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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

436240 Views 1,987 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2014 10:40 AM by GKphone RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 3, 2013 1:25 PM (in response to Gurm42)

    I just want to give another shout-out to the Dell U2410 monitor (CCFL backlit).  As you say, it's pretty expensive (mine cost about $600, but I got a 4 year warranty).  But it's an awesome monitor!  The colors are way better than anything you'll see on an LED-backlit screen, it's _very_ easy on the eyes, and it has a zillion customization options.  If you do buy one, buy it directly from Dell, not from a third party.  They will ship it to you very fast and in perfect condition.  And no, I don't work for Dell and never have.  I don't even use their computers, just their monitors!  I also use f.lux on this monitor for routine work but turn it off if I'm watching e.g. a movie.

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 4, 2013 12:57 AM (in response to mojarvinen)

    Last night i tested various settings in Lumia 920. At full brightness 920 does not flicker, at least using the simple camera and hand test. At lower brightness i can see the flicker.

    I do agree with Gurm42, i have displays that flicker yet they did not bother me (BB 9700, Nokia E5, Sony Netbook-Led display).

    Playing with the color saturation and temp, i found that a dynamic level (contrary to S4 natural that Eric found to be best for him) and cold temp was the more eye friendly. Actually it may make the phone usable for some time. My eyes felt irritated after an hour of use. I will be able to test the phone for today as well but i cannot say what will happen if someone accumulates hours of use. This is usually my case, at the beginning the effect on my eyes is usually unnoticeable. 

  • Dovez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 5, 2013 1:15 PM (in response to Gurm42)

    car tail lights are a MAJOR problem for me. That has nothing to do with PWM

    I'm pretty sure it has everything to do with it.

  • Dovez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 6, 2013 12:01 PM (in response to Exandas)

    We know PWM was singlehandedly responsible for great discomfort in recent years for many affected ones. But today we must acknowledge that there is an evil almost as diabolic as the backlight dimming technique we were once unknowingly forced on, which remains hidden till this day. By being invisible this cause of discomfort remains invincible. Finding the technological cause is therefore the only way to not appear to the outside world as hypochondriacs. Evidence is what we need. And until we find what the greatest contributor or contributors to the symptoms is or are with absulute certainty, people will have a hard time believing that there is indeed a problem that needs to be fixed. We must try everything we can think of and we must not exclude any possible explanations, no matter how unlikely they seem, until we have tried them and found them not to conform to reality. With that being said I must ask you:"Is it that hard for you to try a problematic PWM-free Apple device with the colors red and blue reduced to zero?"

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 7, 2013 10:50 AM (in response to Dovez)

    I have sold all my Apple devices that caused me eye strain except iphone 4s which i think it doesn't have such a option. I can only get in my hands Ipad 2, Lumia 920, and S4 for some time to test. Maybe someone in this forum could try it with a MBP or Air.

  • Dovez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 9, 2013 11:03 AM (in response to mojarvinen)

    There is an android app that can reduce the effect of flicker on Amoled phones. It's mentioned and explained near the end of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pqKG3mCgPM

     

    Basically, you set the phone to full brightness to minimize the pwm effect and dim the screen with the app without making the pwm effect worse.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Sep 11, 2013 8:45 PM (in response to Dovez)

    Hi Dovez, I have just watched the youtube video that you posted. The app that was used at the end of the video is called "Screen Filter".

     

    It's actually the same app and technique that I was referring to in my previous post in page 75.

    I have been using this method for many months and I can confirm that it works pretty well on my Note 2.

     

    While some may have reported that this doesn't work on other devices, I would still highly recommend anyone giving this method a try if they are annoyed by the flickering on the AMOLED screens.

  • SimonStokes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 13, 2013 4:37 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    I've been following this thread for years now and thought I would post my findings. I bought a late 2011 Macbook Pro with the hi-res screen (model LP154WE3-TLA2). After 6 months of so of getting pretty severe migraines, trips to the opticians and doctors, and a lot of anxiety I finally realised that it was the Macbook (and most other LED panels) causing it. I found this forum, where iStrain had posted some great information about LED screens that he had tested:

     

     

    MacBook, 13", Mid 2009 - no issues

    MacBook Pro, 13",  Mid 2010 - no issues

    MacBook Air, 11", Mid 2011 - eye strain, headaches, motion sickness

    MacBook Air, 13", Mid 2011, panel LP133WP1-TJA1 - eye strain, headaches,  motion sickness

    MacBook Air, 13", Mid 2011, panel LTH133BT01A03 - headaches,  motion sickness

    MacBook Pro 13",  Early 2011 - headaches,  motion sickness

    MacBook Pro, 15", Early 2011, panel LTN154BT08 -  motion sickness

    MacBook Pro, 15", Early 2011, panel LP154WP4-TLA1 - no issues

    Since I teach people to produce music every day, I got the opportunity to test lots of Macs and check their model numbers, and my symptoms pretty much concurred with iStrain's, along with confirming that Retina models are the worst for it. I contacted Applecare who were EXCELLENT and after being passed up the chain they ended up arranging for my Macbook to have a new screen fitted (LP154WP4-TLA1) - a standard res screen.

     

    Unfortunately, when I got the Macbook back it had screen model number LTN154BT08 fitted. Applecare advised that they couldn't guarantee a particular screen model as in their eyes LTN154BT08 and LP154WP4-TLA1 are the exact same screen....but they're not.

     

    After trying to purchase the correct screen off eBay with no luck (same issue as with Applecare) I gave up for a while. The LTN154BT08 screen was MUCH better and didn't cause the severe migraines, but did still give me a headache after a while and motion sickness. Then the glass on the front panel started coming off..

     

    I went to the Apple store who replaced it...with LP154WP4-TLA1! I can confirm that this is the best screen for people who suffer with the same issues that iStrain and I have. I still have to take breaks every 45 mins and occasionally get migraines but it is much better. I do swear though that I sometimes teach people on the exact same Macbook with the exact same screen and it feels even better on my eyes, like I'm looking at a piece of paper. These people tend to be using Snow Leopard, although I'm not sure how that can be.

     

    The bottom line is, if you're within Applecare warranty then speak to them about your problem - they couldn't be more helpful for me and my Macbook is much more usable than ever. And for those who get migraines, try Sumatriptan (brand name Immigran) - it's a life saver. And in the studio I use a BenQ V2400W monitor which I can use all day without issue.

     

    Hope this is of some help, I've been meaning to post it for ages..

  • Sapsombat Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 13, 2013 9:03 AM (in response to SimonStokes)

    Hi SimonStokes, thank you for your informative message. Do you have any idea of new iMac screens, if they could be replaceable? My "late 2012" iMac 27 (eventyally I got it in March 2013) hurts my eyes really much and has caused some damage that doesn't seem to recover easily as now I'm more sensitive to almost all screens. My mid 2009 MacbookPro 17 is way better and doesn't make the same effect.

     

    I'm asking because in this thread there's not much info for new iMacs...

  • Gurm42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 13, 2013 10:48 AM (in response to Sapsombat)

    So I wanted to help some folks out.

     

    The effects that you think are permanent DO fade. It just takes some time. With some rare exceptions (Jessiah1) who have other problems, the issues and sensitivity caused by Macbook/Mac screens can be overcome in a matter of some days/weeks.

     

    If I spend a weekend using a Retina macbook... it could easily be 10-15 days before my eyes are really "back to normal".

     

    Right now, several weeks out from the last time I used a Mac, my workstation at my office doesn't bother me at all.

     

    - Gurm

  • Dovez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 15, 2013 7:24 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    If you look at strongly flickering light you get the axact same symptoms as when you look at problematic computer monitors.

     

    A person I know had a CRT at work and was fine with it, but then he was forced to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Since then it has become hard for him to use it. CRTs don't have a backlight to blame.

     

    I had access to a problematic notebook with PWM in the kHz recently. What I found with my phone's camera was an eye-opener. The pixels flickered like crazy. None of this flicker I could see without the camera.

     

    I saw the horrible pixel dance even more clearly than it can be seen on my video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgtYpQNrV_s

     

    Notice that not all pixels turn off and on at the same time creating the illusion that the light is stable.

     

    My conclusion is as follows. PWM was the initial problem and it remains a problem for many till this day. But recently our pixels began flickering, dancing around, being no longer stable. It is flicker and flicker is known to cause eye strain and headaches.

  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (15,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 15, 2013 7:27 AM (in response to Dovez)

    But recently our pixels began flickering, dancing around, being no longer stable. It is flicker and flicker...

     

    Try to cut back on the ganja, mon.

  • Gurm42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 15, 2013 7:31 AM (in response to CT)

    >> Try to cut back on the ganja, mon.

     

    That was UTTERLY uncalled for.

  • Gurm42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 15, 2013 7:33 AM (in response to Dovez)

    Dovez,

     

    I think the "pixel dance" you're talking about is the new temporal dithering, or "new PWM". It's SUPER present on Retina displays. If I look closely at the retina macbook I can actually SEE the pixels dancing, if I look at it correctly. They turn on and off what I'm sure is pseudo-randomly.

     

    This is I'm sure some trick Apple is pulling to get more color depth, or more resolution, or something... akin to interlacing screens in the early days of home CRT displays to get double the resolution at twice the flicker.

     

    It is a HUGE problem.

  • spprt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 15, 2013 8:22 AM (in response to Dovez)

    Did you use any special phone camera settings to make the flickering pixels visible? Could you also see them with an iPhone or iPad camera?

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