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Old 10-21-2006, 07:11 PM   #1
offbyone
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How to keep backlit keyboard lights on, and bright

My computer is a MacBook Pro, with a very nice keyboard back-lighting feature. Despite that at first it appears the user has a lot of control over how this feature functions, it remains mostly automatic, and not to my liking.

If the system determines there is enough ambient light around the computer, the keyboard lighting automatically lowers or goes off altogether, and I have not found any manual override or any other way to make it stay on and bright, in that case. (One crude and ineffective way is to put one's hand over the ambient light sensor, which is beneath the right-hand speaker grill, near the power button.) Except in the most dimly-lit conditions, the keyboard lighting does not stay as bright as I would like it to be.

I am looking for how to change how this feature works, so that either:
(1) the automatic default is to stay on and brighter in more brightly-lit condtions than it does now; or
(2) to gain more manual control over the off/on/brightness, to achieve the same result.

Some not-very-helpful details:
There is just one controlling option in System Preferences/Keyboard & Mouse/Keyboard. It is a checkbox, captioned, "Illuminate keyboard in low light conditions". Checking the box enables the backlighting, the brightness of which then varies inversely to the brightness of the ambient lighting.
Key F8 (when in control of hardware features) toggles this checkbox.
Key F9 lowers the brightness. Key F10 raises the brightness, but not for very long; the automatic control soon lowers it again.
Even with the "Illuminate..." box checked, if the automatic control turns the keyboard lighting off, F8, F9 and F10 have no effect.
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:42 AM   #2
MacWrite
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Maybe try LabTick? It's free.
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Last edited by MacWrite; 10-22-2006 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:36 AM   #3
offbyone
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That works; it's brilliant in every way.
Thanks for the hint, MacWrite.
Thanks especially to the developer of Lab Tick: Alexander Repty

Last edited by offbyone; 10-23-2006 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:00 PM   #4
solipsism
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Thanks for the link. LabTick works perfectly.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
offbyone
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There is just one problem with LabTick: it uses a lot more CPU time than a non-essential program ought to. I've used LabTick for a long time, and I am still happy with the performance - it does what it is supposed to do. But I turn it off now, when I want to spare load on the CPU.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:09 PM   #6
MacWrite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offbyone
There is just one problem with LabTick: it uses a lot more CPU time than a non-essential program ought to.

The dev has released many new versions, including one that mentions CPU usage:

Quote:
Changes in 0.8.2 (2008-04-02):
Improved power management to use less CPU cycles

Perhaps you could try a newer version, although since you're posting in 2009 you may have already attempted that.

I've mostly stopped using the backlight altogether because I live in the country and bugs tend to dive-bomb it when lit.
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