Display Nits Explained: What Is Peak Brightness, Maximum Brightness, Typical Brightness, And More

Display Nits Explained: Display brightness is a key feature of consumer devices, impacting their usability and visual appeal. Understanding display brightness terminologies such as nits, luminance, candelas, lumens, and lux is essential for users seeking optimal viewing experiences. Nits, commonly referenced in device specifications, indicate the measurement of brightness levels.

The brightness of a display can significantly affect user experience by influencing visibility and eye strain. Several factors contribute to display brightness, including ambient lighting conditions, screen technology, and settings. Adjusting the brightness on your device according to environmental conditions can enhance readability and reduce fatigue.

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Display Nits Explained 2024

In addition to nits, luminance plays a crucial role in determining how bright a display appears to the human eye. Candelas measure the intensity of light emitted in a particular direction, while lumens quantify the total amount of visible light produced by a source.

Lux measures illuminance or the amount of light falling on a surface. By familiarizing yourself with these terms and understanding their impact on display performance. You can make informed decisions when selecting devices and optimizing settings for an enhanced viewing experience.

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Display Nits Explained

Display Nits Explained Details

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What is display brightness?

  • Brightness enables the viewing of visuals and text displayed on the screen. Display brightness indicates the level of brightness of a display. In other words, it is the apparent strength of light produced by a display.
  • The brightness of a display is quantified in nits, representing perceived intensity rather than an objective measurement.

Display Luminance can be objectively measured by determining the amount of light emitted from a specific direction and area of the display, quantified in Candelas.

Understanding display brightness terminologies

Understanding display brightness terminologies is essential for making informed decisions when choosing a display that suits your needs. Whether it’s about nits, lumens, or any other technical jargon, grasping these terms puts you in control of selecting the perfect display that enhances your viewing experience. So, next time you’re shopping for a screen, remember to consider these brightness factors to enjoy vivid visuals and optimal performance.


What is nits?

  • A Nit is the standard unit for measuring the brightness of a specific area on a screen, typically employed in electronic display settings.
  • Originating from the Latin term “nitere,” it signifies appearing luminous.
  • It is also represented as nt.
  • A display with a higher nits value will appear brighter to you, making on-screen elements clearer.

What is candelas?

  • Candelas are use as the unit of measurement for luminance/luminous intensity, quantifying the light emitted by a lighting device in a specific direction.
  • It is latin for candles.
  • It is represented in CD.

What is the relation between nits and candelas?

  • One nit equals the amount of light emitted by one candela per square meter (1 nt = 1 cd/m²). So, 6,000 nits is equivalent to 6,000 candles lit in one square meter.
  • Nits measure brightness, while candela measures luminance.

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What is lumen?

Lumen is the total light output of a light source, measured in L.

What is lux?

Lux is the measurement unit use to quantify illuminance. Which represents the quantity of light that strikes a surface.

Auto Brightness/ Adaptive Brightness

Modern smartphones have the capability to adjust screen brightness based on ambient light levels using sensors to detect the surrounding conditions. When indoors, the auto brightness feature will maintain a standard brightness level.

Peak Brightness vs Max Brightness

  • Max Brightness refers to the highest level of brightness that the display emits under normal conditions, also known as Typical Brightness.
  • Peak Brightness is assessed in a regulated setting, which can be beneficial when viewing HDR videos or using the display in bright conditions such as sunlight. Peak Brightness may not be reached in typical daily use.
  • Max brightness is intended for the entire display, while Peak Brightness refers to the highest brightness in a small display area or window.

What is High Brightness Mode?

  • A device equipped with High Brightness Mode (HMB) can exceed the standard maximum brightness level when needed in Auto/Adaptive Brightness Mode.
  • The display can sustain it for a few minutes only.

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Why is it important to understand display brightness?

Understanding display brightness is crucial for optimizing your viewing experience and protecting your eyes. By being aware of the brightness levels of your displays, you can reduce eye strain, enhance visual clarity, and even save energy. Whether you’re using a computer, smartphone, or any other device with a screen, adjusting the brightness to a comfortable level can greatly benefit your overall well-being. So, next time you’re staring at a screen, remember the importance of display brightness and make adjustments that work best for you.

  • After grasping the terminologies mention above and gaining a basic understanding of display brightness, we can determine the actual brightness potential of a display.
  • After determining the highest supported brightness. We can then modify the brightness levels to suit our needs.
  • Understanding the details of a screen, we should compare it to other devices and opt for a brighter display.
  • Reducing the display brightness in a dark environment can assist in decreasing power usage.
  • Brightness is crucial for the contrast and dynamic range of an image, enhancing the HDR experience by revealing details in highlights and shadows.

Factors affecting display brightness

  • Ambient lighting conditions: If the ambient light is low, the display brightness is required to be low only. But as the surrounding light rises, the display brightness will need to rise too.
  • Screen technology: Although OLED can light up each individual pixel, LCDs can traditionally present brighter overall panels. Modern higher-end LCD and OLED TVs and other devices claim higher peak brightness levels
  • Distance between the display and the user: The closer you are to the display, the brighter the panel will appear, and vice versa.
  • Viewing angle: Even the angle from which you are viewing the display matters. If you view the screen from an off angle, then it won’t appear that bright.
  • User settings: User settings like auto-brightness, sleep mode, power saver mode or if the user has manually set low brightness then that can impact the perceived brightness.

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Display Brightness For Modern Devices Smartphones/Tablets: Up to 6,000 nits

  • Brightness is crucial on smartphones for clear visibility outdoors and optimal visual performance during gaming and video playback.
  • Although this can be relative to the ambient light, somewhere around 200 to 300 nits is fine while using smartphones indoors and if you use them outdoors, at least 600 nits is required. However, higher peak brightness and high brightness mode can be useful under harsh sunlight.
  • Realme GT 6T features a peak brightness of 6,000 nits.
Realme GT 6T6,000 nits1,000 nits, 1,600 nits (HBM)
Realme GT Neo 6 SE6,000 nits1,600 nits (HBM)
Honor Magic 6 Pro5,000 nits1,600 nits (HBM)
Realme GT 5 Pro4,500 nits1,600 nits
OPPO Find X7 Ultra4,500 nits2,600 nits (HBM)
Xiaomi 14 Pro3,000 nits1,000 nits
Vivo X100 Ultra3,000 nitsNA
iQOO 123,000 nits1,400 nits
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2,600 nitsNA
Google Pixel 8 Pro2,400 nits1,600 nits
iPhone 15 Pro Max/15 Pro2,000 nits1,000 nits

Display Nits Explained FAQ’S

Is 250 nits brightness good?

250 nits brightness means this screen is almost useless during the day, particularly for dark scenes.

Is 1000 nits enough?

Many average TVs and monitors can only reach a few hundred nits, but for a true HDR experience, you'll want at least 1000 nits.

Is 500 nits good for monitor?

A sunlight-readable display requires at least 1,000 nits or more for direct, bright sunlight viewing.

Is 700 nits bright?

400-700 nits would be required for use in daylight conditions.

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