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Revision as of 19:51, 15 December 2006 by Bauerfichtner (Talk | contribs) (Applications)

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The ThinkLight is a little LED light integrated into the top edge of the display frame in the A, R, T, X, Z and i Series ThinkPad models. It illuminates the ThinkPad's keyboard so that one can type in the dark without using an external light source. The ThinkLight can be controlled via the FnPageUp key combination or via ACPI on some of the newer models. The LED is amber on some models (e.g. X30s, X40s), and white on others (e.g. T40s). Note that the ThinkLight is not available on the G series ThinkPads, nor on the X41 Tablet.

Linux Support

Controlling the ThinkLight with the keyboard works on all systems since it relies on the BIOS exclusively. Just press FnPageUp to toggle its state between on and off.

Software Control via ibm-acpi

Support for controlling the light with ACPI is provided by ibm-acpi. After installing it, a simple

# echo on > /proc/acpi/ibm/light

switches it on and a

# echo off > /proc/acpi/ibm/light

switches it off again.

This allows one to control the light in scripts. Unfortunately, no known ThinkPad comes with a light sensor (yet). ;)


  • gaim-thinklight: If you are using GAIM, the gaim-thinklight plugin will enable you to use the ThinkLight as an indicator for new messages. This depends on ibm-acpi.
  • gaim-lighthink: gaim-lightthink is an alternative to gaim-thinklight.
  • rocklight: rocklight is a xmms visualization plugin that makes the ThinkLight flash to the beat of your music. The package also includes a standalone stroboscope mode program.
  • thinkblinkd:[1] Thinkblinkd is a python daemon to control the thinklight (and possibly other lights on your Thinkpad) it comes with the daemon and a control script.
  • The script for theft alarm using HDAPS optionally flashes the ThinkLight when the alarm is armed (disabled by default, to enable set $use_light=1).
  • kopete-thinklight:[2] This plugin for kopete will enable the usage of the thinklight as notifiaction for new messages.

Models featuring this Technology