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LED Product Info

LED Light Strips and LED Light Bars
Plazmo has cemented its position as the worldwide leader in backlighting replacement technology with its LED backlights (Light emitting diode backlight bulbs). Years of research and development have culminated in our large selection of LED backlight assemblies. Plazmo offers hundreds of LED replacement assemblies for many of the most popular LCD screens on the market. We specialize in OEM replacements designed to perfectly fit your equipment. If your LCD screen illuminated with LED lights behind it is beginning to fail, chances are we have an exact LED backlight replacement solution for you, in stock among the hundreds currently available. We regularly add new models as we invest in our own LED production, so check back frequently or call to speak with one of our experts about your specific LCD screen and LED backlight needs.

Plazmo also offers our LED bars in multiple formats, including a "cut-to-fit" format. Some of our customers like these models because of the flexibility they offer. If you have multiple screen sizes with the same connector, you can purchase this model and cut the ends to fit your screen requirements. This makes it easy because you only have to stock one item that is "one size fits all" instead of many different LED bar sizes.

CCFL Upgrades
CCFL backlights remain a popular choice for replacement and repairs because of the low cost and long life. However, many customers choose to upgrade to an LED backlight replacement. We can help with these upgrades. LED's are a little bit more expensive than CCFL backlights, but they also have a longer life in most cases.

Many of our customers analyze the cost of upgrading to LED versus simply replacing with CCFL. Every scenario is different; sometimes it makes financial sense to change from CCFL to LED and in some cases, it doesn’t. There are many factors that play a part in these decisions. Things like the age of your LCD screen or equipment, the environment your equipment is in and the specific model you’re using are all factors. Please check with our experts; we can help you understand and evaluate the circumstances based on your specific case.

Contact our experts to learn if updating to an LED backlight makes sense for your situation. Our team is highly knowledgeable about all things LED and CCFL lights and would be happy to walk you through the information.

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LED Technology
LEDs are gaining popularity as a light source. Not only are they becoming more popular for backlights, but for general lighting as well. LEDs are a semiconductor device that emits a narrow spectrum of light; the color of the light depends on the composition of the semiconductor material.

There are currently two common ways to produce ‘white’ light using LEDs: a red-green-blue combination, and a single-color part in conjunction with a doped phosphor. Most LCDs with an LED backlight use the single-color method to create white light. This method uses a blue LED covered with a yellowish phosphor coating. Most of the blue light is converted to a broad spectrum centered around 580 nm (yellow). Since light emitters operate with additive color, the yellow light is the complement of blue, and so stimulates the red and green receptors of the eye; with the resulting mix of red, green, and blue giving the appearance of white. This pseudo white tends to be on the cool side, around 4,000 to 4,500K.

Although LEDs don't require high drive voltages, they usually require an inverter. This is because panels of any size require multiple lamps and those lamps are usually lined up in series. This keeps the current down through the almost hair sized traces on the flex cable, but raises the voltage required. Like CCFL lights, LED lights work best with a constant current source, not a constant voltage source. Unlike CCFLs however, LEDs require DC voltage. White LED drivers or inverters are manufactured by several semiconductor manufacturers. When selecting an inverter, make sure the current and voltage are in the proper range for your needs. Contact Plazmo’s experts if you need help determining the proper range for your equipment.

History of LED Lights
When LEDs were first used as backlight sources, their lifespan was very limited, less than 5,000 hours. A big contributing factor to this was heat let off by the bulbs. An LED light is in a very small package, especially when compared to a CCFL light. Where a CCFL tube can easily dissipate several watts over its surface, that much power going into an LED without proper heat sinking would cause rapid failure. Phillips has extensive data on their website on the effects of heat (as it affects junction temperature) versus LED life. For instance, at a junction temperature of 239°F (115°C), the average life expectancy of the Phillips Lumiled LUXEON K2 is approximately 80,000 hours. If the junction temperature is increased to 257°F (125°C), the life expectancy is reduced 40,000 hours. Increasing it to 275°F (135°C) decreases lifetime to 10,000 hours.

Early LEDs were not very efficient, so the panels where they were used as backlights were usually small and dim. Bigger panels were avoided because it would take too many LED bulbs to get the brightness you would get from a CCFL backlight. The alternative was to drive the LEDs harder, but that resulted in shorter life expectancy for the bulbs.

LED technology has advanced since then and LED lights are now more efficient and have been redesigned with newer packaging for better heat dissipation. It is very common for panels less than 5 inches to use LED backlights and have a brightness of 500 nits.

Still, larger panels that use LEDs as their backlights need to be designed in order to help further dissipate the heat away from the LEDs or they can still fail prematurely. Just replacing CCFLs with LEDs doesn't usually address the heat generated by running high currents within the small LED package. Also, the design must take into account that while CCFLs generate light in all directions, LED's are a point light source. Diffusers must be specially designed to spread the light evenly over the back of the LCD cell. That’s why Plazmo can help prototype and develop the conversion from CCFL to LED backlights.
Like CCFLs, LEDs rarely fail all at once; instead, they slowly dim over time. The phosphor used to convert the blue can also degrade with time; changing the color temperature to an even cooler white. Many panels with CCFL or LED backlights can have the dimmed or broken tubes repaired.

Probably the biggest promise of LEDs is less power needed for operation and the elimination of EMI issues that are created by CCFL inverters. As mentioned above, considerable progress has been made in the last several years in LED efficiency and advances in the technology continue to be made.