Incorporating an LCD Heater in your CUSTOM LCD

This article is written to help engineers understand how to incorporate LCD heaters in their custom LCD designs. We will cover the issue of liquid crystal displays that operate in ultra-cold temperatures below -40C.

Custom LCDs that operate in ultra-cold temperatures

Applications integrating a custom LCD heater are becoming more common. In the past, many applications that lived in unsuitable harsh environments, simply used LEDs to indicate their operating condition; a green LED meant that all was well, while a red LED warned you to wake up and pay attention.

One downside to LEDs was that they provide no other diagnostic information and worse, provided no forewarning when the operating normally LED suddenly switched to STOP you have a problem LED! One minute your engine is doing fine, the next you have a bright red LED blinking at you, and you are 50 miles from the nearest service station.

LEDs were not the ideal solution, but due to their ability to operate in ultra-cold environments most engineers were left with few choices. Times have changed and LCD Technology has improved and increased the number of choices with the advent of Thin Film Transistor LCDs (TFTs) and Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) that are able to operate down to -40C.

But if you require a lower cost custom LCD design and do not need color, or if you wish to avoid the additional programming required for graphic displays, there is the ever popular custom segment displays. Custom Segment displays now contain newer fluids that are able to operate as low as -40C.

LCD Heater solutions for custom designs

When temperatures for your custom LCD design reach the extreme ultra-cold range the display will freeze up and no longer operate correctly, one solution is to integrate a heater into your design.

Part two of this article will cover TFT displays and the technical/design aspects to consider when integrating a heater into your design so your LCD can withstand extremely cold temperatures.

Have questions on heaters for your custom LCD design? Contact our US based technical support.