Touchscreens require backlighting to illuminate their respective display interface. Backlighting is needed in all display devices. And since touchscreens are a type of display device, they require backlighting as well. So, what’s the best type of backlighting for a touchscreen?

The Basics of Backlighting in Touchscreens

The type of backlighting used in a touchscreen will vary depending on its display technology. Different touchscreens use different display technologies. Some of them use liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology, whereas others use organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology. Regardless, the display technology a touchscreen uses will ultimately determine the type of backlighting it uses.

LCD Touchscreens

LCD touchscreens — the most common type of display technology — are typically designed with either light-emitting diode (LED) or electroluminescent (EL) backlighting. Both LED and EL backlighting are energy efficient and provide an ample amount of illumination. The LED or EL bulbs are installed behind the pixel layer where they are able to illuminate the display interface.

OLED Touchscreens

OLED touchscreens, on the other hand, are capable of producing their own light. They don’t actually require a separate backlighting system. Rather, the pixels in an OLED touchscreen can illuminate themselves when exposed to an electrical current.

Although they both feature a layer of liquid pixels, LCDs and OLEDs are constructed of different materials. The material used in OLEDs is designed to glow when electrified. When you turn on an OLED, electricity will flow to its pixel layer, thus illuminating its pixels.

Light Guides

Some touchscreens, including LCD touchscreens, feature light guides as well. Light guides aren’t the same as backlighting. Backlighting is a collection of bulbs that illuminates a touchscreen’s display device. In comparison, light guides are thin strands of transparent material that are designed to propagate light.

Light guides are designed to work in conjunction with a touchscreen’s backlighting. They collect and distribute the backlighting’s light throughout the touchscreen’s display interface. With light guides, touchscreens are less likely to suffer from bright spots. The light will be evenly distributed to ensure a proper balance of light across the display interface.

What’s the Best Backlighting?

The best backlighting for a touchscreen will ultimately depend on its display technology. For an LCD touchscreen, you can’t go wrong with LED or EL backlighting. As previously mentioned, they are both powerful yet also energy-efficient forms of backlighting. You can also add light guides to achieve a more even and consist backlighting system for your touchscreen.