The conversation on this page has been archived and is no longer active.

About the light on a macbook...

Message #1 - Posted 2011/12/27 - Patricia Aldoraz

"Sleep Indicator Light
The sleep indicator light is found on the front edge of the MacBook. Depending on your model, it may either be in the center or on the right of the front edge. The sleep indicator light glows when the MacBook is on, and pulses when it is asleep."

Says one website. But what does light off (but computer on and active) mean? As when my Macbook is functioning perfectly well, is not asleep. When I leave it and it is doing something (I think?) and I come back to it, the light is often on but not blinking. Come I start to actively work on the machine, the light goes off. If I put it to sleep or it goes to sleep on schedule, the light glows on and off as it should. Not sure whether to be more puzzled by light on full or off full?

Message #2 - Posted 2011/12/28 - David Empson

Patricia Aldoraz wrote:

"Sleep Indicator Light
The sleep indicator light is found on the front edge of the MacBook. Depending on your model, it may either be in the center or on the right of the front edge. The sleep indicator light glows when the MacBook is on, and pulses when it is asleep."

Says one website. But what does light off (but computer on and active) mean?

The preceding description is not complete.

The sleep indicator light only glows steadily when the computer is awake but the display is asleep (including situaitons where the internal display is off but the computer is operating an external display with the lid closed, if I remember right).

If the internal display is active, the sleep indicator light is off.

As when my Macbook is functioning perfectly well, is not asleep. When I leave it and it is doing something (I think?) and I come back to it, the light is often on but not blinking.

The display went to sleep but the computer is still active.

See Energy Saver in System Preferences. You probably have the "Display sleep" setting configured to activate before "Computer sleep".

This is a reasonable configuration.

David Empson
dempson@actrix.gen.nz

Message #3 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Patricia Aldoraz

On Dec 28, 9:16 pm, David Empson wrote:

Patricia Aldoraz wrote:

"Sleep Indicator Light

...

... what does light off (but computer on and active) mean?

...

The sleep indicator light only glows steadily when the computer is awake but the display is asleep (including situaitons where the internal display is off but the computer is operating an external display with the lid closed, if I remember right).

Since last posting I was figuring it had something to do with display sleep and even set a camera up to see if the light came on when the display went to sleep. Unfortunately the film was too bright for me to tell!

If the internal display is active, the sleep indicator light is off.

If the internal display is merely switched off by repeated presses of the dimming key (lid open) while a second display is active and visible, the light remains off.

As when  my Macbook is functioning perfectly well, is not asleep. When I leave it and it is doing something (I think?) and I come back to it, the light is often on but not blinking.

The display went to sleep but the computer is still active.

Yes, I think you are right, and yes, I do have display sleep off before the computer sleep, but at the moment, it is never coputer- sleeping as I am encoding/burning a DVD from an AVI file and it has taken 8 hrs so far and I will never do this again on this computer, ever - 8 hours and only 76% encoded already, then there's the burning!

See Energy Saver in System Preferences. You probably have the "Display sleep" setting configured to activate before "Computer sleep".

This is a reasonable configuration.

I was just curious. In point of fact, it is a bit hard to keep track of all the logic of it all as there are so many variables when running other screens. Probably best I don't worry about it, I can hear the HD running when it runs and if it sleeps, it is quiet and the light pulses. Whether light is on or off completely is probably not very useful but I can't be sure, there may be some Mac owners that actually find the minutiae of the lights useful. I find the pulsing useful but that is all.

Cheers.

Message #4 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Patricia Aldoraz wrote:

I was just curious. In point of fact, it is a bit hard to keep track of all the logic of it all as there are so many variables when running other screens. Probably best I don't worry about it, I can hear the HD running when it runs and if it sleeps, it is quiet and the light pulses. Whether light is on or off completely is probably not very useful but I can't be sure, there may be some Mac owners that actually find the minutiae of the lights useful. I find the pulsing useful but that is all.

I think the general logic is that if you can see something on the display, you don't need a light to tell you that the computer is on.

Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***

Message #5 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Patty Winter

Previously, Patricia Aldoraz wrote:

"The sleep indicator light glows when the MacBook is on, and pulses when it is asleep."

Says one website. But what does light off (but computer on and active) mean?

If it's like my MacBook, it means the computer is open (the screen is up), not closed. The light only comes on when I close the computer.

Patty

Message #6 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Patty Winter

Previously, Patty Winter wrote:

If it's like my MacBook, it means the computer is open (the screen is up), not closed. The light only comes on when I close the computer.

Sorry, I didn't read David's posting until after I sent this. I shouldn't have said "only," because I believe the light does also come on when the display goes to sleep, even though the lid is open.

Patty

Message #7 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Malcolm

On 2011-12-28 10:54:49 +0000, Patricia Aldoraz said:

On Dec 28, 9:16 pm, David Empson wrote:

Patricia Aldoraz wrote:

"Sleep Indicator Light

...

... what does light off (but computer on and active) mean?

...

The sleep indicator light only glows steadily when the computer is awake but the display is asleep (including situaitons where the internal display is off but the computer is operating an external display with the lid closed, if I remember right).

Since last posting I was figuring it had something to do with display sleep and even set a camera up to see if the light came on when the display went to sleep. Unfortunately the film was too bright for me to tell!

If the internal display is active, the sleep indicator light is off.

If the internal display is merely switched off by repeated presses of the dimming key (lid open) while a second display is active and visible, the light remains off.

Dimming the display is not the same as display sleep and will not turn off the backlight. You can put the display to sleep with Control-Shift-Eject. This will turn off the backlight and should turn on the light at the front to the laptop.

Message #8 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Patricia Aldoraz

On Dec 29, 1:51 am, Barry Margolin wrote:

Previously,  Patricia Aldoraz wrote:

I was just curious. In point of fact, it is a bit hard to keep track of all the logic of it all as there are so many variables when running other screens. Probably best I don't worry about it, I can hear the HD running when it runs and if it sleeps, it is quiet and the light pulses. Whether light is on or off completely is probably not very useful but I can't be sure, there may be some Mac owners that actually find the minutiae of the lights useful. I find the pulsing useful but that is all.

I think the general logic is that if you can see something on the display, you don't need a light to tell you that the computer is on.

That is part of the story and very useful! I don't know about you but around here there are evil demons and they hang beautifully printed desktop screenshots on my monitor when I am out. When I see the light shining brightly and continuously, from now on, I will *know* they are up to tricks again! They are such playful demons!

If the light is off, the bulb could be gone, but otherwise it means all screens are sleeping but the computer is not. How playful are these things? When the computer is awake with not much to do, and the screens asleep, wonder if it tries to wake them to get some company?

I think I am clearer now on what the light means, thanks all.

Message #9 - Posted 2011/12/28 - Patricia Aldoraz

On Dec 29, 10:02 am, Malcolm wrote:

On 2011-12-28 10:54:49 +0000, Patricia Aldoraz said:

Dimming the display is not the same as display sleep and will not turn off the backlight.

So, when the screen is pitch dark when bright is turned down as far as it will go via keyboard button, the back light is on? What happens here? You press the button near the escape key as many times as it takes to go pitch black and a little man inside the screen has drawn a darkroom curtain across the fluro?

Anyway, I think you are right in that there is a distinction between one type of screen sleep and simply bright off; it is just that when sleeping, it seems to commanded by a higher authority and stays asleep until generally well understood things happen, like a lid is opened, or a spacebar on a USB keyboard is pressed, or USB mouse is moved, the previous bright setting being remembered.

You can put the display to sleep with Control-Shift-Eject.   This will turn off the backlight and should turn on the light at the front to the laptop.

Does not work on a second connected screen. What I do when leaving the Mac is Command Control Eject to put the whole thing to bed till I come back and spacebar. My connected screen does not always come immediately back to show the desktop for reasons that I have been curious about, there is a general fuzz on the screen for a while, up to a minute or so sometimes. I suspect there is interference with the energy settings for the monitor itself, a third party job. If I am in a hurry, I cycle the monitor's source to HDMI, VGA and back to DVI, that always kicks it into action!

Need Help? Have a Question?

Looking for more help, comments, and answers?

Ask your questions on Ask Different. Ask Different is a community of Apple users ready to help.