Can Magnets Harm An LCD Display?

magnet lcd display

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A typical day involves you staying in front of your LCD Monitor while you work, watch videos, or stay active on social media. We often put objects in front of our monitor and do not know if they affect the performance or life of the LCD display. For example, magnets are found in different appliances or everyday items in the home.

You now wonder if magnets can harm an LCD monitor or not. A magnet produces a magnetic field that affects the electrically charged particles and impacts the electrons, which can interfere with electronic devices. Depending on how strong the magnetic field is, it can even produce a voltage in a conductor that generates electric flow.

Remember that an LCD comprises liquid crystals that need electric current to produce different colors. The electric current is controlled by a thin-film transistor connected to the LCD panel. The amount of current that flows through the pixel, aligns the liquid crystals and produces color for the images.

Magnets have been known to damage screens in the past. They can cause discoloration and distortion of the image. Sometimes lines appear on the screen. The big question now is, can magnets harm your LCD monitor?  

1. Functions of A Magnet

Magnets produce their magnetic field, which attracts opposite poles. It does the reverse for the same pole and repels each other. Magnetic poles are the ends of the magnet that come in pairs and function to either attract or repel each other. Magnets are commonly used for compasses, magnetic needles, electric motors, and separating iron from solid mixtures, to name a few.

2. Magnetic Characteristics

Magnets have their characteristics.  

  • Law of Magnetic Poles – different poles attract each other, while the same poles repel each other.
  • Attractive Property – determines the magnetic strength at the ends of the poles
  • Directive Property – by suspending the magnet in the air, you can identify the north and south pole
  • Pair Property – when a magnet is cut into two pieces, there is a north pole and a south pole.
  • Test of Magnetization- using an iron rod, you can test if it is magnetized based on whether the magnet will attract or repel each other.  

3. Different Types of Magnet

Permanent Magnet

Permanent magnets are found everywhere and do not lose their magnetic property once they are magnetized or activated. To demagnetize a permanent magnet, you’ll have to expose it to extreme temperatures. To lessen its strength, stroke a pair of magnets to the other or use a hammer to loosen the atoms of a magnet.

Used for: generators, electric motors, electric accelerators

Temporary Magnet

A temporary magnet loses its magnetic property if it’s not magnetized in a magnetic field.  

Examples: paper clips or iron nails.  

Electromagnets

Electromagnets are made by wrapping a coil of wire around the iron metal core. A magnetic field is created when exposed to an electric current, acting like a magnet. The strength of the electric current controls the magnetic field.

Used for: speakers, electric cranes, electric bells, etc.

4. The Basic Function of An LCD?

LCD or Liquid Crystal Display uses a backlight for liquid crystals within the display screen to produce an image. The backlight illuminates the liquid crystals in the screen with several layers, including a polarized filter and electrodes. LED backlights can be arranged in multiple ways that affect picture quality.

The light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor that produces the backlight used for LCD screens. When an electric current passes through the LED, it converts the energy of a power chip to produce a backlight signal. An inductor or backlight coil amplifies the signal that is filtered by a ferrite bead. It is the ribbon cable that carries the power signal to the LED backlight strip.

5. Magnets and Display Monitors

The first generation screen monitor was made of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) display. It used an electric gun and a magnetic field for the phosphor-based pixel compounds. For the pixels to light up, an electric gun has to shoot electrons into them. To guide the electrons to the appropriate pixels, a magnetic field is used.

A magnet that is placed near the CRT screen can interfere with the electric gun’s magnetic field and change the path of the electrons. This will cause discoloration on the screen and show visual distortion. It can also lose its color in the affected area because it stops the electrons from reaching the phosphor pixels.   

After a few years, technology has replaced the bulky and old CRT screen with LCD. It has a completely different makeup than the CRT and is immune to magnets. There is no longer any need for electric guns to blast the phosphor pixels or a magnetic field to control the direction of the electrons. An LCD uses a backlighting component for the liquid crystals to produce the images on the screen.

6. Can Magnets Harm LCD Monitors?

Magnets can not harm LCD monitors. An LCD works with electric voltages at each pixel that realigns electrical polarization. But the magnetic pull is not strong enough to create fluctuation on the screen or the electrical current.  

Even if the backlight is powered by electricity, the minimal presence of a magnetic field will not affect the performance of the images. No matter how close you position a magnet, it does not affect the charged or discharged liquid crystals.   

7. Magnets Found in Other Computer Parts

Magnets are found in different parts of your computer but do not have any harmful effects on the LCD monitor. An ongoing myth claims that magnets can erase the computer’s memory or wipe clean a hard drive, but this is completely false. For a magnet to do this serious damage, it requires ultra-strong magnetism that can be harmful to humans. Magnets can neither affect nor alter any data in a CD or DVD.

Below is a quick list of where magnets can be found in your computer set-up that runs with your LCD monitor.

  • Built-in speakers for the audio sound.
  • Hard Drive of a Laptop or Personal Computer
  • The electric motor of a Disc Reader or Writer
  • The motor of Cooling Fans for the processor, power supply, and high-resolution graphics cards
  • Moving Parts like the lens or the eject mechanism of a disc drive

8. Final Notes

There is no need to worry whether magnets harm your LCD Monitor. The magnetic field of a magnet does not have any effect on the backlighting of liquid crystals that produce the LCD images. There are magnets used in the different parts of a computer or laptop, which do not pose any threat to the performance of the LCD screen.  

But if you have further questions or need to get an LCD monitor, DisplayMan, your veteran supplier, is here to help you. With more than 20 years of experience, we will handle any technical details to ensure your LCD screen works. Our engineers can design your system and save you time and effort in putting the right parts together in a short lead time.

Our products have undergone strict quality control under ISO9001 ensuring that you only get high-quality products in our very own production line using the latest technology. In-house experts are ready to handle any inquiry with a 24/7 service. Take a look at the different products we have on our website and let us know how we can assist you with your needs.

9. FAQs

Q- Can a magnet interfere with the electric current that controls the liquid crystals of an LCD screen?

A- No because LCD screens do not use electric guns or a magnetic field like a CRT display. An LCD uses a backlighting component for the liquid crystals to produce the images on the screen.

Q- If I put a magnet in front of an LCD screen, will it affect the image display?

A- It will not affect the image whether by discoloration or distortion because the magnet is not powerful enough to disturb the electrical voltage that causes a realignment of the liquid crystals.

Q- Should I worry if a magnetic keychain is placed on top of my laptop?

A- Nothing to worry about because your laptop uses an LCD screen. This means the keychain magnet will not interfere with the backlighting of the liquid crystals.

Q- What happens if I put a magnet in front of a computer screen?

A- If you are using a CRT display, the magnet will interfere with the electric gun’s magnetic field and change the path of the electrons. Your screen will show discoloration and visual distortion. But if you are using an LCD screen, nothing will happen. The images will appear normal.

Q- I work from home and mostly stay in the kitchen area. Will the magnets in my fridge damage the LCD screen of my personal computer?

A- The magnets found at home are permanent magnets that do not need electricity to generate a magnetic field. Your LCD is magnet-safe, and the refrigerator magnet is not powerful enough to cause an electric disturbance.

greg

greg

Hi, I'm Greg, sales manager of touchscreenman.com. I've been working in the display & touch industry for more than 10 years, and the purpose of this article is to share the knowledge from a Chinese supplier's perspective.
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