06-16-2010 08:36 AM
My W500 is in use for almost a year now and sometimes I think it's wearing dimmer already. I know my previous ThinkPads evenually all did - a limitation of this technology.
I'm interested in ensuring the brightness of my W500 LCD lasts for a number of years. Would running, say at a slightly reduced brighness level retain the illumination characterists for a longer period, or will the LCD backlight wear out just because it is powered?
Solved! Go to Solution.
06-16-2010 02:49 PM - edited 06-16-2010 03:03 PM
MacGyverRick, my experience with a variety of fluorescent-backlit displays over the years is that dimming the display WILL help reduce the rate of aging of the backlight. Whatever you do, NEVER RUN SCREENSAVERS ON LCD DISPLAYS! They're worse than useless, because they leave the backlight on at normal brightness all the time. The fastest way to age and dim your fluorescent backlight is to leave your laptop turned on all the time, running a screensaver when you're not using the machine. That's DEATH to a fluroescent backlight.
But what I do is run the display at whatever brightness is best visually (which is about 85-90% for my W700). Then when I'm not going to be using the display for a few minutes, I dim it to the minimum. Or you can switch off the backlight altogether if you wish. To dim the display, you can use the brightness keys (Fn+Home, Fn+End) or open the Windows Mobility Center and drag the Display Brightness slider (Start->All Programs->Accessories->Windows Mobility Center, and put its icon in your taskbar for quick access). I suppose you could also switch to the external display to turn off the laptop's backlight altogether (set this up using Fn+F7).
Anyway, for example, I have a 12 year old heavily used Dell laptop whose display I originally ran at full brightness all the time, whose backlight dimmed substantially after one year. I then had the display replaced due to damage caused by a faulty hinge, realized how much dimming had occurred over that year, and then began switching off the backlight whenever it wasn't needed. That display is still very bright today.
Likewise, I read a report from one W700 user who said he measured his display brightness after about a year, and that it had lost a third of it's brightness, wherease an LED-backlit display he had over that same period instead only lost 4% of itsbrightness. I ran my W700's display at 85-90% brightness when I first got it, because at 100% it was so bright that my eyes hurt. A year and a half later, I always run it at 90% brightness, above which it's still too bright. So I haven't experienced nearly the dimming he has, and I perform the above ritual of dimming the display to minimum brightness whenever I won't need it for the next few minutes. And in Power Manager, I have the display set to turn itself off after 10 minues of inactivity (Start->All Programs->Thinkvantage->Power Manager, Basic settings, select "Change when the display turns off"). I'm probably on the W700 10-12 hours per day.
Also note that LED backlights age much more slowly than fluorescent backlights.
06-16-2010 06:41 PM
Jimbo, Thanks for saving my ThinkPad from self-destruction. And thank-you for a very interesting and informative read! I'm convinced... and will apply changes to the settings. (Sadly I won't get to enjoy my System47 screensaver as much anymore, but enjoying the ThinkPad is more important.)
06-17-2010 03:17 AM - edited 06-17-2010 03:17 AM
You can also set the option in the Power Manager so that pressing Fn+F3 turns off the LCD. Alternatively, there's an option to turn off the LCD when you right-click the battery gauge on the taskbar.
06-17-2010 12:08 PM
Very nice, Hazart.
So you can right-click on the battery icon in the system tray, select Launch Power Manager, click the Options tab, and under where it says "When I press Fn + F3" select "Power off display." You will then be able to press Fn+F3 to turn off the backlight, after which hitting any key or moving the mouse will turn the backlight back on.
The thing I wasn't able to find was how to add the option to turn off the LCD when you right-click the battery gauge on the taskbar.
06-18-2010 03:57 AM
Jimbo, the option to turn off the LCD by right-clicking the taskbar battery gauge should just be there. I remembered that it's been there for a while, even though I'm using the latest Power Manager v3.25.
06-18-2010 07:13 AM
Hi, My Power Manager version is showing v1.80. I'm on XP...
"Power off display" appears as the first item when I right-click on the Lenovo battery gauge in the taskbar.
06-18-2010 05:05 PM - edited 06-18-2010 05:08 PM
Yep, an update to ThinkPad Power Manager 3.25, and to ThinkPad Power Management Driver 1.60, caused "Power off display" to appear in the menu when right-clicking the battery icon in the system tray.