What is TV Brightness? Explained.

A television’s brightness – along with its contrast ratio and black level – is one an extremely important factor when it comes to determining image quality. If a TV isn’t bright enough, the image will look flat and take away from the viewing experience. But, buying a bright television is not as easy as it may seem. Most showrooms have well-lit display areas which make TVs look brighter than they actually are. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways in which you can ensure that your new TV is bright enough.

Also read our latest LED/LCD TV reviews if you like this article about TV brightness:

What brightness should I look for in a new TV?

The brightness of a television is often mentioned as its Luminance which is usually a number in candela per meter-squared (cd/m2). If you go through reviews or technical specs of the TV you are planning to buy, you will see either the maximum or average brightness of the display (sometimes both). Some screens can be as bright as 500 cd/m2 but generally, values in between 80 – 120 cd/m2 is enough for general use. But, do keep in mind that the screen’s black level and contrast ratio will also play a part in determining your viewing experience.

Should I keep my TV as bright as possible?

Many people think that in order to get clear visuals, the TV should be kept at its maximum brightness setting. But, high brightness will not only waste power but may also cause headaches. The setting you should choose depends largely on ambient lighting. Maximum brightness is useful only if the surroundings are really bright. Otherwise, the visuals may look washed out.

How should I adjust my TV’s brightness?

As mentioned earlier, the optimal brightness level for a TV depends on ambient lighting. The best way to set the brightness is to watch a program/movie you really like and adjust the settings in such a way that the screen displays maximum detail at minimum brightness. If you switch over to a darker broadcast, you may have to turn up the brightness a bit to get more detail. Fortunately, most modern television sets come with sensors which automatically adjust brightness by measuring ambient light. In case your TV doesn’t have this sensor or if the visuals still don’t look as nice as you expected, you will have to adjust brightness manually.

Does brightness affect the life of my TV?

The short answer is yes.
Most LCD TVs are illuminated by a fluorescent light source which is present just behind the panel. It is this backlight which not only makes sure that the eye can see the images on the screen but also controls the brightness of the TV. Usually, this lamp lasts for around 20,000 to 30,000 hours, which is significantly higher than the life of older CRT screens. If you keep the brightness of your television at a high setting, the lamp degrades at a much faster rate, meaning that the life of your TV also gets reduced.