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Posted - 07 Nov 2002 :  11:11:52  Show Profile  Email Poster
Backlight Inverters

Most LCD displays use one or more CCFL (cold cathode fluourescent lamp) tubes to backlight the display. Panel backlights are driven by backlight inverters. These circuits are typically external to the display and generate the several hundred volts required to drive the CCFL tubes.

There are several features to consider when selecting a backlight inverter for your system:
  • Backlight Dimming and On/Off inputs.
    Dimming and on/off inputs, which can be controlled by all ADS products, can be used to manage the life and power consumption of the backlight:

    Prolonging the life of your CCFL tubes.
    Most tubes have an expected life of at least 10 000 hours (long-life tubes may last up to 50 000 hours). Dimming or turning the backlight off can extend tube life many years.

    Reducing system power.
    CCFL backlights can draw as much or more power than all other components in your system combined. You may want to dim the backlight if a user doesn't interact with your system after a period of time.

  • Input voltage.
    You may want to select an input voltage that matches your power supply or battery to eliminate additional power conversion losses.

  • Startup Voltage and Output Current.
    The starting/strike voltage and output current must meet the specifications of the tubes used in your display.

Here are some links to manufacturer sites for backlight inverters:
Additional reading:

Edited by akidder 11-Nov-2002: Add Additional Reading section
Edited by akidder 16-May-2003: Add link to ERG datasheet list.
Edited by akidder 19-Nov-2003: Add link to ACI Power selector. Edited by akidder 22-Jun-2005: Update TDK link from
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