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Model A1989, EMC 3358. A refresh of the existing design, with updated processor options and a change to the keyboard materials. Available in Silver and Space Gray. Released in May 2019.

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Intermittent stage lights effect on MacBook Pro 2019

Hi everyone

I've been the happy owner of a 13" MacBook Pro TouchBar 2019 since July 2019. Everything was working great, until a few weeks ago, my screen started randomly showing the infamous "stage lights effect". (see picture here)


Note that the computer was never tampered with, never saw any liquid, I've been taking great care of it over the years.

However, the problem seems to be software to some extent because running pmset displaysleepnow, then re-unlocking it gives me a bright screen for a few minutes... Then it goes back to stage lights.

I haven't been able to determine what makes the problem appear, but it usually never takes more than 10 minutes to appear once I start using the computer.

Is that a known issue? I know the Apple doesn't do repair programmes for MacBook Pro 2019 for the flexgate issue. And as far as I know, the programme for the keyboard, which may have helped, has been discontinued too.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

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I do see a bit of damage in the bottom left corner of the display. This thin glass chin plate covers the cables between the display and logic board. I’m suspecting the backlight cable got damaged.

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Thanks for the quick answer! However, the thing you're seeing is just my screen not being super clean. I just checked and wiped it with a dry cloth and the stain you're seeing went away. I agree it did kind of look like damage, though.


@walski - Then is there any dents along the back edge or bottom plate along the hinge area. I haven’t seen this series with the defective backlight cable we saw in the 2016/17 models. Apple lengthened the cable to resolve that issue.

At this point it’s safe to say the issue is within the display assembly’s backlight cable which would require a new assembly ($$$) I would go to an Apple Store to see if they we wave the labor fees at least, but press for a warranty exception.

But before you go… clean the system of any dirt as if it was new! And make sure to use a good case.

Remember presentation effects how people gage you and your system. Someone that shows the TLC will often get served better than a disheveled person and filthy system!


@Dan thanks for your answer! To be honest, my computer (apart from the slightly dirty aspect) is in pristine condition. I always keep it in a relatively thick neoprene case when I move it, and I don't move it much - most of the time it's either on my desk or cleanly put away on my shelf, so I really don't believe anything bad ever happened to it.

What you say about what is needed makes me kinda sad, though I must say I was expecting it... I'll see what they say. Of course I'll give it a good cleanup before I go!


absolutely irrelevant answer, backlight cable is in center and it is not physically possible to damage it that way. LED stripe is also located behind the screen.


@inwerp - So you are very correct the exit point of the cables is in the middle! But… where does the connection go from there? The backlight LED strip sits along the bottom to the very edge of the display. Basically to the area on the chin plate I pointed to as being damaged!

Have you taken this series display apart to even understand how it’s constructed? I have


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I have 2019 16inch MacBook Pro that I purchased in Feb 2021 - and I just started having this same issue: stage light effect. It's not all the time, but usually once it starts it won't stop. If I place my Mac in sleep and then wake it up again sometimes that temporarily fixes the issue. Not sure if I should try to trade it in while I can get 605 for it still... or if apple will fix this? Anyone have any luck?

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For the record, I did bring it at the Apple Store where they suggested I trade it in (for a meagre €400), because "paying €1200 to repair a 2019 MacBook Pro isn't worth it" – but that was of course assuming I was to buy a new €2000 MacBook Pro.

This is so bad, and on so many levels...


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