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lifetime of an LCD monitor

by raydoz / August 14, 2005 11:38 AM PDT

Hello everybody,

last year in October 2004, I bought a MAG 17 inch LCD monitor to replace my CRT monitor. I have heard that LCD monitors last longer than an CRT monitor, but I was wondering does anybody know how long on average does an LCD last before you have to fix it or buy a new one?

For example I know that there is a lamp inside an LCD monitor and I was wondering how long that will last on average.

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You have to define it. Here's why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2005 11:48 AM PDT

The CCFL or lamp will slowly degrade with time. Some define end of life when the lamp hits 50% of its output. What is your definition?

As to the actual numbers, all are estimates but are published.


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by raydoz / August 14, 2005 12:04 PM PDT

thanks for your input. I forgot to realize that the lamp inside an LCD monitor gets dim overtime. yeah I was wondering when will the lamp start becoming dim and how long before it simply goes out? how many hours?

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Many years (on average.)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2005 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: re

There will other failures, but we are talking averages of the lifetime. If you look in some peripherals forum, you find a production gaffe that caused that model to possibly have a 1 to 2 year lifespan. But that's not the usual.

As to dead or no output. It was a long (too long) discussion with others that couldn't accept that LEDs don't burn out like light bulbs. Find a graph and you see it diminish, diminish and keep diminshing. If you read the reports they never burned out.


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(NT) (NT) Typo.. will... will be.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2005 12:11 PM PDT
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by gotpaint32 / August 19, 2005 1:49 AM PDT

Most backlights for LCD screens are either cold cathode fluorescent tubes, or garden variety fluorescent tubes. LEDs are rarely ever used (maybe places like cell phones) due to their unbalanced emission spectra. The tubes in LCDs do degrade much like LEDs but unlike LEDs they sometimes do just die out.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2005 2:51 AM PDT
In reply to: LEDs?

I used the notes I have on LEDs since I had to write studies on such lifespans in a hardware project I worked on. The LCD lighting and lifespan is close enough that I can use this information.

So far I've found the invertor dies rather than than the LCD or CFFL tubes so I maintain that the parallels are close enough to be useful.



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Will it last longer if I run my LCD at less brightness...
by logicalthought / August 18, 2005 10:36 PM PDT

...or does that make no difference?


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2005 12:25 AM PDT

That's true of many components. Run at lower output = longer life.

Linux, Windows, MacOS all offer power saving settings that you can program to shut the monitor off after so many minutes. The new monitors are designed for this to save power and this does extend the life.

In the case of a laptop, I maintain it's not as big a deal since I'm seeing 4 years tops for office machines when keeping the old (now slow) machine around costs us more than replacing it with spiffy new fast machines.


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by Alan Copeland / August 19, 2005 12:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes.

What is your recommended shutdown time? I have always turned off auto shutdown, but this is my 1st LCD and I would like to maximize it's lifespan. Thanks.

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Maybe you answered this, but...
by logicalthought / August 19, 2005 7:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes.

...I'm not talking about shutting it off but, rather, viewing it with the minimal brightness that I need. Will this extend the life?

Again, thanks.

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He did
by Alan Copeland / August 19, 2005 8:03 AM PDT

That's true of many components. Run at lower output = longer life.

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(NT) (NT) around 60,000 hours
by AKonny47 / August 14, 2005 11:57 AM PDT
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omg i think my 2 month old lcd is dying....
by nerdyboy1234 / August 14, 2005 12:50 PM PDT

cuz it seems less bright than when it was new...
or it could be that i'm spending more time in front of it that my eyes got use to the brightness

anyways yah lcds can last 2 years for some ppl and some can last even longer but nothing lasts forever and eventually it will break

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60,000 hrs?
by jahan / August 18, 2005 10:06 PM PDT

I'd say that my monitors are about 8hrs a day on and not in screen-saver or standby. By my calculation your 60,000 hrs will give just over 20 years of service life. REALLY?
BTW, agree with nerdyboy1234 about the brightness of LCD fading, or getting used too. My now 1 year old LCD just about burned my eyes out when it was new. Resolved it by using the AVI cable instead of DV cable (monitor had both connections, video card just DV). Can anyone explain why this work-around worked, because I haven't a clue?

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Cable workaround, why it worked
by oogieboogie / August 20, 2005 7:13 AM PDT
In reply to: 60,000 hrs?

A DVI cable actually sends a signal to define the contrast of the picture. VGA/composite does not.

Thats also why some(most?) LCD monitors will not allow contrast adjustment on a DVI signal.

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(NT) (NT) Cheers
by jahan / August 20, 2005 10:22 AM PDT
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Half-life. . .
by Coryphaeus / August 14, 2005 10:27 PM PDT

is the term generally used for LEDs, which means the LED will be half as bright. The half-life of an LED is generally considered to be about a hundred years. Of course this is in perfect laboratory conditions, and with perfect samples. What you and I will generally see are dead pixels.

But remember this. By the time your display has become unusable, something better and cheaper will be available. Count on it.

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Laptop monitors : source of income for the computer manufact
by navroz / August 18, 2005 11:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Half-life. . .

Whoever says that the display lasts 60,000 hours, has never used it that long.

I bought a Compaq Presario two years back for Rs. 75000/- (that's US $ 1666/- but is a lot of money in India).

The screen started getting dimmer, I didnt realise, I kept telling my wife to keep curtains drawn, I'm getting a glare, cant read the display.

Then it reached the not-readable state.

Imagine my surprise when compaq service indicated a cost of Rs. 50,000, they dont give the parts which conk out, I have to buy the invertor and the display. And to find out what is wrong, they would first charge me an obscene amount first, which will not even be adjusted against cost of replacement of the display.

This is a money making racket, and I will never buy a laptop again. I've decided to buy next time the latest cellphone which has computer functions, and work in conjunction with a desktop.

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Parts for your laptop
by sobitthen / August 18, 2005 11:50 PM PDT

Are you able to purchase from ebay, perhaps you can find a dead laptop to use for parts there for much less.

I have 3 flat panel monitors, all from different manufacturers, only had troubles with 1, but it was under its 3 year warranty and was replaced. 3 years is the longest I have owned one without troubles. I would shop aroung and make sure you get at least a 3 year warranty.

As far as laptop screens, I have worked on units with Pentium 1's and the screens still seem very bright, issues with moisture, static, or abuse will shorten the life of any product.

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Sorry for consumers in India
by PerryTsang / August 19, 2005 2:03 AM PDT

I have been to your country 5 times in the last 10 years. From what I saw, the products which were sold there were often outdated and possibly refurbished.
There is also the likelyhood that the products are not the best in the lot during the quality control process. The best in the lot are sent to the USA, and the rest are sold elsewhere. This is even true with Japanese named brand sold in Japan. I have a Panasonic shaver bought in Tokyo 1 year ago. The rechargeable battery is not holding it's charge like it used to be.

I am a computer consultant and have used laptop computer since when they made laptop. None of the LCD died on me. I still have a Sharp Actius 100 running with the screen as bright as the first day I bought it back in 1998.

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LCD is not LED
by michael.kenward / August 19, 2005 1:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Half-life. . .

As far as I know, most LCD displays do not, yet, have LED illumination. This is one of the applications held out for white-light LEDs.

Most displays have LCDs. They don't create light. There's a white backlight illuminating the LCD, where the colour stuff happens.

The bit that fades is the backlight. These are often fluorescent lamps. No reason why these should cost an arm and a leg to replace.

For an explanation of why backlights fade, read this:


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Boy, did I get off track on that one. . .
by Coryphaeus / August 23, 2005 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: LCD is not LED

I knew that. But the brain said LED instead of LCD. I'll save that answer for an LED question.


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LCD Life
by westa6969 / August 18, 2005 11:31 PM PDT

I can state that I've purchased over 50 Planar LCD Monitors 4 years ago for my network and not one had dead pixels upon installation and only one has failed within recent months and they run 24/7. Planar was providing LCD's to the medical field and Air Force long before consumer LCD's became popular. Thus I have 4 years of successful use with a large quantity and our staff have been very happy. I use a double panel I monitor my network form and I have an 18'' LCD at home that've run flawlessly and now they are one hell of a bargain versus 4 years ago.

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On All The Time?
by sirwriter / August 19, 2005 12:06 AM PDT
In reply to: LCD Life

I have 3 puters on a home wireless network. It stays on all the time. Would I be better off powering the whole thing down at night? The life of LCD's sparked this question.

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on all the time....
by wood53 / August 19, 2005 1:20 AM PDT
In reply to: On All The Time?

My take is that if the computer is used everyday, it should be left on. But you should use the power saving features on the screen saver tab. I have my computer turn off the monitor after 5 minutes of non-use and spin down the drives after 10. (There's no rhyme or reason to why I picked these numbers.) If I'm going to be out of town for more than a few days, I try to remember to turn off the computer. Most of the time I forget.

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It's not necessary
by coolcat71 / August 19, 2005 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: On All The Time?

I've heard a few experts say that leaving your pc or monitor on all day isn't really necessary. You just end up paying a higher electric bill is all. They said that turning them on/off every day doesn't really stress the parts as much as some people think. Besides, even if it does shorten their lifespan, it will most likely happen many years down the road, long after you've bought a new pc & monitor.

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Please Please Please switch it off!!
by graciemarc / August 21, 2005 8:48 AM PDT
In reply to: On All The Time?

I have owned and used PCs for over ten years in my home and business and I switch them off whenver I am not using them and in all that time I have never had a problem.

Why do I switch them off? Because it is wasting massive amounts of energy, you the imagine the drain of millions of computer being left on needlessly? Even with power saving features residual current is still being used.

The environment is changing, we need to change with it.

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Monitor Life
by George B. Lockwood / August 19, 2005 12:48 AM PDT

I have used a Viewsonic CRT monitor for seven years (1999-2005)and it has not failed me in any way. I also am looking at LCD's but have no idea how long they last.

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the LCD should last "forever", the other parts......
by baldwinl / August 19, 2005 11:39 AM PDT

the LCD panel inside of your monitor is the expensive part, and it will last "forever".

However, other parts of the system will limit the lifetime.

The cold cathode florescent tubes used for a backlight will have a 1/2 brightness time of a few thousand hours and may suffer premature death.

The power supply parts should last forever, but may also suffer failure after a few years (especially the surface-mount capacitors for some reason).

Buttons - well that depends on you. Same for rear-panel connectors (don't stress them).

Unlike a CRT monitor where the tube is about 95% the value of the monitor, and when the tube gets dim you chuck the whole thing, when an LCD gets dim, you can replace the lamps. This will take some effort, and your computer place WILL NOT DO THIS (they just REPLACE MAJOR PARTS) - you gotta find a real electronic technician who can use a mutimeter and a scope and stuff.

There are actually very few styles of lamp made, so you can track these down. You (or your tech) will have to get these from a major distrutor like Bulbtronics or Arrow or something. This is different from, say, TV's where some of the parts are custom chips and can only be obtained from the mfr (IF the can be had at all).

Overall, over the years, I have tossed CRT monitors about 1/2 the time because they were broken (either out, or degraded performance) and about 1/2 the time because nobody wanted to use it (too small, to low res). EVERY time I have discarded an LCD it was because it was too small or too low res (i.e. 12" VGA). The one exception was when my laptap display went out (under warranty) because of a $2 cable and they replaced the entire display (worth about $600). It was done under warranty and they would not give me the old one back, so maybe someone back at "depot" replaced those $2 cables and recycled the LCD panel....... Like when you get a new alternator for $120 and they take back the old one so somebody can replace the $2 brushes and then repaint it and sell it for $80 "remanufactured".

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wish I had everyone's email so could thank individually.
by navroz / August 20, 2005 9:59 PM PDT

Thanks to this CNET forum and everyone for replying to my gripe about Compaq's ripoff. It's good to know I'm not the sole victim, and yes Mr. Perry Tsang, we sort of know India is a dumping ground, but thought we were imagining too much.

Wish I had the forum's and everyone's email, would have thanked everyone individually. I'm at mazda@vsnl.com


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