Dual monitors are not having the same brightness? Try this

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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dual monitor colors not matching

You’ve recently bought a new monitor to use it for your dual setup? Then it’s time to calibrate them properly so you can enjoy the best possible experience. But sometimes, things aren’t as straightforward as they seem.

Despite the fact that the new monitor is maybe identical to the old one or their settings are exactly the same, their brightness is not.

Realistically, you’re supposed to take things as they are. You always need two identical monitors with identical panels/technologies to get any sort of brightness and color match. Even so, they can slightly vary between monitors of the same model.

Since that’s going to turn into an annoyance if you’re sensitive enough to notice the difference, we’ve decided to create this guide that will help you match the brightness on your dual monitors.

How do I adjust the brightness on my second monitor?

1. Let’s start with the basics

dual monitors

We’ll definitely take you through a series of troubleshooting steps. However, there are some basics you should understand before you can fully grasp this concept:

  • The age difference between monitors often affects their similarity. When a monitor is older than the other one, it may also be slightly less bright.
  • Keep in mind that latest laptop monitors often sacrifice color reproduction for lightweight functionality.
  • Any differences in wall color or furniture color have a high impact over the light that’s arriving at the monitor. Try to compare your dual monitors under similar lighting conditions.
  • Finally, keep in mind that it’s hardly impossible to match two screens from different monitor models, manufacturers, and panel technologies as far as color is concerned. Color, brightness or contrast can be roughly matched by calibrating them, but that’s pretty much all you can get.

If you want to accurately calibrate your monitors, take a look at the best software for that in this article.

2. Manually adjust the difference

Gamma panel

As said before, if it isn’t happening to a professional monitor that comes with colors calibrated, you’re most likely experiencing a variation in production. In this case, you will need to give a boost to your monitors to match each other.

That’s why we recommend manually adjusting the difference. You could adjust Gamma/ Brightness and even color correction, either in Windows settings, monitor settings, or the Graphics card Settings Panel.

3. Calibrate display via Color Management

calibrate display via Color Management

There is also a Color Management option in Windows which may help you out. With it, you can accurately calibrate your display colors. Just search for Color Management in the search box, then follow the wizard to set up both your monitors.

You need to do the same with both screens. Color Management lets you check the proper brightness, contrast, etc. based on the monitor, so give it a try as well and let us know if it works.

4. Use the same color profile when dual monitor colors are not matching

use the same color profile

You’ve did your best, but it seems that you just can’t reconcile the differences easily. Remember that all monitors use the System default color profile. If you think that Color profile is the culprit, change the color profile as well.

Go to Color Management again. Once it opens, select a monitor, check the box that says Use my settings for this device, click the Add button, then choose a color profile.

Do the same with the second monitor and check whether it fixes the problem or not.

5. Use the same type of ports to connect the monitors

use either DVI or HDMI port

If you use different ports (DVI, VGA, HDMI) to connect your dual monitors, you may get high or low color depth and different brightness levels. Stop using the VGA port to fix this.

Instead, use either DVI or HDMI port to connect both monitors and see if you notice any improvement.

Looking for the best high-speed HDMI cables? Check out this awesome list to find them.

Following the above tricks can bring your dual monitors as close to the brightness and color ideal as technology makes it possible these days.

If you are lucky enough, you may be pleased with the result. Nevertheless, sometimes the differences may still exist even after trying all these methods.