How to make the ambient light sensing work?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by programmer<3, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. programmer<3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #1
    I have a 1 week old macbook pro 15" mid-2014. The ambient light sensing doesn't seem to work. Even when I cover the facetime camera with a black cloth, the keyboard backlight doesn't come on. What should I do?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Hi,

    in System Preferences / Keyboard / Keyboard tab, check the "Illuminate in low light conditions" box.

    Also check that the keyboard backlight is not turned off : F5/F6 keys (or other, as it actually depends on the model)
     
  3. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #3
    Does it come on in a dark room, and does the display dim when you cover the sensor?

    Cupping your hand over it should be enough to see if the system is responding to ambient conditions. Also check to see if the box is checked in display preferences.

    The keyboard lights up when it's properly dim in the room - if it's still quite bright and you're trying to fake it out, then it might still be too bright, or you might not be able to see the keys illuminated - it's quite a subtle effect.
     
  4. programmer<3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #4
    I checked my system preferences. Automatic adjustments are on. Also, I took my mac to a dimly-lit room and placed the black cleaning cloth on the facetime camera to ensure no light could reach the sensor. The keyboard backlight didn't come on. I did an SMC and NVRAM reset. No difference. What to do?
     
  5. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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  6. programmer<3 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #6
    My keyboard brightness is set to 1 unit. Ok, so after a bit of testing, this is what is happening:

    When I place a black cloth on the facetime camera, the brightness of keyboard backlight doesn't increase.

    When I manually set the keyboard backlight to the highest and then put led light on my facetime camera, the keyboard backlight goes off and the screen becomes very bright.

    Is this the expected behaviour. I think the sensors are fine. But is the behaviour fine?

    How does ALS work on your laptops?
     
  7. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Yes, of course : when you are in the darkness, the keyboard backlight must decrease (not increase).

    Since you manually put it to 1, it can't go lower....

    When you put a led light on your facetime camera, it's like you were it a very bright area ---> you no longer need a backlit keyboard, so the backlight turns off.

    As for the screen, see System Preferences / Displays.
     
  8. programmer<3, Aug 28, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014

    programmer<3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #8
    But when my backlight is off, and I go to a dark room, it doesn't come on....

    Also, are SMC and NVRAM reset safe for a macbook? Should these be done on regular basis?
     
  9. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #9
    If it's off because you switched it off manually, it's off and won't come on in a dark room.

    It's safe, and does not need to be done on a regular basis.
    Only to solve some specific issues.
     

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