Flicker-Free Technology ensures a comfortable viewing experience by preventing screen flickering as a means of reducing the monitor’s brightness.
Flicker-Free Technology (also referred to as Flicker-Less, Anti-Flicker and similar) indicates that a monitor doesn’t use PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) to regulate the display’s brightness.
The PWM method includes turning the backlight on and off rapidly, and even though the flickering frequency is invisible to the human eye, it can still cause eye strain and headaches to those sensitive to it after prolonged use.
Luckily, most modern monitors are flicker-free, meaning that they use DC (Direct Current) modulation to regulate the brightness instead, which provides a constant stream of light at any brightness level.
Now, keep in mind that some monitors may be advertised as ‘Flicker-Free’ but actually are not, such as the Samsung U32J590.
Displays that use PWM introduce flicker only at lower brightness settings (usually lower than 20% – 30%, sometimes even below ~50%).
This is still an issue for those who prefer lower brightness levels, whether because they work in dim-lit environments or because their monitor’s luminance is simply too strong, even below 50%.
On the other hand, some completely flicker-free displays might not include that information in the monitor’s spec sheet.
In our monitor reviews, we always mention whether a display uses PWM to regulate brightness. While most new monitors use DC modulation, there are some exceptions.
To test whether your monitor uses PWM, go here. You can also test this by pointing your phone’s camera to the screen, if the camera shows the screen with scrolling horizontal lines, your monitor is flickering, even if you don’t see it with your eyes.
Even if your display does use PWM at low brightness, there is something you can do to prevent it.
You can download a third-party application that will decrease the brightness by altering your graphics card’s white point value, while allowing the monitor’s brightness to be set at 100%, thus avoiding PWM. This will affect color accuracy though.