Fixing a Samsung TV Dimming Problem

by | Sep 10, 2015


Our company recently installed a new Samsung Smart TV for one of our customers (model # UN48J5500). Less than an hour and a half after we left, I got a call. Our customer told me, “The TV is dimming itself. All of the colors are there, it’s just – dimmer.” I said “I’ll be right over.” There was a twofold solution to resolve the complaint.

Energy Star settings

The TV was set by the factory for the “Standard” mode which is highlighted with a little Energy Star logo. The installing tech had not changed any of the settings for this mode. The Energy Star logo indicates that the “Energy Saving” function was set to “Auto” by default. This setting changes the brightness of the picture depending on what is being watched. When going from a program to a commercial – or vice versa – the brightness level would noticeably change.

In addition to the “Energy Saving” setting, the “Standard” picture setting also had the “Eco Sensor” set to “On”. This setting automatically dims the TV based on the ambient light in the room. When the sun started to set, and the room started to darken, the TV also dimmed itself.

The Solution

To change the “Energy Saving” settings, follow these steps.

    • Press the menu button on the remote control, then select “Picture”
    • In the “Picture” section, the first selection is “Mode”. You should see it set to “Standard”.

Fixing a Samsung Smart TV dimming problem mode

    • Press the enter button, you will go to a sub-menu that has “Eco Solution” as one of the choices. Use the directional arrows to navigate to this choice and press enter.

Fixing a Samsung Smart TV dimming problem eco

    • In the “Eco Solution” sub-menu, use the directional arrows to navigate to “Energy Saving” and press enter.

Fixing a Samsung Smart TV dimming problem energy

    • Use the directional arrows to toggle this setting to “Off”, then press enter.
    • Next, navigate to the “Eco Sensor” setting and press enter.

Fixing a Samsung Smart TV dimming problem eco sensor

  • Toggle this setting to “Off”, then press enter.
  • Exit out of the menu.

This should stop the annoying auto dimming that you have been experiencing.

There is a shortcut solution that can save you a few steps. If you set the “Picture” mode to “Movie” instead of “Standard”, it will automatically toggle both the “Energy Saving” and “Eco Sensor” settings to “Off”. The “Movie” setting usually has a lower brightness level as the default, but this is easily adjusted.

Please note that you will need to go through this process for every input on your TV, including when you are using the Smart TV functions and apps. To do this, follow the above steps while the TV is set to each input you want to change.

There is a shortcut for this too. Rather than going in to each different input, there is a way to apply the settings to all sources.

  • Press “Menu” on the remote control and select “Picture”
  • Navigate to “Apply Picture Mode” and press enter.
  • Toggle the choice to select “All Sources”, and press enter.

Now go back through the steps above. Your choices will apply to all inputs for your TV.


With the government mandating lower and lower energy consumption for all electronic devices, manufacturers need to find ways to meet the standards. Not only is the government mandating changes, consumers are looking for and basing buying decisions on the Energy Star sticker. To satisfy both the government and Energy Star requirements, manufacturers are devising creative ways of claiming lower energy use. While the energy consumption goals have resulted in more efficient designs and lower energy use overall, some of the more creative solutions or features built in to modern TV’s can be a pain. Lucky for us, there are ways to defeat the more invasive features.

This was a hard way lesson for the tech that did this install. Hopefully, the pain he felt will mean an easier time for you. Happy Viewing!


About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
Brian Hill's full author bio and article archive...


  1. Hank Mayberry

    I have the Samsung 32″ J5500 Series UN32J5500AFXZA LED Smart HDTV and am experiencing the darkness effect. I tried to follow your instructions to turn it off, but I don’t see a menu with “eco solution”

    • Brian HIll

      We have found that the Eco-Solution is often at the very end of the menu and that you need to scroll down to find it. If you don’t scroll down far enough, the setting will sometimes go un-noticed. There should be a selection for the Eco-Solution at the end of the ‘System’ Menu. Happy Viewing!

      • Cindy Trapp

        Thanks Brian, nothing worse than trying to watch NASCAR in the dark.

    • Geza Burkit

      It doesn’t work, samsung UN48J5200AFXZA. The Eco Solutions are all set to off: Energy Save off, Eco sensor: off. The problem is the Energy Star saving a factory preset that can’t be changed, and is permanent defect in manufacturing. Under Picture mode, Dynamic shows clean blue color, Movie is yellow murky tint; all 4 Dynamic, Standard, Natural, and Movie; energy star logo next to Standard, but all 3 are affected by auto-dimming, except for movie. During Blu-Ray, PS3 or PS4 game going to a dark image the picture dims way too much blocking out dark video images that are actuall visuals need be seen the tv doesn’t recognize deep dark images, not smart technology but stupid. Press info watch the “gauge like middle finger” bottom right of screen, gauge between Led tv and conventional, that decreases energy to picture darkness and works with energy star savings. This cheats customers out of quality. So all Samsung tvs and all UHD on display in store are fake and illusional because of energy star. When Smart tv are no longer samsung stupid when its IQ reaches 50, they should sell better. I would gladly trade my new 5200 series one for older Samsung UN46EH6000FXZA without Energy Star.

      • Brian HIll

        Geza, There should be a ‘Movie’ picture mode setting that does not have the energy star logo by it. I suggest setting the TV to operate in this mode. After setting the TV to default to the ‘movie’ setting, make sure that the movie mode is selected for all inputs into your TV. The settings can change depending on which input is being used. Once you have verified the picture mode setting for each input, then double-check to see that the eco settings are set to off in the picture mode. Do this for each input being used on your TV. The settings sometimes appear to be off but only in the picture mode being watched and for the input being used. The picture settings can be manipulated manually to brighten the picture and change the contrast for everyday viewing after the TV is in ‘movie’ mode.

    • DM

      I just bought J5500 Series 32″ for the kitchen. Factory setting was set to STD which utilizes ECO mode. Turned ECO off through setting and screen went to normal intensity in STD mode. So no problems there. With that being said I tried Normal mode and resolution and color were much richer than in STD mode. So not only movie mode keeps ECO set to OFF.

    • Gordon

      4 years later,
      Your solution is still spot on. My ecosolution toggle was in System, on Samsung 6, but I still knew what to look for.
      Much thanks!

    • Martin Barr-David

      Onlly available in 2018 models forward.

  2. don, Ontario, Canada

    hi.. I recently purchased my first SMART tv.. and really I am quite pleased, but several items are bothersome.
    SAMSUNG UN48J5200AF. I can take unit back, no questions asked. , get another identical unit or try a SONY.
    AUTO DIMMING as mentioned in article above has been addressed.. and I have got Eco off, Standard mode selected. . . but no results. The picture adjusts constantly to match the overall picture brightness. Titles at end of movies.. if only three lines of white type, brighntess is almost set to off.. the words are grey colour. If titles or credits fill the screen, they are bright white because there are a lot of them. If background picture is bright when credits run, the text will be white.. but if background picture fades… so does the titles… can hardly read them.. Dark scenes get so dark that you cant see the characters. Any comments

    • Brian HIll

      Don, please see the response sent to Geza. I believe you are both experiencing similar issues.

      • Allan

        My screen went half dim while I was watching it. I bought it in 2017 and found out it is a 2014 model. I still have a picture and sound but it is very hard to see. I did the things you mentioned and even called Samsung. They told me they need to send out a tech. Any ideas

      • Brian HIll

        If only 1/2 of the screen is acting up, it is likely a hardware issue. The tech is likely the best option here.

  3. Angel

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Totally thought my $3.5k tv was broken right after warranty! You saved me

  4. Travis Simmons

    Ditto, Angel. Brian Hill: Samsung should be paying you. Don’t get how EnergyStar could possibly be a selling point. Anytime I see that or “eco”, I expect the appliance to be over-priced and dysfunctional. You can’t even buy a decent gas can anymore.

  5. Judy

    Resolved the issue by going to the eco sensor mode turning it on then brightening the eim all the way to 20

    JUST .BOUGHT A SAMSUNG 6 SERIES CURVE WITH THE SA,ME ISSUE . solved the issue by going to the eco sensor setting turn on and adjust the dimness all the way up Tv doesn not go dim

  6. Liz

    Help! I have tried all your suggestions and nothing is working. I’ve already replaced my tv (with a Sony) but don’t have the heart to throw this one out yet as it is only 3 years old.

    • Brian HIll

      Hi Liz, my initial thought is a question. Have you followed the steps for all of your inputs? If you only change the setting on one input others will still have the Eco setting set to on. If you have changed the settings on all of your inputs, then I would need to know more about your specific situation to offer additional advice. Brian

  7. FrustratedFrenchman

    UN46H4203…..this is the model of my Samsung smart TV. It was sold without the remote…I am trying to find one online but I am also wondering if there is a Samsung (or other) universal smart tv remote that will do what you are sharing above. My screen constantly dims and I want to try what you are advising. Thoughts

    • Steve Cooper

      We sell and program a lot of Logitech Harmony universal remotes. You can pick up a Harmony 650 from Amazon here:

      Once you’ve programmed the remote follow these steps:

      1. Press the Devices button in the center directly below the screen
      2. Press the button beside the section of the screen that says Samsung TV
      3. Press the Menu button second row below the screen on the left side of the remote

      Just use the arrows and OK button to follow the steps in the article. (Note that your settings screens might look a bit different from those in the article)

      Once you’re done making your changes:

      1. Press the Exit button below the menu button to get out of the settings screen
      2. Press the Back button in the center directly below the screen
      3. Press the Activity button in the center directly below the screen

      Please let us know about your progress.

  8. Justin

    I found that my eco sensor would always dim the display because my cable box was directly under the right side (must be where the sensor is) so the TV always thought the room was dark. Moved the box, works fine now. (I wanted the eco sensor on mind you, it would be fine if I just turned it off as well)

  9. Jess

    My Samsung just went really dark all of a sudden. I tried all the troubleshooting options and Eco settings and still dark. Could it be that the hdmi cable needs to be replaced? The tv is not that old maybe 5 yrs.

    • Steve Cooper


      There are a lot of connection situations: One source device or multiple devices (cable, DVD, game console, HTPC, etc.); plugging devices directly into the TV or going through an AV receiver; perhaps a combination of direct and AV receiver connections. In general, check things from the simple to the complex. For brevity, I’m going to be a bit general.

      Start with connections: Check to make sure all cables are connected properly by pulling them out, then plugging them back in. This checks for cats, dogs, kids, a cleaning session, etc. that might have dislodged the cable(s). This will also do a bit of a check on the cables themselves — We actually had a cable end fall apart on us when we unplugged it.

      Turn off (actually unplug from the wall) all devices. Wait for a minute or so. Turn on devices. We highly recommend a high-quality power strip or power conditioner (For example, Furman). A power conditioner will not fix a dimming problem. Power conditioners simply protect the devices and make it easier to do a hard reboot (turning off, then on, all power).

      Make sure all software on all devices are updated to the latest version. Check the support section of the manufacturer’s websites. Non-updated software shouldn’t cause a dimming problem, but updating will often reset a default setting or undo a setting that’s causing problems or fix a bug in the software.

      Go into settings and reset to factory defaults.

      If, after the above steps are taken, the settings screen is too dim, the TV probably needs to be repaired or replaced.

      At this point you’re into checking cables and source devices. Remember to go from simple to complex and don’t spend money where you don’t have to.

      Swap cables to different inputs. Often the problem is on one input (indicating the TV or AV receiver needs to be repaired or replaced). If the problem is on all inputs, it’s either the TV or AV receiver that needs repairing or replacing.

      Now you’re into checking the devices and the cables. Think cheap! Don’t buy a new cable just to do a check if you have another available. Unplug the DVD cable and use it to check the cable box input and such. Also, the first device to check should be your cable box. Does the DVD player work on the input normally used by the cable box? If you think it’s the cable box, take it into the cable company or send it back to them. They’ll give you a replacement for free. We’ve had to do this with satellite receivers and with cable boxes. If you think it’s a DVD player problem, confirm it by trying one from another room or borrowing one from a friend or relative, if you can.

      Finally, you might have to buy (or borrow) an HDMI cable to complete your tests and in the end, you might have to repair or replace your TV or a source device.

      The best of luck to you. Please let us know how things turned out.

    • D

      For the TV that went Black as if it was shut off, pulling out and plugging in hdmi cable restored display for me.

      I saw a feature which turns off display under System while looking for Eco setting. Maybe check this if it’s not hdmi.

      Tip: turn off the motion lighting (and any other setting that “optimizes screen brightness”). Dimmed TV even with “Energy Saving” turned off.

      Many thanks to Brian Hill for the dim TV fix.

  10. Pam

    My mother, who is visually impaired, was having the dimming issue with her Samsung TV – thanks for the tips here, however I could not find the “Eco” setting – I did see the “Energy Saver” logo next to the “Standard” setting, so I changed her TV to “Dynamic” – the picture was noticeably brighter and the colors sharp. We watched for 15 minutes and it did not dim back, so I’m hoping this will be the solution for her.

    • Brian HIll

      Hi Pam, Different models may have slightly different titles for the same function. I’m glad this worked out for you! Brian

    • Fred

      I have a Samsung tv only 5 yrs old. I have done all the troubleshooting but I was convinced from the beginning that it is a hardware issue since the screen flickers.

      I have found the “Eco Solution” options under “System” settings rather than under the picture settings that it affects.
      Kind of annoying to find.
      Hope it helps

  11. Candy

    Thanks for your straight forward instructions: you know your stuff and know how to your knowledge. Big props!

  12. Peter Douglas

    I have a 7.5 watt lamp behind the tv. It runs switched off my reciever and fools the eco sensor!

  13. Alex

    I’m visually impaired, I have 7000 series samsung smart TV. Once TV input is switched to unconnected input, or switched to a device which is currently off, the TV is dimmed, and it is extremely hard for me to see the screen, in order to switch to another input.
    Any chance this dimming can be turned off? Thanks a lot!

  14. ashish

    when ever i turn my tv on after some times volume suddenly goes down to 0 and unable to listen any thing i have samsung 32 inch TV

    • Brian HIll

      Hi Ashish, You may have an issue with the TV or cable box. See out article titled “Resolving U-Verse and Vizio smart TV sound issues”. This article will walk you through how to defeat the commercial sound leveling feature on a Vizio TV. It will aslo walk you through how to turn the volume up on an AT&T box. I hope this helps!

  15. Patrick Wirtz

    Just bought the Samsung Q9 and it was dimming so much while listening to Pandora I couldn’t read the titles. Your remedy worked excellent, thanks for posting!

  16. Gavin

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I had turned off these ridiculous eco settings when I first bought my TV 2 years ago. I had everything calibrated to just the way I like it, but yesterday I had to replace my AV receiver and it must have triggered it back on! I could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong! I kept fiddling with the receiver obviously thinking that was causing the problem. I even hit factory restore on the tv picture settings thinking that might help…nope. I was at my wits end until I came across your solution here and a light went on in my head and on my TV : ) On my tv I found it under “System” near the bottom of the settings.

    Thanks again Brian for sharing this and helping me regain my sanity! This is the reason the internet was invented!! : )

  17. Mart.

    I have 3 of them as work monitors, and one of them started dimming while on a black screen – fixed it by turning off “dynamic backlight”. (Eco malarkey was all turned off)

  18. Jan

    Hi guys, i have the same problem as Don, Ontario.
    Brightness goes automaticaly up when titles or subtitles on dark screen shows up.
    Dimming is shutting down backlight when screen is complete black.
    I have UE55MU8002 (european 2017 model) with all ECO and auto features off, and
    no progress.
    Samsung tech support recommended me only ECO feature, and than reclamation.
    Service company guy had talk with samsung central and they confirmed, that its not problem, its TV feature and cannot be tunred off !!!

    So i started working on web page that will warn against this.

    Samsung go to hell with your inteligent tv…

  19. Kim

    We just installed the Samsung 50″ TV (UN50NU6900FXZA) at work with a Sony UBPX700 BlueRay player attached. The problem we are experiencing is similar to the above, and I believe I have made all of the suggested changes to the TV’s settings (turning off Eco Saver, changing picture to Movie, etc.) The dimming of the picture fluctuates very frequently (10-15 times within a minute). We installed a similar setup (Samsung 40″) in a separate room and are not experiencing the same problem.

    • Brian HIll

      Does the ‘flickering’ happen with all inputs or only with the BlueRay player? If the issue is only with that one input, I would check that the ‘All Inputs’ part of the solution has been followed. I would also check that the Eco setting has been turned off while using that input. Finally, I Love Samsung and the warranty rate for thier TV’s is incredibly low, but it’s possible that you got the one in a million that has an issue. Before jumping to that conclusion, I would try the above and try switching the HDMI to another input. You might also want to try a different BluRay player, it could be the Sony. I hope that helps! Brian

  20. KP

    I have recently sold my old Samsung 55” 4K Samsung TV with the same problem I am having with the new 58” 4K TV I just bought January 2019.
    The amibient light detection DOES NOT WORK. Tried a lot for 2 month with the old tv and the new one is just the same. Samsung techshave no answer on this as previously they sent me flash drive to upgrade driver which was found to be themost recently on my older tv. So no clue.
    You can see problem inthe nightand they can’t come to view this in the night…THERE IS EVERYTHING GOING IN CIRCLE ….
    I have used 4 Samsung Tvs in last 6-7 years and with last 2 TVS I am about to move to the other companies if the problem is not resolved.


    • Brian HIll

      We have found the best way to deal with this is to turn the ambient light detection (Eco Solution) off as outlined in the article.

  21. David Norwood

    I recently bought a 55 inch Samsung smart tv (series 6). One night the screen turned black (I could barely see what was on the screen) and I turn out the light in the room to fix the brightness issue. However, when I pressed the buttons on the remote I could not see which options I’m pressing because of the dark screen. Please help

    • Brian HIll

      We have not run across this particular issue. It may be an issue with the Eco solution, or possibly a defect in the TV.

  22. Gomu

    My tv samsung Q6 have same problem. While i watching movie on Netflix. Subtitles dimming when movie turn dark. I try to off all eco setting and set all contracts option but its not work, movie still dimming. Sr about my English. Its not good.

  23. Aisha

    Thank you. This was incredibly helpful. The eco indicator was not on my picture settings end didn’t turn off even after selecting movie or dynamic, however, I found them under SETUP all the way at the bottom where they could not be seen unless you scrolled for them. Which was fun to learn to do without the remote. Reading both the article, the comments and the responses to the comments helped me fix the problem when I thought I was going to have to trash the tv, as it’s a few years old and no longer under warranty. Thanks.

  24. ven

    Samsung TV screen goes dark and nothing is visible on the screen. What is the best way to readjust the settings? Even to bring up the menu, it has to be at night, with room lights turned off, but that makes it difficult to see the remote as well. That and the screen flickering make it very difficult to reset the TV back to working order. I’ve managed to working condition a few times yet this is an ongoing challenge.

    • Brian HIll

      We have not run across this particular issue ourselves. It may be an issue with the Eco solution, or possibly a defect in the TV.

  25. Katlin

    My samsung 55 inch smart tv is normal when first turns on, slowly dims so dark I cant see the picture. Then goes to super bright and slowly dims again. I have followed instructions and checked all settings. Could it be a backlight issue? How can I replace it?

    • Brian HIll

      We are not associated with Samsung. please contact the retailer where you purchased the TV with regards to replacement.

  26. Filip


    Ive red all of this and Ive got Samsung ue75nu8002.

    I tried film mode, turn off Eco mode and nothing helped.

    When its moře black on TV, it gets event darker and it dim till picture Change to something not that dark. Its really anoying, please please have you got any other tip? Im so done, thank you so much!

  27. Kathy

    Brian, I have had my samsung tv for years with no issues, today Direct TV hooked up new receivers and we the new genie. I cannot find the eco solution or eco sensor anywhere with the new remote? I turned energy saver off, but could not find anything else.

  28. bailey barney

    This is the information I was looking for i am an electronic technician and this will be of great help to me.Thanks for the post.

  29. John H.

    I have a Samsung KS8000 49″ TV (2016 model). It has an early HDR feature. I had also an annoying and cycling dimming problem. I had turned off all Eco setting per Samsung’s suggestion and the cycling dimming problem mostly disappeared. However, I found that HDR content was terrible (dim, washed out, and poor color when the TV was set in Movie mode. It was way worse than with HD content. Changing to Standard mode for HDR content improved the picture dramatically (with no soap opera effect). I still have to change back to Movie mode for regular HD and UHD content. I fine-tweak as necessary in each mode to set the image to my particular preferences. I hope this comment helps someone who finds it.

  30. POP

    Interesting commentary, but oddly enough I cannot get the ambient light detection to function on my UN32M5300. I experienced this issue in the past and resolved it by unplugging the unit and then resetting it to factory. Doesn’t work any longer. I wonder if the latest update disabled the ambient light detection function given the amount of heartache is has caused evident in this forum. Any thoughts on the matter?

  31. Lawrence

    How do I remove the icon/display on my screen that says “eco: on” with a small green row then the words” energy use”? And how do I determine what tv model I have- I don’t have the box anymore and bought it a few years ago brand new

    • Brian HIll

      There should be another menu line that will allow you to turn the notifications off on your TV. It is usually in the ‘general’ section (it has a gear icon on my sets). To find your model #, you can look on the back of the TV. There should be a tag there with the model # and serial # on it. In addition, you can often find the model and serial #’s in the menu under the ‘Help’ section. Go to ‘Contact Samsung’ and the model # and serial # of your TV should be there. Just press exit or menu again to leave this screen after you have written the model # and serial # down. Brian

  32. Jordon

    I have an insignia tv but its a samsung fire tv apparently, model number: NS-43DF710CA19
    My screen is dimming but only when i use my streaming services. So netflix from the tv disney plus and so on. When i stream via my game consoles like ps4 or xbox one they dont dim while im trying to watch the movies. I can still see the picture but it is very dark and hard to watch. I cant find any solution anywhere and ive looked through this thread and there is no eco mode or anything i can see in the settings. Also just did a factory reset and still not working. Help please.

    • Brian HIll

      We haven’t played with the insignia TV’s. As the Insignia TV’s are a Best Buy ‘house’ brand, they may or may not have the same internal parts as the Samsung TV’s. That’s probably why there isn’t an eco setting. The fix in this article likely won’t work. Sorry

  33. Wayne

    Greetings Brian, I am having a similar problem with my Samsung J5200. But I do not think it’s an auto dimming issue. The TV first restarted by itself twice. On the second restart in went dim and now flickers a bit, but never returns to bright. I read about P.W.M. I saw instructions that says I have to access the service mode. I needed to adjust a setting called “Picture 2D”, but I don’t have that option on my model. This feels like a long shot, but would you be able to assist with some of your expert knowledge?

    Thank you

  34. Alex

    Hello Brian. Our Samsung model UN65KU7000 just had this issue recently. Left side of the picture screen is darker than the rest. It comes and goes and for the last two days its been like this for awhile. I have been doing picture resets, eco solutions on and off. We have no idea whats causing this one. Unfortunately, we are already out of warranty since we got this tv 2016. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Brian HIll

      Unfortunately, if it is only 1/2 of the screen, it is likely a mechanical failure. It’s probably not cost effective to try having the TV repaired. A call to Samsung is recommended. They may have a repair option which I am unaware. Brian

  35. Nina Buchanan

    No in the hospital and had to stay with my daughters I just bought this smart tv a year ago and haven’t used it hardly any because I have been sick I PDFs almost 400.00 for it it is showing half a picture the other half is dark. I cannot get no help with it they said the warranty had run out 3 days ago it was shipped to my address from another state Its made me sick. I am 72 yrs old and probably won’t but another. So sad!


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