An Introduction to LCD Backlighting

Feb 26, 2021

Backlighting is an essential component in all liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). Unlike organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, LCDs don’t feature self-illuminating pixels. They are made of a layer of liquid pixels that require illumination from a separate component. Known as backlighting, this component is responsible for illuminating the pixels. To learn more about LCD backlighting, keep reading.

The Basics of LCD Backlighting

LCDs are designed with backlighting behind the pixel layer. They typically have a top layer of glass, followed by the pixel layer and then the backlighting. The backlighting essentially illuminates the pixel layer from behind. It produces light that travels through the pixel layer while simultaneously illuminating the LCD’s pixels. Without backlighting, an LCD won’t be able to produce visible images.

CCFL Backlighting

Cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) is a common type of backlighting used in LCDs. CCFL backlighting consists of a pair of lamps, which are installed along the edges of the LCD’s display. They are typically used in conjunction with a diffuser. The diffuser helps to distribute the CCFL lamps’ light so that it reaches all of the pixels.

LED Backlighting

Another common type of backlighting in LCDs is light-emitting diode (LED). LED backlighting, in fact, has become the most popular type of backlighting used in LCDs. LED backlighting is defined by its use of LED bulbs. Rather than being installed along the edges of the display, however, the LED bulbs are installed directly behind the display in a separate layer.

Mini LED Backlighting

Along with standard LED backlighting, some LCDs are designed with mini LED backlighting. Mini LED backlighting is similar to standard LED backlighting. They both consist of LED bulbs that, during use, illuminate the LCD’s pixel layer. The difference is that standard LED backlighting consists of fewer and larger bulbs, whereas mini LED backlighting consists of more and smaller bulbs.

To put their size into perspective, mini LED backlighting bulbs are about 1% of the size of their standard LED counterparts. LCDs with mini LED backlighting often have thousands of these small bulbs. During use, the small bulbs will provide illumination that travels through the pixel layers to produce visible images.

In Conclusion

Backlighting is a requirement for all LCDs. Whether it’s a TV, computer monitor, tablet or human machine interface (HMI), all LCDs need backlighting. Some of them use CCFL backlighting, whereas others use standard LCD or mini LCD backlighting. Regardless, backlighting is an essential component that’s responsible for illuminating the LCD’s pixel layer.

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