There are Many settings, within the settings, so you can play around with many different settings, but to answer your question on BRIGHTNESS vs. DARKNESS, you must first TURN OFF the (Energy Saving) mode, this takes down the brightness to save energy, to get to this (click) on ALL SETTINGS, then on PICTURE, over to the right of PICTURE you will see a list of settings, look for ENERGY SAVING in the list and turn it OFF it is set to ON by default. You also need to go into PICTURE MODE and change from APS (Auto Power Save), to STANDARD or you can use VIVID or the other choices, choose what you like best, Personally I think STANDARD works the best for all coloring & brightness, but its your choice, just don't use the APS (Auto Power Save), which is the default of the tv also, because again it is an energy saving mode. Once you do these two steps, you will be able to set your colors, tint & brightness, sharpeness, etc. to your liking, there are also many, many other picture settings, within each setting, you just have to click on each one to see what it does. Hope this helps.