Sorry for the delay. It seems to have been fixed in Elyssa 5 XFCE beta 025 which is what I'm now using, or XFCE never had that problem. Previously I was using Gnome.
Looking back at the original post, the backlight still blanks out upon initializing login screen but I have downloaded xbacklight and set that to run at startup
xbacklight -set 100
So far that is fixed the majority of the backlight dimming. Occasionally when I run VMware player or virtualbox upon initializing the vmx/iso and bringing up the virtual screen it will dim but using the Fn keystrokes does not hinder usability anymore.