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11 Ways To Fix Your TV Brightness Problem (Updated 2023)

TV Brightness Problem

Is your TV screen way too dark?

Or perhaps way brighter than it should be?

I know how frustrating and irritating it can be. Especially while watching your favorite show on TV…

So, let me try and help you fix this problem like a pro. 

That being said…

Continue reading to know:

  • Which TV “Picture Mode” you should choose.
  • 11 easy ways to fix your TV brightness problem.
  • The best-recommended picture settings for great viewing.
  • Why troubleshoot the channel box to fix brightness issues (and how to do it).
  • And much, much more…

What causes TV brightness problems?

Many things can cause TV brightness problems, such as power voltage issues, electronic glitches, imbalanced picture settings, and faulty channel boxes. The TV screen can also darken or brighten than usual due to enabled Eco Mode, outdated TV software, damaged HDMI cable, and disabled light sensor.

TV brightness problem: 11 fixes

#1: Ensure that the TV is plugged properly

If your TV screen is darker than usual, check whether it’s plugged properly.

Ensure that the TV power cord is firmly seated in the socket. Otherwise, your device will receive a lower voltage than it requires.

And so affect the display of your TV.

Additionally, a wall socket that has low voltage can also cause this issue.

Note: The standard voltage of a power socket in the US is 120 volt.

So, check your outlet voltage using a multimeter.

Suppose your outlet has a lower voltage than it’s supposed to have. Replug your TV to another outlet.

#2: Reboot the TV

Smart TVs are prone to electronic glitches and software bugs.

So, try rebooting your TV to fix its brightness problem.

Note: A reboot only restarts your TV’s system. It doesn’t delete any data or customization.

Regardless of TV brand and model, here’s how to do it:

  1. Ensure that the TV is ON.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the outlet.
  3. Wait for 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Replug the power cord into the outlet.
  5. Then, power ON the TV.

#3: Adjust the picture settings

If the standard display of your TV is too dark or too bright for your preference…

Adjust its picture settings.

To do that, go to Settings>Picture/Display. On some TVs, it’s labeled as “Expert Settings.”

Once you’re there, you’ll see several display settings that you can customize.

You can tweak them however you want.

But here’s the recommended picture setting to achieve great viewing:

Note: For this guide, we’ll use percentages to label the settings. So, adjust your TV settings accordingly.

  • Color: 50%. 
  • Sharpness: 0%.
  • Brightness: 50%.
  • Backlight: 100%.
  • Contrast: 90-100%.
  • Tint/Hue: 0% (center of the toggle switch).

Further reading: Best Picture Settings For Samsung 4K TV In 13 Steps

#4: Change the “Picture Mode”

Most smart TVs have a “Picture Mode” setting. 

With this, you can select a preset display setting according to their preferences.

Note: Depending on your TV brand, the number of picture mode options varies.

But here are some of the common picture modes and when you should use them:

If your TV is too dark

  • Vivid.
  • Sports.
  • Dynamic.
  • Standard.

If your TV is too bright

  • Movie.
  • Cinema.

There’s also a “Game Mode” on some TVs. 

But you should only use it exclusively when gaming. As it has special settings intended for gaming that can distort the TV display quality.

#5: Turn off “Eco Mode”

Does your TV have an “Eco Mode” or “Power Saver” feature?

If it does, consider turning it off.

While this feature helps save energy, it can affect the picture quality of your TV.


To save energy, the Eco Mode sometimes lowers the brightness of your TV. Which causes the screen to appear darker than usual.

So, if your TV screen is too dark…

Follow these steps to disable Eco Mode/Power Saver:

Note: The instructions may vary slightly depending on your TV model. So, it’s a good idea to check your product manual as well.

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “General.”
  3. Click “Eco Mode.”
  4. Then, toggle it OFF.

#6: Turn on the “Light Sensor”

Most smart TVs today have a “Light Sensor.” 

Note: On some TVs, it’s referred to as “Ambient light detection.”

Which automatically adjusts the brightness according to the ambient lighting in the room.

Suppose the room is too bright. The light sensor will command the TV to lower its brightness. And if the room is too dark, the TV brightness will automatically go higher.

Here are some of the popular TVs that have light sensors:

  • LG TVs. 
  • Vizio TVs.
  • Sony TVs.
  • Hisense TVs.
  • Samsung TVs.

And now to turn on the light sensor:

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “Setup.”
  3. Tap “Light Sensor.”
  4. Then, toggle it ON.

#7: Update the TV software

Update TV Software

If your TV software is outdated, make sure to update it immediately.

The reason:

Outdated software can cause some features on your TV to malfunction. Including its brightness.

So, always keep your TV up-to-date to avoid such issues.

Note: The steps on how to update your TV software may vary depending on your TV brand and model.

But here’s the usual way of doing it:

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “Support.”
  3. Choose “Software Update.”
  4. Then, press “Update Now.”

If your TV turns off after this, just wait for it to restart.

#8: Reboot the channel box

Do you use a channel box when watching TV?

If yes, then reboot your channel box.


When your channel box is  “acting up,” it can cause its signal to become lossy. And so, affect the picture quality of the content you’re watching.

To reboot your channel box:

Step 1: Ensure that the TV and channel box is ON.

Step 2: Disconnect the channel box cable from the TV. 

Step 3: Unplug the channel box power cord from the outlet.

Step 4: Wait for 30 to 60 seconds.

Step 5: Replug and power ON the channel box

After this, make sure to set up your channel box to your TV again.

#9: Replace the HDMI cable

If that didn’t resolve anything, check the HDMI cable of your channel box.

Suppose you see any signs of damage from it, such as:

  • Bite marks.
  • Exposed wiring.
  • Burnt or bent plug.

Replace it immediately. For best results, get an HDMI 2.0 cable. As this can support high-quality image and video resolution.

The reason: 

A faulty HDMI cable can degrade the picture quality of your TV. Or worse, it may not display any picture at all.

Reading tip: Samsung TV Not Recognizing HDMI Input: 11 Fixes

#10: Factory reset the channel box

“My TV screen is still way too dark…”

If that’s the case, factory reset your channel box.

Warning: A factory reset deletes data and disconnects your device from your TV and WiFi. So, only do this after trying all the solutions above.

Doing this helps resolve any connectivity issues that it may have with your TV. 

And so, it’s connectivity with your WiFi. Which may be causing the problem.

Note: The steps for factory resetting the channel box differ on every brand and model. So, check your product manual for instructions.

But suppose you use a Comcast Xfinity X1 Cable Box…

You can watch this video to learn how to factory reset it and its similar models:

#11: Factory reset the TV

Okay, that didn’t work…

This time, factory reset your smart TV.

Warning: A TV factory reset also deletes data, customization, and connectivity with other devices. So, do this only as your last resort.

This returns your TV into its factory default. Which resets every customization you did on your device. Such as adjusting the picture settings.

And that can help restore the normal settings of your TV. And so, fix its brightness problem,

Here’s how to factory reset a smart TV:

Note: The steps may vary slightly depending on your device.

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “General.”
  3. Click “Reset.”
  4. Enter your PIN.
  5. Then, tap “Reset.”

Once done, make sure to set it up again with your WiFi and channel box.

You may also wonder: Can I use my smart TV without WiFi?