Found the answer myself and it's a 'yes'. I'll share it here in case it's useful to someone else.
This XDA thread was the basis of the fix http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s2/themes-apps/mod-lower-auto-brightness-levels-to-t1235212 main points extracted here:
Here is a guide on how to perform this mod on any framework-res.apk using apk manager (thanks for the guide goes to desean):
- Download APK manager and unpack somewhere
- Grab framework-res.apk from your phone under \system\framework\ (e.g. adb pull) and place it in the "place-apk-here-for-modding" folder
- Run Script.bat and select option 9
- Once done, go to projects\framework-res.apk\res\values\arrays.xml and edit your values as per first post.
- Once edited, compile the apk using option 11
- Qn: Is this a system apk. Ans: y
- Qn: Aside from the signatures, would .... least. Ans: y
- Prompt: In the apk manager folder u'll find a keep folder..... done then press enter on this script. Press any key to continue . . . You have to go to "keep" folder and delete resources.arsc because arrays.xml have been changed. After this You can press any key in apk manager window.
- Once done, input 22 in apk manager and select "unsignedframework-res.apk" by entering the number that stands for it. After selecting it You should see in apk main window in the top right corner "Current-App: unsignedframework-res.apk". Now press 5 to zipalign apk. You will find your completed, zipaligned apk under place-apk-here-for-modding\unsignedframework-res.apk. Rename it back to framework-res.apk and adb push the file back to your phone
Some of those points are inaccurate (particularly points 6 and 9), depending on the version of APK Manager you use, (if you use it at all, APK Multitool has replaced it in development and I used GanGs_KiD Kitchen) but are corrected later in the thread.
Anyway, instead of editing arrays.xml (which is where auto-brightness is controlled, though I edited that too) head to integers.xml and edit the values of "config_screenBrightnessSettingMaximum" down to whatever you need. 255 is the brightest (and what it's likely already set to), I needed to go down to 150.
Then follow the instructions to re-compile and zip-align your framework-res and adb push it back to the device. Hey presto! No more screen cutting out!