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Why Is My TV Screen Darker Than Normal?

As an owner of a television, I was frustrated when I noticed that my TV screen was darker than usual. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening, and so I did some research and testing to try and find out the cause. Now, I’m here to share what I discovered and to offer some other possible solutions to this problem.

In this blog post, I’ll explain why my TV screen was darker than normal and what I did to fix it. Hopefully, this information can help others who may be experiencing the same issue.

Your TV screen could be darker than usual as you may have a power-saving setting that dims your screen, a dynamic contrast setting that adjusts the contrast automatically, or an ambient light sensor that changes the brightness depending on the room light. 

More often than not, your TV screen is darker than usual because of a setting on your TV that is not correctly adjusted.

The most common culprit is a power-saving setting you need to disable. Still, it could also be something like a dynamic contrast function built into your TV that messes with your TV’s contrast. Below I elaborate on why your TV is darker than usual and how to fix it.

Darker than usual screenPower-saving setting enabledDisable power-saving or ECO mode in the TV settings
Dynamic contrast setting enabledTurn off dynamic contrast in the TV settings
Ambient light sensor turned onDisable the ambient light sensor in the TV settings
Software glitchPerform a soft reset by unplugging the TV, waiting 60 seconds, and plugging it back in
Corrupted settingsPerform a hard reset (factory reset) according to your TV model’s instructions

Why Is The Image On My TV Screen Much Darker Than Usual?

Your TV screen can become darker than usual as a result of a power-saving setting that sacrifices picture brightness to save power. A dynamic contrast or light sensor setting could also be the culprit, which modifies your TV picture to be much darker than usual.

Each of these problems mentioned above is easily fixable through tinkering with your TV settings. These settings are often automatically enabled on your TV and need to be manually disabled. Although going through your TV setting to change each one of these settings could be a hindrance, it is more than worth it to ensure your TV is not darker than it should be.

Is There A Power Saving Setting Enabled On Your TV?

One of the biggest culprits that renders the image of your TV much darker than usual is the ECO or power-saving setting being enabled.

This setting adjusts the brightness on your TV to ensure that not much power is used based upon how much of the screen brightness sacrifice you set it to in its options. Although great for saving energy, this option is terrible for anybody who wants to reap beautiful image quality and brightness from your TV.

This function hides in your TV’s settings and can be turned off by adjusting it in your TV’s options. Turning your TV’s ECO or power-saving option off differs from TV to TV and manufacturer to manufacturer. 

Turning off the power-saving setting should eliminate your screen’s darkness and bring it back to its usual brightness. The power-saving option is a function that is often overlooked but should not get ignored if your TV screen is darker than usual.

Is There A Dynamic Contrast Setting Enabled On Your TV?

If your TV has a dynamic contrast option, it could affect the contrast of the image in your TV, making it darker than usual. The image contrast at its essence is the bright elements seen on your screen while watching something on TV. 

The dynamic contrast setting will decrease the contrast of the image depending on the time of day or darkness of the image contrast within the film or series that you are watching.

For example, the contrast will automatically become darker when it is nighttime in the movie or show you are watching. This function will make the image of your TV much darker than usual.

Luckily, you can turn this option in your TV settings. Be aware that the way of disabling dynamic contrast will differ from TV to TV.

By turning off dynamic contrast, you should immediately see a difference in the contrast of your TV, especially in darker or night scenes in a movie or TV series.

Darker moments in films and series that were formerly too dark to be legible to the eye should now be more visible. The image on your TV screen should no longer be darker than usual.

Is An Ambient Light Sensor Turned On?

Your TV’s ambient light sensor is a TV option that could be a big thorn in your side, making your TV screen much darker than usual. This function on your TV automatically adjusts the brightness of your TV screen depending on the lighting situation in the room where your TV is setup in. 

For example, if the room you are watching TV in is quite dark, the image’s brightness will be dim as your TV will think that the darkness in the room makes the image on your TV brighter. More often than not, this is not the case and only makes your TV darker.

The ambient light sensor is a function you can turn off in your TV settings. This function will differ from TV to TV on where to turn it off, but it should not be too complicated to find in your TV settings.

This setting typically does not work right. The ambient light sensor on your TV is likely at fault for your TV appearing darker than usual. Even if you are in a darker area watching TV, this function will very likely make your TV screen so dark that it is illegible to watch.

Try a soft reset

A soft reset, is where you turn off the TV and unplug it from the wall outlet. You then usually have to wait for 60 seconds then you can put the plug back in and turn the TV on again. Performing a soft reset clears a device’s internal memory of running programs, which often clears up any technical glitches.

Try a hard reset

A hard reset involves completely resetting the TV to its factory defaults. Most TV models have specific instructions. However, if you have a Samsung TV here are the steps to follow:

To perform a factory reset:

  1. Head to Settings > General.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. Enter your PIN > then select Reset.

Note: If you didn’t change your PIN initially the code is 0000


Your TV screen could often be darker than usual because of a few settings in your TV. These settings are usually automatically enabled on your TV by default and need to be manually disabled. The most common culprit making your TV appear darker than usual is its power-saving function. This setting dims the image of your TV to save power.

Another culprit is the dynamic contrast setting on your TV that adjusts the contrast of the image on your screen according to how dark or light it is in the film you are watching. Finally, it could be an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of your TV according to the brightness in the room of your TV.

Read more: can you use a 32 inch TV as a computer monitor?