How to replace backlight lamp (CCFL)

posted in: Screen | 273

In this guide I will disassemble a laptop LCD screen in order to remove and replace the backlight lamp (CCFL).
Replacing the backlight lamp is not an easy task even for experienced technicians. If you do something wrong you will permanently damage the LCD screen and have to buy a new one. Proceed on your own risk and do not blame me. :)

Some recommendations before you start:
1. Work in a clean room. You don’t want dust and lint inside your LCD screen.
2. Make notes, so you know how to assemble your screen back.
3. Take pictures.
4. Before you remove something, take a closer look at the part and memorize how it is assembled.
5. When you are assembling the screen, remove dust and lint with compressed air. Do not use cloth.

The backlight lamp (CCFL) is located inside the LCD screen, so we are going to take it apart. In this article I’m not going to explain how to remove LCD from a laptop, it’s been covered before.

LCD screen with bad backlight lamp

Remove sticky tape and foil from the back of the screen and glue it somewhere so you can reuse it later, when you assemble the screen.

Remove tape

Removing tape from the backlight cables.

Release backlight lamp cables

On my screen the green circuit board was glued to the plastic frame with a double sided tape. Carefully unglue the circuit board. Be very careful, do not flex or bend the circuit board.

LCD circuit board

The circuit board has been unglued.

Remove circuit board

Place the LCD screen on the side and start removing the metal frame witch secures the LCD to the plastic frame. There will be many latches on all sides of the frame, you can unlock them with a small screwdriver.

Open latches

Continue separating the metal frame from the plastic base.

Separate LCD frame

On the following picture you can see that frame, LCD with the circuit board and screen base have been separated. Be careful, do not touch internal components with your fingers. Handle all internal components by the sides.

Remove LCD

Place the metal frame and LCD with the circuit board aside. You’ll need them only when you assemble everything back together.

LCD

There will be a few transparent layers inside. Carefully remove them from the screen base. Do not separate the layers, just put them aside together.

Transparent layers inside screen

Keep everything organized, so you have no trouble assembling the screen.

Set aside

Start removing the metal cover from the backlight lamp (CCFL).

Remove backlight cover

The backlight cover has been removed.

Backlight lamp cover

The backlight lamp (CCFL) cables are routed through small plastic hooks.

Backlight lamp cables

Unroute the backlight lamp cables.

Release backlight cables

Now probably the hardest part in this disassembly process – removing the backlight lamp and reflector. The backlight lamp is secured inside the reflector so you have to remove both and then separate them.
Before you remove the backlight lamp and reflector take a closer look how it’s assembled and mounted to the screen base. Fitting the backlight and reflector back in place could be a very challenging task.

Remove backlight lamp reflector

The reflector is glued to the screen base with a double sided tape.

Backlight reflector

After the reflector has been unattached from the screen base, you can start removing the backlight lamp. As you see on the picture, I marked the left side of the reflector with a red dot so I know where the red cable goes when I assemble everything back together.

Remove backlight lamp

The backlight lamp (CCFL) has been removed from the reflector.

Backlight CCFL lamp

In order to access the backlight lamp leads you’ll have to remove the rubber caps from both side of the lamp. I’m not sure if you can touch the backlight lamp with your fingers, so I would use rubber gloves.

Remove cover

Cabled on both sides of the backlight lamp are soldered to the backlight leads. In order to access the leads you’ll have to remove the black insulator on both side of the lamp.
Unsolder both cables from the old backlight lamp and solder them to a new one.

Cable soldered to backlight lamp

You can test the new backlight lamp (CCFL) before you install it back into the screen. Connect the backlight lamp into the inverter board and turn on the laptop. The backlight lamp should light up.
From my experience, on some laptops the backlight lamp will not light up until the video cable is connected to the LCD screen. In this case you’ll have to assemble the LCD screen and then test it.

Test backlight lamp


273 Responses

  1. Derrick

    This procedure requires extra care. The backlight lamp of most LCD’s (I think) contain mercury, which is toxic.

  2. Hi I have tried setting power to never turn off etc… but cannot seem to find anything that will allow me to disable the lid close switch…. could you advise…thanks

  3. Thanks.. I have replaced the inverter in the screen. i know it works as it has been tested, the same with the backlight…i have two sp10-304 laptops with exactly the same problem… inverters work as do backlights… image is getting onto screen but really dark… its doing my head in….

  4. cj2600

    Sam,

    Can someone tell me whats wrong with my computer. My processor works but there is no picture on the lcd.

    First of all, you have to test your laptop with an external monitor. Do you have picture on the external monitor?

  5. Hello,

    Can someone tell me whats wrong with my computer. My processor works but there is no picture on the lcd.

  6. Larry Holmes

    UTAH:

    Afraid you will have to replace the “inverter” which is the small, slender circuit board which fits under the lcd screen and is accessible from the front of the display by simply removing the trim around the display front. There are instructions here.

    One other thing, though: laptops often have magnetic switches which sense when the lid is open or closed. If this switch fails, or the magnet comes loose or somehow becomes weak, the screen will be blanked, or made to go black, by the computer; there is no need to wear out the screen and the battery, by running the screen when the lid is closed.

    You will probably find a check box somewhere in your power or other setup menus which will allow you to turn this feature on or off. Turn it off and see if the problem is still there. If that doesn’t help, the above advice stands.

    good luck

    Larry

  7. I replaced the whole screen and it is still dark… i can faintly see the image but the inverter is not lighting up the back light… i am guessing there is a problem with the board… can this be fixed? whats going on? any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.. thanks

  8. thanks very much for puting this information on the web
    i new my backlight was faulty but didnot know how to take the screen apart
    so i went on the web
    and typed laptop backlight help
    and to my suprise found your help
    computer working great
    thanks many thanks

  9. cj2600

    MOHAMMED NAGDEE,

    I guess you’ll have to replace the whole screen.

  10. MOHAMMED NAGDEE

    Hello.
    Thanks for the great tutorial. I noticed that you dismantle the entire lcd itself. My lcd works perfectly fine except that i have a crack that seems to be on the outermost layer which i think is called a polarizing filter. Is there anywhere that i may get a replacement for a vaio FZ11Z?

    Many Thanks

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