LED display brightness plays a huge role in the performance of an LED display, whatever type it may be. It is one of the most important aspects of a screen for the content to be seen by viewers clearly and in more detail.

When an LED display has good brightness, the content becomes more visible. This is one basic fact you need to understand to appreciate brightness better. It is a relevant visual factor on top of the grayscale and contrast ratio. 

LED Display Brightness and Its Connections to Lumens and Nits

When talking about display brightness, lumens, and nits are two basic concepts you can associate with brightness. Both nits and lumens are measurements that pertain to light output. The difference though is that lumens focus on the light emission while nits refer to an object’s brightness or luminance. A nit is equivalent to approximately 3.426 lumens. This is also equal to 1 cd/m2. Nits will vary heavily on whether a display is installed indoors or outdoors. Other factors may also be considered to make sure that optimal visibility is acquired. 

For indoor settings, nits can range from 800 to 2500. When the indoor setting is shadowed, 800 to 1400 nits are needed for a clear view. When it has direct sunlight, 1400 to 2500 nits should be used. 

When it comes to outdoor setups, nits will also vary depending on the location’s access to light. For shadowy outdoor settings, 3000 to 4000 nits are necessary. When it’s sunset, you need 4500 to 5500 nits. However, if the location is exposed to direct sunlight, you will require over 5500 nits for optimal visibility. 

LED display brightness with the environment

EnvironmentLight statusBrightness (nits)
IndoorBehind the light800~1400
IndoorTowards the light1400~2500
OutdoorBehind the light3000~4000
OutdoorTowards the light5500~12000

LED Display Brightness Applications

The application of LED display brightness varies based on many factors. From the condition of the location to the actual installation of the LED screens, all these will matter for the brightness application. 

An LED screen you need to use for a document presentation won’t need as much brightness as 3D billboards displayed in the city skyline. Advertising and commercial content need more brightness to get the crowd’s attention faster and easier. 

LED Display Brightness Indoor & Outdoor

LED Display Brightness - Indoors
Image Credit: Pexels.

Outdoor installation also requires considerable brightness compared to LED displays installed indoors. Follow the recommended brightness level to avoid hurting your viewers’ eyes. 

Indoor locations, from huddle spaces in the office to shopping malls, will have brightness levels that are based on the size of the place. The bigger the location is, the brighter you will need your LED display to be. 

LED screens installed in outdoor locations need to have higher brightness levels in order to compete with the natural light from the sun. If the brightness level is not enough, the images on the display won’t be seen. These are some of the brightness levels for outdoor LED screens include the following:

  • Shadow
  • Sunset
  • Direct sunlight or extreme

This means that if the LED display is installed outdoors where shade is provided (through the shadows of trees or buildings). The brighter the natural light is in the location, the higher the brightness levels are needed. Seasons and weather can also affect the needed brightness levels. For high-end outdoor LED displays, a light sensor is added in the mix in order to automatically adjust the brightness level of the screen based on the natural light and the current weather conditions. 

How to Change the LED Display Brightness?

You can change the brightness of your LED screen in two ways. For theaters, they have an LED cinema display brightness control. If you don’t have that, you can either work on the electricity in your screen or the optical pulse width. 

First, focus on the electricity that powers your LED display. Both the brightness and saturation of a screen are directly affected by the electricity flowing in the device. Changing the screen’s current flow can change its brightness. 

If you’re choosing the other route to change your LED display brightness, change its pulse width. Using pulse width modulation in your LED screen, you can adjust its grayscale level as long as the device has a high refresh rate. This way is used more often in microcomputers that are connected to the LED screens. 

What more do you need to know about LED display brightness?

LED Display Brightness - Outdoors
Image Credit: Pexels.

If you’re wondering how to adjust the bright levels for indoor and outdoor LED displays, you need to focus on the nits. As previously discussed, it is a measurement unit that focuses on the brightness of the object. Brightness actually refers to the screen light’s intensity. 

For the measurements, LED screens installed indoors can have lower LED display brightness, around 800 to 1500 nits. Outdoor LED displays, on the other hand, can reach up to 8000 to 10,000 nits but a good 5,000 nits can be used as a middle ground. 


Learning about LED display brightness takes more than just looking at the light from your screen. However, don’t complicate it. You just need to remember that the brightness of the screen is set by taking into account all the objects that can affect how you see the images on the screen. This includes the location where the LED display is used and installed, as well as the purpose of the LED display. The size of the location may also be considered and the current season and weather if the screen is installed outdoors.

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