Previous 1 2 3 Next 35 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2014 7:27 PM by rikv888
Scott Loeffler Level 2 Level 2

Greetings, I'm having a problem with my brand new MBP and it's backlit keyboard.  It won't ever go out.  I can be in a bright sunlit room and it still won't go off.  if I uncheck the box "automatically illuminate keyboard in low light" it still won't go off.  it's ALWAYS on!!


Now, if the screen goes dim, based on the energy saver, then the keyboard will go out.  If the timer adjustment, in the keyboard preferences pane, is set to something other than never, when the timer hits that limit, the backlight will go out.  However, during normal operation, the ambient sensor seems to do nothing.  Also, as I mentioned, it seems to work this way whether or not the check box is checked or not for automatic illumination.  It works like it's always checked and like it's always in a dark room.


I first thought it was a hardware issue, but now realize it's a problem with Lion.  I created a partition on an external drive and reloaded Snow Leopard on that partition.  When I boot up into Snow Leopard I don't have any issues with the backlight working correctly. 


Any thoughts from the Lion experts?  Anyone else having similar issues?


Thanks, Scott

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • fireskipper Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Scott, I'm having the very same problem. I have an early 2011 Macbook Pro using OSX Lion. The keyboard does not illuminate in low light environments, instead turns on or off only by using F5 and F6.


    When switched on the only way to get it to turn off automatically is via the comupter usage time schedule. Seems like a Lion OSX problem at the moment then.


    Anyone tried contacting Apple technical support about this?



  • rajivfrombangalore Level 1 Level 1

    Same problem here. After LION update, even though the "Automatic keyboard illumination" is set to OFF, the lights still come on.

  • Scott Loeffler Level 2 Level 2

    I've talked with AppleCare and have tried umpteen things to fix it.  We even went into terminal mode to try a few things.  I've heard it's even an issue at the Apple Stores with the MBP's there.  I've emailed my AppleCare rep back and asked that it be escalated within the Lion development team so maybe a fix will come out with the next rev of Lion.  Keeping fingers crossed!

  • thordozo Level 1 Level 1

    I had just changed the settings for my keyboard backlit to ON all the time before I downloaded LION.  While I can't find any box to check or uncheck like before when I want to turn off the keyboard backlit, my F5 and F6 are working so that I can manually adjust the backlit.  However, the keyboard backlit won't turn on automatically when it's dark ... unless i manually adjust via F6.  I think it's a LION bug.

  • 6andalf Level 1 Level 1

    I think it has something to do with the sensitivity of the ambient light sensor. When I shine a torch at the sensor the keyboard light goes out. But it doesn't go out in a bright room. Not sure whether it is a hardware problem or a software. From the thread of replies concerning Lion and Snow Leopard, it does seem to be a problem with Lion.

  • fireskipper Level 1 Level 1

    Works with auto-off timer set to never - and auto on in low light checked. WIth these settings the ambient light keyboard feature works just fine.


    Seems like the auto - off feature cancels out the auto-on in low light option.

  • 6andalf Level 1 Level 1

    No The problem is the setting of the ambient light sensor. I checked with Apple Care and they can't help me. They guided me through resetting the SMC and PROM and it doesn't quite work well enough. Perhaps in the future the System Preference will have a sensitivity slider.

  • yogybear Level 1 Level 1

    Hi.  I am having the same issue.  Mine is a early 2009 MBP 17".  I'm wondering if this is a software bug present with specific hardware.

  • Gabriel_305 Level 1 Level 1

    I was just about to write a comment regarding this issue until I found this thread. I am having the exact same problem, and it happened after installing Lion. I thought it might have been my MBP, but now I see that it's an issue with the OS, and I'm not the only one with this issue. I was hoping that one of the OS updates would have addressed the problem, but so far, the problem persists.

  • tk_y10 Level 1 Level 1

    I am really happy with lion, great job!


    The keyboard light works great, also the 5 sec setting when not in use and the response time when pressing the first key!

    While I was watching eyetv, sometimes the keyboard light switches on by a ghost.

    interval is 43 - 135 sec.

    i have no idea which process causes that. Maybe I'd check the actvities monitor while it happens


    Concerning the specific hardware updates from apple, it strongly depends on your hardware components.

    Yesterday I had to update my mbp15, 2010 in order to get rid of that video bug... and I can remember at least another firmware update concerning the graphics, but that was long time ago.

    Well. I am not complaining about this great OS, I just hope the bugreport guys are still reading our posts


    Until then, I switch off the keyboard lights, while I am watching late night on eyetv :¢

  • ricordu Level 1 Level 1

    Same here. (Mac book pro 2011)

    This very same issue arise after upgrading to ... LION



  • Marcel Villamil Level 1 Level 1

    Same issue, (Mac book pro 2011) too.

    Please help.

  • fireskipper Level 1 Level 1

    Works for me when


    1. 'Automatically adjust brightness' is ticked in display preferences.

    2. 'Automatically illuminate keyboard in low light' is ticked in keyboard preferences.


    It seems these two preferences are linked. The keyboard will not automatically adjust without the display set to automatically adjust brightness. This was not the case with Leopard or Snow Leopard.


    Macbook Pro Early 2011. Lion 10.7.2

  • Scott Loeffler Level 2 Level 2

    Sorry Fireskipper.  That doesn't work either.  With both of those checked, if I go into a well lit room the backlight still doesn't turn off.  Also,in a dimly or dark lit room, if I uncheck Automatically illuminate keyboard in low light, the back light still stays on.  As soon as I uncheck that option, the backlight should turn off, as it does in Snow Leopard.  Nice try.  We continue to wait on you Apple!

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