Why Is My Samsung TV So Dark? (hint: it’s POWER related!)

It can happen gradually so that you don’t notice it until suddenly you realize you can’t see what’s going on while watching your favorite show. Maybe your Samsung TV went dark all of a sudden instead. Either way, it ruins your show, and now you can’t relax, but we have you covered. 

Generally speaking, if your Samsung tv is dark it’s due to a malfunction in the ambient light detection function. You must turn off the ambient light detection feature or change the brightness setting or replace the TV. Most issues with your Samsung TV going dark can be fixed with a few settings changes.

For more complicated issues you may have to contact customer service or check your warranty. Keep reading as we shed some light on the problem and get you back to your shows.

Troubleshooting Dark Samsung TV

It’s An Energy Saving Feature

Everything that consumes electricity has been getting an energy makeover. Samsung TV started adding a feature that detects the light in a room and adjusts the picture and energy use as it sees fit. Some models call this energy-saving mode an ECO Sensor. 

Most times when your Samsung TV goes dark and stays dark, it has to do with this energy-saving feature. When the room is bright, the TV will get brighter to make up for the extra light, and when the room is dark, it will adjust for optimal viewing. 

How To Turn Off Ambient Light Detection

There are two ways to change this feature, and it depends on when your TV was manufactured. Check to see if your TV was manufactured before 2016 or after 2017. If you’re unsure when your model was made, look on the back or side of the set for the serial number.

The first letter is usually a U unless it’s a QLED, which was first manufactured in 2019 and it will start with the letter Q. The second letter is for which region it was made, the next numbers indicate the screen size in inches—60 for a 60-inch TV. The letter after that is what you’re looking for. 

If the letter is A through K, your Samsung TV was manufactured from 2008 (A) to 2016 (K). Letters after K indicate television sets manufactured from 2017 and newer. Now you know when your TV was made, grab the remote and get ready.

For models made in 2016 and older you want to go into the TV’s SYSTEM. From there find ECO SOLUTION, then ECO SENSOR. Once you’re there select OFF.

For 2017 models and newer go into the SETTINGS, then open up GENERAL, from there go to AMBIENT LIGHT DETECTION, and then slide it over to OFF.  

Turning this feature off should fix most of the issues with the Samsung TV being too dark. If this hasn’t fixed the problem, or your set doesn’t have this feature check the brightness on the TV next.

How To Adjust The Brightness On Samsung TVs

The brightness on your Samsung TV may be too low. You can adjust this setting by pressing the MENU button on your TV’s remote and going into the SETTINGS menu. Scroll down to PICTURE MODE, then find the BRIGHTNESS section. It should scale from 0—completely dark, up to 100—intensely bright.

Most TVs should be set around 45 to 55. If you have to go much brighter than 55 to see the picture, there may be other issues going on with the set. 

While the brightness of the TV can be too dark, you may also want to check the other picture settings while you’re checking the brightness. You may want to check the Sharpness, Contrast, Tint, or Color settings. 

In the MENU, go to SETTINGS, then open the PICTURE menu, and from there go into EXPERT SETTINGS. Here you can adjust the other picture settings. For most TVs, the Contrast should be around 80 to 85, Sharpness should be set around 25, and Color is typically best at 45 to 55. 

The Tint adjusts how much red or green is shown on the screen. If you need to adjust this, slide it slowly from one side to the other until you find the perfect tint. 

Which Picture Mode Are You In?

On some Samsung TVs, you can change the picture mode, depending on how you’re watching TV. These could be affecting the brightness of the TV so it’s a good idea to check which picture mode the TV is in. 

The picture modes include:

  • Standard—This mode is the default picture mode. It’s great for all shows, movies, streaming, and more. 
  • Natural—For most of us, we watch TV in the evening. This setting is best for this time because it reduces eye strain. It’s also best for when you’re binging an entire season of Bridgerton.
  • Dynamic—This mode is brighter and clearer for bright rooms and daytime viewing. If your TV is too dark, you might want to try this option.
  • Movie—This mode simulates the dark theater and is great for dark rooms, and late-night viewing. Your TV could be accidentally set on Movie mode and you didn’t know it. 

To check and change the picture mode on your Samsung TV first go into the MENU and find SETTINGS. From there tap on PICTURE then PICTURE MODE. Scroll down and pick the mode you are looking for. 

Related Read: Samsung TV Volume Not Working Or Stuck

How To Reset Picture Settings On Your Samsung TV

If the above steps still don’t work, and now your picture is a wreck because all the other settings are off. Don’t worry because there is an easy way to reset the picture settings. This may help the dark screen issue as well. 

First, you need to open the SETTINGS menu, then select PICTURE. From there open EXPERT SETTINGS. Then all you do is select RESET PICTURE, and confirm your selection by selecting YES. 

Your picture settings will revert to the factory settings. If this still doesn’t fix the dark screen, you might want to go a step further. 

Factory Reset Your Samsung TV

This will reset the settings on your TV back to the day you opened the box. This is a little more of a drastic step, but if nothing else has worked so far, it’s worth a shot. Sometimes Smart TVs, like computers, need a reset to get everything back in sync with each other. 

First, open up the SETTINGS menu. Find GENERAL, click on that, then select the RESET option. You’ll be asked to enter your PIN. If you’ve never entered a PIN before or you haven’t changed it, the number will be 0000, as this is the default. 

Enter your PIN, then click OK. 

Some models won’t have the reset option by following these steps, if yours does not, then check these instructions. Go to SETTINGS and then instead of “general,” you will see SUPPORT. Now go to SELF DIAGNOSE, and then select RESET.

Let the TV cycle through all the changes before pushing any other buttons. This may take a few minutes as the TV goes through all the steps and resets everything. 

Make Sure All Software Is Updated

The next thing to try is to make sure all the firmware and updates are current. There could be something affecting the picture here. Once again go into the SETTINGS menu on your TV, and in there click on SUPPORT AND SOFTWARE UPDATE.

If there is an update for your TV it should show up here when you click on UPDATE NOW. From there, follow the instructions that show up onscreen. 

There Could Be A Backlight Problem

Most LED TVs have what is called backlight technology unless you have a new edge-lit or OLED TV. Without getting too technical, this is what gives most TV their bright colors, bright screens, and dark shadows. 

Over time these eventually start to break down and stop working. Most TV sets only last an average of seven years or between 40K to 100K hours of picture time before the backlighting starts to give out. 

If you have an older TV and you’ve followed all the above steps, yet it remains too dark, you may need to have it repaired or replaced. Alternatively, if the TV is less than a year old, or still under warranty, you might be able to file a Warranty Claim. 

Try Turning Down The Lights

If you suspect the backlights are going out, they will continue to fade until the set is completely black, unless it’s repaired by a technician. When you’re just not ready to give up on your TV you can try a few things to keep watching just a little while longer. 

You can move the TV to a darker room. As the TV fades, bright lights and natural sunlight will make it harder to see the screen. 

Move the TV to your room with the thick blinds, or one with no windows, and turn out the lights. You may be able to see the screen a little better until it gives out completely.  

Related Read: How to Get Chromecast on Samsung TV

Contact Customer Support

Sometimes repairs can be made to older sets, but as technology continues to advance, these repairs can get more expensive. Sometimes a repair could cost almost as much as a new set. 

Samsung offers a one-year warranty on most of their televisions, and if something is wrong with your set before this year is up, contact Samsung’s customer support team. You could end up getting a new TV for little to no money.


Samsung TVs are a popular, high-quality brand of television that can last you a long time. Occasionally, they have issues. I’ve had to deal with my Samsung TV flashing red before. Samsung TVs can also occasionally have dark screens that are hard to see. 

When that happens, most likely it’s the energy-saving option that needs to be turned off. Other times it can be the brightness or backlights that need to be adjusted.

By going into the settings, these all can be adjusted. We hope this has helped you solve the problem of your Samsung TV going dark.