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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

433633 Views 1,985 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 11:34 AM by Kxtr73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 9, 2013 5:32 AM (in response to CoreLinker)

    @CoreLinker

    I think I understand what you mean. But the HP2740w was also not ok for me. Indeed was better than the dell u2413 but not enough to keep it. You think is worth trying the dell 2713hm? Or should be same as the hp?

    Thanks,
    Stefan

  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 9, 2013 11:56 AM (in response to StefanD13)

    Stefan, have you tried the Dell U2410 with a CCFL backlight?  I bought one recently and it's great.  Also has terrific colors (better than LED backlights can do).

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 10, 2013 12:26 AM (in response to mvanier)

    Does the u2410 do PWM? For a CCFL should be easy to tell, usually CCFL if they do PWM, then it is quite low frequency. The test described at http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/pulse_width_modulation.htm can be used to check.

    Since I read it has a quite high brigthness it would not be possible to use it at 100% (as I do with my current old CCFL).

    Thanks,
    Stefan

  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 10, 2013 1:54 PM (in response to StefanD13)

    Stefan, my understanding is that all CCFL-backlit monitors use PWM for dimming, but it isn't annoying because it doesn't dim completely at the low point in the cycle, unlike PWM used with LED-backlit monitors.  It's more of a smooth transition between full intensity and lower intensity, and it's high-frequency.  I am *very* sensitive to flicker in general, but I don't have a problem with the U2410 (nor with other CCFL-backlit monitors I've used).  In contrast, I bought an LED light bulb recently which flickered at 120 Hz, and I couldn't use it for more than a few minutes without massive eyestrain.  So I wouldn't worry about PWM from CCFL-backlit monitors.

  • CentralX Calculating status...
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    May 14, 2013 3:44 PM (in response to alarmatwork)

    Can you please elaborate on this if you have any new info? I really think you are on to something here...

     

    I currently own a 13 inch MBP from Mid-2012 (i7 2.9Ghz with Intel HD4000) for about a month and I am also suffering from eyestrain even after short periods of time looking at the screen (never had this problem before, got my eyes checked and they are fine too). The screen is a Samsung screen. I also have a White MacBook from Mid-2010 which doesn't give me any problems. The screen of the White MacBook is an LG and has the NVIDIA GeForce 320m as graphics card.

     

    The funny thing is however, whenever I connect my new 13 inch MBP to my external screen (Dell 2210h) I suffer from the same eyestrain problems, while this screen never gave me trouble before (not when I connect the White MacBook OR my Windows PC (Radeon HD7850)). The whites also seem a bit brighter with the new MBP 13" with Intel HD4000 card (same when connected to the external screen), regardless of the brightness settings.

     

    It left me wondering. Could it have something to do with the Intel graphics hardware or the driver thereof? I am looking forward to your reply if you have any findings...

  • ZaneFord Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2013 11:29 PM (in response to CentralX)

    Hey Central X,

     

    I have an LED backlit iMac and work on it everyday, I was wondering why my eyes would be strained all the time with headaches and fatique. I actually have an eye condition (uveitis) that can cause blindness and the imac LED would render me partially sighted for weeks!! I eventually hooked my phillips LCD screen to the i mac and I am 100% fine now. I am not sure why you havent had the same results.

     

    I am looking for a phone or tablet that is LCD and not LED backlit. Has anyone any ideas? I heard the samsung note 8.0 is TFT LCD has anyone any experience with this device?

     

    Thanks

    Z

  • David Turnough Calculating status...
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    May 15, 2013 2:30 AM (in response to ZaneFord)

    Z,

     

    I've personally found Samsung's mobiles and tablets to be the worst screens for my eyes. My HTC OneX's screen is fine for me, but the illuminated buttons at the bottom (which turn on in low light) are horrible. Anoyingly this illumination cannot be disabled without rooting. I had presumed iPhones were not bothering me, but the iPhone 5 certainly does as does the iPad I've just been given to set up at work, I'll have to find out what model it is, they all look the same to me haha.

     

    Good Luck.

     

    Dave

  • Kxtr73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 15, 2013 7:43 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    1. LED lighting damages eyes, says Spanish investigator

    http://www.thinkspain.com/news-spain/22749/led-lighting-damages-eyes-says-spanis h-investigator

     

    ENERGY-SAVING 'green' LED lights can cause serious damage to the retina, according to recent research by Spanish scientists.  And once the cells are destroyed by prolonged and continuous exposure to LED rays, they cannot be replaced and will not regrow. This is caused by the high levels of radiation in the 'blue band', and is likely to become a global epidemic in the medium term given that computer, mobile phone and TV screens, and even traffic lights and street lights, have been gradually replaced with LED. (...)

     

    2. Researchers Discover LED Lights Damaging French Impressionist Paintings; Masterpieces by Van Gogh and Cezanne Affected; Museums turning to SoLux

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10293775.htm

     

    (...)The large amount of blue light routinely emitted by LEDs has been found to turn yellow paint used by Impressionist artists olive green and brown. This is causing many curators and museum directors to rethink their choices of re-lamping their museums. "In a number of Van Gogh's paintings, the yellow has dulled to coffee brown — and in about 10 cases, the discoloration is serious(...)

  • cadette61 Calculating status...
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    May 15, 2013 8:19 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    Having returned a Macbook pro, I now have an HP laptop (Intel HD 4000 graphics) running Windows 8 connected to am iiyama CCFL external monitor (B2409HDS, 1920x1080 resolution) via HDMI. And it's still not comfortable. Not too drastic, but am getting dry eyes and, after a few hours on the computer, the beginnings of a headache. The whites look very bright to me.

     

    I'm wondering if this could therefore be OS-related. Is it simply that Windows 8 whites are particularly bright? Or icould it be the graphics card? Have played with brightness, contrast, and calibration: where RGB settings are concerned, I find lowering the blue helps a bit - I'm even considering setting it at 0. Otherwise flux is an option, I suppose. I could end up with a very dim sepia-tinted display: not ideal for films/video, but hopefully more comfortable to work on.

     

    Or perhaps I just need to get used to the monitor? Only had it 2 days. But it's very disappointing to find out that even this non-LED set-up is not comfortable to use...

  • Kxtr73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2013 9:10 AM (in response to cadette61)

    Try 100 % brightness to turn off PWM. Dimm by reducing monitor contrast and reduce brighness and contrast in graphics card settings too.

     

    I have 2 CCFL screens. Acer monitor with no PWM by 100% brightness and second TV with only minimalized PWM (there is no way to turn PWM off). First is comfortable, in the second I have the same symptoms as You are with eyes. Any flux program, glasses or glass/PVC filters will not help either. You can see CCFL and LED PWM strobe in phone camera. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKWqfNwTSa4

     

    Reducing brightness from 100% to 0% effect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KvVQ2CGG34

  • ZaneFord Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey Dave,

     

    THanks for the advice. Even a samsung with TFT LCD? Maybe I should just accept that I will be smartphoneless and tabletless for the rest of the foreseeable future, If anyone can suggest a device that has no LED backlighting let me know!

     

    Thanks

    Z

  • Gareth Jones6 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2013 7:48 AM (in response to ZaneFord)

    If it helps, I'm thinking of getting a Kindle Paperwhite. The functionality is obviosuly more limited that a proper tablet but I believe you can surf the internet and edit documents so could be useful. And people have said they are much better for eyestrain as the lights point down onto the screen rather than into your eyes.

     

    I'm eagerly awaiting next year when I can upgrade my phone, because my HTC Desire S kills my eyes after about 5 minutes. I'm interested in the comment above that the HTC One X is ok, though I'm not getting my hopes up. Previously I had an iPhone 3G and it was no trouble at all, so there is clearly an issue with the newer breed of phones.

     

    In terms of laptops I have resorted to using an old refurbished Dell with Windows XP. Its painfully slow but much better on my eyes.

     

    I also wanted to comment on what someone said above about setting up a website for people suffering with these problems. I do feel it must be possible to get some advocacy going through a charity or something. Would the British Couputer Society (or American equivalent) be able to liase with software/hardware developers on our behalf? Or any other similar organisation with a policy team?

     

    Of course you might hope that Apple would read this (huge) thread and give us some sort of feedback but of course no. Though having said that, it seems we can't even work out what exactly the problem is, so that makes it difficult for them.

  • David Turnough Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I would agree, I'm seeing this problem more and more in modern hardware. My mother in law has a Nokia Asha 300 which is a newer 'candy bar' from 2011 which displays the same problem.

     

    My personal symptoms, which I suspect may be different from others, I can best describe it as, 'difficult to hold focus',  like my eyes are constantly loosing focus on the screen, similar to when a camera is struggling to auto focus on an object. Focus can be maintained, but at the cost of fatigue of the eyes. The sensation is worse if the device is moving, if a friend is showing me something on his Samsung Note II, even small movements are dizzying.

     

    I'm convinced there are more than one problem here, I'm not sure everyone in this thread has the same issue.

     

    <Edited By Host>

  • Gurm42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    David,

     

    Sounds like your problem is similar to mine - even short periods trying to focus on some of these devices cause issues. And it really is a "this is hard to focus on" problem. It's as though in order to focus on them I have to actually focus on a spot a little closer or further than the screen actually is, and my eyes just don't want to DO that for very long.

     

    Combine that with my low tolerance for modern, energy-efficient "super bright" fluorescents and modern "blue" LED's, and you have a recipe for low tolerance. Honestly, the yellower the screen the better off I am. And f.lux only helps somewhat, the actual LED's involved are to blame I suspect.

     

    Gunnar glasses really help me compensate for the light spectrum, but for others they are useless.

     

    But yes, there are several problems at play here. I would be willing to assist you with a website - although my time is limited enough that I can't be the sole maintainer, I'd be happy to work on it. If we could get some awareness going that'd be great. Honestly I think that although THIS PROBLEM (can't use new Macbooks) is a limited one, it ties into enough other problems (intolerance for LED & Fluorescent, migraines, occupational eyestrain, PWM) that it ought to be worthwhile.

     

    If nothing else we could have a resource page of "things to try". Maintain a list of CCFL and PWM-free monitors, have links to Gunnar and the rose-colored alternative glasses, instructions for calibrating monitors and running f.lux, tips 'n' tricks, and a compilation of problems.

     

    <Edited By Host>

  • Neshill Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2013 8:43 AM (in response to Gurm42)

    Sorry if it's been mentioned before, but you can use software such as Flux (http://stereopsis.com/flux/) to actually dynamically modify screen temperature to the time of day in your region. This saves your eyesight and is much more pleasant.


    Naturally you should turn it off if working with colors, but otherwise it's a wonderful little app.

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