01. November 2015 · Comments Off on 5 Tips to Increase the Longevity of Your LED TV · Categories: electronics · Tags: , , ,

LED TVs provide beautiful and bright pictures, but they also come with a high cost investment. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on a TV only to have to replace it in a few years. By understanding how their TV works, there are several tips and tricks buyers can use to help increase the longevity of an LED TV. Following these tips allows buyers to make a wise investment when purchasing these televisions.

LED LCD TVs
There are two types of LED televisions currently on the market right now. The one most people are familiar with is the LED LCD TV, which is often shortened to just LED TV. In truth, these are not pure LED TVs. They use an LCD screen that is enhanced with LED technology instead of the traditional fluorescent tubes used in normal LCD TVs. This allows the TV to be incredibly flat, usually only an inch or so thick. LED LCD TVs use either LED backlights, which are placed directly behind the screen, or LED lights around the edge. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Backlit LED LCD TVs can produce deeper blacks because the tiny lights are turned off, but because the light-to-pixel ratio is not the same, this can also cause a darkening effect on other areas of the screen. Edge-lit LED LCD TVs do not have this problem, but they also cannot reproduce the same deep black levels as backlit LEDs.

OLED TVs
Organic Light Emitting Diodes, or OLED, is the second type of LED TV and the only one that uses pure LED technology. Because of this, OLED TVs do not have the problems associated with either plasma or LCD TVs. Instead of using color filters like LCD, or UV light like plasmas, OLED TVs create the basic colors of red, blue, and green by transmitting electricity through different materials that create a glow. This results in incredibly thin TVs with high brightness and contrast levels. Because of this superior picture quality, OLED TVs are the most advanced thing to hit the TV market. Currently, OLED TVs tend to be on the smaller side, but as the technology catches up, the future will see bigger OLED TVs.

TV Lifespan
One of the questions that should be asked before purchasing a TV is how long the expected lifespan will be. Keep in mind that TV lifespan does not mean the TV will just die once it hits some magical number. Instead, lifespan refers to how bright the TV remains as it ages, compared to when it was new. Once a TV has diminished to half the level of its original brightness, it is considered to have reached the end of its lifespan. In other words, lifespan refers how dim a TV becomes before it is unwatchable. Of course, the truth is that all TVs dim with age. It was true of the old CFL tube TVs, and it is true of all the HDTVs that exist today. So how long does an LED TV last before it becomes unwatchable? Numbers vary depending on different manufacturer claims, but it is often estimated to be between 60,000 to 100,000 hours.

What Causes Dimness?
Why do LED TVs get dim over time? The lights simply wear out, much like an old light bulb will start to grow dim before it utterly dies. LED LCD TVs use white lights, which do not last as long as their color counterparts. This is because the white lights have to be exceptionally bright. Therefore, they will start to dim faster than the other components. Some OLED TVs use white lights, while others simply use RGB (red, green, blue) lights. In the case of OLED, blue lights always dim faster than red and green. Again, this is because the blue light is brighter than the other two. However, advances in technology have managed to bring blue LED lights up to speed with their other color counterparts. In fact, it was this leap forward that led to the creation of OLED TVs in the first place.

Protecting Longevity
Now that the basic difference between LED TVs has been explained, as well as the reasons behind the limits on TV lifespans, buyers should learn ways to help the TV last longer. Keep in mind that it is the brightness of the TV that must be protected. As long as the TV screen stays bright, it will continue to last. Once it starts to dim, its performance will suffer. Use these following tips to help keep the LED TV looking as bright as new.

Turn Off the TV When No One Is Around
This probably seems like common sense advice, but many people simply leave the TV running all day as background noise. While they are busy doing other things, the LED TV is busy conducting electricity through its lights. 60,000 hours might seem like a long time, but if a TV is left on as background noise for just 3 hours a day, that easily equals over 1,000 hours a year. Many people leave their TVs on for far longer than 3 hours a day without watching them, which only increases the number of hours being wasted. Turning the TV off when nobody is watching is probably the simplest way to increase the longevity of the LED TV. Not only will the TV last longer, the power bill will also be cheaper.

Adjust Brightness
Unless the house is as brightly lit as the showroom where the TV was purchased, there is no need to keep the LED TV at high brightness levels. Remember that the hours used to determine TV lifespan are based on average TV settings. Running a TV at high brightness levels can easily cut 60,000 hours into 30,000 hours, since the TV has to work twice as hard to keep up. Once the LED TV is purchased, adjust the brightness levels. Different manufacturers have separate brightness settings. “Film” or “home” settings work well enough on most TVs. For those who display brightness based on room, select either “dark room” or “medium room.” This small but highly effective adjustment will help keep the LED TV looking its best for years.

Adjust Contrast
Contrast is the control on the LED TV that measures the difference between the brightest and the darkest colors. The higher the contrast, the greater the power the TV uses. This, in turn, will decrease the television’s longevity. In the showroom, most LED TVs are set to “dynamic” or “vivid.” While either setting works best in brightly lit rooms and truly shows off the TV’s power, users should not leave the television on these settings at home. Doing so will burn through the LED lights faster. Instead, set the contrast to “standard” for the lowest power usage or to “movie” for enjoying HD broadcasts. Both of these settings use less energy than the “dynamic” and “vivid” options.

Use a Voltage Regulator
The LED TV is not the only electronic device in the house taking power. Every time the AC comes on or the furnace starts, electricity is used. This causes temporary power dips to other electronics, like the LED TV, which in turn affects the TV’s processes. In fact, one of the reasons why many LED TVs fail early in life is not because of their display technology, but instead because their power caps get busted from power surges or dips. Install a voltage regulator with a battery backup that can provide additional power during dips. Not only will it protect against hazards like power surges caused by lightning, it will help keep the TV operating efficiently no matter what other electronics are being used in the home.

Ventilate
The LED TV is going to be using a lot of power in the home. This power produces a lot of heat, which is removed by the ventilation system. However, many people install their LED TVs without giving them room to breathe. This affects the ventilation system, keeping the television hot. LED TVs do not last long in high heat conditions, as their internal parts start to be affected. Make sure that the TV has at least four inches to breathe around the ventilation vents. This means if it is a flat panel TV, but the vent is on the back of the television, do not install it against the wall. Instead, install it on a tabletop or entertainment center where the vent is four inches away from the wall.

Conclusion
LED TVs are expensive to buy, but the exceptional picture display is worth the cost. Remember, the picture is the reason why the television was bought in the first place. While these tips should be used as guidelines for increasing the longevity of the LED TV, do not sacrifice picture quality altogether. Adjusting the brightness and contrast are crucial for conserving power, but do not do so at the expense of the viewing experience. Set the television to levels that still look good while saving energy at the same time. With the exception of purchasing a voltage regulator, which should be done anyway to protect the TV from power surges, all of these tips are simple and free. Heading these suggestions will help any LED TV live for many years.