A user adjustable visual display system and method for a digital thermostat having a backlit user display screen and system operation indicators is provided. The system allows a user to programmatically vary the illumination intensity of the backlit user display screen and the operational indicators. The variance provided includes disabling of the backlight and operational indicators. The system utilizes a variable pulse width modulated (PWM) intensity control for the backlight and indicators. Alternatively, an adjustable current drive illumination control is used to control the backlight and indicators. The selection of the desired intensity is provided via a display settings menu accessed via the user display screen.

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