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Sunlight readable display & transflective lcd screen

Sunlight readable LCD | Transflective TFT vs High Brightness TFT

Sunlight readable tft lcd display included color transflective tft lcd and high brightness tft lcd, both high brightness tft LCD (transmissive display) and transflective lcd are viewable under sunlight conditions, but which one would be the most suitable sunlight redable lcd display for your application? let's see the comparison in the following article.

What is transflective tft lcd?

Compare to transmissive display, transflective TFT has a reflector layer inside tft lcd cell that is in front of the backlight. The incoming light is reflected and used to illuminate the TFT display. Transflective TFT have both "transmissive" and "reflective" modes.

Both display modes work together for enhanced performance, as a result, the performance of the display content in very bright light is perfect even without any backlight on the transmissive tft lcd. Customers using a transflective TFT LCD module can save power by reducing or turning the display's backlight off during bright environments.

Transflective TFT become more popular since the demand of requiring good performance in bright environments and direct sunlight. so that the transflective TFT displays are perfectly readable under almost any ambient light conditions. In addition, they are very energy efficient, making them ideal for battery powered devices and mobile applications.

sunlight readable lcd

High brightness tft lcd vs transflective tft lcd:

In the following, we make a full comparison about the high brightness tft lcd vs transflective tft lcd display in the technical parameters, display performance, and cost evaluation. After read this article, you would get a deep comprehension about sunlight readable display tft, and how to select sunlight readable tft lcd display, to choose a most suitable transflective tft lcd or high brightness tft lcd (transmisive display) for your outdoor display.

sunlight readable tft vs transflective lcd

1) Sunlight readable LCD display module - High brightness tft 3.5” tft lcd display:

Sizes: 3.5 inch

Sunlight readable display type:  transmissive tft lcd display

Viewing direction: 6:00

Resolution: 320RGBx240 pixels

Brightness: 1000 cd/m2

Touch screen: without







Supply Voltage For Logic






LCD digital operation current





Backlight forward current





Backlight voltage





From the parameters, we could know it is a 3.5"sunlight readable display tft LCD module with high brightness of 1000 nits (typical value). 256k color TFT LCD with QVGA 320x240 resolution, diagonal size 3.5 inch. This TFT model is built in with HX8238D driver IC. It  supports 24-bit RGB interface; this version is without Resistive Touch Screen (RTP) and Projected Capacitive Touch Screen (CTP).

The supply voltage for logic (VCC) of this 3.5 inch sunlight readable display tft is 3.1V ~ 3.5V, typical value 3.3V. It is featured with Glare surface panel, View Direction 6 o'clock, Gray scale inversion 12 o'clock, and aspect ratio is 4:3. It can be operating at temperatures from -20℃ to +70 ℃ and storage temperatures from -30 to +80 ℃. Maclght sunlight readable display is perfect choices for outdoor industrial measuring equipment and instruments, testing equipment, measuring tools, outdoor advertising display etc.

The 3.5” 1000 nits high bright transmissive tft lcd display under sunlight:

If customers would need sunlight readable displays solution for the applications, Maclight’s high Brightness TFT Display solution is as a good solution. Maclight;s transmissive display with high brightness TFT LCD panel is featured with brightness up from 800 nits to 1000 nits.

Maclight's sunlight readable display tft models are also available in resistive touch panel and capacitive touch panel, but the brightness would be affected after adding the touch panel. the brightness will be decreased if the module require touch panel on it.

Maclight's Sunlight Readable LCD display Modules (High Brightness TFT Display) are suitable for outdoor daylight applications.

2) Transflective display tft lcd module- 2.2 inch







Dot Matrix

240 RGB × 320


LCD type

Transflective lcd display tft

Reflectance ratio


View Direction

12 o'clock


250 nits

Backlight Type

4 LEDs, Normally White



Transflective TFT-LCD modules have both “transmissive” and “reflective” modes.Transflective TFT LCD displays screen become more and more popular because the demand of display working in daylight environments and direct sunlight, it is a good solution for daylight readable display

Both display modes work together for enhanced performance.

In darker environments, the “transmissive” mode is dominant with emissions from the display’s backlight.

In daylight or bright environments, the “reflective” mode of the display is more dominant through reflectance from the internal mirror structure.

Transflective TFT display screen have a layer of reflector in front of the backlight. The incoming light is reflected on the reflector layer and used to illuminate the TFT display. as the transfelctive screen,  Transflective TFT LCD display modules have both "transmissive" and "reflective" characters.

Transflective tft lcd display structure

Transflective displays tft are characterized by well readability in bright ambient light and direct sunlight. While transmissive TFT lcd displays can only be operated with a backlight, transflective screen feature the reflector on the color filter of TFT cell, thatin Therefore, its incoming ambient light is reflected on the TFT reflective layer and reflect to illuminate the display. As a result, the readability of the content in very bright sun light is perfect even without backlight.

Advantage of transflective screen:

Another advantage of transflective display TFT modules is power savings compared to traditional “transmissive- only” displays. transflective lcd display combines the advantages of transmissive and transflective lcd displays, we also call it transreflective screen,  the transflective screen are perfectly readable under almost any ambient light conditions. In addition, they are very energy efficient, making them ideal for battery powered devices and mobile applications.Customers using a transflective screen can save power by reducing or turning off the display’s backlight during bright environments because the “reflective” mode is dominant.

Reflective ratio about transflective tft lcd display module:

Maclight 2.2 inch transflective tft lcd display is a true transflective tft lcd display, the reflector layer is combined the color filter of tft lcd cell, and it have a higher transflective ratio than Winstar Raystar or other brand transflective tft lcd display. Maclight 2.2 inch transflective tft lcd have 6.8% reflective ratio, while if some other transflective tft lcd module manufacturer, if they only used the transflective polarizer on the backside of transmissive tft lcd, its reflective ratio only about 2%, they are not a significant transflective tft lcd, it is the alternative transflective lcd solution that the reflective layer is located on the back polarizer, not in the color filter, the 2% reflective ratio is too low to say it is transflective tft lcd display.

The power consumption drops to the consumption of the TFT cell, which leads to a lower power loss and a considerably reduced heat generation. Transmissive displays, on the other hand, offer good readability in direct sunlight only with a very bright backlight and a resulting higher power consumption.

But Transflective TFT-LCD modules had a “reflective” mode where color reproduction was reduced compared to “transmissive” mode displays. Maclight transflective tft lcd display improved the TFT-LCD panel structure to expand the range of color reproduction in the “reflective” mode, realizing a new transflective TFT-LCD module capable of displaying colors as vivid as the “transmissive” mode.

Transflective tft lcd dispay is perfect for outdoor, handlheld and battery powered applications we have a range of standard and customized TRUE TRANSFLECTIVE TFT Displays.

The 2.2” transflective display tft lcd effect:

The display effect of transflective tft lcd: Outdoor under sunlight VS Indoor

3)The power consumption of transflective tft display and high brightness tft lcd

To the 3.5”high brightness tft lcd, both the TFT lcd current value is 10MA(typ.), that it is the tft lcd glass power consumption is almost similar to transflective tft and high brightness.

The big gap is from the backlight , the backlight current and voltage of 3.5” high brightness tft lcd is If=20MA,Vf=18.0V, 6 LED chips,  and the 2.2 inch transflective tft lcd backlight’s currents is If=20MA,Vf=12.8V, 4 led chips,  that is the high brightness power consumption would be higher around 50% than transflective tft lcd.

4) The cost of transflect tft lcd and high brightness tft lcd display:

After check the display effect of high brightness tft lcd display and transflective tft lcd display module, let us compare the cost of them.

The cost of 3.5” 1000 nits sunlight readable tft would be around 9~10 USD. A high brightness transmissive tft lcd in 2.2 inch, its cost around 6~7 USD. While a 2.2” transflective tft, its cost around 18 USD, So transflective tft lcd is good, but are you ready to pay more cost about your sunlight readable tft lcd display, I hope you had a answer after read this article.

Brightness comparison for the ambient and sunlight readable display:

Ambient Condition Ambient  Brightness Recommended LCD  Display Brightness


transmissive lcd

High brightness transmissive lcd Transflective lcd
Dark environment Less than 50 nits Up to 50 nits Yes
Indoor daylight Less than 500 nits Can be turn down to 200 nits Yes
Indoor Lighting Less than 1000 nits Up to 300 nits Yes
Overcast sky, without sky 1000 to 3000 nits 300 - 500 nits Yes
Thin bright overcast skys, indirect sunlight, shadows are visible 3000 to 7000 nits 500 - 800 nits
Yes Yes
Directly sunlight in blue sky, shadow are clearly 7,000 to 10,000 nits 800 - 1000 nits Yes Yes

When transflective LCD technology used in regular TFT LCD with a reflective function. via the imposed reflective function, the modified tft LCD can reflect the ambient light passing the LCD cell and utilize the reflected light beams as its illumination. The stronger the ambient light is, the brighter the LCD will be needed. Transflective LCD modules are with both transmissive and reflective properties, and the image display effect depends on the conditions of the ambient environment. for transflective tft lcd, the tft lcd display uses a backlight with a transmissive property in dark environments, and uses external light with a reflective property in bright environments. so the transflective lcd method allows for better color performance than transmissive tft lcd with same backlight brightness, then the transflective lcd provides similar color characteristics similar to the transmissive mode that indoor. The net Reflectance rate of regular Transflective LCD solution is from 0.9% to 8% varied from panels selected. For example, with 1.3% net reflectance rate and under 10,000 ambient sunlight conditions, the brightness gain is around 130 nits added to original backlight brightness.

Maclight standard sunlight readable tft lcd display list:

Size Part Number Resolution Display area (mm) Size (L*W*T/mm) Interface Luminance (cd/m2) Touch panel Remark
2.2" MLT022Q39-R1 240RGB*320 33.84x45.12 40.6x56.6x2.7 RGB 90 N/A Transflective
2.4" MLT024Q33-1 240RGB*320 36.72*48.92 42.72*60.26*2.5 MCU 450 Optional
2.4" MLT024Q45-R2 240RGB*320 36.72*48.96 42.92*60.26*3.65 SPI/RGB/MCU 230 Optional Transflective
3.0" MLT030Q45-R1 240RGB*400 38.88*64.8 47.28*76.4*2.4 RGB+3SPI/MCU 100 None Transflective
3.5" MLT035Q54-6 320RGB*240 70.08*52.56 76.9*63.9*3.3 RGB 500 Optional
3.5" MLT035Q50-R12 240RGB*320 53.64*71.52 64.0*85.0*2.93 RGB 6 bit/SPI 100 Optional Transflective
3.5“ MLT035Q54-17 320RGB*240 70.08*52.56 76.9*64.0*3.05 RGB 900 Optional
3.5" MLT035V40-1 480RGB*640 53.57*71.42 63*85*3.1 RGB 120 Optional transflective
4.3" MLT043R40-3 480RGB*272 95.04*53.86 105.5*67.2*3.0 RGB 1000 Optional
4.3" MLT043R40-12 480RGB*272 95.04*53.86 105.4*67.1*2.9 RGB 800 Optional
4.3" MLT043R40-2 480RGB*272 95.04*53.86 105.5*67.2*3.0 RGB 500 Optional
4.3" MLT043R40-22 480RGB*272 95.04*53.86 105.5*67.2*3.0 RGB 750 MVA,-30~+85
5.7" MLT057V33-12 640RGB*480 115.2*86.4 144.0*104.6*13.0 RGB 700 Optional
6.5" MLT065W50-1 800RGB*480 143.4*76.7 155.2*89.4*5.5 RGB 1000 Optional
6.5" MLT065V20-3 640RGB*480 132.5*99.3 153.0*118.0*11.9 LVDS 1200 Optional
6.5" MLT065W50-2 800RGB*480 143.4*76.7 155.2*89.4*5.5 RGB 500 Optional
7.0" MLT070W50-6 800RGB*480 154.08*85.92 164.9*100*5.7 RGB 1000 Optional
8.0" MLT080W50-2 800RGB*480 176.6*99.36 192.8*116.9*6.4 RGB 750 Optional -30~+85
8.0" MLT080Y40-1 1280RGB*720 176.6*99.36 192.8*116.9*6.4 LVDS 800 Optional
8.0" MLT080X40-10 1024*768 162.05*121.54 174.0*136.0*2.5 LVDS 1000 Optional
10.1 MLT101Y40-9 1280*720 223.68*125.82 238.6*148*9.7 LVDS 1000 Optional
10.4" MLT104S20-5 800RGB*600 211.2*158.4 226.0*177.8*10.0 LVDS 1000 Optional
12.1" MLT121S20-1 800RGB*600 246.0*184.5 279.00 * 209.00 * 9.00 LVDS 400 Optional
15" MLT150X25-3 1024RGB*768 304.1*228.1 326.50 * 253.50* 13.1 LVDS 1000 Optional

You could also find more information about "what makes best sunlight readable lcd display" here :

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