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I recently bought a 22" (LG) TFT to replace my old 17" CRT monitor. The very first thing I noticed was how bright it was. I reduced the brightness from 100 to just 20 and toned down the gammma and contrast. Then I opened my videocard settings and reduced the brightness there as well. I used this screen for a few days in a dimply-lit environment and my eyes are really sore. I had no problem with the CRT in that same spot.

Are these things supposed to run in bright environments only or are my eyes just sensitive?

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closed as not constructive by Nifle, 8088, Daniel Beck Aug 11 '12 at 5:29

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4 Answers

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Are these things supposed to run in bright environments only are are my eyes just sensitive?

Nah. You just have sensitive eyes or the factory default settings were too bright. You did well, and as expected, by changing the settings to something more to your liking.

Incidentally, you may also have got an equipment that had been previously on display. Light condition on many stores force the staff to increase contrast and brightness considerably to make up for this or to hide potential picture quality defects (one of the most common, foggy displays).

Meanwhile, being under dim light conditions really puts a big strain on your eyes when looking at bright patches of light (a torture technique too, eh). So it's no wonder you feel the need to make radical changes to your monitor settings that leave you unease and with the feeling maybe something is wrong with the monitor for forcing you to such extreme changes. Fear not, it's well expected.

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Might also be worth checking the refresh rate as well. The optimum for many TFTs appears to be 60Hz, although that is something which would have driven most people batty on a CRT. If you've habitually upped it to 75hz, maybe try back on the lower settings, as counter-intuitive as that may be.

Also, some bias lighting should help reduce eye-strain, if it's an option in your location. CFL Bulb behind monitor or ambient lightning with rope lights are two suggestions I've seen recently.

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+1 for light behind the monitor. Had to do some modding cause the only lights I could find were intended for cases (molex connectors), but so far it's looking good. –  Manos Dilaverakis Sep 26 '09 at 17:52
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Also a notable thing about (cheap) TN TFTs: those usually have worse colours than other screens, so the "cheap" trick that manufacturers usually do is to increase the screen brightness, which makes colours seem more vivid, even though such screen isn't really usable for longer periods of time.

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The default brightness of most screens is way too high. On a good screen though, the gamma-curve and greyscale ramp remain correct when dimming the backlight. Eizo and NEC put brighness sensors on all screens to adjust the brightness to the surrounding room.

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