You may take for granted that you can always easily read what’s on your screen until the moment you can’t. Whether outside on a sunny day or inside in a brightly lit room, there are times when you have trouble viewing what’s on your device. On the other side of the problem, a monitor that is too bright can leave you bleary-eyed with a headache. Optimizing screen brightness for your application can significantly benefit productivity and overall ease of work. 

Using a medical grade monitor has numerous benefits and can improve a user’s workflow in various ways. A brighter monitor allows you to place it anywhere and view the content without difficulties, even in direct sunlight. Secondly, high-brightness screens reduce eye strain as the content is easier to view. 

Another often overlooked benefit is the higher contrast ratio you get from using a brighter screen. This makes it easier to distinguish shades and patterns more clearly while helping the image to appear sharper. Like an improved contrast ratio, high-brightness screens allow for greater viewing angles without diminishing brightness like those used in digital pathology. . 

These benefits can help limit what has started to be called computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. Digital eye strain can cause several problems ranging from slight discomfort to worsening pain. 

Problems related to computer vision may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry eye
  • Eye discomfort
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye itching
  • Eye redness
  • Eye tearing
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

What Are Nits

The brightness of a computer monitor is measured in nits, a unit of brightness equal to one candela per square meter, and a candela is simply a standard unit of measurement for light intensity. In simpler terms, nits measure how bright a screen appears to the human eye. A laptop may have a brightness of 200 nits, while a modern high-definition TV will have 1,000 Nits or more. 

Other factors like contrast ratio and high-definition rendering, among others, also contribute to how bright a screen will seem to appear.  

High Brightness Screens

Some applications require a monitor with a higher nits rating due to the environment they are being used in, among other factors. These include monitors for outdoor settings like digital signage or advertisements or when a tablet will be used in direct sunlight. 

For example, many fast food restaurants take orders on tablet-based systems. You can imagine how frustrating it would be for an employee to struggle to read charges back to a customer just because it was a sunny day outside.

A lesser-known environment that would still need a high-brightness display would be an operating room. Given the technical nature of the work, most operating rooms are very well-lit to ensure surgeons can get the best possible view of what they’re operating on. Computers play a critical role in these settings. For that reason, high-brightness medical monitors and medical tablets are required so the screen can still be read in direct light while reducing the amount of glare. These are just some examples of the many applications where high-brightness screens would be helpful or essential. 

Nit Capabilities of Various Devices

Laptops and monitors tend to have lower nit capabilities than other modern devices, ranging from 200 to 600 nits. 

Smartphones and tablets range from 200 to 1,000 nits. Thankfully, this has been increasing in recent years since you often want to be able to use your mobile devices anywhere, whether reading an ebook by the pool or finding the perfect song while you’re out for a run. 

Ranging from 100 to 2,000 or more nits, televisions have the highest range of nit performance. Modern televisions have often been at the forefront of this technology for consumer use, and greater nits ratings also amount to better screen contrast and viewing angles. 

Similar to TVs, video projectors can range from 1,000 to 2,000 nits. As we’ll cover later, projector brightness is more commonly rated in lumens than nits. 

LED Walls or screens can range from 1,000 all the way up to 5,000 or more nits. These monitors or screens need such a high brightness level because they are often used for digital signage, like a billboard or other advertisement that needs to be visible outside in direct sunlight any time of the year. 

The Difference Between Nits and Lumens

You may have also heard about lumens being a unit of measurement for how bright a screen is. Unlike nits, which measure the brightness of a display’s surface, lumens measure the overall light output of a device. Nits are primarily used for measuring the brightness of light-emitting screens like televisions, smartphones, and tablets, while lumens are more commonly used to measure projectors, flashlights, and lighting fixtures. 

Closing Thoughts

Whether it’s for ease of use within your specific application, preventing digital eye strain, or getting the best possible image on your home TV, the brightness of a screen impacts a device’s usefulness in various ways.

Contact an expert at Cybernet if you’re interested in learning more about the options for monitors and computers available that can be specifically tailored to meet your industrial, medical, or enterprise needs. 

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