What Is Backlight Bleeding? [Causes, Test, and Fixes]

By John Adebimitan

Backlight bleed is one issue you might have noticed on many LCDs, either on your gaming TVs or monitors. Depending on what game or activity you’re engaging in on your monitor, it could be very hard to tell if what you’re seeing is a backlight bleed.

So I am putting this article together to help our readers and gamers who might have these issues to detect backlight bleeding easily and find answers to questions such as: what is backlight bleeding? What causes backlight bleeding? And how to test for and fix backlight bleeding. So let’s dive right into our article.

What Is Backlight Bleeding?

First, backlight bleeding isn’t normal. Put simply Backlight bleeding is when the LCD backlight tubes aren’t completely blocked out, the lights leak through the edges of the monitor, so the lights aren’t evenly distributed.

These displays work by blocking out light that isn’t necessary to the visuals at every given time, but when there is backlight bleeding or flashlight bleeding, either the corners or more areas of the screen expose the backlights, ruining your viewing experience.

Backlight bleeding is mostly noticed in LCDs because – as we mentioned at the beginning of the article – they have a dedicated backlight system. For the most part, we expect minor backlight bleeding on TVs and monitors because of the nature of the display technology. Most backlight bleeding is either not easily detectable or is not serious enough to not be tolerable.

The type we will be discussing and finding a solution to in this article has become too apparent, and if your manufacturer has a returns policy, and you’re still eligible, we will recommend that you make the return or take advantage of the warranty coverage. But if none of that is the case for you, then let’s go into detail and see steps you can take if you notice backlight bleeding.

Note: We have noticed that some users who have IPS-panel displays often mistaken backlight bleeding with IPS glow. While backlight bleeding is a technical fault, IPS glow is a settings issue that can be corrected by simply changing the angle and the distance from which you’re looking at the screen and in some cases by decreasing the brightness and increasing ambient lighting.

What Causes Backlight Bleeding?

Backlight bleeding is a screen defect that is caused by the deviation of the alignment of the superimposed multiple layers at different angles used in IPS monitors. These deviations then cause pressure inside the display, which then displaces the liquid crystal alignments in IPS panels. As a result of these displacements and deviations, light can easily penetrate in some places more unusually than it penetrates in others.

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Types of Backlight Bleeding

There are two main types of backlight bleeding. And if you’re experiencing this issue on your display, one of them would be the case:

  • Clouding is when there are irregular light patches on the entire screen area. You will be able to tell easily that the lights on the back of the display are concentrated on one area while another area seems darker.
  • Flashlighting is smaller and often less visible and is mostly found on the corners of the screen. In this case, when it is in its advanced stage, the edges/corners of the display have more lighting, while the center of the display remains in a darker state.

How to Do a Backlight Bleeding Test

To be sure that what you’re having is backlight bleeding, it’s always recommended to take a backlight bleeding test especially if you’re a non-technical user.

You can do a simple backlight bleeding test at lightbleedtest.com for free. If your entire screen remains dark, you’re good, but if any area of the display shows any type of leaked backlight, then you’re having the backlight bleed issue. So let’s proceed to the fixes.

How to Fix Backlight Bleeding – Backlight Bleed Fixes

  • Loosen the display screws
  • Slightly twist the display frame
  • Apply electrical tape on the edges
  • Use a microfiber cloth on the bleeding spots
  • Adjust your  lighting
  • Change the display

Loosen the Display Screws – Backlight Bleed Fix i

If you screwed the panel too tightly, then the backlight bleeding is likely caused by that. This is because when the panel is tightly fixed, the display becomes warped. To solve your backlight bleeding issue, loosen the screws that hold the frame, but don’t make them too loose that the display could fall out. If this doesn’t fix the backlight bleeding issue, then try the next.

Slightly Twist The Display Frame – Backlight Bleed Fix ii

When the display of the monitor isn’t properly seating in the frame, you would have extra light bleeding out of the edges. Some users have found that checking to ensure that the display is seating properly in the frame – and correcting it if it isn’t – solves the bleed issue.

Apply Electrical Tape On The Edges — Backlight Bleed Fix iii

If the backlight is escaping from the edges of the LCD screen, it could be that the frame is faulty or loose. A common trick we apply when changing the tube could also be applied here. We recommend taking an electrical insulation tape and using it to tape the edges round. It’s the recommended fix if the issue is from the display frame.

Use A Microfiber Cloth on the Bleeding Spots – Backlight Bleed Fix IV

It’s also possible that the backlight bleed is a result of grease, dust, and liquid, so you should try cleaning the display with a microfiber cloth. Gently rub the microfiber cloth on the bleeding areas in a circular motion. Try to apply moderate pressure so as not to cause another damage to the display.

After cleaning the display, you might want to turn the monitor OFF for a few days for the display to settle and see if there are any changes.

Change Your Lighting – Backlight Bleed Fix V

If you’re gaming in a dark room, a fast way to make the backlight bleeding less obvious is to start using the monitor in a lighted room. If your screen is bright, a fast way to fix the backlight bleed issue is to reduce the brightness of the display. Both ways, you want to adjust to a point where the backlight bleeding is not noticeable.

Change the Display – Backlight Bleed Fix VI

If none of these works, the last option you should try, which wouldn’t require that you buy a new monitor is to change the display. Changing of a monitor display isn’t too complex if you get the right one from your manufacturer. Many manufacturers send you a step-by-step guide that will help with changing the display.

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