fact, those keys don't even exist on most Mac keyboards, so you can be pretty certain this won't conflict with anything.
NOW FOR THE KICKER: Pair this with Karabiner-Elements, and you can remap the actual brightness keys! There is a screenshot on the GitHub releases page, but you just need to go to the "Function Keys" tab and set "Physical Keys" f1 and f2 "To key" f16 and f17.
That is, set it like this

OR ALSO THIS MENUBAR DROPDOWN -- it actually works on non-Apple Displays:

🖥 Control your external monitor brightness & volume on your Mac
DMG: https://github.com/the0neyouseek/MonitorControl/releases