I had a 6-year old E1705 with the X1400 and it started doing similar a similar thing before totally losing display altogether back in 2012. But I also had vertical lines starting to appear, a sure sign of a dying LCD screen. You say you have it plugged into the wall, so it wouldn't be a setting accidentally changed like battery power saver mode (which runs the display at a lower brightness).
Sounds to me like it's your LCD bulb (GFT - or gas flourescent tube) if your screen is okay otherwise. It is not something to replace for the non-technical person. If you can't connect it to a monitor and run it that way, you probably need to plan on buying a new one as a repair on this old of a laptop just wouldn't be worth the money...and it's only a matter of time before you lose that screen display altogether.