Brightess at 0 and still too bright, now what?


I have a Samsung 213T and I’m using the Monaco Optix XR ver 2.03 software to calibrate with. I have my Brightness and Contrast set to 0 and the software indicates it’s still too bright and contrasty. What should I do now?



Hi Larry,

This is getting to be a more common issue as more people are using LCD displays for the first time. These displays are pretty bright, and if you’re used to a CRT, it takes some getting used to.

Does your Samsung have any kind of power saver setting that will reduce the brightness? Some of the newer displays have that.

If your display has Red, Green and Blue adjusters you could try turning them down halfway also. That might be the easiest option to try, but I would not recommend it.

You might be better off trying to increase the ambient light in your viewing area, if you are trying to match your display to a print. The trouble with taking a naturally bright monitor and dimming it as much as possible is that your contrast ratio gets squished and the display has to operate in a range that it is not ideally designed for.

The other option is to get calibration software that will “take over” where your display controls leave off. The only software that I know of that will use the video card to bring your luminance down if you can’t reach your desired luminance with the on-screen controls is ColorEyes Display Pro. You can get a software-only version (since you already have the Optix device) of CEDP from the ColorGear section of our website.


First time post, and a reply to a topic I am not an expert on…

Patrick, you mention that only ColorEyes Pro allows for video card control. Doesn’t GMB ProfileMaker’s Measure Tool allow you to adjust the LUT as well?

This is how I’ve been working around the very bright and contrasty Dell 2407WFP-HCs we’re installing:

Run the calibration through the first time with the Brightness drop down menu at 100%. Skip the initial monitor brightness and contrast adjustments leaving the monitor controls untouched and at their native settings. Finish the calibration, measure the test chart, create a profile and verify that it is in effect.

Start the calibration routine again. At the bottom right there will be a System Status box that shows current Luminance, Gamma, White Point and Calibration date. At this point select a Brightness percentage in the drop down menu while watching the Luminance value until you get what you want. The monitor will respond as you change percentages. This is also the case for Gamma and White Point.

Close the calibration page without continuing through the actual calibration, measure the test chart again and create another profile.

I realize that this makes the profile “work” harder. However, I can’t see any detrimental effects of doing so. Let me know if there are flaws in my logic.

Los Angeles, CA

Excellent contribution, Mickey.

I didn’t know that ProfileMaker’s MeasureTool has this function, but you are exactly right. That’s what makes forums like this a good thing - an open exchange of knowledge helps us all to learn. It looks like the MeasureTool calibration function is only available if you have a dongle (so it is not one of the things you can do in “demo” mode) but if you have a ProfileMaker dongle, then this a great option.

The main drawback to reducing your luminance using the video card, is that it might make banding more likely in your images. When you let your video card handle the color adjustments without asking it to reduce luminance, it will have approximately 256 steps of resolution. But when you bring that curve down by limiting luminance, it will have a smaller resolution grid. It might have, say, only 200 or less steps to use to define a gradient from black to white. So transitions from one subtle color to another might not be very smooth.

Only a slight delay in responding to Patrick…

Yes, there are compromises:

  1. At least on the Dells we have, there is a threshold of useable on-screen brightness/contrast adjustment below which you just get mud.

  2. As Patrick mentioned, the more you force the LUT down to hit a “desired” luminance the more artifacts there will be.

  3. There will be a subjective aspect to calibrating the monitor as you find the balance between reaching set points and mitigating image degradation rather than set-it-and-forget-it with DDC and/or a CRT.

  4. You may have to adjust your working environment to suit the luminance level the monitor can produce with acceptable image quality. With dimmable print viewing booths and ambient lighting this may not be a factor.

My calibration process is slightly modified now for these LCDs. Park the on-screen settings at 45. Run an initial calibration. Return to the status screen and open a test image. Find the breaking point between luminance setting (in Measure Tool) and brightness (on the monitor) that does the least damage to the test image. Run the final calibration without adjusting the monitor settings and create the profile.

Hope this helps.