What does it mean when a screen bleeds?

Written by stephen byron cooper Google
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What does it mean when a screen bleeds?
All types of LCD screens can be affected by bleeding. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

LCD screens are prone to backlight bleeding. This is a condition that may affect computer screens, smart phones and LCD TVs. It does not only occur in older units but can result from rushed manufacture. You may find your brand new device displays screen bleeding. In which case, take it back to the shop for a replacement.

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When backlight bleeding occurs, the LCD screen shows lighter areas, particularly around the edges and corners. There may be streaks of lighter patches that look like the picture has faded. The bleeding is particularly noticeable when the screen shows a dark image or is totally black.


LCD screens operate by shining a light at the back of an array of light emitting diodes. The LEDs are grouped into three with a red, blue and green filter in each group. The LEDs block off the light from behind until one is opened, like a shutter and then the light shines through with the LED adding its colour. The rapid opening and closing of these LEDs displays motion on the screen. The light should only show through these pixels and should be totally sealed behind the LCD panel. However, if the edges of the panel become unstuck, or if they weren’t properly stuck down in the first place, light bleeds around the edges of the LCD panel and projects across the front of it.


If you drop your device with an LCD screen, the force may break off the seal around the LCD panel. However, the main reason for backlight bleed is that the glue used to bind the unit wasn’t strong enough. The rush to meet demand for popular smart phones caused many products to be sealed in packaging before the glue was dry. This particular cause occurred with the iPad 2, where customers automatically requested replacement displays, after backlight bleeding began straight out of the box.

Other problems

You should familiarise yourself with a number similar problems before deciding that you have backlight bleeding on your LCD screen. Stuck pixels and dead pixels cause either black or white spots on the display. Water damage produces a ghost-like cloud over part of the screen. The tell tale sign for backlight bleeding is the lightening of regions, rather than spots, clouding or blurring.

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