Introduction: Picture Nightlight From a Broken LCD

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.

Turn a broken LCD into a backlit picture. Time to re-purpose the trash...

The LCD that I had was a black and white backlit variety that was smashed, the LCD portion no longer worked but the backlight was fine.

Any backlit LCD should work as long as the light is separate from the LCD.

Step 1: Materials

You will need...

A broken LCD panel.
A picture to use.
A power supply
piece of glass or acrylic

Mine was an assembly with a frame.

Step 2: Dissassembly

Completely remove the LCD from its frame.

Wear gloves as you will be dealing with sharp edges an possibly broken glass.

Remove the light if it is separate.

Remove the LCD carrier. (metal piece that holds the LCD glass to the circuit board. It is held in place by bent metal tabs on the backside of the circuit board.

Remove the broken LCD from the circuit board and set it aside for now.

Clean up the metal carrier

Step 3: The Workings

Clean and paint the frame. I used fine sandpaper and gold paint.

Select a piece of clear plastic or glass that is about 1/8  inch thick.

Mark the size needed using the broken LCD and cut the piece.

Test the fit of the glass inside of the metal carrier.

Remove the light circuit from the circuit board and test using an appropriate size power adapter.

The circuit should have a part number and an internet search will provide the information needed for proper use. Mine uses a 5V input.

Step 4: Insert the Picture.

The picture you have chosen to use will need to be printed or copied to a transparency film. Set the color saturation to max for best results.

Use the glass cover to measure and cut the picture to fit the frame.

Reassemble the circuit board.
first place the backlight then the transparency
Next position the glass then cover the assembly with the metal frame.

Flip the assembly over and bend a couple of tabs back into place to hold it together. You only need 4 tabs to hold the picture in place.

Remove the ribbon cable if you have one on the circuit board. It is no longer needed ( unless power is fed through it, if so leave it in place.)

Step 5: Connect the Electrics

The driver circuit for the cold cathode tube is wired to power, Mine was a 5V wall wart.

The cold cathode tube leads are connected to the circuit outputs.

I wrapped the circuit with electrical tape and fed the power wire through a hole in the back of the LCD enclosure.

The lamp leads provided a convenient way to attach to the circuit but the spacing was wrong. I cut the connector in half to separate them then attached directly to the circuit board.

Reinstall the LCD into the frame.

Step 6: Assemble and Enjoy.

Reassemble the frame

Now when the power is on the LCD will display an analog picture.

Works perfect as a night light...

You may want to add a switch to the power side of the circuit. Mine was going into a switched receptacle so no additional switching was needed.

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