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CCFL Product Info

CCFL Backlights

Plazmo is the largest supplier of CCFL backlights (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) in North America. We currently have more than 1 million CCFL backlights in stock and ready to ship.

The CCFL products we carry consist of hundreds of different sizes of raw Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) available in diameters from 1.8mm - 6.0mm, and lengths from 40mm all the way up to 1,400mm. We also have more than 200,000 complete LCD backlight assemblies in stock in addition to the millions of CCFL backlights Plazmo has in stock.

In addition to our standard CCFL backlight offerings, we have complete engineering and manufacturing capabilities for custom designs.  We can make any type of CCFL backlight you might need. If you have an old, obsolete LCD or even a new, yet uncommon, LCD requiring a specific or custom-made backlight, we can help. We make new, specialty backlight lamps for any and all LCD applications, including straight and shaped lamps. Some of the CCFL backlight shapes Plazmo offers are: C, U, L, and M shape lamps. In short, if you don't find the perfect solution for your LCD backlighting needs on our website, or, just give us a call or send us an email with your specific needs.

We also specialize in precision color-matching technology and use the latest in testing equipment that allows us to both analyze and produce any color CCFL backlight you want. This includes the full spectrum of white lamps commonly used in various LCD screens as well as specialty color, UV, and infrared lamps that are used in a wide range of applications.

How CCFL Backlights Work
CCFLs have been used for years as a backlight source. These backlights usually have a hollow glass cylinder - 2 to 10 mm in diameter, that’s internally coated with a phosphorescent material and filled with a noble gas (most commonly argon). The tube is then sealed at both ends with an iron-nickel electrode located at each end of the tube.

CCFLs operate on high-voltage alternating current (AC). When the high voltage is applied the resulting arc ionizes the internal noble gas which produces ultraviolet energy. The ultraviolet energy excites the phosphorescent lining which then produces light in the visible range (400 to 700 nm). The phosphorus make-up determines the color temperature of the visible light output. Typically, the resulting temperature color is in the 2800 - 3200K range, which looks like a warm to standard white light.

Most systems that have LCD panels run on direct current (DC), the DC has to be converted to AC in order to power the lamp. An inverter is typically used to create the high-voltage AC. In addition, CCFL backlights require constant current, not constant voltage. Also, the strike voltage or the voltage required to start the light of the CCFL is different than the sustaining voltage. The inverter that’s designed to power an LCD CCFL will typically run at about 50 kHz. The inverter has to be matched to the specifications of the CCFL, particularly the current, strike voltage, and operating voltage.

When power is applied to the inverter, it starts by ramping up the output voltage until the CCFL turns on (an arc strikes). The strike voltage may be several hundred volts higher than the sustaining voltage, just to get the CCFL to light up. After the tube strikes which is identified by current flowing, the inverter then drops the voltage until the rated current is flowing which is typically around 5 to 7 mA. For example, a CCFL may have a strike voltage of approximately 1200 V, an operating voltage of approximately 800 V, and an operating current of 6 mA. Using this example, the power draw would then be 4.8 watts. The inverter switch has built-in protection so that if the tube does not strike after it’s gotten a few hundred volts more than the normal strike voltage, the tube is considered dead.  

The life expectancy of CCFLs used as backlights is now around 50,000 - 60,000 hours. CCFLs rarely exhibit catastrophic failure unlike incandescent bulbs. Rather, the tube slowly dims over time due to phosphor erosion. The useful life for all backlights is defined by when the light output from the tube reaches half of its initial brightness. Increasing the current will decrease the life expectancy, but will increase the brightness. The color temperature of the tube doesn’t usually change as the bulb gets older.

In many LCD panels, the CCFLs may be replaced when they reach the end of their useful life. CCFLs typically have low heat generation, about 6 - 8 watts per tube. The heat is spread over the surface area of the tube using heat dissipation. Most LCDs in the embedded market use 4 tubes or less. However, when many CCFLs, more than 4, are used together in an enclosed panel, overall heat dissipation should be taken into account. The optimum ambient temperature range for the highest efficiency and brightness is 77 to 104°F (25 to 40°C). Depending on the design of the tube, it may operate at temperatures from -22 to +185°F (-30 to +85°C); however, performance may be affected at either end of the spectrum, especially the lower end. At low temperatures the brightness decreases and the strike voltage increases. The typical efficiency of CCFLs is in the range of 70 to 90 lumens-per-watt, although with the competition of LED backlights, new advances are being made to boost efficiency.

High Voltage Wire & Harnesses
To go with the vast array of CCFL backlights we have in stock, we also offer the most common CCFL wire harnesses used in LCD backlighting. We stock UL-rated wire harnesses which include connector types from brands like JST, JAE, Molex, Honda, and many more. We also stock all of the components you would need to make your own custom harnesses. Those components include High Voltage CCFL lamp wire, terminals, connectors and shrink tube, to name a few. If you need a CCFL wire harness that isn’t found at, give our experts a call or send us an email. We can custom design and make practically any CCFL wire harnesses you might need. Whether you are a small LCD repair facility or a large OEM, we are CCFL backlight and LED backlight experts, and we are here to help.

Silicone End Caps
Silicone end caps for CCFL backlights are a necessary component in making LCD backlight repairs. That’s why Plazmo carries hundreds of different models of silicone end caps. These include a variety of single, dual and triple LCD backlight lamp assembly varieties. However, not all of the end cap possibilities out there are available directly from our website, but we are able to help you find one that would be compatible with your needs. Send our experts an email or give us a call and we will help you find the right end cap, or, in the rare occurrence that we can not find the right end cap, we can custom manufacture the ones you need. For more information on custom CCFL silicone end caps, our contact information is below; we are here to help.

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