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Question about the light setting on the Paperwhite.

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Showing 1-25 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2012 4:13:52 AM PST
A. Sisk says:
This is likely a silly question, but it's been driving me nuts since I got my Kindle Paperwhite.

Why is it suggesting to use the light on a HIGH setting in a brightly lit room, and a low setting in dark rooms? Shouldn't the wording be reversed?

I know that I can adjust the light for my personal circumstance, but the wording is driving me crazy -- I don't know if I'm missing something, or it's just 'wrong'.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 4:39:25 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
If the light was on the lowest setting during the day you would not even notice it. At night you don't as much light to see the screen because the room is dark. No need to let this drive you crazy, just adjust it to what works for you.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 5:03:44 AM PST
A. Sisk says:
Hyperbole on my part of it driving me crazy, but I keep playing with the light (particularly in a dark room) and, sorry, that's when I need the light.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 5:15:01 AM PST
Chance says:
There's nothing to say you *have* to follow the recommended settings. Whatever is most comfortable for you is what you should do.

I personally keep my Paperwhite set to 3 in a dark room, as I don't need that much illumination. Anything brighter than that and my eyes start protesting. During the day I turn the light up, as it makes the page look crisper and more defined in a bright room. But everyone is different.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 5:19:16 AM PST
A. Sisk says:
I realize that I don't have to follow the recommendation, it just seems to defy logic -- to me. I was just trying to figure out what I was overlooking so that it seemed to make more sense. But I guess this just falls under different strokes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 6:23:43 PM PST
This advice assumes that yor eyes will grow accustomed to the dark and the brighter settings would be painful. That's why devices with light sensors and auto brightness dim when it gets dark.

When I first start reading in a dark room, I can handle a Paperwhite brightness setting around 5. As My eyes get used to the dark, I have to turn brightness down to 1-2 to keep it from blinding me.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 8:34:55 PM PST
larrymac says:
Well said Donald and Jazzy,

While it may seem confusing at first, after actually trying the light out under different reading conditioins, the recommendations make perfect, logical sense.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 8:59:06 PM PST
B. Marks says:
I use my Kindle mostly in a reasonably well lit room although when I'm sitting in my easy chair there's not quite enough light unless I turn on the lamp. Since I got the PW I just haven't needed the lamp.

I keep the PW's light between about 4 and 8 most of the time. I see no reason to have it brighter. I haven't seen any Amazon recomendation to the contray but if I did I'd just ignore that. I know what works for me.

I do turn it up some if I'm in a dark area but I don't really enjoy reading that way. Instead of looking like a white background it looks like a glowing background when the light is too high and I find that a bit disconcerting. It's okay for a few minutes but that's all.

That's not a problem for me. I don't care about reading in the dark. I just want to be able to see it easily in normal light and not have to worry about being close to a lamp.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 4:14:27 PM PST
Chip W says:
Although it sounds backwards, it actually makes sense. Think of a projector in a conference room. When does the image on the screen look brightest? When the room lights are on or when they are off? Obviously, the image looks brightest and clearest when the room is dark. But the actual brightness of the image doesn't change - it is just competing with less ambient light which makes it look brighter.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:18:00 PM PST
John D. says:
I also follow the recommendations and they make sense to me. In a bright room, the light is used to increase contrast, making the gray look white. It takes a pretty high setting to make much difference, though.

In a dark room, that very high setting is painfully bright for me. So I turn it down, and in a dark room usually end up reading at a setting between 8 and 12. Once my eyes adjust, I find that quite comfortable and much less glaring than a higher setting.

Posted on Dec 4, 2012 2:11:47 PM PST
I had the same original question. So thank you for all these great explanations. Now it all makes sense....especially the projector analogy. :) Still, like you all also said, it just depends on the needs of everyone's individual eyes. For example, I have trouble seeing the text in the dark, at lower settings, so I just turn it up to where it feels most comfortable.

Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 4:53:36 PM PST
apc in sf says:
Sisk, Thank you very much! I have been obsessing on the same question/issue sice my paperwhite arrived 4 days ago and after reading the manual. Like you, I certainly understood that I could set it however I felt comfortable, but the suggestion just seemed counter-intuitive. I'll sleep better tonight knowing I'm not alone.

Alan C

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 10:03:59 AM PST
Andrew says:
The projector analogy given above certainly makes sense but I am another one of those readers that does the complete opposite ie., I use a low setting in a brightly lit room & I find I have to turn the light setting up higher in a dimly lit room. Through trial & error this is what I have found to be most comfortable, despite what the Amazom PW officially recommends.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 10:15:03 AM PST
Dragi Raos says:
Setting the screen illumintion high in good ambient light will simply make the screen look a bit whiter. My PW is at more or less constant level, a bit higher than halfway, except in darkness when I set it a bit lower.

Posted on May 6, 2013 1:04:53 PM PDT
B. Bridgeman says:
I basically turn the light all the way down when reading in bright ambient light. It makes it look more like real paper. In dimmer light I do turn it up usually below 8. In a dark room, usually have it between 2-4. I haven't really found a situation where being in the upper light settings is even remotely necessary. By the way, that recommendation was also mystifying to both myself and my wife.

Posted on May 6, 2013 1:29:15 PM PDT
Paxton says:
I keep mine at 11 all the time, day or night. Seems to always have a readable screen that's comfortable to look at.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2013 1:35:27 PM PDT
Yeah, all the way up is assaultingly bright; you could walk the halls with it. I keep mine at about 10, unless in a pretty dim/dark room, when I'll pull it down to maybe 4.

Posted on Oct 19, 2013 4:24:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 19, 2013 4:25:19 PM PDT
DougStamper says:
I concur with you A. Sisk. I believe that the makers theory is that the paperwhite will always look like you're reading a paper book in both scenarios.

In a bright room on a low setting you can see a glare from artificial light. Light wont reflect off of your paperwhite's screen when your screen's light setting is just as bright as the light in the room.

In a dimly lit room, a low setting still helps it maintain a paper book looking feel. Honestly to me I don't really care all that much about the feel of reading an actual book. I feel like I'm the only one in this thread who always uses the screens brightness at 15 and above all the time.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2013 5:14:15 PM PDT
apc in sf says:
I always maintain it at 16 or higher. regardless of the ambient light.

I agree totally re "feel of reading an actual book". and I'm 75 years old. The Kindle experience since i bought my first one when it first came out has always been a revelation. The Paperwhite solved my only major annoyance - no way to read in very dim or dark rooms without one of ethos awkward clip-on lights. Backlighting was the answer and I jumped on it.

Posted on Oct 19, 2013 5:30:38 PM PDT
The Paperwhite is not backlit. It is front-lit. Big difference. Back lighting is like a computer screen.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2013 6:37:19 PM PDT
Susan is correct, despite the fact she got downvoted - the PW is not backlit. Built-in lighting has been the solution for you, but not backlighting.

Posted on Oct 20, 2013 7:21:53 AM PDT
DougStamper says:
I think it's a bit digressive to singularly point out front lighting opposed to back lighting as interesting as the difference might be.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2013 8:26:42 AM PDT
Miss Carol says:
The problem is that people read these forums that don't actually know the difference and then go around with the wrong ideas backed up because they read them here. Backlighting and frontlighting have very different meanings and everyone was just trying to make sure that the correct information was out there.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2013 9:10:32 AM PDT
apc in sf says:
Carol, as the perpetrator of the egregious error that seems to have prompted this discussion, I suggest that you and the others who seem to think this is some kind of momentous issue maintain a higher degree of perspective.

Yes, I was obviously in error and failed to comprehend the difference between front and backlighting on the Kindle Paperwhite. My simple point was and remains that I can read my books in total darkness, but could not with my original kindle -- a wonderful improvement, and frankly care only about the positive result and not the nuances of the technology that makes it happen for me. I swipe and the book appears. I recharge the battery and the miracle continues!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2013 12:36:47 PM PDT
Miss Carol says:
I'm not one of the ones that corrected you, btw. I was just explaining why the correction was there in the first place. I read your statement and let it go because I understood the point you were trying to make. Perhaps you need a higher degree of perspective as well.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  29
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Nov 10, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 1, 2015

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