When we buy new technology such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc., they come with an instruction manual but also with one or two default settings. The only problem is that these defaults might not be optimal for our needs at all times.
For example, if you’re looking for ways to increase your smartphone’s battery life (or just want to save power), you’ll probably want to change its brightness from auto-adjusting mode into dimmer mode. Or maybe you’ve bought yourself a tablet with a backlight so strong that it’s too much for you to read anything without turning down the brightness first. In any case, here are five questions you may have about making your laptop screen brighter than max—without damaging it!
1. How do I turn the brightness up on my laptop’s display?
There are many different methods for adjusting your laptop screen’s brightness. You could try manually changing the settings through software like Windows’ control panel or OS X’s preferences panel. However, most modern screens feature automatic adjustment systems that take care of this for you. Usually, those adjustments happen automatically based on lighting levels detected by built-in sensors. This means that the best thing you can do is check your monitor’s user guide to see how exactly it works. For instance, in Apple’s MacBooks, you’d go to System Preferences & Displays > Display & Brightness and adjust each option accordingly. There are multiple options available, including Auto, Manual, On Battery Saver, Darker, Brighter, and Customize…
If none of them work well enough for you, however, you can always buy extra hardware specifically designed for higher brightnesses. These include external monitors featuring adjustable brightness controls, which usually range between 0% and 100%. Also worth mentioning are products called LED Light Panels, which can add more ambient light to your workspace while reducing glare. Just hook these panels next to your monitor, plugging them into the same wall socket, and you will get increased output, plus better contrast ratios. The downside is that they cost quite a bit.
2. Is there a way that can allow me to brighten my laptop screen beyond its maximum setting?
Yes, definitely. Most popular displays support something known as local dimming. It basically allows users to set specific areas of the screen to appear darker than others. Instead of having uniform brightness across the entire surface, local dimming creates dynamic differences. This makes it easier to focus on smaller sections of the screen while still maintaining comfortable viewing angles.
The advantage over uniform brightness is obvious: the latter causes eye fatigue and discomfort after prolonged usage—especially for long periods under direct sunlight. Local dimming helps alleviate this issue because it lets us keep focusing on small details, while the rest of the screen remains dark enough for comfortable reading. Some models enable users to customize and configure localized dimming zones themselves, allowing them to create custom profiles optimized for certain tasks and environments.
Another benefit of local dimming is improved color accuracy and saturation. Because it enables exact control over individual parts of the screen, manufacturers can produce high quality images with greater precision. And since LCDs don’t emit light themselves, they rely heavily on incoming sources. That’s why local dimming has become especially important in recent years. Even though TVs used to utilize it already, it became widely adopted among PC monitors as well following 2014’s Ultra High Definition standardization efforts. Nowadays, almost every budget model comes equipped with local dimming capabilities.
You can find out whether yours does by checking your manufacturer’s specifications, or simply Google search for “[your brand] [model name]” + “local dimming.” Of course, finding a suitable replacement isn’t impossible either—if local dimming doesn’t suit your needs, you could consider getting a TV instead. They tend to offer similar image quality, while being lighter and brighter overall.
3. Can you make your computer screen even brighter than before?
In short, yes. But it depends on what kind of display you have. When talking about desktop monitors, the answer would obviously be no. Those devices typically operate with lower resolutions and thus require less pixels per inch (PPI). As a result, scaling up resolution won’t help improve image clarity unless you enlarge everything else proportionally. So, if your current screen has a resolution of 1600×900, increasing it to 1920×1080 won’t make things look crisper.
However, some newer monitors now feature adaptive refresh rates that dynamically scale between 60Hz and 144Hz depending on your workload. By doing so, they reduce motion blur caused by frequent refreshes. While this sounds nice in theory, it requires additional processing power and space, meaning that manufacturers haven’t yet been able to implement it universally. Still, if you own a relatively old Dell unit with a native resolution above 1440p, give it a shot. Otherwise, you could always try boosting PPI via third party tools.
But let’s say you’re working on a laptop right now. Well, unfortunately, there aren’t many solutions out there capable of improving its display’s performance. One potential solution is upgrading RAM, which can boost overall system speed and performance. Another possibility is switching to an SSD drive, which offers faster data access speeds than traditional HDDs. Unfortunately, neither of these improvements affects the actual screen itself directly.
That said, there are several other ways to optimize your machine’s performance and enhance its visual experience. We also recommend tweaking your operating system to squeeze out last drops of efficiency. After that, it’s time to think about buying a new device altogether.
4. How do I know what level of brightness should I use for a particular situation or environment?
This question actually goes hand in hand with another one. A lot of factors affect how visible an object looks on a given background. Sunlight, distance, angle, surrounding colors, etc.—they all play major roles in determining how brightly objects reflect light. To illustrate this point further, imagine you’re sitting inside the office during daytime hours, facing a blank white wall behind you. At full blast, your monitor’s screen should shine pretty bright, right? Not necessarily. Depending on where you sit, the amount of sun coming in through windows, and other environmental variables, you may end up squinting just trying to glance at it.
As a rule of thumb, if you need to maximize visibility, then choose the brightest setting your monitor supports. Beyond that, it’s good practice to follow general guidelines provided by experts.
Lastly, if you live near mountains or forests, you should take a closer look at weather forecasts. Certain kinds of clouds can significantly impact outdoor lighting. Heavy rainstorms, snowfall events, foggy conditions—all of these factors cause artificial lights to flicker. Flickering issues are mostly due to electrical interference rather than natural ones. However, if you notice flickering, chances are that nearby trees block part of the streetlights causing the effect. Thankfully, special fixtures made specifically for this purpose exist nowadays.
5. What are some tips and tricks people often forget when using their laptops in low light conditions?
A few words of warning. Turning the brightness up too far can damage your eyesight and ruin your day. Exceedingly bright screens pose excessive strain on both rods and cones in your retina. Eventually, retinal cells begin dying off until nothing shines anymore. So, when choosing a proper brightness, remember to err on the side of caution.
Finally, if you ever feel tempted to crank up the brightness past normal limits, you may want to invest in an anti-glare filter. Anti-reflective coating reduces glare reflections caused by shiny surfaces. Unlike regular filters, anti-glares provide true black backgrounds. Plus, they’re thinner and more flexible, so you can fit them onto larger frames.
Good luck, fellow readers! Hopefully, now you know how to avoid damaging your laptop screen. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with us below.