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Sunlight readable display & transflective lcd screen

3 Tips for improving Sunlight Readable Display

For the displays that used in outdoor, have you struggled to read the instructions on the display under sunlight? We could see a display that looked good in the outdoor, but the display image wash out in outdoor environment with high ambient sunlight. So for outdoor environment, we need sunlight readable displays. In this article, we would introduce technologies of sunlight readable displays and some tips for improving sunlight readable displays.

1. What is sunlight readable display meaning?

Sunlight readable display means the display that could be read under sunlight, we also call it daylight readable display. the sunlight readable display technologies are including traditional sunlight readable LED display, sunlight readable lcd display, and sunlight readable oled display. Different to standard displays,the sunlight readable display could be clearly viewed under the strong sunlight without blur or color fade.  A good sunlight readable display would be with high contrast, lower heat emission and power saving.

sunlight readable lcd display

2.  Types of sunlight readable displays:

High brightness LCD display: High-brightness LCD displays use advanced backlighting technology to provide clear and bright images in direct sunlight. Such as high brightness tft lcd displays, These displays are ideal for outdoor displays and industrial displays.

OLED Displays: OLED displays offer high contrast and excellent image quality even in direct sunlight. These displays are ideal for outdoor applications such as meters,smart phones,kiosks.however, the cost of sunlight readable OLED screen is more expensive than lcd display.

E-Paper Displays: E-paper displays use a reflective technology that mimics the appearance of ink on paper. These displays can be used for outdoor applications such as electronic shelf labels and outdoor digital signage.

LED Displays: LED displays can be used for outdoor digital signage applications. These displays use advanced backlighting technology to provide bright and clear images in direct sunlight. Traditional LED display can be in higher brightness when in outdoor working, but common LED screens are hard to make with high resolution(PPI). so it is hard to get a high quality display effect.

transflective lcd display and reflective lcd: Transflecive lcd and reflective lcd could reflect the ambient light on the screen, the reflective light would increase the brightness of lcd screen and reduce the ambient light on the screen. transflective lcd displays are available in monochrome lcd and transflective color tft lcd, they can be used for outdoor displays that required low power consumption. Transflective or reflective monochrome lcd are the common and economy solution for sunlight readable lcd displays. Since the reflective lcd and transflective lcd has the lowest power consumption than other sunlight readable display,  reflective lcd doesn't need backlight, while transflective lcd only need the backlight in dark environment. the monochrome lcd is easily to custom make, its tooling cost is also cheaper than other custom tft display or oled display.

3.  What makes sunlight readable lcd display and how it works?

Challenges of sunlight readability: Overcoming Environmental Obstacles

The challenges of sunlight readable displays are involved in making displays visible in bright outdoor environments, such as glare, reflections, and extreme temperatures.

There are three ways to make displays sunlight readability:

a.  Increasing display's brightness -- High brightness display

b.  Reuse the ambient light inside the screen -- Transflective lcd or reflective lcd

c.  Reducing light reflectance on the surface of screen -- Antiglare surface treatment on the screen.

How sunlight readable display works:

To make sunlight readable displays(sunlight viewable displays), we have to know the definition of visibility. The visibility means an object is detected by a viewer’s eyes. In scientific words, it means an object’s brightness and contrast is higher than its ambient light, and the different ratio must be higher than human being eyes’ viewing threshold.

So for a display that under the strong sunlight, a display with higher brightness light to complete the ambient light, it would be the key point for making the sunlight readable displays.

There is the way to get sunlight readability:  High brightness compete to the strong sunlight

a) From the test data, the display ambient contrast is declined as the ambient illumination increased, they are inverse relationship

b) The display with lower brightness, the contrast declined faster than higher brightness display

sunlight readable lcd display

Principle for making sunlight readable display:

The principle for making sunlight readable display is : The brightness on top surface of screen higher than ambient illumination on the screen (the ambient illumination means the screen’s reflective light from ambient light).

In the mean time, as the research result, for comfortably viewed by eyes, the display brightness needs to 2.5 multiple than its reflective light.

So we have three directions to create sunlight readable display,

a)     Increasing the brightness on top surface from the screen.

b)     Reduce the reflective light from ambient light on the screen surface.

c)  Reuse the ambient light to the screen.

4. Factors to we need to concern in designing sunlight readable lcd display:

Screen size: Choose the suitable screen size for your project.

Resolution: Choose the resolution (PPI ) based on the application

Brightness: If it is transmissive display, choose the high brightness display refer to ambient illumination.

Ambient Condition Ambient  Brightness Recommended brightness for sunlight readable Display (Transmissive lcd)
Thin bright overcast skys, indirect sunlight, shadows are visible

3000 to 7000 nits

500 - 800 nits

Directly sunlight in blue sky, shadow are clearly

7,000 to 10,000 nits

800 - 1000 nits

Raflective: For transflective display or reflective lcd, the higher reflective ratio would be benefit to sunlight readability.

Power consumption: We have to consider power consumption for sunlight redable displays, especially for the devices with battery charge, such as hand held devices

Temperature range: Choose wide temperature displays to stand outdoor environment, the high brightness displays also intensify the temperature of sunlight readable displays.

Life time: Choose the long life time sunlight displays for outdoor application. the LED backlight lifetime would be affacted by long working in high brightness.

5. Three tips for improving the performance of sunlight readable displays?

Tip 1: Surface treatments for the sunlight readable display

The surface treatment could reduce reflectance on the screen surface. the display are made by many materials layers, such as a Sunlight readable tft lcd display with capacitive touch, from the top layer to bottom layer, it is made by top cover lens -->  touch sensors layer-->OCA layer or air gap layer --> top polarizer --> top glass -->  bottom glass-->bottom polarizer-->backlight films.

sunlight readable lcd layers

when the ambient light go through the display, the refraction and reflection happened in each layer. the refraction and reflection light combine to diffuse lights inside the display, it leads to display blur to the screen,  the situation would be worse under the sunlight that with strong incident light to the screen.

The solutions for reducing reflection would be:

Tip 2. Reduce the reflection of screen surface by AR and AG treatment.

We could add the surface treatments such as Anti-Reflection and Anti-Glare film or apply AR coating. it could reduce 2%~3% surface reflectance on the top surface of sunlight readable display. the surface treatment could be made by additional materials coating on the screen's surface or an external film on the screen.

Anti-glare surface treatment with high haze surface, it could reduce the mirror reflectance on the screen surface.
An external film with AR properties not only reduces reflected light, but also brings some other benefits in some application. a top film always reduces TFT LCD’s surface hardness. And it is susceptible to scratches. On the other hand, AR coating retains LCD’s hardness and touch performance. But it comes with a bigger price gap.

For the sunlight readable tft display with PCAP touch,

An additional linear polarizer on the top of tft screen would also decrease the surface reflectance from ambient light.Or a circular polarizer (O-film) to block reflected light. when ambient light passes through circular polarizer it gets circularly polarized. And when it is reflected, the polarization direction flips by 180 degrees. So when reflected light comes back to the circular polarizer, nothing goes through to viewer’s eyes. But the additional polarizers would make the more thickness to the screen, and reducing the brightness of the lcd screen,  a surface coating with AR or AG treatment are more effective and popular for the sunlight readable lcd display.

The brightness will be reduced if the module requires touch panel or O-Film on it). meanwhile, high brightness displays will generate more heat and use more power than a traditional LCD.

Tip 3. OCA bonding to replace air gap bonding to the PCAP touch screen

OCA bonding would help to reduce the reflection light of the lcd display. Air-gap reflection is the main culprit causing worse sunlight readability. We can improve it from two directions. Add AR films or AR surface treatment on both interfaces of internal air gap. it could reduce the reflection ratio from 8.5% to 2%.

·        The most effective way is to eliminate air gap totally, by using OCA bonding (optical bonding). OCA bonding means we fill air gap with special optical adhesive (OCA), to smooth out the area’s refraction index differences. it leads to the reflectance by internal air gap drops from 8.5% to 0.5%. Optical bonding is expensive but effective way to improve TFT LCD sunlight readability. Moreover, no air gap means no moisture condensation and fogging for the sunlight readable tft display.

6. Benefits of sunlight readable displays:

There are many benefit for Sunlight-readable displays in outdoor applications. Some of these benefits include:

Visibility: Sunlight-readable displays offer excellent visibility even in direct sunlight. This ensures that the display is visible and readable even in bright outdoor conditions.

Durability: Sunlight-readable displays are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments. They are built with rugged materials and are often waterproof and dustproof.

Energy Efficiency: Sunlight-readable lcd displays use advanced backlighting techniques to reduce power consumption. This makes them ideal for use in battery-powered outdoor applications.

Cost-effective: Sunlight-readable LCD displays are cost-effective compared to other outdoor display technologies. This makes them an ideal choice for businesses and organizations that require outdoor displays on a budget.

7. Maintenance of Sunlight Readable Displays:

a) Put sunlight readable displays into the devices with water proof case.

b) Add heat dissipation design for sunlight readable displays.

c) Add a shield for sunlight readable display, such as digital kiosk display in the outdoor.

d) Light off it when sunlight display is no need on working.

e) Keep the sunlight readable display's brightness less than 80% maximum of its design value.

f) Add light sensor for sunlight readable displays, the display brightness could be auto-adjusted following the ambient light.

8. Sunlight readable lcd displays supplier: Choosing the right partner for your project

Maclight display is profession in sunlight readable displays, Maclight's high brightness TFT LCD panels are featured with brightness up to 1500 nits. our high brightness tft is made by using a very bright backlight to keep the display visible even when the sun is on it. we could upgrade the backlight to dramatically increase brightness with long lifetime LED backlights and wide temperature lcd displays.

Maclight's sunlight readable display models are optional in resistive touch panel and capacitive touch screen.  Maclight Sunlight Readable LCD Modules are including 1.8 "~10.1" sunlight readable tft lcd, transflective lcd, OLED displays.

Welcome contact Maclight for more information of sunlight readable display, Email: [email protected]



Tel: +86-755-27205930

Email: [email protected]

Add: No.205,A Zone,Mingyou Purchasing center,Baoyuan Road,Baoan District,Shenzhen,China