The conversation on this page has been archived and is no longer active.

Increasing idle time when screen dims?

Message #1 - Posted 2012/03/27 - laredotornado

Hi,

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Thanks, - Dave

Message #2 - Posted 2012/03/27 - Michelle Steiner

Previously, laredotornado wrote:

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Two places. System Preferences/Desktop & Screen Saver/Screen Saver, but more probably System Preferences/Energy Saver/Display Sleep slider

Tea Party Patriots is to Patriotism as
People's Democratic Republic is to Democracy.

Message #3 - Posted 2012/03/28 - David Empson

Michelle Steiner wrote:

Previously, laredotornado wrote:

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Two places. System Preferences/Desktop & Screen Saver/Screen Saver, but more probably System Preferences/Energy Saver/Display Sleep slider

For reference, the "screen dimming" effect is caused by the latter of these two settings. The screen will go black at the specified time (without user input), and it will dim at half the specified time.

For example, if you want the screen to be at normal brightness for at least five minutes, you must set Energy Saver > Display Sleep to at least ten minutes.

The screen saver is handled independently, and if you want to see the screen saver, it must be set to activate before energy saver puts the display to sleep.

David Empson
dempson@actrix.gen.nz

Message #4 - Posted 2012/03/28 - SharonF

laredotornado wrote:

Hi,

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Thanks, - Dave

System preferences/ power.
Or just wiggle the mouse now and then to provide input which will keep the screen bright.

Message #5 - Posted 2012/03/29 - Jamie Kahn Genet

SharonF wrote:

laredotornado wrote:

Hi,

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Thanks, - Dave

System preferences/ power.
Or just wiggle the mouse now and then to provide input which will keep the screen bright.

I just turn off screen dimming altogether - it's an annoying setting unless your time to sleep the display is very long.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Message #6 - Posted 2012/03/29 - dorayme

Previously, SharonF wrote:

Or just wiggle the mouse now and then to provide input which will keep the screen bright.

If you train the cat to sit on the desk, it will make the mouse nervous and it will do this automatically.

dorayme

Message #7 - Posted 2012/03/28 - Barry Margolin

Previously, SharonF wrote:

laredotornado wrote:

Hi,

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Thanks, - Dave

System preferences/ power.
Or just wiggle the mouse now and then to provide input which will keep the screen bright.

I use an application called Jiggler that does this automatically (the mouse pointer actually does a little twitch every few minutes).

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

Message #8 - Posted 2012/03/29 - MartinC

laredotornado wrote:

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

The question may be less simple as it appeared for most answers (yet) - it actually is something that bothered me as well.

There is a difference between "dim" and the screen saver. The screen saver is set by the system preference, as has been pointed out here, controlling both the "entertainment show" aspect as well as the "energy saving" option to turn off the screen.

But - there is another thing that I know from a couple of iMacs, and I guess notebooks will do it too. After just a few seconds, the screen is getting "slightly dim" until you move the mouse. This behaviour is entirely unrelated to any of the public settings in the system preferences GUI.

So in the end there seem to be 3 stages:

1) On Macs with built-in screens, after some 30 seconds, the screen gets slightly dimmed.

2) Some time later, controlled by the "Sceen Saver" settings, the screen gets black or shows some kind of lightshow.

3) Even some more time later, controlled by the "Engery Savings" settings, the screen is turned off entirely.

I have never seen or found any option/setting to control 1) - this "just happens".

It is a nightmare if you try calibrate the screen with some device like ColorSpyder or similar - because that will take some 10 minutes to measure colour fields on the screen. Unless you slightly move the mouse all of the time somewhere at the edge of the screen, the screen will dim and spoil the calibration, so you have to go back to start immediately.

Message #9 - Posted 2012/03/29 - David Empson

MartinC wrote:

laredotornado wrote:

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

The question may be less simple as it appeared for most answers (yet) - it actually is something that bothered me as well.

There is a difference between "dim" and the screen saver. The screen saver is set by the system preference, as has been pointed out here, controlling both the "entertainment show" aspect as well as the "energy saving" option to turn off the screen.

But - there is another thing that I know from a couple of iMacs, and I guess notebooks will do it too. After just a few seconds, the screen is getting "slightly dim" until you move the mouse. This behaviour is entirely unrelated to any of the public settings in the system preferences GUI.

That's the automatic adjustment of brightness due to the ambient light sensor. Completely separate from the energy saver automatic dimming at half the time of the "Display sleep" setting.

There is another factor as well: on a laptop, the screen will dim slightly if you remove the power adapter and it is running from battery.

There are settings for both of these in Energy Saver. You can control whether the screen dims before display sleep independently for running on power adapter or battery.

So in the end there seem to be 3 stages:

1) On Macs with built-in screens, after some 30 seconds, the screen gets slightly dimmed.

Ambient light sensor adjusts to surroundings. It may get brighter or dimmer.

2) Some time later, controlled by the "Sceen Saver" settings, the screen gets black or shows some kind of lightshow.

Optionally.

You missed a step in here:

At half the "Display sleep" time in Energy Saver (which might happen before or after the screen saver activates), the screen dims somewhat.

3) Even some more time later, controlled by the "Engery Savings" settings, the screen is turned off entirely.

I have never seen or found any option/setting to control 1) - this "just happens".

"Display" preferences: "Automatically adjust brightness as ambient light changes".

It is a nightmare if you try calibrate the screen with some device like ColorSpyder or similar - because that will take some 10 minutes to measure colour fields on the screen. Unless you slightly move the mouse all of the time somewhere at the edge of the screen, the screen will dim and spoil the calibration, so you have to go back to start immediately.

Turn off all the automatic adjustment settings, in Displays, Desktop & Screen Saver, and Energy Saver.

David Empson
dempson@actrix.gen.nz

Message #10 - Posted 2012/03/29 - Michelle Steiner

Previously, MartinC wrote:

So in the end there seem to be 3 stages:

1) On Macs with built-in screens, after some 30 seconds, the screen gets slightly dimmed.

That is controlled by the "Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep" checkbox.

Tea Party Patriots is to Patriotism as
People's Democratic Republic is to Democracy.

Message #11 - Posted 2012/03/30 - Jamie Kahn Genet

Barry Margolin wrote:

Previously, SharonF wrote:

laredotornado wrote:

Hi,

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Thanks, - Dave

System preferences/ power.
Or just wiggle the mouse now and then to provide input which will keep the screen bright.

I use an application called Jiggler that does this automatically (the mouse pointer actually does a little twitch every few minutes).

Fine if it has a UI allowing turning on and off, but if permanent why not just adjust energy saver and screensaver prefs?

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Message #12 - Posted 2012/03/29 - Barry Margolin

Previously, Jamie Kahn Genet wrote:

Barry Margolin wrote:

Previously, SharonF wrote:

laredotornado wrote:

Hi,

I'm using Mac OSX Lion. How do I adjust the setting whereby if I'm idle, my screen darkens? It seems that if I'm trying to read something and not interacting with the comptuer for a period less than a minute or so, my screen dims.

Thanks, - Dave

System preferences/ power.
Or just wiggle the mouse now and then to provide input which will keep the screen bright.

I use an application called Jiggler that does this automatically (the mouse pointer actually does a little twitch every few minutes).

Fine if it has a UI allowing turning on and off, but if permanent why not just adjust energy saver and screensaver prefs?

But he doesn't want a permanent change, just while he's in this activity where he's not touching the keyboard/mouse.

It has a "Timed Quit" command, so you can tell it to quit automatically after a certain amount of time. So if you're going to be watching something without interacting for a while, you estimate how long this will be and put that into the timed quit.

However, I just noticed that he said "less than a minute or so". This doesn't sound like the screen saver, it sounds like the ambient light sensor that others have mentioned. Or maybe it's the energy saver on a laptop that dims the screen on battery power.

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

Message #13 - Posted 2012/03/29 - MartinC

Michelle Steiner wrote:

That is controlled by the "Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep" checkbox.

Thanks (everyone). I just noticed that I missed one important detail... I don't have any iMac or -book myself at all, and both iMacs that I knew were still running 10.4 at that time. There definitely was no such setting back then, but I assume that it obviously came with 10.5 or later.

When I wrote I just forgot that these machines were running old OS-es...

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.