Quick. What does Energy Saver in your Mac’s System Preferences do? That’s the preference setting to put your Mac to sleep, put the display to sleep, put the hard disk drive to sleep, and a few more options.
Energy Saver is the place to go to schedule when your Mac starts up and shuts down each day. What would make Energy Saver better? A little app called Lights Out.
It doesn’t do much because it’s more of a companion app to Energy Saver, but what it does is highly useful (if not a little overpriced).
First, Lights Out gives you options for hot corners on the Mac’s screen. Move the mouse pointer to a hot corner to put the Mac to sleep (or keep it awake). Some apps cause Energy Saver to forget to put the Mac to sleep and Lights Out overrides those controls.
Even if Energy Saver won’t put the Mac to sleep, Lights Out will.
You can even setup sleep options for specific apps, and easily turn sleeping on or off with a click from the Dock.
Lights Out isn’t a Preference Pane so it’s easily controlled right from the Dock. Simply click, hold, and select options. It doesn’t change anything on the Mac’s configuration, but it controls aspects of Energy Saver we wished we could control.
There’s even a built-in secondary idle timer that can put your Mac to sleep automatically even when Energy Saver forgets to.
There’s not much to Lights Out except the price tag. It’s try-before-you-buy and the functions are useful, intuitive, and probably should be built-in to Mac OS X anyway. But in the age of 99-cent and $1.99 apps on the Mac App Store, Lights Out seems a little lonely with a three digit price.