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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

434044 Views 1,985 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 11:34 AM by Kxtr73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • iobe Calculating status...
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    Oct 15, 2012 10:10 AM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    Flux makes it less bad but I still can't use the laptop for long. I think I'm gonna try and return it this week. Fortunately I still have the old one. Not sure how to deal with this in the long term because at some point I have to replace it.

     

    Only thing I can think of is to get one of those anti-reflex screen protectors. Anyone had any luck with those?

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Oct 15, 2012 10:32 AM (in response to iobe)

    I think you may forget about those anti-reflex screen protectors.

    Glare is not the cause of the eye discomfort that we're discussing. At most, it *might* soften the backlight slightly like what I did to my iPhone 5. (And also make the texts slightly blurrier)

  • CurlyNYC Calculating status...
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    Oct 15, 2012 1:16 PM (in response to RMartin111)

    So, I found this page after I exchanged my 11 inch Macbook Air for the 13 inch pro. I thought my headaches and eye strain was due to the size of the screen. Well, as soon as I got home, and put the computer on, I realized that it's the screen regardless of size. For me the feeling I get is like wearing someones glasses, or sitting too close to a tv. I have tried different brightness setting, calibrating, changing the resolution, but those do not work. I have the 2007 which never gave me problems. Im sad it fell and the screen broke.

     

    I keep hearing about the anti glare film, but it seems that half of the people say that it works. I've had the computer since Thursday. Im using it now with no headaches (that's a big improvement) but theres a part of me that feels like this might destroy my vision in the future. Its also not my eyes because I could briefly tried out the iphone 5, and have no problems. I also can use a 11 inch netbook computer, as well as a 15 inch and it doesn't give me that feeling in my eyes. When I called apple, the guys suggestion was to change the resolution, then after I told him that didn't work he advised going to the genius bar. If I return to apple it would be to return this computer.

     

    Can someone tell me what you think causes the eye discomfort? I am going to call apple eiher today or later in the week for some over the phone assistance. I hear some it takes some people to get use to it and that helps but I have up until the 24th to get use to this. Thanks.

  • dmdimon Level 3 Level 3 (840 points)
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    Oct 16, 2012 8:20 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    for all eye-strained from PWM in LED

     

    set brightness to 100%, wear sunglusses and check yourself - will it hurt?

    There will be (practically) no PWM at 100% brightness.

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/pulse_width_modulation.htm

  • Dovez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:54 AM (in response to dmdimon)

    I have noticed for myself that I had eye pain and headaches with PWM even at 100% brightness, it's just that it was more tolerable. On one LCD I remember having no problems only when it wa set to full brightness. So practically no PWM wasn't enough for me with some monitors. In most cases I need no PWM to be there to feel comfortable.

  • CoreLinker Calculating status...
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    Oct 16, 2012 11:02 AM (in response to dmdimon)

    dmdimon, not all monitors are flicker free at 100% backlight level. Very few TVs are. It sounds stupid but there's a reason for this: flicker helps with motion perception since it isolates individual frames.

  • AxelTerizaki Calculating status...
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    Oct 16, 2012 3:34 PM (in response to dmdimon)

    Even with 100% brightness it causes me eyestrain. Besides, being disabled, I get blinded very easily by light (I have to wear sunglasses outside, and I make use of the iOS/OSX 'reverserd colors' mode very often.) so I never set the brightness to 100% on a device.

     

    I've checked a few sites since I discovered PWM... I still need to buy myself a laptop to replace my aging 2006 MBP. Since all Macbooks now cause me eyestrain, I'll have to buy a laptop PC, but is there a list of flicker-free laptops somewhere?

  • CurlyNYC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 16, 2012 3:43 PM (in response to dmdimon)

    I'm a newbie, and what is PWM, and what does in mean in lay mans terms? Thanks a bunch.

  • John Scott1 Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)
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    Oct 16, 2012 4:20 PM (in response to CurlyNYC)

    I don't see a lot of issue myself with this problem. But I do find my Macbook Pro less pleasing after long periods then a PC I have with a Acer LCD screen with LED back litghting. Maybe because its 23" and my Macbook Pro is 13"? Maybe its because the Macbook Pro uses a backlite system that is somehow more of a issue. Could it be why Apple is moving to retina displays? I guess whatever the problem I do agree that their is some sort of issue.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 17, 2012 1:23 AM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    Hi everyone, I purchased some colored semi-transparent plastic sheets (those we used to play with during the art lessons when we were young) from a stationary store today. One of them is in amber yellow color, and the other one is red with a bit of pink/purple tint.

     

    The yellow one should be effective in cutting down the blue in the visible light spectrum.

    And the red one should be effective in cutting down both blue and green in the visible light spectrum.

    (please correct me if I'm wrong)

     

    I then use them to cover the screen of my iPhone 5 (one color at a time). It seems that both colors are fairly effective in cutting down the discomfort when I'm looking at the screen.

     

    I have only tested that for a very brief period, need to try longer to be sure.

    But it seems that it's the blue intensity that's causing the problem in this case.

  • dmdimon Level 3 Level 3 (840 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 17, 2012 1:56 AM (in response to CoreLinker)

    I have MD in computer engeneering - so I know what you are talking about.

     

    not full-on at 100% is possible, but impractical in this case (from manufacturer POW).

    And I wrote "(practically) no PWM" - mean it will be lowest possible (from visibility viewpoint) or no at all.

     

    And don't forget about light in room where you using computer. What is it? tungsten bulb, CCFL, "energy savers" CCFL or "energy savers" LED? Do CCFL or "energy savers" CCFL cause eye strain for you?

    What about frequency combination between 60/120 (in US) Hz of room light and 300-500 Hz of backlight PWM ? Do you feel equal eye strain under any lightning?

     

     

    Basically problem with eye-strain should be subdivided. I see here people with hipersensibility to blue spectrum, with hipersensibility to light and with sensibility po flicker. This is _totally different_ aspects of monitor/light.

  • jondrac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2012 1:08 PM (in response to RMartin111)

    Okay, I am REALLY confused.

     

    A while ago I decided to buy a Retina Macbook Pro. It's a really nice computer, but I had severe eye-strain problems like you're all experiencing. I decided to return it and get a normal Macbook Pro, hoping it would be different. This is my first day using it, and I'm having the same problem. Darn.

     

    But here is the confusing thing: when I'm gaming on it, I have no eyestrain whatsoever. None. It was the same on the Retina display. Severe eyestrain when I'm doing everything else, but none when I'm gaming.

     

    So, here's the whole situation:

     

    • I have nasty eyestrain whether the brightness is up all the way or not, although it seems to be less when the brightness is up all the way.
    • I have an anti-glare display on this new Macbook, so glare definitely isn't the problem
    • I don't notice any flickering
    • I can use my iPad 2 and iPhone 4S for as long as I want without any eyestrain at all... those both have LED displays as well, don't they?
    • Macbooks cause severe eyestrain for me when I'm doing anything EXCEPT for gaming

     

    Can anyone explain this?

  • dmdimon Level 3 Level 3 (840 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2012 1:12 PM (in response to jondrac)
    • I can use my iPad 2 and iPhone 4S for as long as I want without any eyestrain at all... those both have LED displays as well, don't they?
    • Macbooks cause severe eyestrain for me when I'm doing anything EXCEPT for gaming

     

    Can anyone explain this?

    looks like too small interface elements for your eyes. Small fonts, etc. Try to lower screen resolution a bit - will it help?

  • jondrac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2012 1:14 PM (in response to dmdimon)

    Yes, I've done that. It doesn't help.

  • dmdimon Level 3 Level 3 (840 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2012 1:17 PM (in response to jondrac)

    sorry.

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