Introduction: How to Replace a LCD Backlight
Here are some simple instructions on how to replace a burnt out LCD backlight with a new working one to bring your LCD back to life. Inevitably, every LCD eventually goes dark, but the process to bring it back to working order is not very hard. As long as you are careful, it can be done successfully and without too much drama. Generally this is a very cheap repair, usually only around $10-20.
This instructable will be performed on a laptop LCD from an old Zenith Data Systems computer. I tried to make this instructable pretty basic and not extremely detailed because every LCD screen is different. Your LCD will be different from mine (how its held together, the number of CCFL's, etc) but the concepts will remain the same. Feel free to send me any questions you might have, and I'll try to help you out.
Replacement CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Tube)
Small Phillips Screwdrivers
Electrical Tape / Soldering Iron
Step 1: Disassembling the LCD Housing
To get the the LCD screen and the backlight inside, you must first disassemble the LCD housing; this is different depending on whether it is an external monitor, or built into a laptop. But first before disassembling the housing, DISCONNECT THE POWER!
EXTERNAL LCD MONITOR: Usually to get inside of an external monitor, you will have to simply take out all the screws on the back of the display and pull it apart. Pretty simple.
LAPTOP LCD (Shown): This can be a little more frustrating at times, but not impossible. First open up the laptop and locate all of the screws (sometimes these can be hiding under rubber feet). After removing the screws, many times you will also need to use a flat head screwdriver to pry the housing open little by little. Be gentle,, but don't be afraid to use a little force.
After getting the back of housing off the computer, disconnect the LCD from the inverter.
Now completely detach the LCD from the housing by removing the remaining screws.
Step 2: Taking Apart the LCD Itself
Now comes the most interesting part (and the part where you must be the most organized and careful!), disassembling the LCD itself.
In this step make sure that every element of the LCD you remove is kept in perfect order so you can easily reassemble it after replacing the lamp(s). The LCD I am disassembling really didn't require me to remove too much to get to the CCFL's, but many times you will need to remove several layers of transparent sheets that are used to spread the light uniformly throughout the screen.
Just like before, locate and remove the screws holding the LCD assembly together. Take the assembly apart including any transparent sheets in the way of the cold cathode tubes.
REMEMBER! Stay organized for your own sake!
Step 3: Remove the Backlight
In this step you must be very gentle. The lights contain mercury and are very fragile. This step is not that difficult, just be patient. Do not use any force when removing the CCFL or it will break (I speak from experience). I would suggest that you loosen the wires from the LCD first and then gently remove the CCFL.
Step 4: Insert Your New Backlight
Take your new CCFL and insert the lamp exactly where the old tube was located. Again, be gentle and this step will be easy.
After inserting the new CCFL and routing the cables correctly, reassemble the LCD the same way you took it apart.
Step 5: Test Out the Display
After putting your LCD back together, reattach the inverter and any other cables that may have been connected to the display. Next, before putting the housing back together completely, test out your display to make sure everything is in correct working order.
NOTE: Be VERY careful with the exposed connections and cables, ESPECIALLY the Inverter. Touching the wrong part could not only hurt you, but damage your display. Yet again, I speak from experience.
Step 6: All Done!
Make sure all your connections are tight, and theres no extra screws. Finish reassembling the LCD housing and you're all set!
Again, feel free to send me any questions, comments, or suggestions for this Instructable!
Thanks for reading!