Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a 2011 Macbook Air and I find that the ambient light sensor does a great job of setting an appropriate backlight brightness level. It's particularly good at not blinding you when you open up the machine in a dark room.

However what I noticed is that it tends to set the keyboard backlight in much the same way as the screen backlight, that is to say it turns it up when ambient light levels are high.

The problem with this is that when ambient light levels are high the correct thing to do is to turn the keyboard backlight OFF because the key markings are clearly visible in this situation. I'd be fine with it coming on if I am plugged into AC power (for optimal visibility?) but this is clearly a waste of power otherwise.

Is there a way to set this? An ideal way to control this is a setting that allows me to configure the ambient light level point at which the machine will switch on the keyboard backlight. So as ambient light level darkens we start with zero backlight, then it goes to a high level of backlight at some threshold level, then goes down from there.

share|improve this question

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.