If you own a liquid-crystal display (LCD), you might be wondering whether it’s susceptible to damage from magnets. Magnets have been known to permanently damage certain types of displays. Many old-style televisions, for example, can experience permanent discoloration when exposed to a magnet. So, should you be concerned about magnets damaging your LCD?

No, Magnets Won’t Damage LCDs

The good news is that magnets won’t damage LCDs. Even when placed in close proximity to an LCD, a magnet won’t affect its color or other display elements. Many LCDs feature built-in speakers, for example. These speakers often contain magnets, which won’t harm or otherwise affect the LCD’s display.

There are different types of LCDs, but they all use liquid pixels to create visual images. They are designed with a layer of liquid pixels that, when illuminated, creates the images on the screen. The presence of a small magnetic field won’t interfere with an LCD’s liquid pixels or its backlighting.

How Magnets Affect CRTs

While LCDs are immune to magnets, the opposite is true for cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays. In the past, most televisions and other displays used CRT technology. CRT displays are defined by their use of an electron gun. They contain phosphor-based compounds for their pixels. When turned on, an electron gun will blast these phosphor pixels with electrons, thereby illuminating them.

CRT displays use a magnetic field to control the direction of the electrons. A magnetic field guides the electrons so that they land on the appropriate phosphor pixels. If a CRT is exposed to a magnet, it will disrupt the CRT’s magnetic field.

Magnets can permanently damage a CRT. It will change the path of the electrons, resulting in visual distortion. After being exposed to a magnet, a CRT may have a permanently bright or dark spot. Alternatively, the CRT may fail to produce any color in the affected area. The magnet will disrupt the CRT’s magnetic field, thus preventing the electrons from reaching the phosphor pixels.

LCDs don’t use an electron gun, nor do they use a magnetic field. They simply use a layer of liquid pixels with a backlighting component. As a result, LCDs are immune to the effects of magnets. You should still try to avoid placing magnets near your LCD, but you can rest assured knowing that a magnet won’t damage it.

Magnets are found everywhere. Many computers, smartphones and speakers contain magnets. Fortunately, they won’t harm your LCD. Only old-style displays, such as CRTs, are susceptible to damage from magnets.