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  • SimonStokes Level 1 (0 points)

    But here is an interesting part, I also use practically identical MacBook Pro, 15", Early 2011 but with a different LCD panel - LP154WP4-TLA1. This notebook was given me by my employer and I spend 8-10 hours a day using it with no discomfort at all.

    You have just given me so much hope! I have the Macbook Pro 15" late 2011 with the high-res glassy screen (LP154WE3-TLA2) and it gives me eye strain almost immediately and a headache within an hour of use. Fingers crossed moving to this panel will help with my eye-strain - they are only £66 on eBay so it's worth a try! Thanks for the information, I'll report back.

  • StefanD13 Level 1 (0 points)

    Having the same issues since 2 years (sore eyes, headaches, motion sickness), here my observations during this time


    iMac 20 inch, 2008 - used it for about a year without issues, sometimes in 2010 started to have sore eyes and headaches, some months later sold it thinking the CCFLs getting old.


    iPad 1 - using it since first day without issues


    iPad 2 - sore eyes and headaches after half an hour of usage


    iPad 3 - sore eyes and headaches after half an hour of usage, however not confirmed over longer period of time since sent back after couple of days of usage


    Blackberry Playbook - sore eyes and headaches after half an hour of usage


    iPhone 3GS - using it without issues


    iPhone 4 - using it without issues (occasionally, belongs my wife)


    MacBook Air 11 inch, 2011 - very bad, sore eyes, headache after 15 mins, motion sickness after one hour


    MacBook Air 13 inch, 2010 - same as the 11 inch version


    LG IPS236V - not so bad, sore eyes and headaches after about 2 hours


    Acer TravelMate 5760 - very bad similar with Air 11 and 13 inch


    Lenovo T500 (wsxga version) - using it without issues if brightness 100%


    Benq FP937 - using it without issues at 100% brightness


    Thanks to this forum and also (for those who can read german) identified the PWM as one of the issues. So bought SainSmart 201  nano oscilloscope, a phototransistor, a resistor and a 9V battery and started to measure some PWM with following results:


    iPad 1,2,3 - no PWM (to my calculations I should be able to measure up to 40kHZ, the phototransistor has a rise and fall time under 25 microseconds)


    Blacberry Playbook - no PWM


    MacBook Air 11 inch (2012, ivi bridge) - no PWM


    sony svt1311 m1 e/s - around 200hz

    toshiba z830-10j - around 200hz


    Benq FP937 - around 250Hz


    So PWM is not all, since I still cannot use the iPad 2. Stimulated by the posts here, set my good old Benq to " blueish" setting and immediatelly felt discomfort. Then set it to "redish" and had feeling that is even better than the "normal" setting.

    So now hoping that with no PWM and warm colours I'll be able to solve my issues, let's see how the things evolve, I'll go for a Air 2012 and try it with warm colours for a longer period of time.


    Thanks to all who posted here and thanks also to (you'll find there also measurements of some displays)



  • lutra Level 1 (0 points)

    AMAZING information there, Stefan! Appreciate that input.


    I have decided that everyone is different. And seems to respond differently to their devices and/or computers. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my beloved iMac 24 inch screen DEFINITELY causes me eye strain.... leading to a headache and total stressed feeling on my right shoulder, etc.


    I now have an ipad2 which does not cause me any discomfort -- except cramped fingers from trying to type on a wee little keypad! But the break it gives me AWAY from my iMac has helped my strained eyes, etc.


    Recently, I was in an APPLE STORE and mentioned this problem YET AGAIN to the techie helping me.... and instead of falling on deaf ears as it did the first time I brought it to their attention a few years ago, HE NODDED AND SAID, "YES, we hear that ALL the time from iMac users!" So there we have it! Maybe the new iMacs will be better??

  • Slunce Level 1 (0 points)

    well I am almost afraid to post this. I do not get it myself however ... I bought a 2012 mbp and knowing it would lead to headaches I am using external monitor - my trusted CCFL (LG Flatron W2246) I have never had issues with. As far as I can tell since driving it by the new MBP it far less comfortable to look at - almost LED-like feeling (pulsing whites, seeing "memory of image" when looking at contrasty areas and then on white,...).


    Before I was driving it by 2007 MBP (also CCFL) with no issues whatsoever.


    Started thinking this does not make sense and there must be something wrong with me...


    It's tough.

  • Gurm42 Level 1 (0 points)



    It's not you! I experience EXACTLY this problem. I can drive a monitor from my early-2010 MBP (Core2Duo 2.8 with GeForce 9400/9600 switching) and be fine. The SAME monitor, driven from a 2012 MBP (Radeon), is excruciating. The SAME monitor, driven by my Windows workstation (nVidia or Radeon) is fine.


    I'm beginning to think the panel is only part of the issue - some folks here are super LED sensitive, but I am in general not LED sensitive. I use HP LED monitors at work 8 hours a day without issue, and my Lenovo is an LED backlit model. But MBP screens (and MBA screens) bug my eyes out. And they do so even when driving monitors I'm otherwise fine with.


    One more example - my Mac Mini at home is currently driving an older Samsung LCD monitor, one which I used for several years in total comfort. It's one of their first 19" widescreen models, and it's CCFL. And it's a little problematic for me. Far less comfortable than when it is driven by Windows.


    So there is DEFINITELY something happening with the way Macs are driving these monitors from the new hardware! It's almost like maybe the RAMDACs (or whatever the digital equivalent is of a RAMDAC, since there is no analogue conversion happening over a DVI connection) are busted in some way, or doing something terrible.


    All I know is that it is amazingly frustrating.

  • SimonStokes Level 1 (0 points)

    For anyone who is interested I jumped into the Apple store and got the screen model numbers for the 2012 Macbooks (excluding the retina model):


    Macbook Pro Mid 2012 Glossy Standard Res: LTN154BT08

    Macbook Pro Mid 2012 Matte Hi-Res: LTN154MT07


    Anyone who has experienced LED eye strain had any experience with any of the 2012 models yet (including the retina one)? Would be very interested to hear how you got on. If you're on the fence, just go for it! You can always return it...I would if I hadn't bought my (migraine inducing) 2011 one... :'(


    I did have a good long shot on both the models above, but since I already had a headache from my current Macbook I couldn't test them properly. I felt like the glossy screen hurt my eyes a lot more than the matte one, but I found it harder to focus on the matte screen. Hopefully I'll get the time to do a proper test soon. The retina screen felt the best for my eyes but due to the HD capacity it's not really an option for me.

  • StefanD13 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have ordered the new Mac Air 13 (cheapest variant) and although using it with warm colours feels better, the problems are still there (at least for me).... So sending it back :(((((

  • Slunce Level 1 (0 points)

    I found a settings which seem to have improved my situation with the external monitor so want to update you as well. Using the monitor settings I set maximum brightness, maximum contrast, maximum gamma setting, maximum individual R, G, B settings ... then using Gamma Control (I will have to pay that guy) I brought the brightness down to like 20%.


    I suppose the above should work more with LEDs since it should achieve maximum possible backlighting frequency however it seem to have worked for me as well.


    Next week I will be switching between my old MBP and the new MBP and will post my findings.


    I thought I would try that maybe to influence any "relatioship" between the digital signal and the screen beahviour. It is probably nonsense however I do have a different feeling now.


    Will test over longer time.


    The same seems to help with my internal MBP however with not as much effect.


    Still, without Gamma Control I would not be able to exist. The good thing about the little tool is that you can play with all three channels in dark, midtones and whites, so you can really adjust the overall color balance whilst bringing the brightness to really low. I have actually been using this tool on old MBP to calibrate the screen - even though I had HW calibrator (it was useless with the notebook screen).

  • Amerix Level 1 (0 points)


    Yes I am another led sensitive mac user.

    I have a MBA 11 since a year and compared to my old white macbook of 2007, it is really painfull, eyestrain after 10 min, focusing problems and headache.

    Regarding the causes of this health risk, I heard about blue light intensity being high, led frequency being low and modulation being sharp (rectangular signal) and deep and so very agressive to the eyes and the brain.

    I trust Apple is working the issue.

    My question is:  Does the new MBA 11 of 2012 have better screen? Or is there another macbook free of this problem.

    Thank you,


  • dj_rag Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi all....


    great to see this thread is still going strong...apologies for not having the time to keep up with it but seems there's been some really helpful posts.


    i originally took interest in this thread as I upgraded from a 2007 mbp to a 2011 glossy and then Matte and couldnt stand either - migraines, motion sickness and eye strain all within 30 mins.


    One thing I should say is that even though I made my complaint to Apple after the 14 days remorse period,they were still kind enough to give me a full refund to their credit.

  what must have been sensitivity to LED backlit screens- I've now realised I have the same problem with external monitors (I dont know why I thought it would be any different....I suppose because I never had a problem with the monitors at my old job, DELL 1708FP or E170S ) im now really suffering with the monitors at a new job.

    I'm trying to locate one of those above mentioned Dell screens, but its not proving very succesful, does anyone know where I can find a list of CCFL monitors and their model numbers? (for alternatives)

    From what I can gather, when looking at monitor specs they rarely, if ever, mention CCFL, making it very hard for me to tell my work, "yes that screen would be fine" with any certainty. Ive been scouring google all night and found only one or two that mention they are CCFL. (dell P170S, and HP L190W. even the aforementioned DELLs don't say it)

    I'm in Spain by the way.


    Thanks a lot in advance for any help!

  • MisterMojo Level 1 (0 points)

    NEC has 28 CCFL displays: The NEC website makes it easy to select display acoording to the type of backlight. Since I am in the U.S. I don't know about the availability of NEC products in Spain.

  • Jim Chee Level 1 (0 points)



    I too seem to be one of those LED sensitive individuals.  I've been using a Mid-2007 MacBook 13" with no problems for years.  Just upgraded two weeks ago to the new MacBook Air 13".  I love it, but within 30 minutes of using it felt like I was staring at the sun.  Dimmed it, but still a problem.  After watching movies for about 4 hours last night on my Air, my eyes felt "burnt."


    Just spoke to Apple Tech Support and after some discussion they told me I was one of those LED sensitive individuals, and I didn't have the problem with my mid-2007 MacBook because it wasn't until 2008 that they started using LED. It was nice to know that I wasn't imagining things, and it's a real problem for a small group of people. But there is no "official" solution.  I could try an anti-glare screen, or privacy screen, or connect an external LCD monitor.


    I have no plans to return my new MacBook Air, but I don't think I'll let go of my mid-2007 MacBook just yet. Apple suggested I have my Air checked by the local Apple store as well, just in case.  I'll probably talk to my eye doctor as well.


    I look forward to reading more on this forum for creative solutions. Thanks to all of you for your comments.

  • Exandas Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple is a great company. I hope their engineers find a solution. I can't use my MPB for more than 30 min without getting  a headache.

  • Skribilo22 Level 1 (10 points)

    So, I have been posting in this thread for over a year now, and today I bought the new retina display Macbook Pro.  It seems so much easier to look at.  I was testing the matte screen Pro in the store, and it just seemed to make my eyes go everywhere. I think this computer will work for me.  It's still not my original 2008 17" Pro (which I will always love), but this one does feel more comfortable than the current regular Pros.  I realize that this might not work for everyone, but you guys might want to test one out.  You can always return it within the two week time frame.  Good luck everyone!

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for telling us Skribilo22! It's really good to know that the new Retina MacBook Pro is working well for someone who're sensitive to LED screens!

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