Cold-cathode fluorescent (CCFL) is one of the most common types of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) on the market. You can find computer monitors, televisions, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other display devices featuring this technology. What is a CCFL LCD exactly, and how does it differ from other display technologies on the market?

The Basics of CCFL LCDs

A CCFL LCD is a type of display device that uses liquid pixels with CCFL backlighting. It’s comprised of a layer of liquid pixels consisting of an organic material. Behind this layer is an array of CCFL bulbs. These bulbs serve as the backlighting for the CCFL LCD. When turned on, they’ll illuminate the layer of liquid pixels from behind, thus producing visible images.

All LCDs have backlighting. Backlighting is necessary for LCDs because the liquid pixels used in their construction can’t produce their own light. Instead, they require illumination from an external source, which is backlighting. An LCD is considered a CCFL LCD if it uses CCFL bulbs for the backlighting.


There are also light-emitting diode (LED) LCDs. Known as LED LCDs or LED-backlit LCDs, they use the same liquid pixels as their CCFL counterparts. Rather than CCFL backlighting, however, LED LCDs live up to their namesake by using LED backlighting. They have LED bulbs embedded behind the layer of liquid pixels, which are used to illuminate the pixels.

When compared to CCFL LCDs, LED LCDs often have a longer lifespan. Both CCFL and LED bulbs last a long time. Nonetheless, LEDs usually last longer than CCFLs. Depending on the specific type of LCD backlighting, as well as its configuration, LCD bulbs may last for over 100,000 hours of usage.

LED LCDs are also better protected against distortion in cold environments. CCFL LCDs can experience vision distortion when exposed to cold temperatures.

With that said, CCFL LCDs are still effective. They are one of the most common types of display technologies on the market — and there’s a reason for their popularity. CCFL LCDs are energy efficient, produce an even level of brightness and they are relatively inexpensive.

In Conclusion

A CCFL LCD is a type of LCD display device that uses CCFL backlighting. It features CCFL bulbs embedded behind a layer of liquid pixels. During operation, these CCFL bulbs will illuminate the liquid pixels to produce visible images.