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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Move the cursor on the screen you want to disable and press
Control+Command+6 to activate BlackOut.
Press the hotkey again to deactivate BlackOut and return to the previous brightness.
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.
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.
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
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
Go over the 500nits limit of the 2021 MacBook Pro
|External light sensor support|
|Scheduled brightness presets|
|DDC support for DisplayLink|
|DDC on the HDMI port of M1 Macs|
|Color calibration controls|
|Automatic App-based Presets|
|Custom Presets with Hotkey|
|Use monitor as a light-panel in meetings|
|Sunrise/sunset based adaptive brightness|
|Open source code|
for manual adjustments
for adaptive brightness (5 Macs)
for 2 Macs
for 5 Macs
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:
For sunrise, sunset and noon there's a configurable offset, so you can do things like:
Clock Mode supports the following transitions:
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.
The M1 and M2 MacBooks can work with more than one monitor with the help of a DisplayLink adapter and a Raspberry Pi. (not needed for M1 Pro/Max)
Even though the M1/M2 MacBook has two Thunderbolt ports, only one of those can be connected to a monitor.
To work around this limitation, DisplayLink adapters can collect video data from the Mac through a simple USB connection and then send it to multiple monitors.
These are cheaper but they need a separate USB-C hub or adapter as they only have an USB-A connector.
These are more expensive but with a single USB-C connection you get multi-monitor support, a ton of USB ports, card readers, ethernet and 65W-100W charging.
After connecting a DisplayLink adapter to your MacBook, install the required software
and your monitors should appear in
System Preferences ->
Displays and in Lunar.
The DisplayLink software on macOS doesn't support passing through DDC or Gamma changes to the monitors, so we have to get inventive.
Lunar can control DisplayLink monitors with the help of a network connected Raspberry Pi.
The way Lunar does this is by having a Pi board connected to a separate HDMI port of your monitor and Lunar relaying the DDC commands through a custom server running on the Pi.
Setting up the Pi is as simple as clicking on Install DDC Server on Raspberry Pi and waiting for Lunar to install and configure the server.
Lunar can work around the lack of DDC support of some devices using two separate and very different methods.
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.
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.
Lunar can use DDC to control monitors on all Apple Silicon Macs!
Lunar can use the Apple Silicon GPU to communicate with monitors through the I²C protocol and do the following:
Make Lunar do things your way using macOS Shortcuts
Create your own complex presets, arrange monitors in organized layouts, and automate every aspect of your monitors.
Shortcuts can even be used to fix macOS issues like swapped screen positions and rotations.
Designing with reference modes like
P3-D65 also gets easier as Shortcuts can switch to any mode and add hotkeys to the actions.
Check out the Shortcuts page to find some useful pre-made shortcuts that you can add with a click.
Control and automate your monitors from the command-line.
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
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
lunar hotkeys: See all the hotkeys of Lunar
|Feature||Free version||Lunar Pro|
|Fallback when DDC fails|
|Brightness keys support|
|Volume keys support|
|Manual Mode||100 adjustments per day||Unlimited adjustments|
|Shortcuts||100 action calls per day||Unlimited actions|