The best TVs for dark rooms: Enhancing your viewing experience

For safe and optimal viewing, these TVs light up the room in the best ways possible.

The best TVs for dark rooms

by Jack Barrell |
Updated on

Picking out one of the best TVs for your home setup has always been important, but have you ever considered choosing a television based on your viewing room’s lighting? Well, if not, that changes today. In this case, your choice of TV and the technology that powers it will have an noticeable effect if you’re watching in a dark room. Luckily, there are countless ideal TVs for dark rooms out there that perform wonderfully, you just have to know what to look for.

Just like the best TVs for bright rooms, there’s a criteria that your dark room TV has to meet. You need to know exactly what all the display types are, these include OLED, QLED, and LED. They each boast different benefits and have their own individual shortcomings. You need to know about brightness output, contrast ratios, black levels, and anti-glare technology, if you are to understand what makes a great TV for dark rooms.

The best TVs for dark rooms at a glance:

The best TV for dark rooms overall: LG 48 Inch OLED48C36LA - View at Argos
The best value OLED TV for dark rooms: PANASONIC TX-42MZ800B 42 inch OLED - View at Currys
The best gaming TV for dark rooms: LG C2 55 inch 4K Smart OLED TV - View at Amazon

Whether you’re an avid gamer, devoted cinephile, or a sucker for a good popcorn flick, you deserve to know which TV is best, especially if it’s going to end up in a darker room. At What’s the Best, we’ve scoured the digital shelves and brought together the very best TVs for dark rooms. Find big names like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, and Amazon Fire, there’s something for everyone here.

The best TVs for dark rooms 2024:

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

The best TV for dark rooms overall

LG 48 Inch OLED48C36LA Smart 4K UHD HDR OLED Freeview TVArgos

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking clarity of the LG OLED48C36LA, a 48-inch Smart 4K UHD HDR OLED TV, a real upgrade for your home entertainment. The cutting-edge OLED technology ensures deep blacks and vibrant colours, presenting visuals that are as authentic as they are stunning. This TV is the dark room specialist, thanks to its ability to display perfect blacks by turning off individual pixels, which enhances contrast and depth in low-light environments.

Equipped with Freeview and smart connectivity, this LG TV offers a wealth of viewing options, streaming your favourite shows, movies, and more in unbeleivable quality. The intuitive interface and sleek design make it a seamless addition to any modern living space, ensuring that your viewing experience is both luxurious and user-friendly. Whether for gaming or movie nights, the OLED48C36LA is tailored to impress in any setting, especially where ambient light is controlled.

Pros

  • Delivers a sublime gaming and film viewing experience
  • Near perfect contrast ratio
  • 120Hz

Cons

  • Instructions make setup a little tricky

The best Samsung TV for dark rooms

Discover the pinnacle of home cinema with the Samsung 55 Inch QN90C 4K Neo QLED HDR Smart TV. This 2023 model harnesses the power of Samsung's Neo QLED technology, ensuring unparalleled detail and brightness. Its quantum mini LED can precisely control the lighting, making the picture pop with spectacular highlights. The HDR capabilities enhance every scene, displaying a range of vivid colours and deeper blacks-perfect for darker rooms where every detail shines through with clarity.

Picture quality is just the beginning; the comprehensive selection of features make it a versatile choice for any home. With smart connectivity, you can access streaming platforms effortlessly and enjoy an array of content at your fingertips. The sleek, modern design of the QN90C integrates seamlessly into any decor, providing a sophisticated look that complements its superior technology. Whether for movies, games, or daily viewing, this TV promises a premium experience that really shines in the dark.

Pros

  • Gorgeous QLED screen that performs very well in dark rooms
  • Choose between three smart assistants
  • 144Hz for gaming

Cons

  • Soundbar recommended for a flawless experience

The best gaming TV for dark rooms

Step into your new era of gaming with the LG C2 55 inch 4K Smart OLED TV, the best gaming TV for darker rooms. Its OLED technology delivers textbook perfect blacks and infinite contrast, highlighting the finest details especially in the darkest scenes. Enhanced with a 4K resolution, the display offers breathtaking clarity and peircing colours, making sure every game feels immersive and lifelike. The TV’s fast response time and low input lag provide a smooth, responsive gaming experience, rightfully making it a favourite among gamers.

This smart TV also features the latest gaming-centric technologies, including NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync, which reduce tearing and stuttering, allowing for seamless motion in fast-paced games. With its comprehensive HDR support, the LG C2 enhances visual depth and realism, making it the ideal choice for gaming in low-light environments. The smart interface allows easy access to streaming services and apps too, meaning that entertainment options are always at your disposal.

Pros

  • Lightning fast display
  • Complete console support with G-Sync and FreeSync tech
  • Picture quality excels in low light

Cons

  • Audio is crips but bass is lacking

The best 55-inch TV for dark rooms

SONY BRAVIA XR-55A80LU 55Currys

Experience cinematic brilliance with the SONY BRAVIA XR-55A84LU, a 55" Smart 4K OLED TV, likely one of the best 55-inch options for dark rooms. This OLED screen excels in delivering rich, natural colors and absolute blacks, shadows and shades are depicted with an exceptional level of depth. The TV's Cognitive Processor XR enhances picture quality by replicating the way we see and hear, providing next-level immersion. This technology makes the XR-55A84LU especially suited for dark environments where every nuance of light and color is critical.

With Google TV built-in, it offers easy access to a vast array of content and streamlines your viewing experience. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology delivers precise sound that comes directly from the center of the screen, perfectly aligning audio with the action for an enveloping sound experience. Sleek and stylish, this TV blends seamlessly into any room, enhancing your space while providing top-tier entertainment in darker settings.

Pros

  • A truly brilliant Sony Bravia display
  • Performs very well in dark rooms
  • Very solid sound

Cons

  • Could get larger screens for the price

The best LED TV for dark rooms

SONY BRAVIA XR55X90LUCurrys

The Sony Bravia XR55X90LU is a celebration of LED TVs, and it's absolutely terrific for dark rooms. The Full Array LED backlighting delivers exceptional brightness and contrast, illuminating scenes with precision and making it ideal for darker bedrooms or living rooms. The advanced XR Contrast Booster enhances each image by maximizing peak brightness and maintaining deep, true blacks. You're always getting that life-like picture quality with vibrant colors and detailed shadows, perfect for capturing the nuances of dark cinematic moments.

This TV also features the innovative Cognitive Processor XR, which intelligently optimizes picture and sound for an unparalleled immersive experience. Google TV brings a world of content to your home, making it so easy to find your favorite media. Thanks to a sleek design and robust build typical from Sony Bravias, the XR55X90LU fits beautifully into any room setup. Enjoy smoother, clearer, and more dynamic scenes with this state-of-the-art Sony LED TV, especially in low-light rooms.

Pros

  • Full Array LED means gorgeous colour and contrast
  • 120Hz means fluid gaming
  • Extremely responsive and capable screen

Cons

  • Sound vastly improved with a soundbar

The best budget LED TV for dark rooms

Samsung 50 Inch UE50AU7020KXXUArgos

Explore the exceptional value of the Samsung UE50AU7020KXXU, a 50-inch Smart LED TV that combines affordability with high performance, making it an excellent wallet-friendly choice for darker rooms. This TV features Crystal Display technology bringing optimized color expression, allowing you to enjoy a wide spectrum of colors even in low lit rooms. The LED backlight enhances contrast, brightening whites and deepening blacks, providing a clear and vivid picture quality that's ideal for enjoying movies and shows in darker rooms.

The Samsung UE50AU7020KXXU is a Smart TV after all, so it offers easy access to streaming services and a range of apps through a user-friendly interface. There's HDR10+ support, which optimises every scene, delivering finer detail in those shadows and highlights. This TV proves that you don’t have to compromise on quality for price, offering a cost-effective solution for enhancing your viewing experience that's perfect for dark rooms.

Pros

  • Micro dimming technology improves the contrast by dimming individual sections of the TV screen.
  • Very good value for money
  • Lightweight, easy to set up

Cons

  • Only 50Hz might not be enough for serious gamers

The best budget QLED TV for dark rooms

Samsung The Frame Art ModeVery

Introducing the Samsung The Frame Art Mode 32 inch QLED Full HD Smart TV, a super stylish and great value QLED option for darker rooms. This innovative TV not only serves as a high-quality entertainment device but also doubles as a piece of art, blending effortlessly with your room’s decor. The QLED technology ensures that you experience vibrant colours and detailed images, with deep blacks and high contrast that always pops, making it perfect for movie nights or displaying art in dimly lit spaces.

This smart TV ramps up your living space with customizable frames that mimic the look of a real painting when not in use. Its smart capabilities allow swift access to streaming services, while the intuitive interface makes navigating through content a breeze. The Frame is an excellent choice for anyone looking to combine aesthetic appeal with functionality, making the most of limited space without sacrificing visual quality.

Pros

  • Amazing value considering the features
  • Appropriately-sized QLED screen to reduce eye strain
  • Samsung Q-Symphony audio shines

Cons

  • Only Full HD

The best value OLED TV for dark rooms

PANASONIC TX-42MZ800BCurrys

Behold, the PANASONIC TX-42MZ800B, a 42 inch OLED Smart TV that offers the best value for those looking for the best viewing in darker rooms. OLED technology provides precise control over individually lit pixels, resulting in flawless blacks and striking contrast. Ideal for cinematic experiences in low-light settings, this model ensures that you catch every detail with its sharp, vivid visuals and deep color saturation, thanks to advanced HDR support.

This smart TV not only excels in performance but also in connectivity, offering speedy access to a wide range of streaming services and applications. Its compact size makes it a perfect fit for any room, while maintaining the powerful performance expected from larger models. The PANASONIC TX-42MZ800B integrates effortlessly with your existing smart home systems, making it a versatile addition to your technology suite. Enjoy the immersive quality of OLED and the convenience of smart features, all wrapped up in a value-packed model that excels in the darker rooms of your home.

Pros

  • Brilliant colour delivery and contrast ratio thanks to 4K Colour Processor
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Solid value for an OLED screen

Cons

  • Energy Class G

The best OLED TV for dark rooms

Samsung have been at it again, this the 55 Inch S90C 4K OLED HDR Smart TV. It's a top-tier choice for darker rooms. This OLED TV excels in delivering vibrant colors and the purest darks .The HDR technology ensures that dark scenes are not only clear but also full of depth and nuance. The 4K resolution promises a crystal-clear display, and delivers, making every viewing a spectacularly immersive experience.

The Samsung S90C is smartly equipped with the latest in connectivity and streaming technology, allowing you to access libraries upon libraries of multimedia content. Its ultra-modern design and thin profile are as visually pleasing as the images it displays. Adaptive brightness technology optimizes the screen to the lighting conditions of the room, ensuring the best viewing experience at all times. With sound technology that matches its visual prowess, this TV turns any room into a private cinema, particularly enhancing the ambiance of darker spaces with its awesome display capabilities.

Pros

  • Quantum Dot revolutionises colour delivery across the spectrum
  • A near perfect OLED screen for dark rooms
  • No weaknesses in performance

Cons

  • Setup controls may be tricky for some

The best Smart TV for dark rooms

Step into a sharper, smarter viewing experience with the Amazon Fire TV 50-inch 4-series 4K UHD smart TV, the best Smart TV choice for darker rooms. This TV combines 4K Ultra HD clarity with high dynamic range (HDR) technology to offer stunning brightness and deep contrasts. The direct LED backlighting enhances this effect by providing organised brightness across the screen, suited for maintaining vibrant visuals in low-light conditions. Every scene is displayed with precise detail and richer colors, making it a superb option for both cinematic watching and everyday viewing.

Beyond its impressive visual capabilities, this Fire TV integrates so well with Amazon's smart home ecosystem, offering voice control with Alexa and easy access to a vast array of streaming services, apps, and Alexa skills. The user-friendly interface ensures that all your content is just a few clicks away, while the TV itself remains elegant, fitting perfectly into any room's decor. Whether you're streaming, or just catching up on your favorite shows, this Amazon Fire TV transforms any dark room into a dynamic entertainment hub.

Pros

  • Super intuitive Smart TV on an LED screen that shines in dark settings
  • Great value for money
  • Intuitive voice command with Alexa

Cons

  • Only 60Hz won't be enough for a lot of gamers

Why TV Performance in Dark Rooms Matters

The performance of a TV is extremely important, especially if said TV will reside in a dark room. When viewing in a dark room, you’re going to notice things you normally might not in a room with typical ambient lighting. How well a display produces the darks and the pure blacks is going to be the big one, this will be very noticeable if your TV doesn’t have these performance capabilities.

Best TV Technologies for Dark Rooms

When we talk about TV display technologies, there’s the big three that you need to remember. That’s OLED, QLED, and LED. Each are great in their own respective ways, but they all vary when you place them in a darker room.

The best OLED TVs come out on top when it comes to viewing in dark rooms, this is because OLED screens are nowhere near as bright as QLED or LED screens. This means that there’s far less chance that viewers will suffer with eye strain, but they also don’t sacrifice picture quality at all. OLED is phenomenal for bringing out those dark, inky blacks, and with a far superior contrast ratio, HDR performs much better too. OLED displays will likely be a first choice for gamers as well, this is courtesy of their incredibly fast response times and per-pixel lighting.

LED displays are still respectable options for a TV, even in darker rooms. LED televisions are far more economical and require less power, but they’re still known to deliver on brightness and display richness. You could still have a great experience from an LED screen, you might just have to make some adjustments to your home viewing setup, like adding in some dimming lighting.

That leads us right onto QLED. Again, this is another display type known for delivering on brightness and vibrant colours. Even if these are elements you’re looking for in a TV for your dark room, you should be aware that even the greatest QLED screens are known to struggle at translating deep blacks, due to a much inferior contrast ratio to LED and OLED displays.

Setting Up Your TV for Optimal Viewing in Dark Rooms

When you pitch up to watch some TV in a darker room than usual, you’ll want to make your way towards your TV’s display settings before putting anything on. Brightness should come down right away, there’s no reason to have your brightness slider anywhere near the maximum, unless that is, you enjoy headaches and sore eyes.

From a viewing quality perspective, you’ll likely want to turn down backlight in the TV settings too. If this is too high in a dark room, you can end up with a very washed out image which is ultimately going to make whatever you’re watching not look very pleasant.

How Room Environment Affects TV Viewing

TV in a dark room
©Pexels

The way you organise your entertainment setup will have an effect on your overall viewing experience, especially if that setup is in a room with little light. You want your viewing room to accommodate a few things, including the reduction of eye strain, the avoidance of glare, and optimising the viewing angles.

In order to reduce the chances of eye strain, we’d recommend implementing some additional lighting into the room. Yes, this’ll make the room less dark, but it doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Many opt for LED strips to go around the TV, the stand/desk, or other room furniture. Dimmable lighting is also a great option, like lamps where you can manually adjust the intensity of the light delivery.

In order to avoid screen glare, keep any additional room lighting behind the TV, or at a far enough distance that there’s no chance of the screen picking it up. Situating your TV in front of a south-facing window is another way of avoiding glare, and you’ll also help with avoiding eye strain too with the window acting as a backlight.

In terms of achieving that optimal viewing angle, placing your TV in the middle of the wall is one of the best routes to go. Depending on your furniture setup, this’ll mean that everyone watching will have the same viewing experience. Viewing distance is important too, here are the recommended viewing distances for each size screen starting at 55-inch:

Viewing distance

55-inch: 1.7m

65-inch: 2.0m

75-inch: 2.3m

85-inch: 2.6m

98-inch: 2.98m

Speaking of the wall, there are some wall colours that will benefit a darker room when it comes to TV viewing. It’s been said that shades of charcoal and deep greys make for a superior viewing experience in a dark room.

Jack Barrell is a Tech and Fitness Writer for What’s the Best. He is invested in all things entertainment and keeps well up to date with the latest sports and exercise trends too. On his off days Jack can usually be found doing one of two things; lifting heavy weights – or watching his favourite Star Wars for the thousandth time.

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