Question about Screen Auto-Brightness and battery usage


macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 2, 2006
Simi Valley, CA
I know that my iPad gets 10+ hours of daily usage. However, I noticed two things in the settings grid and wondering if you are experiencing the same thing.

1. The brightness option is right in the middle, meaning not at full brightness. If I max it out will I lose battery time, or is 10+ hours on max screen brightness? The brighter the better!

2. The auto-brightness option is on, but it does not seem to actually work. I have gone into dark rooms, light rooms etc, and the screen never seems to get any brighter or darker. If I was on any one of my macbooks, the light would go crazy. Isn't that the point of the ambient light sensor?

I'm not sure the light sensor is actually working. What are you guys getting?


macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2007
South Dakota
In my experience, the ambient light sensor is consistently inconsistent.

The auto-brightness experience across all my Apple devices is that sometimes it works all day, sometimes it doesn't work at all.

Then again, it could be that the iPad doesn't change brightness as abruptly as other devices too.


macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2010
Auto brightness not working for me either

My wife and I both got ipads and I can't get either to respond to changes in ambient light. I can make my iPhone change brightness by shining a flashlight on the sensor by the top speaker. The same light on the iPad I get no reaction.

I mostly use it indoors with the brightness turned all the way down and still think it's too bright sometimes, so I don't think I will miss this functionality. It's just odd the it doesn't seem to work at all.

Monk Edsel

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2004
I'm not impressed with the auto-brightness... It doesn't dim the screen sufficiently (if at all,) in the dark. I agree that it doesn't seem to do anything. I set the brightness to 25% manually, and so far that has been comfortable under all the conditions under which I've used it.


macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2010
After a few more google searches I found another report of this problem

Has an iPad review that says the same thing with 2 different iPads as well. Although I found nothing about auto-brightness on the apple support forums at this time.

From the above article:

"What I did notice was a serious problem with the iPad's light sensor: It doesn't seem to work at all. Moving from bright sunlight to a darkened room triggered no change in the brightness of the screen, despite my having enabled the Auto-Brightness setting. (I confirmed this problem on a second iPad.) Worse yet, when I used the in-app brightness controls in iBooks, the iBooks settings altered the brightness for the desktop and other apps. Obviously, Apple has some patching to do here, and we can only hope to see the problem corrected soon."


macrumors 65816
Jul 4, 2009
I started a thread about the brightness earlier, everyone was in agreement that it doesn't work.