Methods of reducing artifacts in SLM-based display systems (10, 20), whose images are based on data displayed by bit-weight for pulse-width modulated intensity levels. A first method is suitable for systems (20) that use multiple SLMs (14) to concurrently display images of different colors, which are combined at the image plane. The data for each color are staggered in time (FIG. 4). A second method is suitable for either multiple SLM systems (20) or for systems (10) that use a single SLM (14) and a color wheel (17) to display differently colored images sequentially. The data for each color is arranged in a different data sequence (FIG. 5). In either method, the intensity transitions do not occur at the same time.