New iMac Killing my eyes...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mdworske, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. mdworske macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    I just got a 21.5 iMac. It is my first mac and I love everything except the eyestrain and headache. I have been searching the internet, reading posts and am trying to decide between the anti glare film (Rhotodon or Radtech) or a privacy screen protector (3M or Viewsonic).

    Does anyone have recommendations? Most of the information I find on the film is from a couple years ago.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    Give it to me!

    Nah, but how close are you to the screen? It could be the glare as you suggested but its good to explore all other possibilities. It's not too late to return it, is it? The iMac is awesome but if its causing such issues it might be best to get rid of it. Wish I could be of more help but I don't know about those films!
  3. flipster macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    I heard the LED's on the new iMacs are like ultra bright too -maybe try turning down the brightness?
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    That's because there is no need for it. Try adjusting the brightness under system preferences.
  5. mdworske thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    Thanks, I just got it Friday. I am sitting about 22 inches away from the screen. I have tried decreasing the brightness with both the keyboard and blacklight app. I guess I have 14 days to send it back. I really was hoping there was an alternative. I have skylights in the room and windows and I think it is causing quite a bit of glare. :(
  6. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    What's wrong with decreasing the brightness? There's definitely no reason to have it all the way up. I keep my 09 iMac just below halfway.
  7. Pndrgnsvc, Feb 22, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

    Pndrgnsvc macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2008
    Georgetown, Texas
    Dimmer 1.3

    In addition to providing more brightness controls, Dimmer 1.3 incorporates an optional red shift (fully adjustable) just like in submarines -- to greatly reduce eye strain. And it's free.

    Perhaps you'll give that a try, can't hurt.
  8. mdworske thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    Thanks! I will try the dimmer app. I am also going to try a curtain on the french door that is near my desk and perhaps that will help with the glare. It's is difficult trying to work when you can see yourself in the display.
  9. svenn macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2010
    Have you used other LED screens without issue before? I have heard that some people have an aversion to LED screens, and depending on the screen, dimming may exacerbate it, something to do with the refresh rate. Just something to look into.
  10. Pndrgnsvc macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2008
    Georgetown, Texas
    Also, you can fine tune the Brightness by holding down the Option + Shift keys when adjusting the brightness. That will make the adjustments in quarter-step increments (please excuse if you already knew this).
  11. mdworske thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    I din't know that. I am a total newbie at Mac. Thanks!
  12. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    Is it the glare on the screen or the brightness that is causing you issues?

    As someone who is sensitive to overly bright LED displays, I understand how annoying and frustrating this can be. Both my late 2006 black MacBook and my new 2010 11.6" MBA have very bright LCD displays and they did bother me until I found a good color profile for both. I found that in well lit rooms these bright LCD displays are not so much a problem, but in darker rooms they would really bother me.

    With that said I also have two 27" iMacs and used to have a 24" iMac and I have never had a problem with these displays. I'm pretty sure the 27" iMacs use IPS panels (rich color and wide viewing angles), but I'm not sure if the 21.5" iMac uses an IPS panel or the less expensive TN panel. TN panels tend to be brighter and washed out in my experience.

    What you might want to do is see if someone has already posted a good color profile on MacRumors for your 21.5" iMac's LCD panel. I've found a good color profile, such as one created using a hardware color calibration device such as the Spyder2 colorimeter, can make a big difference.

    First you'll want to figure out what model LCD panel your 21.5" iMac is using. You can do this by going to "System Preferences" | "Displays" | "Colors" | "Open Profile" (for the default color profile) | go down to line #17 and highlight it and in the fields below grab the number in the "model" field. For example, on my 11.6" MBA I have a panel model 00009CF2.

    Now search MacRumors for Color Profile and your LCD panel model and see what you can find. You can load new profiles by placing them in the /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Displays" folder and then going to "System Preferences" | "Displays" | "Colors" and loading that new profile.

    If it is the reflective glare that is bothering you then just try not to have any light sources (windows, lamps, etc.) opposite your screen.
  13. joonyaboy macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2010
    It hurt me at first.

    Now I'm used to it.

    Takes time for eyes/brain to adjust
  14. bluap84 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    i was the was killing my eyes. Untill my mate came over sat down at my desk and when "woah thats bright" turned down the brightness. I have it 3 notches from the left. (darkside)

    but ill use thenlil trick above to fine tune. (Thank you)

    but now i can sit in front of it for ages
  15. lee14160 macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2009
    Fruitland, Idaho
    Even has a long time Mac user this was new to me. So, thanks...:)
  16. Pndrgnsvc macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2008
    Georgetown, Texas
    And should you choose, that Option + Shift technique can also be used with the Sound volume.

    Now, if I could just rid of this cursed glare...
  17. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I had a 27" iMac and it killed my eyes. It was not the brightness - I adjusted that to 110 cd/m2 which is perfect for photo editing on the web (roughly a little less than 50% brightness). It was not the glare - I did not have a bright spot behind my work area. It was the small fonts. The 27" is much worse than the 21" because the pixel density on the 27" is 110 ppi and the 21" is only 102 - this compares to laptops except that a laptop is closer so apparent size is different. I had to either resize every page or change the native resolution to make things bigger.

    In the end I sold the iMac and bought a 15" MBP (pixel density the same at 110 but it is closer and easily scaled with the finger gestures). I now use a 26" NEC external monitor for my photography editing with 1920 x 1200 pixels or 89 ppi and non-glossy. This model is so easy on the eyes that I can look at it all day without pain or strain. I am 52 but until I was about 45 my eyes where perfect - about the same time I started a lot of computer work.

    Never use a device that causes eye strain or headaches as there is a long term cumulative effect. It is one thing to use them for a few minutes but not a few hours at a time
  18. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    The films are pretty much a waste of time, they are a nightmare to fit, an even bigger nightmare to fit dry and almost always end up with inclusions (dirt particles) and only last for so long. It takes a very very good fitter to get one on with out some-kind of defect or blemish which will inevitably drive you mad.

    Like most say here, turn the brightness down. Personally on my TV I have a small lamp sitting on the television stand behind the screen bouncing off the wall behind hit (like the phillips TV's, except a lot more low tec) It does help though. May be something to try
  19. suckatcomputers macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    A question I can answer! Bought my 1st laptop/macbook pro 13" recently and I'm having the same problem, which I predicted...

    I noticed that a lot of my college friends that use their macbook pros as their primary and only computer complain about headaches and eye strain. I've been using mine for only a couple months now and have been experiencing massive headaches.

    I've always experienced eye strain with computers. I've been using desktop PCs my entire life and experienced eye strain anytime I stared at the screen longer than 30 minutes. Although a bit more intense, this eye strain was similar to the strain I experience when I read or when I watch TV for a long time. Just "tired eyes."

    As for my recent eye strain from my MBP 13", I feel like the LED backlighting is slowly ruining the health of my eyes, more than any other screen/TV/phone. There's no pain or strain, just this dull sensation towards the back of my eyes and frequent headaches. My conclusion is: CCFL and LED = different lights = different eye strain/pain. This day and age it's unavoidable, any lights from cell phones, computers, TVs... that are directed/projected at you are going to cause harm to your eyes. When I get the money, I plan to buy and use a projection screen.

    As for the headaches, I guess I'm just more sensitive than others to lights, radiation, etc.

    Most helpful methods for me:

    -Keeping my distance from the monitor (difficult on a 13").
    -20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, stare at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. I've taken this to another level by taking a walk every 40 minutes.
    -Position your monitor/computer so that you are looking slightly DOWN at the screen. Your eyes looking UP at things cause more strain.
    -If possible, close your eyes for a few minutes with your head back but don't fall asleep at our job.
    -Email Steve Jobs and ask him to make alternative non-LED screens. Some of us don't care or need the bright, colorful, top-quality picture that LED supposedly provides.
    -Avoid using your computer, if possible. Print out and read long material on paper.
  20. BunnyNose macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2011
    Oooo. I like Option + Shift! Thankee.
  21. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Ive been using mac for 2.5 years and I didn't know that. Thanks!
  22. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2009
    Montréal, Canada
    mdworske, please sign the matte petition.

    The alternative technology to LED is fluorescent lights, which are worst, because they flicker and they can't be turned down as much as LEDs.
  23. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    you should be at least one arm length away with your eyes , means if you type and lift your arm of the keyboard you should not be able to touch the iMac without having to lean /stretch forward , 22inch distance is definitely to close for any display , and will lead to eye strain sooner or later even to real eyesight problems
    and you should sit in a well lit room all the time , so the surrounding is not darker then the display itself
  24. Detosx, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    MacHamster68's and others suggestions are good ones I think. The 2010 21" iMac does indeed use an IPS panel which when calibrated gives better colour accuracy than cheap TN panels. Before getting my 27" iMac I was using a Dell screen with an IPS panel (matt and not with LED). It was marginally easier on the eyes but still took some getting used to even with the brightness turned down a bit when not working on photographs. For me it is well worth it; aside from looking stunning it has saved a little time to get the best results between camera and printer. I can't offer advice on the products you mention but in my case I would be concerned they might marginally effect my results and mean going through the lengthly calibration process of monitor and printers all over again. Along with setting up different profiles for different usage situations, sitting well back from the screen, short tea breaks and short walks help in my case.
  25. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I don't notice it on my new 21.5 inch iMac for short periods, but when on it for extended periods I get the burning through my eyes feeling... Its weird, because it still happens even when I turn my brightness down, but it never happens on my 1.5 year old 13" MBP, when I use it for hours with the brightness on FULL. They both have those super bright LEDs, and LEDs don't wear out... so whats the problem?

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