Is OLED Better in a Dark Room? Should you avoid bright rooms?

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OLED TVs are often seen as the gold standard when it comes to watching films at home on a television display.

They offer numerous benefits including a higher contrast ratio and true blacks, however, some of these benefits fall flat if the display is placed in a bright room with sunlight.

This can be disappointing news for some, with all the respect OLED gets you would think it would be able to really showcase it’s abilities in a bright room but apparently not.

The next plausible question people have is in regard to darker rooms, is a OLED better in a dark room?

OLED TVs are better in darker rooms as they can better show their sharper contrast and wider color gamut, as well as stellar black levels.

Ideally, any TV is better off in a darker setting as ambient light can deteriorate the image displayed on the screen.

There is a reason movie theaters play films in complete darkness.

For a darker room, I suggest going all in OLED and looking at the best TV for your budget and room size.

For a bright room, I recommend buying a QLED TV, I give my top 3 recommendations later in this article.

OLED displays a darker image than other TVs


Because OLED’s produce a darker image than other TV’s you will see more added detail and contrast when watching movies.

Some people may not be a fan of this as there are much brighter TV’s out there like the QLED, which I will talk about in further detail in the next section.

The lower brightness but higher contrast will be amplified in a darker room but it will cause issues if you are in a bright room.

It’s really a matter of preference, do you want to see more detail in the image or do you want to have added brightness?

It’s a trade-off you have to consider when choosing between an OLED and QLED.

Personally, I am an OLED guy and have the Sony A80j (affiliate link) in my bedroom, I am a big proponent of the technology, if you have a dark room I highly recommend going with OLED, here are my top 3 picks.

Best TVs For Dark Rooms

If I had to go back in time I’d probably get the S90C or LG B2. Both are exceptional OLEDs and are cheaper than the Sony OLED I bought.

Budget Pick
SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class OLED 4K S90C
  • SAMSUNG OLED TECHNOLOGY: See movies, games, and more in a whole new light thanks to the mesmerizing picture quality across a full range of gorgeous colors; Only a brand like Samsung can provide incredible detail and unbelievable screen brightness.voltage : 120 volts
  • NEURAL QUANTUM PROCESSOR W/ 4K UPSCALING: If you’re streaming an HD movie, watching sports, or looking at home videos, experience it all transformed into sharp 4K resolution with our high-performance, AI powered processor*
  • QUANTUM HDR OLED: With fine-tuned brightness and optimized contrast made possible by self-illuminating pixels, your picture is instantly enhanced as Quantum HDR OLED analyzes each scene so you can enjoy rich and accurate colors
  • PANTONE VALIDATED: Enjoy color validated by industry leading experts at Pantone, so that images on the screen look as incredible as they do in real life
  • DOLBY ATMOS & OBJECT TRACKING SOUND LITE: Keep your ears on the action with Dolby Atmos and virtual top speakers that follow the story; When a dragon swoops across the screen, 3D sound moves along with it thanks to Object Tracking Sound Lite
  • MOTION XCELERATOR TURBO PRO: Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro creates consistently crisp 4K visuals at blazing-fast speeds up to 120hz and Game Motion Plus goes up to 144hz with compatible PC-connected content
Best Value
LG B2 Series 55-Inch Class OLED Smart TV
  • With LG's 8 million self-lit OLED pixels, you'll get a vivid viewing experience with infinite contrast, deep black, and over a billion colors that add depth and bring out the best in whatever you're watching.Bluetooth Support Version 5.0, Power Supply (Voltage, Hz) AC 120V, 50/60Hz.
  • Engineered especially for LG, the advanced α7 Gen5 AI Processor 4K algorithmically adapts and adjusts picture and sound quality for a lifelike viewing experience with depth and rich color
  • Get in the action with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate that keeps up with the fast movement in sports, video games, and movies for a sharp picture with smooth motion from start to finish
  • Be at the top of your game with NVIDIA G-SYNC, FreeSync Premium, and VRR to experience real-time action, plus the LG Game Optimizer and four HDMI 2.1 ports to get you (and keep you) in the action
  • Mount it on the wall with a 300 x 200 VESA mount (sold separately). Magic Remote, remote control batteries (AA), power cable, and quick start guide are included. TV stand sold separately
  • Find your favorite shows and movies fast with built-in access to Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV app, Disney+, HBO Max* and instant access to over 300+ free LG Channels** with everything from comedy to movies to sports
Best Overall
Sony 65 Inch 4K Ultra HD TV X90L Series
  • HANDPICKED BY AMAZON: They did the research so you don’t have to.
  • LIFELIKE PICTURE– The intelligent and powerful Cognitive Processor XR delivers a picture with wide dynamic contrast, detailed blacks, natural colors, and high peak brightness, replicating how we see the real world.
  • FULL ARRAY LED CONTRAST AND COLOR– See enhanced contrast with high peak brightness and billions of accurate colors, all controlled by Full Array LED backlight technology and XR Triluminos Pro.
  • PREMIUM SMART TV – Get access to all your favorite streaming apps in one place with Google TV, and simply use your voice to search and ask questions with Google Assistant. Supports Apple AirPlay.
  • MOVIES ON US WITH BRAVIA CORE - Enjoy streaming high-bitrate, high-quality 4K UHD movies included with the BRAVIA CORE app. Get 5 credits to redeem on latest release movies and 12 months subscription on hundreds of classics.
  • ALL YOUR GAME SETTINGS IN ONE PLACE– Game Menu puts all your gaming picture settings and exclusive assist features in a single easy-to-manage interface.
  • HDMI 2.1 GAMING – Get the advantage in high-performance gaming with HDMI 2.1 features like 4K/120, VRR, and ALLM.
  • PERFECT FOR PLAYSTATION 5– Take your gaming to the next level with exclusive features Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode for optimized picture quality while gaming and streaming on your PS5 console.
  • ENHANCED ENTERTAINMENT – Enjoy engaging and immersive cinematic content the way the creators intended, with support for Dolby Vision, IMAX Enhanced, Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode, and more.
  • ELEVATED AUDIO– With Acoustic Multi-Audio and support for Dolby Atmos, sound positioning tweeters produce wider, elevated sound that matches the picture you see.
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Are OLED TVs bad in bright rooms?


Not necessarily but OLED TVs aren’t as bright as some of it’s competitors like QLED.

If you are in a bright room added brightness from the television display can combat things like glare and reflection making your viewing experience substantially better.

Because of this QLEDs beat OLEDs in this setting.

If you want to watch movies on an OLED in a bright room then it is wise to invest in some blackout curtains (paid link) in order to block out external light.

I use the following blackout curtains in my bedroom and have been very happy with them.

I have a window behind me that is opposite the TV and it can bring in light and cause glare issues.

This product does a great job at blocking out that light so I can enjoy my movies during the daytime on my OLED with no reflection.

Best Blackout Curtain
Absolute Zero Blackout Window Curtains
  • ABSOLUTE ZERO - These elegant panels come in several sharp looking shades and are certified to block 100% of incoming light to maximize privacy. Perfect for any living room, bedroom
  • PERFECT SET - Each individual panel measures 37" wide and 84" long. 2 panels per pack.
  • NOISE REDUCTION - Kylie Absolute Zero is designed to provide noise-reducing benefits, further increasing your privacy.
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The phenomenal black levels and contrast that have made OLED famous won’t be as noticeable in a bright room.

You will likely notice the background glare on your OLED display if you have light coming through your windows.

It is recommended that you do not place your OLED TV directly parallel to any window as you will see the glare on the display, especially during darker scenes.

Glare will impact any TV but this is especially true of OLED as they have a glossy finish to the screen.

Some OLED’s have ambient light sensors that detect how much ambient light is in the room.

The display then properly emits the needed brightness to offset the glare but It can cause burn-in quicker on the OLED and wear out the pixels if you constantly do this.

Will sunlight affect an OLED?


Heat and UV rays from sunlight will cause damage to any TV, it is never recommended to place a display in an area where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.

If you do this it will cause your OLED display to deteriorate much quicker.

OLED TVs are known to have issues with burn in and this will certainly happen if it is constantly exposed to sunlight.

Your display will constantly have to emit maximum brightness when exposed to sunlight and even then you probably still have to squint.

I should mention that if you are using your OLED display mostly for watching TV and Movies then burn-in is much less of a concern.

If you are using it for gaming then burn-in is more likely to happen as you are dealing more with static images and typically gamers use their display much more often than casual movie watchers.

Anything with static images played in prolonged periods of time can ultimately burn into your TV, especially if you are displaying it at max brightness.

Make sure to turn off your OLED when not in use

As mentioned before OLED’s are known to burn in (leave a physical mark on the screen that is noticeable in the background) and this will be even more of an issue if the TV is left on for long hours at max brightness in a bright room.

Even if you are in a dark room turn your OLED off if you are not using it, if you are in a bright room definitely turn it off and closely monitor your watching times.

Monitor the temperature it is exposed too

Electronics in general should not be left in areas that are too cold or too hot as it will severely affect the lifespan of your device.

It’s more so of an issue in colder climates, avoid leaving your electronics in anything below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit).

However, prolonged exposure to strong UV rays is also a problem.

Best TVs For Bright Rooms

Budget Pick
TCL 55-Inch Q6 QLED 4K TV
  • 55 INCH 4K TV: Enjoy enhanced contrast, accurate colors, and fine details with our TCL 55-Inch Q6 QLED 4K Smart TV; Engineered with HDR PRO+ technology, including Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG for a breathtaking, vibrant picture quality
  • QLED - QUANTUM DOT TECHNOLOGY: With over a billion colors, this 55 inch QLED TV showcases Quantum Dot Technology with UltraWide Color Gamut; With a HighBright Direct LED Backlight, our TCL QLED TVs produce brighter images for an enhanced viewing experience
  • GOOGLE TV ENABLED: Experience UHD entertainment with Google Chromecast on this 55 inch smart tv; With the ability to cast directly from a mobile device, it offers a range of streaming services, bringing your favorite movies, shows, and live shows together
  • MOTION RATE 240 AND MEMC FRAME INSERTION: Combining multiple motion enhancement technologies, this 4K UHD TV handles fast-paced scenes with ease; Breathing life into every image, our TCL 55 Inch TV ensures exceptional motion clarity
  • GAME ACCELERATOR 120: Equipped with our Game Accelerator 120, this 120Hz TV provides a more responsive gameplay without lag; Also boasting a variable refresh rate powered by AMD FreeSync, this gaming TV is designed to keep you at the top of any leaderboard
Best Value
SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class QLED 4K Q60C
  • 100% COLOR VOLUME W/ QUANTUM DOT: Take in a billion shades of unwavering color and enjoy vivid, lifelike color at any brightness level as Quantum Dot technology works to create every shade you see on screen*
  • QUANTUM PROCESSOR LITE W/ 4K UPSCALING: See shows and movies in a whole new light with 4K optimization; Enjoy enhanced clarity and depth in every scene as our Quantum Processor Lite with 4K Upscaling automatically transforms everything you
  • DUAL LED: Don’t call it temperamental; You’ll enjoy beautifully balanced colors with dedicated warm and cool Dual LED backlights. Get stronger and accurate contrast with innovative technology that adapts automatically to match your content
  • QUANTUM HDR: Watch the details shine through with Quantum HDR that goes beyond leading standards to create deep blacks, impressive contrast, and picture quality that’s analyzed and refined to match the creator’s vision
  • MOTION XCELERATOR: Experience smooth motion and improved clarity with Motion Xcelerator; You can now fuel your need for speed with high intensity sports, movies, games, while enjoying crisp and clear details at the same time
  • OBJECT TRACKING SOUND LITE: You’ll hear 3D surround sound that follows the movement on screen using our incredible virtual top channel audio—putting you right in the middle of the car chase, stampede or party scene
Most Immersive
Samsung 65-in QN90A QLED TV
  • QUANTUM MATRIX TECHNOLOGY WITH MINI LED: A brilliantly intense picture powered by tiny hyper-focused light cells.
  • SAMSUNG NEO QUANTUM PROCESSOR 4K: Upgrade every picture to 4K with multi-layered neural networks.
  • QUANTUM HDR 24X: Vivid colors that jump off the screen provide dynamic contrast.* *The range of Quantum HDR claims luminance based on internal testing standards and is subject to change according to viewing environment or specific conditions.
  • ALEXA BUILT-IN: Ask more from your TV. Just ask Alexa to open apps, change the channel, search for movies and shows, play music, control your smart home devices and more. To talk to Alexa, press and hold the mic button on your remote. If you have hands-free enabled just say, "Alexa" and ask a question.
  • MOTION XCELERATOR TURBO+: Exceptional motion enhancements up to 4K 120Hz.
  • OBJECT TRACKING SOUND: Sound that moves with the action.
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Avoid putting the OLED above a fireplace


Also, make sure to never place your OLED above a fireplace.

Generally speaking, the TV will be too high if you do that and you will lose out on the resolution, HDR, and color contrast.

Also, the heat coming from the fireplace will damage the TV if you use it a lot.

Personally, I have an OLED in the living room that is above a fireplace and wish I knew this before I bought it.

It is not my primary OLED device in the house but I do occasionally watch TV with the family in that room.

So far I’ve had the device for 2 years with no problem but that’s probably because I live in southern California and the fireplace almost never comes on.


Whether you are considering buying an OLED or any type of TV it is crucial that you place it in the optimal space, ideally away from any external light source.

Make sure that there is no windows or light source directly behind you when watching a TV and install some blackout curtains if there are.

OLEDs are expensive and I don’t recommend buying one if you aren’t in a dark room. In a dark room, you will really see the phenomenal detail and contrast in the image and will enjoy your movie experiences more at home.

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