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I sometimes use my MacBook Pro with all the lights off in the room. I turn the screen brightness down to its lowest setting (and turn off the automatic brightness adjustment), but it’s still a bit too bright when all the other lights are off.

Is there a hidden setting to get the screen brightness down any further?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Grab Shady and rejoice.

EDIT: As its documentation outlines, Shady 'fakes' a lower brightness setting by changing colours and overlaying a (software) grey filter on the display. As far as I know, there is no way to turn down the amount of light coming from the screen's LEDs, which I assume is a physical limitation of the hardware.

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Works great though. – Paul D. Waite Sep 19 '13 at 9:17

Have you tried f.lux? It does more than just brightness. I've found the way it adjusts the colors to be wonderful for low-light work at night.

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f.lux is really great for working without daylight, but it actually doesn't help you reduce the brightness of the screen. – Jo Liss Jul 28 '12 at 0:23

In photography, reducing amount of light is a standard problem. A standard solution is to use a neutral gray filter. Photographic gray filter of this size would cost thousands of $, and clearly would be an overkill (spectrographic superbness is not required here).

Cheaper solution (I think): - polarizing foil should eat half the light. Two pieces of a polarizing foil allow to adjust the light transmittance, by adjusting the angle between polarising axes. After you are sure how much light is enough you can cut it so that it was more usable. - sunglasses

Some thinking is required to make the foil solution that convenient (air bubbles, light leakage around the screen etc.).

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That’s a mighty fine idea. A wise man once said that anyone who’s serious about software needs to be serious about hardware. (Or something along those lines.) – Paul D. Waite Mar 10 '14 at 17:43

I don't know of any hidden settings, but I've been using ScreenShade forever (compatible with Snow Leopard).

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Nocturne, it's awesome, any Mac can do it! watch on yt

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