If you’re thinking about buying a liquid-crystal display (LCD), you might be wondering whether LCDs suffer from screen burn-in. Screen burn-in was common with plasma displays. Even today, some display devices suffer from it. So, do LCDs suffer from screen burn-in.

The Basics of Screen Burn-In

Also known as ghost imaging, screen burn-in is a phenomenon in which a display device generates a permanent image. All display devices generate images. Each individual frame is essentially an image. Normally, the images will change as the frames change. Screen burn-in, though, involves some or all of an image becoming permanent. Even as the frames change, the “burned-in” image will persist.

What Causes Screen Burn-In?

Screen burn-in isn’t caused by an image literally burning itself into the screen. Rather, it’s caused by phosphor compounds emitting light for a prolonged period.

Certain types of display devices contain phosphor compounds. You can find phosphor compounds in plasma, cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays and similar types of display devices. The phosphor compounds illuminate the pixels of these display devices. When a display device is turned on, its phosphor compounds will emit light, thereby illuminating the display device’s pixels from behind.

Screen burn-in typically occurs when the phosphor compounds remain illuminated for a prolonged period. If there’s an image on the display that doesn’t change, for example, they’ll continue to emit light. Eventually, this can lead to screen burn-in. The phosphor compounds will continue to emit light — even after the display device is turned off or when the frame changes.

LCDs are Safe From Screen Burn-In

The good news is that LCDs are safe from screen burn-in. As previously mentioned, screen burn-in is caused by phosphor compounds. LCDs don’t contain phosphor compounds. They still have pixels, and the pixels of an LCD must still be illuminated. Nonetheless, LCDs don’t contain phosphor compounds.

To illuminate their pixels, LCDs contain backlighting. Backlighting is a separate lighting system that’s used in conjunction with a display device. Some LCDs use cold-cathode fluorescent lighting (CCFL) backlighting. Other LCDs use light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting. With CCFL or LED backlighting, they are able to illuminate their pixels without the use of phosphor compounds.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to worry about LCDs suffering from screen burn-on. Only display devices with phosphor compounds are susceptible to this phenomenon. And LCDs don’t contain phosphor compounds, so there’s no risk of screen burn-in occurring.