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LCD display working temperature range

June 10, 2021

LCD display working temperature range

Liquid crystal displays (LCD) have become an essential component to the industry of display technology. Involved in a variety of contexts beyond the indoors like LCD TVs and home/office automation devices, the LCD has expanded its usage to many environments, such as cars and digital signage, and, thus, many temperature variations as well.

As with any substance that requires a specific molecular characteristic or behavior, LCDs have an operating temperature range in which the device, if within, can continue to function properly and well. In addition to that, there is also an ideal storage temperature range to preserve the device until used.


How Temperature Affects LCD

This operating temperature range affects the electronic portion within the device, seen as falling outside the range can cause LCD technology to overheat in hot temperatures or slow down in the cold. As for the liquid crystal layer, it can deteriorate if put in high heat, rendering it and the display itself defective.


What temperature can an LCD device withstand? What temperatures are too hot and too cold for an LCD?

In order for the LCD panel to avoid defects, a standard commercial LCD’s operation range and storage range should be kept in mind. Without adaptive features, a typical LCD TV has an operating range from its cold limit of 0°C (32°F) to its heat limit of 50°C (122°F) (other LCD devices’ ranges may vary a bit from these numbers). The storage range is a bit wider, from -20°C (-4°F) to 60°C (140°F). Though these ranges are quite reasonable for many indoor and even outdoor areas, there are also quite a few regions where temperatures can drop below 0°C or rise above 32°C, and in these conditions, LCDs must be adapted to ensure functionality.


Does heat affect LCD screens, and how?

Heat, as mentioned, can greatly affect the electronics and liquid crystals under an LCD screen. In consideration of heat, both external heat and internally generated heat must be taken into consideration.

Seen as the liquid crystals are manipulated in a device by altering their orientations and alignments, heat can disrupt this by randomizing what is meant to be controlled. If this happens, the LCD electronics cannot command a certain formation of the liquid crystal layer under a pixel, and the LED backlighting will not pass through as expected which can often lead to dark spots, if not an entirely dark image. This inevitably disrupts the display’s readability.

Depending on the upper limit of the operation temperature range, a device can be permanently damaged by extreme heat. With long exposure to extreme heat, besides the destruction of the liquid crystals, battery life can shorten, hardware can crack or even melt, response time may slow to prevent even more heat generation from the device.

The LED backlight and the internal circuitry, typically TFT-based in the common TFT LCDs, are components that can generate heat that damages the device and its display. To address this concern with overheating, many devices use cooling fans paired with vents. Some devices that are used in extremely high ambient temperatures may even require air conditioning. With air vents to carry the heat out, the device can expel it into the surroundings.

But this leads to another problem: how can moisture be prevented from entering through the vent? If moisture enters the device and high heat is present, condensation can occur, fogging the display from inside, and in some cases, short circuiting may cause the device to turn off. In order to circumvent this issue, the shapes of the air vents are specific in a way that allows only for air movement, not forms of moisture.