iMac 24" Brightness

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nikuskwas, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. nikuskwas macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007

    This is my second post concerning my new iMac24" two days old...

    This time my problem is with the screen's brightness....ITS TOO BRIGHT! I have it almost all of the time to its minimums and I feel I'm going blind!!!

    Is there a way to control this? An application like smcFanControl but for brightness? Please help!

    PS: I spend 15 hours per day on my iMac and this really worries me!


  2. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007

    I also have an iMac 24". DId you go into your preferences an calibrate your monitor? This will help.

    Apple sends out the iMac with too much brightness. I did not like the over brightness at first. I calibrated the monitor and then I turned down the brightness a bite with the keyboard.

    All is good.
  3. nikuskwas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007

    I tried calibrating but didn't help much. But, when I just bought my mac, I changed the Display Profile to Adobe RGB 1998 since it had better Whites than iMac's defaults (which are yellow). Still, this doesn't help me control brightness.

  4. Lau Guest

    Yeah, it's hardcore. I tried to turn mine down a bit this evening and realised I had it on the lowest brightness anyway. It looks amazing, don't get me wrong, but is crazy bright, if you're relaxing of an evening in a semi-lit room.
  5. nikuskwas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007
    Well...yeah...its nice...if you are not 15 hours looking at it... :)

    It's night in this moment, and my room has a low ilumination, which makes the imac screen the brightest thing in the room! I will go blind by the end of the week!!!
  6. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    Here's a popular app that dims the display with software. It also has
    the unfortunate (but unavoidable) side-effect of reducing the display's
    dynamic range and clobbering contrast -- there are some things that
    software can't fix. (BTW, jerking the calibration around to decrease
    brightness has the same shortcoming.)

    The real problem isn't the brightness, it's the brain-dead lack of
    adjustment range on the display backlights. From max to min is
    only about a 2x brightness difference (1 f-stop). escapin' it fanbois -- that's BAD design,

  7. Lau Guest

    I've been on this since 10am yesterday and it's now 1.30am, and have eaten all meals at it (oops!) so I know where you're coming from. My point was that it is lovely and bright (looked at the iBook this afternoon and it looked awful), but it is very bright. When I've just been blathering to folk on the net (and am in a darkish room doing so), you're right, it would be nice to turn it down a bit.
  8. gorby macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2007
    calibrate it or choose a different color profile like (adobe rgb)

    the default 'imac' profile was quite awful in my experience
  9. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I have a white 24" imac - and I too feel your brightness pains. It is down-right overpowering. I was hoping with time, my CFL would dim down enough to make it comfortable - but a year later - and no dice yet.

    Go through the "advanced" adjustments and crank that mofo down as much as possible. (which you have)

    One thing here - I differ a bit on the "software can only do so much" comment.

    When in Bootcamp - via Nvidia drivers - it is MUCH better than OSX. (even with every adjustment pegged in OSX) So there is some "hard limit" within OSX for the backlight.

    There are physical limits though, at least for the white 24" - the contrast ratio will be a limiting factor. (a friends Dell 24" with a 1000:1 contrast ratio looks orders of magnitude better than my imac)
  10. nikuskwas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007
    I think there should be a good software control for brightness out there. Thinking about it, keeping the brightness low does not only help my eyes but the lifetime of the display...(and saves electricity). I was hoping for a Hardware Firmware from apple fixing this, but there is none. I opened the Universal Access and selected the White on Black option and even this brought me some relaxing moments for my eyes.

    Meanwhile I will check this "shades" applicacion and will look for some other software. There must be a solution out there!


    ---I just installed this Shades application! What a relief! It works like sunglasses (actually has a color control filter). It's enough for night working. During day I would turn it off. The only bad thing is that it makes a tiny color-gradient on the lower portion of my screen MORE visible (I was trying to ignore it) Well...I'll have to live with it.
  11. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    Happy to hear is helping your eyes -- but it's NOT prolonging the
    lifetime of the display, and it's NOT saving any electricity.

    Shades has no control over backlight brightness -- it just overlays the display
    with a solid black mask and then varies the mask's opacity. The lamps behind
    the LCD panel are still running at the same brightness; Shades is just "tinting"
    your side of the window.

    You can easily prove this to yourself with -- watch what
    happens to a "pure white" background as you adjust the Shades slider.

    Reducing the brightness by 'calibration' does the same thing. When "white" is
    turned to gray, dynamic range and contrast are hosed. No way 'round it. can only do so much,

  12. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Brightness control works well but not perfect. It's not perfect because when your screensaver comes on it knocks the Brightness Control out of settings and depending on what app you use it may have the same weird effect but otherwise it's really nice, it has a slider control which brings the brightness all the way down to a black screen. One side effect besides the above is it will change the color profile while it's on.
  13. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007

    You should do your research about colour management, because you should not be doing this.

    The Adobe colour space is a theoretical colour space, it is not a monitor profile.

    Most displays are closest to sRGB, so the only thing you should be doing with the in built colour profiles is selecting the default monitor profile and basing a calibration on that.

    If you are concerned about what should be correct on your monitor, invest in a monitor profiling hardware and software solution.

    If you are using a monitor that is not calibrated correctly, if you continue to use Adobe RGB because you think it looks right to you, your images will not be displayed as the original producer intended. Conversly any photographs you produce will not be accurate when they are printed or sent to another person who does have their display correctly calibrated.

    There is such a thing as a correctly calibrated display, people should get out of the habit of setting the display to their perceived preference if the end result is a distortion of the correct settings.

    /rant off :)
  14. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    one solution

    have you thought of sunglasses?

    on a more serious note, can you increase the distance between you and the imac? ergonomics suggest that it is important to have the screen at a fair distance, as this makes it easier for the eyes to focus and reduce strain over the long term. this may also help make the brightness more acceptable.

    of course, it shouldn't be so far away as to require binoculars.
  15. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007

    Similarly, your environment should be lit properly. You shouldn't work in pitch dark room with a bright display as this will cause eye strain as well.
  16. nikuskwas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007
    Hello RemarkabLee!

    I do understand about color calibration and the importance on the printing/graphic design industry. Lucky me, I'm not interested in getting the correct colors out of my iMac. What I do is more into 3D modeling and animation. For me, it is more important to get a good - clean white (as long as I'm pleased with it) instead of the yellowish iMac's default.

    As for what Panda said, I keep my iMac as far as my desk allows me to (that is about 50 cms away from my eyes).

    My room at night is never pitch black. I prefer having my desk lap on (with a light bulb of 40W). But since my imac came, I also turn on my room light, which apparently is not enough to create a "neutral" lightning environment. I guess what I have to do is get a more powerful lightbulb to neutralize the imacs brightness.

  17. trevor70 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2007
    I just tried shades 1.2b1 on Leopard.
    Well, this software is amazing: it is continuously taking 4% of CPU and 24 MB of RAM (aargh) just to simulate screen dimming.
    Come on, stop promoting windowzian quality softwares!

    We need something that just hooks up in the built-in display settings to let the brightness go lower, not yet another (crap) "utility" that tries to solve one tiny annoyance.
  18. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    Valid criticism, sorry 'bout that. I hadn't noticed the CPU load; I was
    probably still half snow-blind from staring at the display.

    I only used Shades very briefly during my one month 'test drive' of
    the 24" ALU. Don't need it anymore since upgrading to a white 20";
    the display's less bright to begin with, and has a much wider range
    of adjustment on the backlight.

  19. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Oct 12, 2007
    Everyone, must check out DarkAdapted X.

    very good brightness adjuster.

    I know this is mostly for astronomy folks, and others using mac outside at night who want to maintain night adapted vision. But, again, it works very well.

    in it's main window I check both "gang sliders" and "maintain relative values"
  20. gravyboat macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2005


    My friends and I read many, many posts on the screen issue over the weekend. To put it mildly, you caught a lot of flak for stating your well-researched perspective.

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your research and knowledge. I've learned a great deal and my friends made their buying decisions based largely on your input (other posters' contributions were also appreciated).

    One friend decided on a 24" white iMac off Craigslist, and the other bought a new 24" iMac. They both had their reasons and they're both very happy with their purchases.

    I think it's easy to take for granted the time and energy people so generously give to sites like this. Thank you very much.
  21. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    it's not enough to use the keyboard to turn it down to one notch of brightness?
  22. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    When I first got my Dell flat panel several years ago, it was so bright it hurt my eyes. I think I got used to it as I have both my iMacs at max brightness.
  23. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad to be of help.

  24. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    I run my iMac at max brightness as well and don't find it to be uncomfortably bright. Setting it to minimum brightness makes it look unnaturally dark to me.

    I have no problems with my vision (20/20) and don't wear glasses.
  25. nikuskwas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007
    What trevor70 said is sadly true... Shades does take about 4% of CPU which is very annoying. This also happens with smcFanControl. Both of these applications are a MUST for me right now since, without them, my life gets complicated. This particular new iMac is badly ventilated and too bright. Two things that Apple could easily fix with a new Firmware. Will it come some day???

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