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Because the bulb(s) are blown - is one guess. Most factory radio lighting is tied to the dashboard lights. You can tell for sure if the radio lighting used to dim when you adjust the dashboard lighting intensity. If they were separate, then it could be a problem with a connection at the back of the radio or internal.
what lights, the dial back lights, is it stock>?
the radios have 3 power sources
1 for radio and amp.
2: dial lamps (dim,) if the other cars dim-able park lamps work then
the radio lamps are bad, or not connected (1 wire)
3: memory. power.
my guess is the rad back lamps are dead.
so turn on the parking lights (Head ligths 1st click)
does dashlight up.? no, turn the dimmmer up.
do they light now? yes, and radio no?
if no radio lamp now, the lamp is bad or wired wrong or the fuse blew
that the dial feed wires to.
if not stock, any thing is possible, (infinity)
It sounds to me like you may have a defective dimming switch. Are the instrument cluster lights working as they should? Do they dim/brighten with the dimmer? If the instrument cluster is working OK, then it could be an internal problem in the radio unit itself. Your panel lights are computer controlled. The processor in the instrument panel controls them. It uses a digital signal to "tell" the radio to either dim or brighten its lights. If the radio is failing to do so, the radio is the most likely cause since the lights work on "full power" which is also commanded through the same data lines. (this eliminates the signal from the cluster and the connection through the data lines.)
just to clarify, the radio lighting goes OUT? or it DIMS...? the lighting is supposed to dim when you turn the lights on (brighter at daytime) and should be controllable by the dimmer switch - the same one that controls the brightness of your dashboard. if the lighting is actually going out, i would suspect a problem the dimmer switch itself. good luck!
The switch that you are talking about... the dimmer switch, must not be working. If you have warranty left, i suggest you take it in. If not, maybe find a good auto wrecker, and replace the switch yourself. I'm guessing they'll be expensive.