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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

434359 Views 1,985 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 11:34 AM by Kxtr73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • CoreLinker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I came across Gunnar computer glasses which filter not only UV (<380nm), but also near UV (381-450nm), so called "blue light". Lots of people on the Internet report a positive experience. You could try that, should tell you if it's the blue LED or not. It's the amber tint which filters out the blue light, normal UV filters are clear.

  • FNP7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 27, 2012 2:46 AM (in response to CoreLinker)

    I actually bought a pair of 'blue light' blocking glasses through my opticians (ie ones made specifically to block blue light). They didn't solve the discomfort I experience using my Apple products (glossy Macbook 3,1 and non-glossy Macbook Pro late 2009, plus iphone 3G and then 4s), and added a different, more acute discomfort too! I went back to normal glasses and my hooked-up CCFL monitor. Obviously, that's only my experience; it might be that blue light filtering would work for others.

     

    Incidentally, I purchased the new iPad ('3') last week, and soon found that it irritated my eyes as much as all my other Apple products. Gutted. I took it back and got a refund. I've since bought a Samsung Galaxy Note, the OLED screen of which is superb, and absolutely comfortable to look at (though without the advantages of the Apple software etc).

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Mar 27, 2012 8:40 AM (in response to FNP7)

    It sounds like OLED screens are something to look forward for!

    Though.. I guess Apple doesn't have plans to switch to OLED within the near future..

  • azure8 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Mar 27, 2012 12:16 PM (in response to FNP7)

    Interesting, I find the iPad 3 to be a less strain when reading text because of the higher dpi. I haven't used it for prolonged periods though. Hopefully whatever retina displays apple updates the macbooks to will be an improvement for all of us eye strain sufferers over the current gen.

  • Pixel Eater Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 27, 2012 12:17 PM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    As OLED is self-illuminating, does it also represent constant light? Also isn't the iPad 3 illuminated by a dual OLED bar design? That was the rumor anyway, I mean that's an interesting start. Haha for now a 55" OLED tv coming out later this year should apparently cost $8000.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Mar 28, 2012 4:35 AM (in response to FNP7)

    FNP7: May I know if you have direct fluorescent light right above where you primarily use the Apple products?

    I don't have iPad (3), but I use iPad 2 a lot and my eyes feel comfortable reading on it for hours in many different places.

    However, when I use the iPad in office where bright and direct fluorescent light is everywhere, my eyes would feel irritated if look at the screen for long.

  • @MuDaeBoJongShin Calculating status...
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    Mar 28, 2012 5:58 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    This is just an aside, but I think I just discovered a simpler way to test for PWM. Just point the iPhone 4 or 4S *front* camera directly at the screen. It clearly shows a diagonal interference pattern on my Sony Z laptop (which I've never had any trouble looking at) but nothing on my MacBook Air which doesn't use PWM. It even picks up the flickering of the energy-saving bulb in my desk lamp.

  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)

    Is it possible that the flickering of your desk lamp might have something to do with your problem?

  • @MuDaeBoJongShin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 28, 2012 6:28 AM (in response to eww)

    If only! No, the lamp is a lot newer than the problem and the MBA screen was unusuable under any lighting (I tried all forms including sunlight).

  • FNP7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 28, 2012 6:43 AM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    Hi Eric,

     

    I don't have direct fluorescent light above where I primarily use the apple products (at home). I did, as you'd expect, try the iPad in a variety of lighting situations and with a range of brightness settings, hoping to find a way to 'beat' the discomfort, but couldn't, so took it back. The discomfort I experienced was exactly the same as I'd got from my non-glossy MBP, so I don't think it's about reflection, in my case at least.

     

    I think whatever it is affects different pairs of eyes to different degrees. I certainly never had the nausea/ sickness that others on this forum have described, but at the same time my eyes would become sore and I would get a headache if I tried to use these displays, inc the iPad, for any length of time (ie post 15 mins). For me, the future is to wait until Apple use a different display tech before I buy any more hardware from them.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Mar 28, 2012 9:51 AM (in response to FNP7)

    FNP7, it seems like your eyes are even more sensitive to the LEDs than I do...

  • CoreLinker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 28, 2012 9:57 AM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    It's interesting, isn't it, how this varies from person to person?

    Personally, comfort wise, I would put flicker free LED at the top, even above AMOLED and flicker free CCFL.

  • CoreLinker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Indeed, there's something about the way the iPhone camera captures images and video one pixel at the time that makes flicker (via scan lines) easily discernable.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 10:15 AM (in response to CoreLinker)

    CoreLinker, may I know which product that has caused you eye strain? (sorry if you have mentioned that before, I'm too lazy to go back this thread to check..) And have you checked whether it has PWM with the simple method?

     

    The reason I asked that is because the MacBook Airs that MuDaeBoJongShin and I had used both appear to have flicker free LED backlight, and yet we both found them uncomfortable to look at.

    I'm now thinking that there maybe things other than the flickering LEDs that are causing the eye strains.

  • CoreLinker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 11:54 AM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    I didn't come here because of problems with Apple hardware, I came across this thread even before I started posting when I was having trouble trying to find a TV which I could comfortably watch.

     

    I didn't find one, and in the meantime have zeroed in on the problem which was plaguing me, the one of flicker. Flicker really is THE element with which I have trouble, be it from CCFLs or LEDs. Flickering backlights have caused me trouble, flicker free ones haven't (so far). Of course, this seems to be different with others.

     

    I came to this thread because I became really interested in researching the problem, and because I am interested in purchasing an iMac. Discussion since I joined has prompted me to spend time at Apple centers whenever I get time, just to be sure. So far, I am still ready to take the plunge. I have an iPad 1 which I love.

     

    I am really interested in what is Apple cooking that is causing you all grief, and is it really Apple's fault or have they done all they can (like fixing the flicker), and if they haven't, what is it that they could do and are they even aware.

     

    Next time I'm at an Apple center I will try a MacBook Air for about 45 minutes (so far I haven't used one for longer than 10 minutes), to see if there is any problem that I can feel.

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