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Keep the colors vivid

DDC Demo placeholder Demo showing DDC dimming being more vivid that software dimming Dimmed version demo of DDC brightness

Control the real brightness of any monitor, even on Apple Silicon.

Unlike other software that only simulate a brightness change by adding a black overlay over your screen, Lunar uses DDC (Display Data Channel) to send commands like set brightness to 30% or switch input to HDMI 2 directly to the monitor.

This keeps the colour rendering closer to reality, consumes less power and minimizes the backlight bleeding effect.

Apple Native

Free Feature

Smooth transitions for Apple displays

Apple vendored displays get special treatment as Lunar uses an implementation hidden inside macOS Display Services to control them natively. The list of displays include:

Control everything from the keyboard

Manual Mode

Free Feature

The same familiar keys can now control your external monitors.

  • Brightness Keys: adjust brightness for all displays at once
  • Volume Keys: adjust the volume of the active monitor
  • Input Hotkeys: set hotkeys to switch to other HDMI, DisplayPort or USB-C ports

The brightness keys can also adjust only the monitor with the cursor on it.

Brightness and volume keys Screenshot showing Lunar's input hotkeys

Keep all your displays in sync

Demo showing syncing MacBook brightness to the external monitor Dimmed version of the Sync Mode demo

Sync Mode

Pro Feature

Sync Mode ports the MacBook's adaptive brightness feature to all your external monitors.

Whenever macOS adapts your MacBook display using the built-in Ambient Light Sensor, Lunar will sync that adjustment to all your monitors.

Syncing also works with adjustments made by TouchBar or brightness keys.

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Break past brightness limits

XDR Brightness

Unlock the full brightness of your XDR display

The 2021 MacBook Pro and the Pro Display XDR feature an incredibly bright panel (1600 nits!), but which is locked by macOS to a third of its potential (500 nits...).

Lunar can remove the brightness lock and allow you to increase the brightness past that limit.

You can finally go outside and work on your laptop in the bright sunlight without squinting! You probably don't do this often, but it's nice to have, right?

Preview this section in Safari, on a MacBook Pro 2021 or an HDR monitor like Pro Display XDR to see the XDR effect.

This section might look desaturated if viewed with HDR disabled.

XDR Brightness placeholder Demo showing a MacBook Pro 2021 with brightness at 1600 nits A white window on the MacBook Pro screen being at much higher brightness
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Sub-zero dimming placeholder Demo showing MacBook brightness going below 0% MacBook screen brightness at 5% MacBook screen brightness at 72% below 0 MacBook screen brightness at 17% below 0

Sub-zero Dimming

Dim the brightness below the screen limit

This is for the night owls who stay up too late, clacking on their laptop keyboards way after midnight.

Even at 0%, most monitors are not dark enough for your late-night coding sessions or for writing that last chapter of your book while the sunrise is drawing nearer.

With Lunar, when you reach 0%, you can keep pressing the Brightness Down key to go even lower.

React to the ambient light around you

Lunar sensor hardware showing an ESP32 and a generic ambient light sensor

Sensor Mode

Pro Feature

Sensor Mode brings adaptive brightness for any Mac device.

If you use a Mac Mini, a MacBook with the lid closed, or even a Hackintosh, Lunar can automatically adapt your monitors' brightness and contrast based on readings from an external ambient light sensor.

The sensor is wireless, can be powered by USB or Lithium-ion battery and can even be used for multiple computers as long as they're in the same network as the sensor.

Do it yourself

BlackOut distracting screens

Lunar screenshot showing Auto Blackout enabled

Auto BlackOut

Pro Feature

Turn off the MacBook display when a monitor is connected.

Activate Auto BlackOut and let Lunar turn off your MacBook display automatically when an external monitor is connected.

When the monitor is disconnected, the MacBook display will come back on.

There are some nice advantages to having the MacBook display off with the lid open:

  • Sensor Mode: Lunar can use the built-in light sensor to adapt the monitor brightness automatically (Apple Silicon only)
  • TrackPad, Keyboard, TouchID, webcam, speakers, microphone are still available
  • Less anxiety about CPU heat melting your display
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Demo showing how you can turn off individual displays BlackOut active with the MacBook display being turned off and the external monitor having all the windows of the built-in display BlackOut active with the external monitor being turned off and the MacBook display having all the windows of the external monitor

BlackOut

Pro Feature

Focus on the real work by disabling screens that you don't need.

BlackOut enables you to selectively turn off displays using a single hotkey.

Use cases:

  • Turn off the MacBook display without closing the lid
  • Turn off external monitors while keeping the USB and charging capabilities
  • BlackOut all displays except one so you can focus on it

Move the cursor on the screen you want to disable and press Control+Command+6 to activate BlackOut.

Lunar will set the active monitor's brightness and contrast to 0 and mirror the other still visible screen to the disabled one so that you have all your windows visible.

Mirroring can be skipped by holding the Shift key while activating BlackOut

Press the hotkey again to deactivate BlackOut and return to the previous brightness.


FaceLight for your FaceTime

or Zoom, Hangouts, whatever
Demo showing how to use the external monitor as a soft light panel while in a video call FaceLight being turned on

FaceLight

Pro Feature

Use your monitor as a really bright LED panel when you're having video calls in your cozy dark room.

If having your face well lit in a video call is more important than screen space, Lunar can help you with a single hotkey.

Press Control+Command+5 or use the Lunar menu to activate FaceLight and Lunar will increase the active monitor's brightness and contrast to maximum and place a warm-white overlay on top of your screen.

Press the hotkey again to deactivate FaceLight and return to the previous brightness.

Adapts to your light sensitivity

Smart Curve

Pro Feature

Forget about configuring obscure settings

Just set the monitor brightness to what you need and Lunar will learn from that.

All adaptive modes (Sync, Sensor, Location) work on top of a self-learning algorithm.

When the monitor brightness is not what you would expect it to be, change it to your preferred value, and Lunar will adjust the monitor luminance curve to better match your own perception of light.

Lunar

vs
MonitorControl and DisplayBuddy
With an emphasis on Lunar being the best, of course
FeatureLunarMonitor​ControlDisplay​Buddy
DDC support

Native brightness control for all modern monitors

Brightness and volume keys support

Control monitors using the same keys used by macOS

Fallback when DDC fails

Software dimming using Gamma or Dark Overlay

Native macOS feel

OSD, native UI, OS integration

Dim brightness below zero

Use software dimming to go below the screen 0% brightness limit

Input switching

Switch to HDMI/DisplayPort/USB-C port from the app

Sync brightness between displays

Allows macOS adaptive brightness on external monitors

Built-in light sensor support

Monitors adapt to ambient light even when the MacBook display is off

Turn off the MacBook display

Automatically turn on/off the MacBook display when a monitor is connected

XDR brightness

Go over the 500nits limit of the 2021 MacBook Pro

External light sensor support
Scheduled brightness presets
DDC support for DisplayLink
Command-line integration
Color calibration controls
Automatic App-based Presets
Use monitor as a light-panel in meetings
Sunrise/sunset based adaptive brightness
Open source code
Pricing

Free

for manual adjustments

$23

for adaptive brightness

$0$9

Menubar interface

Comparison between the menu bar window of Lunar, MonitorControl and DisplayBuddy

Preferences interface

Comparison between the preferences window of Lunar, MonitorControl and DisplayBuddy Moon
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Put your monitors on a schedule

Clock Mode

Pro Feature

In Clock Mode, Lunar will automatically adapt your monitors based on a pre-defined schedule.

If you're working in a shared office and the sun shines from 9 to 5 no matter the season, Clock Mode is the thing for you.

There are 5 available schedules that can be set to any of the following schedule types:

  • Time: set the configured brightness and contrast at a specific time of day
  • Sunrise: set the configured brightness and contrast at sunrise
  • Noon: set the configured brightness and contrast when the sun is at its highest point in the sky
  • Sunset: set the configured brightness and contrast at sunset

For sunrise, sunset and noon there's a configurable offset, so you can do things like:

  • set brightness to 70%, 30 minutes before sunrise
  • set brightness to 30%, 1 hour and 30 minutes after sunset

Transitions

Clock Mode supports the following transitions:

  • None: apply the brightness and contrast instantly on the defined time
  • 30 minutes: start transitioning slowly to the defined brightness and contrast 30 minutes before the schedule time
  • Full: transition brightness and contrast slowly from previous schedule until the next schedule
Screenshot of the Lunar window showing Clock Mode Screenshot of the Lunar window showing the Schedule Transition setting

Let the sun guide the brightness

Location Mode

Pro Feature

In Location Mode, Lunar will automatically adapt your monitors based on the sun position in the sky.

Location Mode shines in environments with lots of natural light, where the ambient light in the room correlates with the sun elevation.

If you're using a Mac Mini or a MacBook with the lid closed, Location Mode can be a good alternative because Sync Mode is not available without a built-in Ambient Light sensor.

If you still need the monitors to adapt to the light around you, Sensor Mode would be a better choice.

Fallback when DDC fails

DDC server installer placeholder Screenshot showing the red Gamma Control tag under a monitor name Screenshot showing the blue Network Control tag under a monitor name Screenshot of the DDC server installer screen

Lunar can work around the lack of DDC support of some devices using two separate and very different methods.

Gamma Tables

Free Feature

The works out of the box method.

Lunar can approximate a decrease in brightness by changing the software gamma tables to make the colors look darker.

This doesn't change the hardware brightness as DDC does, so you have to manually set the monitor's brightness and contrast (using the monitor physical buttons) to the highest possible values that look good for your monitor.

This also means that monitor volume and input can't be controlled.

Network Control

The why do I have to do this? method...

If your monitor simply refuses to accept commands from your Mac and you want your DDC controls back, Lunar can use a Raspberry Pi with network access for this.

The way this works is by having the Pi connected to a separate HDMI port of your monitor and Lunar relaying the DDC commands through a custom server running on the Pi.

Minimum requirements

Works with Apple Silicon

M1 logo

Lunar can use DDC to control monitors on all M1 Macs! (except the HDMI port of the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro)

Hardware Controls

Lunar can use the M1 GPU to communicate with monitors through the I²C protocol and do the following:

  • Change the hardware brightness and contrast
    • these are the same values that you can change through the monitor buttons
  • Adjust the volume
  • Switch the input
  • Power off the monitor

Command-Line Integration

Menu bar icon of Lunar Install CLI Integration menu item

Lunar CLI

Free Feature

Control and automate your monitors from the command-line.

/Applications/Lunar.app/Contents/MacOS/Lunar install-cli
  • lunar get and lunar set: Quickly set/get monitor values if you have a single external monitor
  • lunar displays: Control and query each display separately
  • lunar lux: Check the ambient light around you
    • only on M1 Macbooks and iMacs
  • lunar builtin: Query the built-in display of the Macbook
  • lunar ddc: Send arbitrary DDC commands
  • lunar gamma: Control the Gamma tables per monitor
  • lunar lid: Check if the lid of the Macbook is open or closed
  • lunar ddcctl: Use ddcctl directly
    • only on Intel Macs
  • lunar hotkeys: See all the hotkeys of Lunar

Lunar Pro

More details about each Pro feature here