Sunlight-obscured LCD burning you up? You’re not alone

Sunlight-obscured LCD burning you up? You’re not alone


Yesterday, we told you about how exploding batteries are, in part, caused by one area of technology being far ahead of another. Well, here we are again at that idea; this time, however, the topic is the LCD.

That brilliant technology behind the laptop viewscreen is a wonder to behold when the person or people doing the beholding are indoors. But shine a bright light (such as the sun) on that little LCD and you can’t see a bloody thing.

Why does this happen? Well, that LCD light that looks bright enough in an indoors environment is about 5 percent of the light generated by our ever-present Sun. So no matter how hard you try, you can’t compete.

Some companies are addressing this problem. You can find something called a transflective display, which is the idea behind the PDA screen that you can view in the sunlight. That is an expensive option, however, and one that mutes not only sunlight but also the backlight from the LCD itself, making the whole screen an approximation of a dark muddle in the end.

For those of you keeping track at home, this is a problem with your mobile phone display as well. Some answers are available in that arena, but they are expensive and (so far) only work on screens the size of a mobile phone or PDA.

You can always add on, like attaching a laptop visor (like in the larger photo), but that’s a whole third-party solution that you really shouldn’t have to consider. Bottom line, of course, is to provide for your needs wherever you are. If you’re out in the heat of the day, then you should expect a dramatic drop in visibility. A built-in remedy for this situation is coming; we’re just not sure when.