What Are Device Screen Brightness Nits and Why Is This Important?

With all the better displays in our monitors, TVs, and smartphones, one specific measurement keeps popping up: brightness nits.

In the digital world, how bright our screens are affects how we interact with different gadgets. Screen brightness has a big impact on how well we see on a variety of devices, from computers and televisions to smartphones and tablets. Nit illumination, a concept that may sound complicated but is essential to comprehending screen brightness, is one important component of this. We’ll walk you through the subtleties of its lighting, its significance, and how it affects your screen’s brightness. We’ll also include helpful advice on how to modify the lighting to get the best possible screen brightness.

Why is adjusting screen brightness important at all? The amount of time we spend each day stuck to the bright screen of our computer or smartphone—whether we’re shopping, wagering on the Zambian betting sites from the list at Bookmaker-Expert.com, watching movies and television shows, or browsing social media—is where the answer lies. That amount is approximately seven hours each day, if the most recent worldwide research, to which The Independent cited, is to be trusted; but, in practice, it may be far more.

Most displays these days come with over 500 nits, while the best ones can go over 1,000 and even peak at over 2,000! But what exactly are these nits and why are they important to your image display experience?

What Exactly Are Device Screen Brightness Nits (Smartphones, Tablets, TVs)

Before we get into the definition of what nits are, we need to understand a bit about other brightness measurements and how they work, starting with the concept of what a candela is. If you know Spanish, you’ll know that “candela” translates as “candle”. And that’s a good, but rough, starting point. The candela is a way of measuring brightness intensity and is the basic unit of brightness intensity in the International System of Units (SI).

We won’t go into specific numbers, after all, the whole point of this post is to explain brightness nits in layman’s terms and we don’t want to make this too complicated. But what you need to know is that the brightness intensity of a wax candle is equal to about one candela. So, the name makes sense here.

Now imagine putting a candle in a square box measuring one meter by one meter and lighting it. The light of that candle will reach all four walls within that square. The ability of that light to reach those four walls is what we call nits of brightness; it can also be called candelas per square meter (or using the symbol cd/m²). Two candles inside that box will be two nits, three candles will be three nits, and so forth. So, when we talk about nits, we’re talking about the relative brightness of the screen and the intensity of the light compared to a good old wax candle. If you put a smartphone with a 600-nit display in that same square box, it should be about 600 times brighter than a single candle.

Brightness nits have become an important measurement of screen brightness on smartphones, computer monitors, laptops, and televisions. And while a few nits may be enough for some low-light scenarios, there are others where you’d probably prefer a brighter display; more on that later.

Why Are Brightness Nits Important as a Benchmark?

As we said before, brightness nits come in handy when talking about screen brightness. In low-light scenarios, such as in a room with the lights off, a low-brightness display might be better for you. However, the problem arises when the rest of your environment is also bright. It’s easy to look at a 50-nit screen when it’s dark, but not at all easy in strong sunlight. This is why high-nit screens are our topic today.

For instance (we aren’t getting endorsement for this), the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung’s flagship Android phone, comes with a screen that illuminates a whopping 1,750 nits, meaning it’s easy to look at the screen even when your phone is exposed to direct sunlight. For reference, 1,000 nits is generally considered the level of brightness visible in sunlight, so the Galaxy S22 Ultra easily beats this test.

Of course, you’ll need to turn it down when you enter a room with less or no light or use the auto-brightness setting on your smartphone (also found on laptops and other devices). Otherwise, it will have a very harmful effect on the user’s eyes.

Surely, just as high-brightness displays have advantages, they also have trade-offs. For example, keeping the brightness high for too long will negatively affect your battery life, as your screen uses more power to stay bright.

Also, if you’re using an AMOLED panel, high brightness can wear out your screen faster, because you’re putting more stress on it. This can lead to long-term problems with the screen, which you probably want to avoid for at least the first two years of your smartphone’s life, especially if you’ve shelled out around 700-800 USD for it.

What’s the Optimal Screen Brightness?

Now it’s time to examine how bright (or dim) the screen should be in different types of devices. After all, not every use case requires a super bright screen, but a dimmed one isn’t acceptable for others either.

For Smartphones, from 300 to 1,500 Nits

Here’s the thing about smartphones: we carry them everywhere. And, many times, you’ll probably find yourself pulling your phone out into direct sunlight to check for a call or message. If the screen of your monitor isn’t bright enough, even when the brightness is at maximum, you’ll need to find a place in the shadow first, so that you can see what’s shown on the screen.

Because of this, phones can benefit from the highest brightness you can get. Not to mention phone models, those that are perfect for use in sunlight are those with a 1,750-nit display. Likewise, many smartphones, even if not as bright, will be able to provide an acceptable experience under sunlight.

For Laptops, from 200 to 600 Nits

Your laptop is a device that you’d normally use indoors, perhaps at school, at the office, or in the comfort of your own home.

Even if you use it outside, you’ll usually sit somewhere to use it, and that place will probably have at least some shade. Brightness, then, isn’t as important on a laptop as it is on a desktop monitor. It still needs a bright screen, but it doesn’t have to be as bright as a smartphone. As such, a 200- to 600-nit display will do just fine. We’re not saying that higher brightness is bad, but it’s not that necessary.

For Monitors, from 100 to 500 Nits

Finally, there are computer monitors.

We can actually afford to have the brightness turned down compared to laptops. Why is that? It is because while you may occasionally use a laptop outside, you’ll seldom do so with a PC monitor; they’ll be in the office or your home, with appropriate lighting. The option of a monitor with higher brightness is also appreciated, but definitely not a must-have.

Brightness Measurement on Devices Is of Great Importance

By knowing how bright your screen is in terms of brightness, you can get a rough gauge of how you can expect your screen to perform in different lighting conditions before you buy it.

Although nits aren’t the most important thing in screen quality, they are good to know, and hopefully, with this information, you can buy the right device for your needs.

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