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Really dim down an external display Other Hardware
I recently got a Dell 20" LCD to act as an external monitor for my MacBook through its Mini DVI-to-DVI connector. When working at night with only a small lamp for illumination, it was impossible to set the brightness low enough so that I wouldn't have to squint at the screen.

Inverting colors using Control-Option-Command-8 made it just slightly more comfortable, but I didn't fancy the weird colors. Calibrating the screen to a lower gamma didn't do much either. In the end, I found these two freeware utilities: Both act by applying a color filter to make the screen look darker. I like Nocturne because it activates/deactivates darkening with a single click. I assigned a trigger to Nocturne in Quicksilver, and now I can get a dimmed screen with just a keypress ... and no more bloodshot eyes!
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Really dim down an external display
Authored by: kspen on Jun 13, '08 08:12:12AM
My 24" Alu iMac was too bright so I use freeware Shades

I have a 2 monitor set up, and it allows me to control each one independently.

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Really dim down an external display
Authored by: pixelbart on Jun 13, '08 08:52:01AM

I have a (wayy too bright) Samsung SyncMaster 223BW. These tools are great, although there isn't one with all the features I need...

Brightness Control: does strange things with my color profiles/gamma/whatever

Nocturne: I love the B&W mode, less colors, less to get extracted by, but the only problem is that the Brightness Control doesn't seem to work with my SyncMaster, although it is the primary display! But otoh, it's connected to the Mini-DVI screen, so it depends on your definition of 'primary display'....

Shades: great, but I'm missing the B&W option of Nocturne :P

I'm running Nocturne + Shades now, but it's not a perfect solution :P

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Really dim down an external display
Authored by: cboyce on Jun 13, '08 09:52:56AM
ScreenShade is also nice. Also free.

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Really dim down an external display
Authored by: DanFrakes on Jun 14, '08 12:31:54AM
We've covered both of these, as well as a couple others, over on Macworld. My favorite is currently DarkAdapted, although it's not free:

Dan Frakes / Senior Editor, Macworld

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darkadapter has a free and pro version
Authored by: bcometa on Jun 15, '08 12:08:29PM
fyi... from their website:

"DarkAdapted is free of charge (but remains copyrighted by Stephen E. Hutson)."

"Macintosh users can upgrade to DarkAdapted Pro, enabling advanced features such as a system-wide menu, brightness hotkeys, independent display control, event scheduling, scroll wheel support, and much more"


i just downloaded and installed the free version of darkadapted and must say it's pretty cool! btw... one feature of the pro version is hiding the icon from the dock, which can also be achieved using dock dodger (donationware).


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Really dim down an external display
Authored by: shoobe01 on Jun 16, '08 05:48:41AM

I also have been using screenshade for a while now. Could hardly work better, not to mention the free bit.

I routinely use the computer in almost total darkness, like in a tent in the wilderness at night, so any spurious light is quite annoying. Now if I could just dim the light on the USB720 modem without resorting to taping over it.

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