Mac Keeping You Up at Night?

Mac Keeping You Up at Night?

I have a 20-inch iMac in my bedroom, and I like to leave it running overnight while it’s downloading or processing files. The problem is that the screen is too bright while I’m sleeping, so I set the display to sleep after 1 minute of inactivity. But then when I’m working on my iMac during the day, the display sleeps too quickly. I found a screensaver that turns the screen black, but since the display is still active while the screensaver is running, it’s still generating too much light when I’m trying to sleep. What can I do?


May we suggest a sleep mask to block out any extra light? (Just kidding.) In Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard), you can now set a hot corner of your screen to automatically put your display to sleep. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to Leopard, a screensaver called BlackenedPixels from not only turns all the pixels on your screen black, but also immediately puts your display to sleep whenever it kicks in. So simply set one of the corners of your screen to trigger this screensaver (in System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver), and whenever you need the display to instantly sleep, just move your mouse to the appropriate hot corner and voilà - a truly dark screen! We couldn’t find a direct download link on B-l-a-c-k-o-p’s website anymore, so try downloading this directly through or, which, as of press time, still have the correct download links.


In Leopard, you can easily set a hot corner to sleep your display within the Expose & Spaces pane of System Preferences.




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Hi, the download page for the BlackenedPixels Screensaver can be found at



I am in a similar situation and I do the opposite - I have my screen set to turn off after one minute of inactivity, but I use caffeine ( to keep my mac screen on while I'm actually using it. I have caffeine set to open on startup to make things easier, too.

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