Battery powered Custom Segment LCD displays

Custom Segment LCD Displays in Cold Temps
Battery powered LCD displays continue to increase in popularity; custom segment LCD displays are a viable solution.

There is an increasing demand to drive the displays with less power. Custom segment LCD technology allows displays to operate at lower wattage levels. This can be seen with 3.3 Volt LCD displays that have increased in popularity in the last few years.

Many of these Custom segment LCD displays are required to work in very low temperature environments, with temperatures reaching -40C (-40F). LCD displays tend to slow down as the temperature decreases. If the temperature drops too low the display will freeze up and cease to work.

Ultra-low temperature environments are very common in industries such as military, aviation, outdoor and weather recording equipment. Many of these applications require a LCD display but are limited on available power. Since many of these products are far away from an outlet, power must either be supplied by solar, batteries or a combination of both.

This problem with freezing can be solved by adding a heater to the display. The down side is that LCD heaters require a great deal of power and will drain the battery in a very short time. The heater requires more wattage than the LCD and the backlight combined on a mini LCD display.

If possible, try not to use a heater on a battery powered custom segment display. But if you must, we suggest that customers set a time limit on how long the heater will run. This is similar to the backlight on cell phones. Cell phone displays are generally on for 15 to 30 seconds and then shut off. The same is true with a LCD display heater. Have a button that the user presses to activate the heater just long enough to read the LCD display, then shut down the power-draining heater on your custom segment display.