to switch off an LCD monitor or not to switch it off?

Posted on 2006-04-28
Last Modified: 2013-11-06
I have bought a Samsung 19" LCD monitor (model 930BF) and it is beautifull!

I know about Screensavers etc and have it set to activate the screensaver after 15 minutes of idleness and to switch it off after 30 minutes.

My system is on 24/7 so what should I do when I go to bed?  Leave the screensaver to its own devices or should I physically switch the monitor off?  Which is the better action for the monitor?

The monitor comes with a 3 year "zero pixel" replacement policy but I want to know what is best for the monitor.

In your answer could you please include an official opinion or an article rather than just your personnal opinion, please.
Question by:louwin
    LVL 142

    Expert Comment

    by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
    switch it off, it saves energy, and turning it on/off once a day is no problem at all for them

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your response.

    I will wait for another opinion if you don't mind.  I take your point about saving power and point 4 in the article about possible failure of the screensaver but I am afteran official opinion one way or the other.

    The power usage of the "sleeping" monitor would be negligible and not worth considering.

    Switching off and on entails wear and tare on the switch but is it better for the monitor (ignoring power considerations).

    Expert Comment


    As angelIII said it is best to switch it off.  Here is how I have mine set up.


    It is important to have a screen saver with many changing colours,  I reccommend the electric sheep project   although there are thousands of screensavers availible.  I just like the electric sheep because I can get lost in the screen savers for hours (and from a geeky point of view it's very interesting read up on it).  I hvae seen lot's of screen savers which only have one moving part and the rest remains the same.  Do not get one of these.

    Power settings:

    I have the monitor set to turn off after 20 minutes in the control panel ---> power settings.

    Desktop Background:

    I read in another forum someone saying that they change thier background every week or so.  Personally I don't do this but I can see why it could cause some people concern,  to be honest though I only normally leave my computer with something on the screen, I never even see my desktop.
    However my desktop does change itself I run the desktop earth wallpaper which updates itself, although it is a bit of a memory hog and I normally stop it from updating.  But if your interested you can find that here

    You can read more about LCD burn here  



    Expert Comment

    What do you mean by official opinion?
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    The LCD itself will not either wear out or get a "burn" from displaying the same image.  You can, however, extend its life by turning it off.  An LCD display does not make any light of its own, it's just a "filter" device.  The light comes from a BACKLIGHT which is a small fluorescent lamp in the unit which provides illumination from the back through the LCD.

    The lamp does have a limited lifetime and by turning it off manually or having Windows power down the screen rather than display a "screen saver" you will extend the display's useful life.

    The backlight can be changed but it's often expensive since you can't just go to your local Home Depot and get the right lamp.

    Author Comment

    An official opinion would be one from an LCD monitor manufacturer or such.

    Your link to the LCD burn article didn't work.

    As I said my settings are 15/30 minutes, yours are 13/20.  Six of one and half a dozen of the other.  As I also said I do appreciate screensavers.

    I had a 19" CRT and switched it on and off for almost three years and it died anyway.

    My warranty would rectify this so I am not asking about saving electricty or what some one else does.  I want to know what is better for the monitor.  I don't want to save money or the environment or whatever....

    What is the better option for the monitor, so it will last longer than the warranty period, so it looks better when it is on....

    What is better - switch off or let the screensaver look after it?

    Sorry I'm not being pedantic, I just want an authorative answer to my question.



    Expert Comment


    Firstly sorry about the link that should work.  I'm trying to find you an answer or article from the web from someone who makes/works on screens.  Although I keep just finding a lot of technical jargon.  I understand that you know about screen savers.

    What jhance said about the backlight wearing out is correct, like any bulb or light these will wear out (now I come to thionk about it I'm a bit puzzled as to why no one has made a backlight out of glass tubing and LEDs yet, but that's another matter)  And I agree with most of what jhance  said. except thier opening line.. "The LCD itself will not either wear out or get a "burn" from displaying the same image"

    That article (providing it works this time) and the LCD screen I have with an image of our business sytem burnt into it say different.  I will continue to try and find you something from a manufacturer although I would say that everything points to turning it off to make it last longer.

    quote from jhance - "The lamp does have a limited lifetime and by turning it off manually or having Windows power down the screen rather than display a "screen saver" you will extend the display's useful life." - i couldn't agree with this more.


    Expert Comment

    by:JamesPeddle - this si an excerpt from the link I sent.

    "NEC 1850e - User's Manual - Page 13

        "Image persistence is when a "ghost" of an image remains on the screen even after the monitor has been turned off or a different image is being displayed.  In most instances, the image persistence can be reduced by turning the monitor off for as long as the image was displayed or by displaying the same image in the complementary colors.

        Note: As with all personal display devices, NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America recommends using a screen saver at regular intervals whenever the screen is idle."


        "Unlike CRT monitors, image persistence or "Burn-In" is not permanent on your LCD panel. To recover from "Burn-In", leave the panel OFF for an extended time. We recommend the use of a screen saver when the ViewPanel is not in use.""

    The article explains that this can sometimes be permanent and other times be temporary.  I know that your original question was not about image burn, but this is obviously a side effect of leaving your monitor on.

    another snippit from the article:

    Here are some guidelines on how to take care of your LCD to prevent image persistence or burn-in

        * Use a screen saver
        * Change your background image periodically
        * Use the power save feature of your monitor or Windows to turn off the monitor after a period of inactivity.  This extends the life of the backlight too.

    Here are some methods on how to reverse or remove afterimage or image burn-in

        * Turn your monitor off for several hours/days/weeks.
        * Use a screen saver that uniformly "exercises" each part of your screen
        * Display a white image on your screen for several hours/days/weeks


    Expert Comment

    Only mecanic part on lcd monitors is power sw :-) let the screen saver and power saving options do the work. Allso keep your room power saving mode there is still power on and dust wont doo any good. ;-))

    Author Comment

    Yes, I can now read the article but it basically confirms the use of a screensaver.

    Again, not to be pedantic, it all boils down to letting the screensaver (using power saving) turn off the monitor after 30 minutes of idleness or manually switching the monitor off before going to bed.

    Using the screensaver the monitor WILL switch off (go into standby) after 30 minutes.  Manual switch of is instantaneous.

    Do I draw the conclusion (with the lack of any authorative statement) that the screensaver uses a further 30 minutes of the backlight whereas manual switch off does NOT.

    Manual switch off causes wear and tare on the switch.   :)

    What about the effect of switch off/on on the crystals, the electronic circuits, the power supply (in the monitor), the graphics card?

    So manually switching off by a whisker?


    Accepted Solution


    I think that we have established that you need to turn your screen off,  to a degree I think it comes down to personal preference, I like to walk up to my keyboard and hit it (hard most days) and have the screen jump into life.  Others will belive that by turning it off manually and completely shutting the montitor off will prolong it's life.  

    So the one thing that we are agreed on is that you need to turn your monitor off.  I would say turn it off at the switch when your going to bed and have it turn off of it's own accord during the day.  As you correctly pointed out it uses 30 minutes of back light more while it's doing this.   Your machien goes into standby after 30 minutes, that is good but why not ahve the monitor turn off after 10 minutes of non-use and have the system go into stnadby after 30 (which it is already set at)

    I still haven't found a screen manufacturer who has stated which is the best way to keep your monitor in tip-top condition, only that they need to have a screen saver when thier not in use and be off when they are not being used for prolonged periods of time.

    I do fear that we are begingin to go around in circles,


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