How to Select Appropriate Brightness for LED Display?

LED Display Brightness

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Most of us think that brightness is just the shine of an LED display. And we don’t give much importance to it. As a result, we don’t know its values for indoor and outdoor LED screens. And because of this, problems occur.

Brightness is not just the shine of the display screen. It plays a crucial role in the display of the LED screen. That’s why we should have proper knowledge of it. In this post, I will discuss the role of brightness and how to select the appropriate brightness. But let’s discuss brightness first.

What is the brightness of the LED display screen?

It is the luminous intensity per square meter when the screen works typically. We usually express brightness in terms of nits or cd/ square meters.

How can we measure the brightness of the LED screen?

For the measurement of brightness, we use different units. These units include candela, nits, lumen, lux, etc.

Nits and lumens are the units of measurement of brightness. Let’s discuss the difference between these two units. But first, I will define them both.


This word comes from the Latin word, the internet, meaning to shine. Nit is a unit of visible light intensity. It equals candelas per square meter.


It is also a measure of the intensity of light. Finally, it is a physical unit that describes luminous flux. It is also defined as the total emitted luminous flux produced by a candle at a solid angle.

It refers to the measurement of reflected light. It measures the distance of reflected light from the reflected surface.

Let me now explain the difference between the two. We can make the difference by referring to nits and lumens as sunlight and moonlight. Nits can describe as sunlight because it is direct light. But, we can suggest lumen as moonlight as it is generally formed due to reflection.

An approximation is that one FL is equal to 3.426 nits.

A nit is a unit of measurement which refers to the total brightness. This measurement is over one square meter of a LED display. In contrast, the lumen is for a single light source.

Nit takes into account all the contributing factors to brightness. It includes the number of LEDs per pixel, the pixel pitch, and the luminance of individual LEDs.

But lumen suggests a unit for single light sources like projectors and flashlights. The brightness decreases when the light source gets farther away. Such change in brightness due to distance is the lumen.

Why does brightness matter?

For an LED display, one of the most important factors is its displaying quality. If the showing effect is not good, installing an LED display is useless. So, for a better experience, we must focus on factors that affect its display quality.

The most important factor upon which display quality depends is brightness. If the brightness is not enough, viewing the displayed content will not be easy. Moreover, such a shortcoming will affect its primary purpose, advertising.

The visual effect will reduce to a great extent. For visibility in full sunlight, we have to adjust the luminance. The more the brightness, the more it will confront the effect of the sun.

LED Display Brightness

In such circumstances, it’s better to use LEDs with high brightness.

Brightness has a critical role in the display of the LED screen. It has more importance than other display factors. For instance, there are many optical parameters such as:

  • Contrast ratio
  • Color saturation
  • Grayscale
  • Brightness

From these factors, brightness has much more importance. It is because we can see these parameters only when the screen has enough brightness.

Take a look at this case. If the display screen has super low brightness, no colors or display will be visible. Thus, talking about this screen’s grayscale or color saturation will be meaningless.

How to control the light brightness of an LED screen?

We have two main concerns about the brightness of the LED screen.

  • How well does it cope with the sun?
  • How long will it cope with the sun?

So, we should have a reasonable adjustment of brightness during the daytime. The brighter the screen, the better it can cope with the sun.

For a better visual experience, we need to adjust the brightness of LED screens.

There are many ways to control brightness. Specific functions refer to how we are going to control it. Generally, these two methods are of great concern:

Programmable control:

There is a pre-determined schedule for control. Besides, there are custom brightness values. These values are according to the time which we adjust for it. This schedule has nothing to do with weather changes.

There is a default brightness value that does not change with the weather. Changes only occur according to the schedule.

It could be the best choice to have a cost-effective system. Moreover, it is easy to use.

LED Display Brightness

Brightness sensor:

This control is usually based on an external element. This element adjusts its brightness level according to lighting conditions.

The control is automatic. We would put the brightness sensor in the LED cabinet. Hence, It is protected from the outside environment.

This method proves to be more convenient. Moreover, it saves time and money. Furthermore, the display picture is of high quality.

How much brightness does the display screen need?

Look, it is a fact that the higher the value, the brighter the screen is. But how much brightness is appropriate for the screen? The suitable brightness of the screen depends on several factors.

  • Application of screen
  • Location of installation
  • Use of an LED screen
  • Surrounding environment and running time of display screen

Application of LED screen:

The brightness of a screen depends on its application to a great extent. We generally use LED screens for indoor, outdoor, or semi-outdoor. All of these need a different level of brightness to function correctly.

The brightness levels for indoor LED screens can be around 500-1500 nits. Outdoor screens need brightness from 4000-7000 nits or more. At the same time, semi-outdoor LED screens have brightness levels from 3000-5000 nits. Note that these are just general values. The required brightness for your display screen may differ slightly.

Location of installation:

Let’s move ahead. The screen’s brightness also depends on its installation’s location. If the screen has direct sunlight exposure, the brightness should be high. The sunlight will make it difficult for the screen to display content. The audience will not be able to view the content. If the brightness is not enough, the content may appear dim. Thus in such cases, high brightness will be ideal for the LED screen.

Let us take the example of an outdoor LED screen to understand this more. If we install the screen facing south, it will need at least 7,000 nits. It is because, in such a direction, the display screen will face the sun directly. On the other hand, if the screen faces north, a brightness level between 5,000~6,000 nits is enough.

If you install it in an area with less sunlight, it will need less brightness. On such sites, the content will not appear dim. The audience will quickly see what the screen displays. This scenario is primarily for indoor screens. But it is also possible for outdoor screens. In areas with more clouds and shade, the sunlight will be less. Thus, low brightness will be appropriate for the screen.

LED Display Brightness

Use of LED screen:

We should also take a look at the use of display screens. The brightness level will also vary due to different screen usage. We generally use the LED screen to display text, video, graphics, etc.

The brightness levels will be different for these formats of content. To better understand, we take the example of indoor screen usage. For document presentation, i.e., text, the appropriate brightness can be 200-300 nits. On the other hand, if we display a video on an indoor screen, the luminance can be 400-600 nits. Finally, the brightness can be around 600-1000 nits for indoor advertising.

Thus, the brightness levels differ according to the usage of LED screens. But you should note it again here. These are just general values. The required brightness for your display screen may differ slightly.

Surrounding environment and running time of display screen:

In some cases, we only need to show the content during nighttime. It means that the display screen will run only at night. At night, it is dark, and the screen will show content properly with low brightness.

Whereas, in some cases, the scenario is the opposite. We need an LED screen to display content during day time. The surrounding environment will be very bright during the daytime. Sun will be out. Thus, the screen will function appropriately with high brightness.

You see that brightness depends on several factors. And it is critical for proper display of the screen. We can’t ignore it. What if the screen doesn’t have ideal brightness? You will be familiar with a situation. If you lower the brightness of your mobile, you cannot see clearly. And at night, you will harm your eyes if you use your phone at full brightness. It will drain the battery of the phone. So you understand the importance of ideal luminance.

Low brightness can make content difficult to view. And excessive brightness will cause discomfort to your eyes.

LED Display Brightness


I have tried above to explain what brightness is. But why does it matter for the screen? How can we measure it? And why appropriate and ideal brightness is must for a display screen?

It depends on several factors. In this regard, manufacturers or suppliers should also brief the customers. They should guide the customers about the significance of brightness. And how much brightness level will be appropriate for the customer’s LED screen.

Sunny Wong
Sunny Wong

Hello. I am Sunny Wong, the author of this post.

I entered the LED screen industry in 2008 and have always been in this field.

The purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to LED screens from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

If you want to distribute or explore your local LED screen market, please ask me any questions.

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