How to Measure Nits

Display brightness
••• computer screen image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com

A nit is a brightness measurement of light whose standard is the amount of light that one candle gives off in one square meter of area. The nit is a unit of measurement that is used for light given off in digital displays such as computer screens, video games and other visual appliances.

Choose the Appropriate Brightness:

    Plug in a candela conversion chart on your computer. If you are an electronics seller or buyer, it may be important for you to have a conversion chart at your fingertips. Unit conversion is the name of a software tool that you can download to your site to help you easily convert candles to nits.

    Know the kind of jobs you will be doing: For example, computer screens are thought to be bright enough for outside use when the brightness is 500 nits or above. For writing and searching the Web, 200 nits may be enough. To make sure that the computer you want to buy or sell is up to manufacturer claims, make sure that you display it in a bright window or find a reliable salesperson who will demonstrate it outside.

    Know the kinds of leisure activities in which you will be engaging. JR video recommends a brightness of 400 or more for videos and games; 400 to 500 nits are considered bright enough for watching TV. Televisions, however, may not require the same brightness level as computers. Extremely bright televisions may provide some discomfort, as they are generally not designed for outside use, and screens are subject to decay as image quality is affected by how long and how often televisions are used. Plasma TVs are subject to less decay than LCD and cathode ray TVs. When choosing a TV or video monitor, ask the salesperson to let you compare products with varying brightness levels, in order to choose the one most comfortable for you.

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