What is Backlight Bleed? | Prevent Light Leaking Around the Edges of Your Screen

If you have seen backlight leaking around the edges of your screen, this is backlight bleeding.  Backlight bleeding is also known as flashlighting.

This problem is common with plasma and CRT monitors, or basically, on monitors under $200. People like video editors, who will most certainly find this problem annoying, can look into more suitable monitors with more details here, or they can just check out, for example,  top-rated BenQ monitors instead. In this article, I will make an effort on educating my readers on what is backlight bleed plus give ways of preventing it. Plus, you can do a backlight bleed test here.

backlight bleed

What Is Backlight Bleed and How Can You Prevent It?

As the name suggests, backlight bleeding is the leakage of light from the edges of the monitor or television. If you bought a new screen and you happen to see glows around its corners, chances are, you will want to get it replaced.

If it is covered by a warranty, you will get a replacement and if it is not, you can ask a professional technician to fix backlight bleeding for you. You can also fix the backlight bleed and other laptop screen issues yourself, as explained in this post. This screen defect is caused by light not being completely blocked out and this causes excess light to bleed or light leaks around the corner of a screen. This can be caused by manufacturing problems, poor quality control, or even the design of the monitor.

You will easily notice backlight bleeding problem when using your monitor in a dark room. You will see backlight bleeding spots and this can definitely ruin your visual and gaming experience.

How to prevent monitor bleed?

Backlight bleeding problem is often found in cheap monitors. If you want to prevent monitor bleed, I would advise you to buy a high-quality monitor and then be careful with it. High-quality screens are made to produce clear images, and are made of advanced display technology that eliminates screen bleeding and tearing (see 'What Is Screen Tearing?').That is also very important in gaming, where, as we know, some screens come with extra sound options.

Backlight Bleed Test

It is easy to tell if your screen have backlight bleeding by performing a backlight bleed test. You can use this site to perform a screen backlight bleed test for your monitors, iPad, tablets, mobile phones, and laptops.

Another way of performing a display test is by playing a full-screen video to see if there will be light around the corners of your monitor.  You follow the same procedure for the clouding test and screen color.

IPS glow

You may have come across this phrase; IPS glow and not know what it is. It is characterized by the visible glowing of an IPS panel monitor.

With this kind of backlight bleeding problem, you will see the glow in the corners of the screen. You will see distorted colors and it is more obvious in dark rooms or when watching dark content. If you are looking for ways to fix this  annoying problem, do the following;

  • Reduce your monitor’s brightness
  • Add ambient lighting to your room. A standard desk lamp will decrease the visibility of the glow
  • Change the viewing angle and distance you are viewing your monitor. It is only visible at certain angles. Try to adjust the height of your monitor.

Clouding

There are 2 types of screen bleeding; clouding and flashlighting.  The problems occur because there is an active backlight system.

Clouding is characterized by irregular patches of light on the screen area while flashlighting is visible light patches in the corners of a screen.

How Clouding manifests

You can tell this easily because the light on the screen will be concentrated in some areas while other areas will be dark.  You will see the backlight bleeding problem in old monitors and screens that were not manufactured properly.

It is worth noting that you can prevent backlight bleeding problem by taking care of your screens. Avoid exerting force on it, pushing it, or even tapping it. The force exerted on the entire surface of the screen for a short or longer period of time can damage or cause LCD display bleed.

Flashlighting

On the other hand, flashlighting looks as if someone is flashing light at the monitor. They appear on the corners of the screen and can occur on both large and small monitors.

Although this problem is annoying, you can fix it if you have the technical knowledge or can seek the services of a professional technician.

Preventing Burn-in

One of the problems with old and low qualities monitors is burn-in.  This is damage to a screen. It is characterized by permanent discoloration and looks like the previous image that was showing on the screen.

It may not necessarily be an image because it can take the form of a text, fading of colors, and patterns.  Keep in mind that it can happen in any part of the panel. Your monitor will work as normal but you will be seeing ghost images or discoloration.

It is also referred to as a ghost image on the screen or screen burn-in.

So what causes burn-in and what can be done to prevent it? This problem is common in CRT monitors and plasma screens that use phosphorus compounds to produce light. They are susceptible to screen burn because of these compounds. 

The problem occurs when phosphor compounds remain still for a prolonged length of time or when a user leaves an image on the screen that uses phosphorus compounds for a long period of time.

When the image is left there, it becomes burned into the display.

How to prevent burn-in

The good news is, you can prevent burn-in. Avoid buying outdated or low-quality monitors that are susceptible to this condition; these are plasma and CRT monitors.

Buy an LCD monitor because they have no risk of burn-in.  If you currently own a CRT or plasma monitor (for more on plasma displays go here) there are measures that you can take to prevent this problem which are;

  • Turn your monitor off instead of idling or pausing it
  • Lower screen brightness

By turning your monitor off when not using it, you will reduce the risk of burn-in. Reducing brightness will reduce strain on a specific area of a screen. Also, the more intense the brightness, the shorter the display life so try to reduce it to prolong its life.

There is software that has been developed to offer burn-in protection.

What to Do When You Experience Backlight Bleeding

If your monitor is already emitting light along its edges, there are things that you can do to solve and to avoid backlight bleeding problem and they are;

  • Dismantle the monitor display and apply electrical tape around the edges of the screen
  • Loosen the screws of the frame-mildly loosen out the screws that are at your computer monitor back
  • Clean the spots that have computer monitor backlight bleeding-softly rub the areas so as to reduce LCD backlight clouding
  • Reduce brightness until you cannot notice any backlight bleeding
  • Twist the display frame slightly
  • Enable local dimming if it is possible with your monitor
  • Monitor the progress

Before fixing your monitor backlight bleeding issue, check if it is under warranty because you can get the monitor replaced or fixed by the display manufacturer.  Do not fix yourself if you have a warranty or you will make it void if there are signs of tampering.

When correcting this serious problem, make sure that your monitor is off and it is not hot. You can allow it to cool if it is still warm or hot. The tools that you need to correct backlight bleed are an electrical tape, screwdriver and a microfiber cloth.

Loosen the Screws of the Frame

This is one of the main ways of getting rid of backlight bleeding. Sometimes the problem occurs because the screws are too tight and this causes the display to warp. Mildly loosen the screws. Turn each halfway counter-clockwise.

Use little force to do this. Too much force can make your display fall out and break.

Loosening screws will ease pressure build-up and the panels will no longer be pressed tightly against each other.  Turn on your monitor to check if you have solved your problem. If it is still prevalent, try to twist the display frame slightly.

Twist the Display Frame Slightly

Some backlight bleeding occurs because the display is not positioned correctly inside the frame. This will allow extra light to bleed through the corners of the display. Dismantle it so as to fix and take great care not to cause more damage.

Alternatively, you can loosen the screws and twist the frame until there is no bleeding.

Clean the Spots Where There Is Bleeding

Dust and grease can make a possible cause of backlight bleeding. When the display is completely flat, there is less chance that it will emit light around its edges. However, with grease and dirt, the display isn’t completely flat and excess light will come out from the spaces created.

Take a microfiber and clean the bleeding areas or parts of the screen that have grease and dirt.  Make sure not to apply too much force

Many people said that this method worked very well for them. After cleaning your display, take some time before trying another method to see if there will be any changes.

Monitor the Progress

Do not forget to keep track of your progress when trying all these treatments. For each method you try, check which one is decreasing bleeding and which one is not.  The best way to track your progress is by performing tests that will show if there is backlight bleeding or not.

  You can also take a few days to settle to see if there will be a significant change after every treatment.

Reduce Brightness

Reducing brightness can work wonders for your monitor.  Adjust the brightness of your monitor to a point where monitor backlight bleed is not easily noticeable.  Changing your lighting can also help a great deal.

If you are using your monitor in a dark room, one of the best ways of making bleeding less noticeable is by lighting your room.

One of these methods will work and you would not require buying a new monitor. In case the problem persists despite trying all these methods, I would advise contacting a professional technician.

FAQs:

1. Is backlight bleed bad?

Backlight bleeding varies significantly between screens, even those of the same model. Minimal backlight bleeding can happen at times, but it can also be extreme. Due to the fact that it is only visible in very specific circumstances, it may not bother you at all.

2. Does backlight bleed go away?

Yes, some types of backlight bleed will resolve on their own. This is primarily due to backlight bleed caused by pressure. If the front panel is uneven, if the panel is too tightly secured to the bezel, or if the panel is too tightly secured to the bezel, the pressure can cause backlight bleed.

3. Should I worry about backlight bleeding?

If your display exhibits excessive light bleed, it may qualify as defective, allowing you to return it. However, if you do not notice any backlight bleeding during normal use of the monitor, but only during this test, there is no reason to be concerned or to take any action.

4. Is backlight bleed normal?

When your screen brightness is set to 100%, a small amount of backlit bleeding is normal, as this is how LCD technology works.

5. Does backlight bleed affect picture quality?

Backlight bleed is bright light on the screen's edges; it has no effect on the rest of the your screen.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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