How to make your LCD brighter

Many customers want their product to stand out in the dark, and a brighter LCD can make this happen. Maybe the product is used in mines or medical applications. Either way the display needs to catch someone’s attention when they first enter the room.

How does the song go?

                    My future’s so bright I need to wear shades

                      I’ve got a job waiting for my graduation

                     Fifty thou a year, buys a lot of . . . coffee??????

There are two types of LCDs in the world: Monochrome (single-color) and Multi-color (TFTs and OLEDs)

This article is limited to monochrome since they perform better in direct sunlight and can still be read when the back light is off. Also, the tooling cost, if necessary, is much lower.

There are four methods to achieve this.

1. Transmissive Polarizer

Swap out the transflective polarizer with a transmissive polarizer. This increases the brightness without increasing the amount of power necessary or decreasing the half-life of the LEDs. The one downside is the display will be a bit more difficult to read when the back light is off, but it is still readable.

Oh, the cost is the same for either transflective or transmissive polarizer.

There is no tooling cost. ($$$ =0)

2. Reduce the value of the current limiting resistor

Every monochrome display with a LED back light contains a current limiting resistor. The lower the resistor value, the higher the current draw. Hence the brighter the back light. The down side is the back light draws more power (not always good for battery powered products) and it reduces the half-life of the LED back light.

3. Remove Resistive touch panel

Resistive touch panels can reduce the brightness of the display by as much as 10%.

4. PWM

Pulse Width Modulation is another method.

If you are not sure which is best for your new design. Give us a call or send us an email for design assistance at FocusLCDs.com

Once the design is done and your customers see the light, the good people at Masterelectronics.com can hold your inventory so you have more time to ship shades to your customers.