Increased Brightness on MacbooK Pro or Pro Display XDR? Is this Real? Safe?

Is this real?

Is it safe for the display?

I use my MacBook Pro a lot. When I bought my 2018 MacBook Pro I loved the screen and turn the brightness way up which looked fantastic.

A few months later I noticed that my eyes were acting quite weird, and I realized it was most likely this fantastic super bright screen.

It was suggested to me that the screen brightness and contrast should match the same basic lighting as everything else in your room under normal lighting conditions. For me that meant I turned down the brightness considerably which of course it’s not as much fun to look at but I believe is better for my eyes long term. (not sure however)

I can’t be 100% sure, but I would guess that this is safe. The screens are designed to use in color grading, where big chunks of the screen could be 1600 nits for non-trivial amounts of time—and this only pushes to 1000. Beyond that, Apple’s iPhone displays tend to forcibly lower brightness if the screen reaches a certain temperature; I’d expect MBP screens to do the same. Obviously you can expect your battery to tank while doing this, though.

I’m eager to try this next time I’m working outside.

I would have to speculate that it is not safe on the basis that they’re so nonchalantly advertising double the brightness. When you look at overclocking, or apps that boost your Mac’s volume like Boom3D, or even outside of computing like driving over a posted speed limit, since when is double safe? Safe is tiny increments.

I don’t know if it’s safe for sure, but what I do know:

  • SDR content on the display is from 1-500 nits. XDR goes from 500-1000 with extreme values in the 1600nits range, which is what Apple will use for “specular highlights” — think reflections from the sun on a person’s helmet in a movie
  • HDR content will display with highlights above 500 nits.
  • Televisions typically display SDR from 0-200 nits. Apple displays it from 0-500 nits, which is much expanded. (The original source for SDR is 0-100 nits, so even the 200 nits of your flat panel TV would be considered double the original value.)
  • I would imagine that Vivid just doubles that SDR yet again. Because the XDR display can do 1000 nits sustained, it makes sense that they are doubling brightness
  • Running at 1000 nits sustained will probably heat up your laptop a bit, perhaps increasing fan noise or slowing down other performance. It may also decrease the longevity of the display.
  • For occasional use, I doubt Vivid would make a serious impact on your laptop’s lifespan.
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There was this short thread (3 posts) recently about a similar app:

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