How can people work at 50% screen brightness?

dagdagdag234

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
148
12
Just curious, was trying to figure out expected battery life of my macbook pro, and most people who comment on what they're getting qualify "I use it at 50% brightness, 30% brightness". Really??

When I try anything below 3 clicks from the top I can barely read a word (non-retina 2009 macbook pro)

Do most people use they laptops at such a low brightness?

Do they struggle to see and just do it for battery's sake or is everyone truly comfortable at this level?

(On a side note, completely irrelevant, I see a lot of people during the day at coffee shops etc with unplugged MacBooks running on battery, with their keyboards fully backlit -- which to me is the very definition of insanity.)
 

Beezy253

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2013
350
12
Tacoma, WA
I don't get it either.. LOL

I used my 2009 cMBP on FULL brightness.
With my Haswell rMBP, I use it at 95%? (only two notches left until 100% Brightness)
 

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
Surely the answer is, it depends on the ambient lighting?

I usually use my mac laptop on it's lowest brightness setting mostly, but then I can't stand bright lighting and the room lighting is very low.
 

tymaster50

macrumors 68030
Oct 3, 2012
2,783
7
New Jersey
that brightness hurts my eyes, are you in the sun all the time? I only use high brightness in super light environments so I don't even notice it
 

Tears Apart

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
559
6
Outside Closer
Agree. Actually at 100% the display is still way dark in my opinion.

Just compare it to max brightness of an iPhone, the latter is twice as bright!

I bet the next iterations will have brighter displays.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,181
1,177
Pennsylvania
No idea. 1/2 the time, I'd keep it dimmer than the dimmest setting if I could ;)

Actually, if you look at a screen all day long, too bright isn't good either, as it's like staring at a lightbulb for 8 hours.

But the keyboard, I keep my keyboard brightness at 100%. It looks so cool :D
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,824
4,506
"Between the Hedges"
I'm in a meeting right now :)
And I have my screen brightness set at about 30% very comfortably
2013 15" rMBP

My keyboard backlight is off

I have over 8 hours of battery remaining
All the Dells around the table are plugged in :D
 

seinman

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2011
405
301
Philadelphia
You can't simply compare the backlight level between different models, because it can vary a lot. Newer laptops have brighter screens than old ones, and older backlights tend to dim with time (the LEDs less than the old style ones).

For example, I went from an early 2008 white plastic Macbook to a late 2013 rMBP. I used to leave my screen at 100% all the time, and still occasionally have trouble reading everything in a bright room. Now, I keep my new machine at 50-60% and it is as bright or brighter than the old one at 100%.

It's entirely possible that for the people who aren't having any trouble using theirs at 50%, it's actually the same brightness as yours at 75%-100%.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,169
4,720
Denmark
Weird... I usually work with my 2011 27" iMac on the lowest 'tick', or even on zero ticks.. At *most* I go up to 3 ticks, otherwise my eyes burn. And I have no problem reading anything on my screen, or do simple work in Photoshop.
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,841
6,925
Any place but here or there....
every apple product I've used

is at 50% brightness or less.

My 2010 iMac is at 50%. I noticed the brightness increase to painful levels with ML.

My iPhone 5 is at 35-40%. I will occasionally tweak that depending on room lighting, but the iMac stays at 50%.

In past test runs of MBAs and MBPs, 50% brightness was about all I could stand.

It depends on the user.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,428
796
Just curious, was trying to figure out expected battery life of my macbook pro, and most people who comment on what they're getting qualify "I use it at 50% brightness, 30% brightness". Really??
Unless you're working in direct sunlight, it's very doable. Still, it's a matter of personal preference.
Do they struggle to see and just do it for battery's sake or is everyone truly comfortable at this level?
I can't speak for others, but I'm very comfortable working with 30-50% brightness.
(On a side note, completely irrelevant, I see a lot of people during the day at coffee shops etc with unplugged MacBooks running on battery, with their keyboards fully backlit -- which to me is the very definition of insanity.)
Screen brightness is a major factor in battery life. Keyboard backlighting is not a major factor.

There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details, including tips on how to maximize your battery life.
The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
 

Sicutz

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2013
54
0
on 100% its going to blind me :D


I use it on 5 points from zero, oder 3 points from zero (working,surfing,email etc)

For gaming I use it on 100% brightness.
 

walkie

macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2010
331
3
I usually use my rMBP on 30-50% brightness and find it comfortable this way, 100% brightness or near hurts my eyes, I only use 100% brightness when playing dark videos.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,436
9,900
Detroit
During the day I usually have mine at 100%, but as the evening and night come in, I can, and usually do, reduce the brightness to around 50% and that's just fine for me.
 

plainwhitetay

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2010
199
0
North-east, Indiana
late 2012 13" rMBP is currently at about half and it's perfect. Just over the past few days actually, I've noticed my eyes hurting and then realize my brightness is all the up. Granted most of the time I'm in low lighting. I think working third shift has made my eyes weaker. :eek:
I do use it all the way up sometimes though. I just change it depending on the setting and how my eyes feel.
 

Nabooly

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
849
2
I'm always at 100% brightness. From my phone to my computer to my tablet. It's not really about whether I can read, it's just feels more natural to me using my devices at 100%. Of course battery life diminishes but that's really not a problem for me.
 

Chatran

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2013
96
3
For my 13" haswell rmbp, i set it to 4 notches from 0%. Over 50% its just too bright for me.
 

trevpimp

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2009
334
83
Inside A Mac Box
I can always work on my macbook on the lower settings.

Just put it to its lowest barely even visible but give it 10 minutes of use and you're already used of it lol

next thing you know its been weeks on the low setting lol


(Experienced member)

haha
 

AppleMacNerd

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2013
155
4
United Kingdom
In the house and low lighting set on 1 or 2 bars from bottom.

If I'm out and about and it's very high light I will put it up a few bars I can't stand having it above 85% its just far TOO bright! :cool:
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,802
33,762
Boston
I keep mine between 40 and 50% most of the time, in fact anything more is just way too bright - makes my eyes hurt
 

Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
2,964
4,777
Agree. Actually at 100% the display is still way dark in my opinion.

Just compare it to max brightness of an iPhone, the latter is twice as bright!

I bet the next iterations will have brighter displays.
There is a lot of variance. I have an iPhone 5 and iPad Air for comparison and my first rMBP Haswell (15") was very bright, brighter than both of those devices. It had an LG display.

But the other 3 I received which had Samsung displays were much much dimmer than the iPhone 5 and iPad Air.

I don't know why but the LG hurt my eyes it was so bright while the Samsungs were too dim that it bothered me how dim they were.
 
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