Why is My LG TV So Dark?

LG TV Screen Too Dark

Your lg TV being too dark to properly enjoy whatever you’re trying to see is frustrating. Trying to find the right answer about how to fix it when everyone seems to have a different answer is even more frustrating.

Maybe you’re searching for a simple, well-documented solution, or maybe you’re stumped because you’ve exhausted every common issue you can find, and you’re looking for a less common issue or a different solution to your TV woes.

Luckily, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a list of eight possible reasons why your LG TV may not be as bright as you hope and twelve possible fixes to save your eyes.

Why is My LG TV So Dark?


1. Energy Saving Mode Is On

Energy Saving Mode’s purpose is to conserve energy. For this reason, LG TVs come out of the box with the Energy Saving Mode set to Auto. This means that your TV will detect how much light is in the room and adjust its brightness settings accordingly.

Basically, when the room is light, the TV will brighten, and when the room is dark, the screen will also darken. If the screen seems too dark for your liking or you’re noticing the brightness changing throughout the day, Energy Saving Mode is your most likely problem.

2. Your TV Model Is Just Dark In General

Unfortunately, not all TVs are created equal—even TVs created by the same company. We’ve all been in the TV section of a store, noticing different models seemed brighter than others or that the coloring was sightly different from screen to screen.

This probably isn’t the answer you want to hear, but if you’ve scoured the internet for answers and exhausted seemingly every other avenue, you might consider digging into what others have to say about your particular model.

You might find that there are tons of people noticing the same issue as you and maybe even an expert or two who confirm the model is simply dark.

3. HDR Settings Are Making It Dark

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a picture option filmmakers can choose to utilize when creating a show or movie. It can help add realism and vividness and creates greater contrast between dark and light.

However, films in HDR do tend to be darker than others, and because HDR is programmed with its own settings that cannot be overridden, there is unfortunately nothing to be done. If you notice that only particular movies and shows are too dark, it may be that they were filmed in HDR.

4. You’re in a Bright Area

If you’ve ever tried to look at your phone while outside on a cloudless day while the sun is directly overhead, you probably know the pain of no brightness setting quite being good enough to make your screen as visible as you’d like it to be.

TVs tend to suffer from the same problem. The darker the environment, the lower brightness you require. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, and the brighter the environment, the higher brightness you require.

5. You Have an OLED LG TV and They Tend to Be Darker Than LED/LCD

OLED TVs are known for their ability to create crisp, stunning pictures, but it seems as if their performance comes at the cost of lower brightness. LED TVs, which are a sub-type of LCD TVs, are known to give viewers a brighter image.

While an OLED may make HDR content pop, if you find that you can’t seem to get the brightness up high enough for your liking, it may simply be that it won’t get any brighter. While, OLEDs are making progress LEDs are simply outperforming them on brightness.

If you aren’t sure whether your model is OLED or LED, one easy way to tell could be simply looking at your TV screen from a side view.

LEDs are powered by backlights, which requires extra room in hardware, while OLEDs are known for their amazingly thin screens because they don’t require the same backlighting.

Does your TV have a few extra inches of hardware along the back? If your screen is extremely thin, you’re probably looking at an OLED. However, you can also usually find the information on a sticker on the front of your TV or by looking in your owner’s manual.

6. Panel Issue

If your screen is completely black and you can’t see anything, it might be experiencing a panel issue. Your panel is basically your monitor or screen itself, and these can develop a variety of issues as a result of age, use, faulty hardware, or more.

Unfortunately, a black screen that doesn’t project an image is one type of panel issue. If your screen is on but you can’t seem to get an image to appear, you will likely need to talk to an expert.

7. Input Source Issue

Input source issues can look a lot like the black screen panel issue. Your screen may simply appear black, rather than showing you an error message to let you know that there is a problem.

Typically, input source issues are connected to HDMI connectors and you should only experience them when you attempt to use the HDMI connection. If you can switch to a different input source on your screen and see an image, you’ll know that your problem isn’t a panel issue but with your HDMI connection.

If you’re experiencing an input source issue, your solution won’t be fixed in your TV’s settings. That said, it doesn’t hurt to check your TV to make sure all settings are correct before you assume you have an input source issue on your hands.

It’s always best to rule out simple solutions before jumping to anything complex. That said, if your issue is your input source, you will need to look into solutions for that particular problem or contact LG customer support for help.

8. Software Out Of Date

Like all devices, TVs have software that make them run, and with Smart TVs that allow you to use apps and streaming services on the rise, the need to update a TVs software has become increasingly common.

Think of it like your computer or your phone. Companies put out software updates for your operating system all the time to enhance your experience as a user, fix bugs and glitches, and protect your security as a customer. The same is true for TVs.

Outdated software can be the cause of a variety of odd problems, and chances are, unless you’ve put your settings on automatic updates, you’ve likely either forgotten to update your TV for awhile or perhaps never realized you needed to update it in the first place.

If you’re one such person and you’ve tried other avenues to solve your dark screen problem, the good news is that getting your TV’s software up to date can solve a variety of issues, some of which you might not even have realized you had, including restoring the proper brightness to your screen.

How to Brighten LG TV Screen

1. Turn Off Energy Saving Mode

Turning off Energy Saving Mode is thankfully a pretty easy fix! Using the home button on your remote to access the TV’ Menu, navigate to Settings > Advanced > Picture on your TV.

From there, you should see the Energy Saving option, which you’ll set to Off. With Energy Saving Mode disabled, you should have a brighter screen that will now maintain a constant brightness.

2. Increase Backlight

If Energy Saving Mode isn’t the problem, you may need to manually adjust your brightness or backlight settings. You’ll find the option to adjust backlight by hitting the home button on your remote, which will take you to your TV’s Menu. In the menu, you’ll navigate to Settings > Advanced > Picture > Energy Saving.

Underneath the toggle for turning Energy Saving Mode on and off, you should see a slider labeled Backlight that lets you control how bright the LEDs behind your screen are. If you turn the slider up, you’ll also be increasing the brightness.

3. Increase Brightness

If the two solutions above are used and your TV screen is still too dark, you might look at your brightness settings themselves next. Just as you would for backlight settings, you hit the home button on your remote to bring up the TV’s Menu screen, then navigate to Settings > Advanced > Picture > Energy Saving.

Underneath the Backlight slider, you should see the Brightness slider. To increase your brightness, simply move the slider to the right to increase its number and watch the brightness on your screen increase.

4. Close Curtains

As we already covered, your TVs brightness might not be able to challenge your room’s ambient light if you’re in a bright area. But what can you do to help things out so you can see your TV better? The answer is make your room darker.

Closing your blinds can help, but you might still encounter a sun-glare on your screen from where the sun is continuing to come into your room through the closed blinds.

If your curtains aren’t already closed, pulling them shut should help with the sunlight some, even if you own sheer curtains.

If that isn’t working, you may need a heavier curtain material or even blackout curtains. Once your room is darkened, you should be able to see your TV screen much better!

5. Turn off Local Dimming On LG TV

Local dimming is a default setting on your TV that improves image quality, basically by allowing the black parts of an image get extra dark. If you turn this feature off, your screen will appear brighter when dark images are playing.

If you’re having a brightness issue with dark images in particular, this may be a good option for you to explore to make your image brighter.

To turn of local dimming, press the home button on your TV’s remote to navigate to the Menu screen. From there select Settings > All Settings > Pictures > Picture Mode > LED Local Dimming. You will select Off, then backtrack to Picture Mode, scroll down until you see Apply to all inputs, and select this option.

That will turn off local dimming, and you can check to see if the dark image you were looking at before appears any brighter.

6. Change Picture Mode

Sometimes your issues with low brightness can stem from the picture mode your TV is set to. Picture modes are basically presets built into your TV that automatically adjust a variety of factors depending on your preferred viewing experience.

The problem may be as simple as requiring you to change your picture mode to something brighter.

To change your picture mode, use the home button on your remote to navigate to your TV’s Menu screen. From there, you’ll navigate to Settings > All Settings > Picture Settings > Picture Mode.

Picture Mode will provide you with three options: Standard, Cinema, and Custom. You will have to look through these options yourself to determine which best works for you.

7. Reset the Picture Mode

Whether or not we like to admit it, sometimes the thing we changed can be the issue. We’ve told you all about various picture settings you can adjust on your TV to help increase brightness, but the solution could be as simple as something going wrong along the way as you tried to change things.

In that case, an easy fix would be resetting your Picture options. If there was some obscure, odd setting making your screen dark, this small reset should bring your brightness levels back up where you like them.

To return your LG TV to its original picture mode settings, click the home button on your remote to access your Menu screen, then navigate to Settings > Picture > Picture Reset.

This will restore all picture mode settings to their factory default, meaning if something went wrong in the settings somewhere along the way, everything should sort itself out. However, you may need to go back and turn up your brightness again or turn off Energy Saving Mode to get things where you want them.

8. Perform A Picture Test

If you want to make sure your brightness settings are correct, you might perform a picture test to check them. A picture test is basically a self-diagnostic tool on your TV to determine if you see any issues with the display.

To perform a picture test, use the home button on your remote to access your Menu screen, then navigate to All Settings > Picture > Picture Test.

In the picture test, you’ll be shown images and asked to respond to prompts. Simply follow the directions on the prompts to complete the picture test.

9. Update TV

Sometimes when your device’s operating system (OS) is out of date, odd glitches and bugs can occur. Your TV not appearing as bright as it should could be one example.

If all settings indicate that your brightness should be higher but you’re still running into problems, especially if you’ve never updated your TV’s OS, then this might be the thing that fixes your issues.

To update your TV, you’ll first want to press the home button on your remote to access your TV’s Menu screen. From there, you’re going to navigate to All Settings > Support > Software Update.

The Software Update menu will allow you to check for updates, update your TV, and you have the option to turn on automatic updates so that you don’t fall behind in updating your TV.

10. Restart TV

Anyone familiar with I.T. support protocols has probably heard this solution before, but that’s because sometimes a simple restart is all your device needs to start working properly again.

LG TVs are capable of being restarted with a variety of means. One option is to unplug your TV from its power source, count to ten, then plug it back in and turn it on.

Alternatively, there are other ways to restart your TV. If you have an LG TV remote, you may use the following steps. After pressing the home button on your remote to bring up the Menu, navigate to Settings > General > Reset.

You’ll be taken through a set of instructions, which you’ll follow until the last page. Press Confirm, enter your TV’s password, and press Restart. If you never changed your TVs password after buying it and aren’t sure what the password may be, 0000 or 1234 are the usual default passwords.

If you need to restart without a remote, you can still do so without unplugging your TV. First you’ll hold down the power button on your TV for ten seconds (the power button can usually be found on the side or bottom of your TV).

After completing the first step, you should be able to use the TV controls to navigate to Menu > Settings > General > Reset > Confirm, after which you will need to enter your pin as final confirmation.

If all your TV needed was a restart, your brightness issues should be solved. Easy as pie!

11. Reset TV

If restarting your TV doesn’t work, you may consider performing a factory reset. Just about every device (from phones and computers to smart watches and gaming consoles) can be reset.

This process restores all features and settings on your device to their default mode. Keep in mind, if you’ve downloaded any apps or logged into anything on your TV, a factory reset will also erase all data.

Before resetting, it’s encouraged that you take note of any log-ins and passwords you might otherwise lose in the reset.

Giving your LG TV a factory reset follows many of the same procedures as restarting your TV. Using the home button on your remote to bring up the Menu, navigate to All Settings > Support > General > Reset to Initial Settings.

You’ll be given a series of prompts and warning to navigate through, then asked to enter your password. Once you do that, the TV will complete its factory reset, and you’ll be prompted to set it up the same you were when you first bought it.

Sometimes devices require a factory reset to fix whatever issue (or issues) they were having. If you’ve tried everything else to fix your brightness issues, this could be your solution.

12. Contact LG

When all else fails, contact the experts. No one likes to do it if they can avoid it, but sometimes you just aren’t left with any other option. If nothing in this article seems to help your case, then contacting LG directly for support is probably your best bet for fixing your dark screen.

You can find their contact page, which offers you the option of chatting directly on the website, sending an email, or calling to speak with support directly. If this article couldn’t help you solve the problem yourself, your TV maker should be able to take care of it for you!

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here