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VarTech’s LED-enhancement – We Engineer Light

An increased number of LCD-based products are being utilized in high ambient light conditions, typically outdoors in direct sunlight. The need has become significantly greater for them to not only be able to withstand extensive operational temperatures, sometimes down to -40C, but as well be adequately readable when exposed to extreme optical conditions such as direct and/or indirect sunlight, glare and reflection.

Most “off-the-shelf” LCD flat panels are not properly equipped to handle most rigors of outdoor conditions. The traditional approach has been the integration of additional CCFL, cold cathode fluorescent lamps, to increase luminance levels. This method, while producing the desired readability effect, has five significant drawbacks. First, the use of added CCFL increases the amount of heat needed to be dissipated away from the monitor. This is typically accomplished through the use of an extensive and costly thermal management system. Second, added backlights will increase the amount of power required to sufficiently operate the display system. For example, a non-actively enhanced display might use 30 watts of power, while an actively enhanced approach using added CCFL might increase power consumption up to 85 watts. Third, driving the enhanced backlights to optimal potential will significantly reduce the expected life of the backlights. This could result in costly repairs when backlights begin to fail.

Fourth, the use of enhanced wattage CCLF backlights, as we mentioned, is used to increase the luminance of an LCD. Imagine, as an example, that a typical LCD monitor has a white luminance of 200 nits and a contrast ratio of 300:1 (black luminance of 0.66 nits) and the newly integrated backlights then enhances by ten times the white luminance to 2,000 nits. A display's brightness, typically referred to as a Nit (Candela per meter/2) is the amount of light energy coming out of the display. While the display is unarguably brighter, the increased brightness will not have much effect in direct sunlight if the “black luminance” is correspondingly increased from 0.66 nits to 660 nits (contrast ratio of 3.03). Finally, added CCFL backlights significantly increases the amount of electro magnetic interference (EMI). This can be an important issue if the monitor will be positioned near other mission critical electronic devices.

VarTech Systems has developed a ground-breaking LED backlight technology. This new technology creates an amazingly bright LCD display without increased heat from higher wattage CCFL integration. LED backlight technology when coupled with a liquid crystal display (LCD) provides the best of both worlds – a high brightness LCD monitor with low power consumption.

VarTech’s LED backlighting was developed for displays requiring a luminance level of at least 700 nits as required for outside viewing. When compared to the practice of adding higher wattage backlights to achieve a high brightness LCD (CCFL), LED backlight technology increases the reliability of the high bright monitor and extends the lifetime of the display system. This new technology by VarTech creates a sunlight readable monitor with inherit protections against environmental factors such as shock, vibration and frigid temperatures. LED backlighting technology enables all these benefits while maintaining reasonable thermal levels of the LCD.

VarTech’s new LED backlight technology will soon be implemented and can achieve complete sunlight readability luminance levels ranging from approximately 800 to 1300 nits at low power consumption levels. With VarTech’s new LED high bright technology, a 15” 1000 nit LCD will consume approximately 24W of power compared to our equivalent 15” actively enhanced CCFL solution which consumes 65W. Additionally, VarTech’s LED backlighting systems do not require heaters as needed by CCFL solutions for use within extreme low temperature ranges. This is beneficial in many outdoor applications that operate in frigid temperatures and immediate LCD response time operation is critical. The LCD can immediately be turned to full brightness without any lag time which can typically be caused by the use of integrated heaters.

VarTech’s LED backlight enhancement offers a number of key benefits over traditional CCFL enhanced solutions:

Improved ruggedness

Increased reliability

Increased product life, 100,000 hours…that’s 200% longer than tradition CCFL

Reduced EMI emissions

Not effected by external ambient interferences such as fluorescent inverters from overhead lights or audio devices

More realistic transitions depicting day-to-night changes

Increased shock and vibration protection

Improved dimming, flicker free down to 0.5 nits

LEDs do not need heaters and can be turned on to full brightness immediately

Display is less fragile than a glass tube filled with pressurized gasses

As LED backlight begins its end-of-life transition a single lamp may fail at varying times unlike the loss of the entire backlight function with a CCFL high bright

RoHS compliance

VarTech can also combine its LED technology with its VBOND process.