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DIY LCD Monitor backlight repair

DIY LCD Monitor backlight repair

LCD Monitors have become very popular with prices coming down, and screen sized growing. Those of us that have used LCD monitors for a while know that over time the backlight starts to dim and will eventually completely fail. Well for less than $20.00 and about a half hour of your time you can replace the backlight and rejuvenate that monitor to as good as new condition.

I have been using LCD monitors for years now, and unfortunately I have had the backlights in a couple of them fail. One failed due to the bulb, the second failed due to the power supply failing and hosing the bulb. I attempted to contact the manufacturers several times to try to get replacement parts, but the drones that work at Viewsonic or KDS gave me a canned response. “The model you have has been replaced with a newer model and is not supported any more”. almost every other month Viewsonic comes out with a new model that is faster refresh, or higher contrast ratio or something of the like…. so it has been totally imposable to get replacement parts. Couple that with the usual one year backlight warranty and you can see it can be good business for them to have a part that costs less them less than a dollar fail just after the warranty runs out. Well realizing that I am not the only one that has felt this frustration I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was surprised how easy and cheep it was to rescue my LCD monitors from the geek hacking bench. 


The Monitor
So first off you will need your monitor. Most LCD monitors are constructed the same way, with a cold cathode bulb as the back light source. A plastic sheet acts as a lens that refracts the light from the edge to the front of the screen and through the LCD panel. A small 12V inverter provides power to the bulb. As the bulbs get old they can have a hard time starting, lighting at all, flickering, or even putting out a strong pink colored light 

The Replacemt Backlight
Cold cathode bulbs can be hard to come by new and unused, and they can cost allot ordered from resale vendors. So we looked to case lighting for the source of our bulbs. Xoxide has an excellent selection of them with the inverter for about $9.00 and a couple bucks for shipping, and so does A good 15″ kit will provide a bulb for a 15″ monitor just fine! I have been able to find 17″ kits as well as 19″ kits. But most likely you wont have to replace your inverter, and that will save you a couple bucks. 

Tools that we used ( I.E. you may want to use as well ) 
One note on power tools: use them at your own risk. Be sure to read and understand any and all documentation on the tools you use. No amount of documentation can make up for experience, but there are many people with serious eye injuries at the school of hard knocks. If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t do it and find some one that can help.

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