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LCD room lighting

Use old laptop screens as room lighting
  [vote for,

The IT industry seems to generate a large number of obsolete laptop computers. My brother-in-law, last time I saw him had a big pile in his living room which he'd got from a skip (US: dumpster) - all functional, but useless. I have a 90MHz Pentium laptop at home which is all but unusable now.
What I'd like to do is to take some of the still-functional 640*480 screens (plus driving circuitry) off these laptops and cover a wall with them. Then rather than having a computer to drive them (like the wall-sized LCD screens in "Total Recall"), just power them up and (hopefully there's a way to do this - sorry, but I'm a little hazy on this point) they'll just glow, filling the room with a soft, ambient light.
hippo, Nov 27 2000

ElectroLuminecent http://www.eltechno...c%20el%20panels.htm
Thin sheets that glow, I want a wall of this stuff when I have a spare couple of grand... [darndog, Nov 27 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       LCD screens can malfunction (after being dropped and breaking) in a very pretty, multicolored, kind of fractal-ish pattern that expands when pushed. If you could get a couple of those, there could be a mosaic pattern of broken screens...
jutta, Nov 27 2000

       Hmmm - (broken) LCD screens as a dancefloor?
hippo, Nov 27 2000

       Could you send me the phone number of your brother-in-law? I might be interested in buying some of his junk.
keywalker, Nov 28 2000

       The glow generated off these things is really a flourescent tube, why go through the trouble of using the LCD panel and go right to the flourescent light?
addicted, Nov 29 2000

       If you place a speaker next to the screen it will screw up the monitor near the speaker. Leave one long enough in different places to make your own rainbow like patterns in the screen.
swerve, Apr 04 2001

       Speakers don't affect LCD monitors.
StarChaser, Apr 04 2001

       No, but magnets, as found in speakers do (don't they?).
snarfyguy, Sep 25 2001

       no, they dont. they affect CRT's because the monitor uses a magnetic field to direct electrons to the screen. An intense enough magnetic field will screw up any electronics but you wont find one in your speaker.
darndog, Sep 25 2001

       Yes, speakers will booger up <technical term> a CRT, as darndog says because they use magnetic fields...LCD displays do not. They change the colors of individual pixels that are all lit by a <generally> fluorescent light. LCDs are unaffected by magnetic fields of less than powerful enough to mung the electronics themsevles.
StarChaser, Sep 29 2001

       LCDs aren't a source of light at all. The LCD displays have a backlight, which is typically cold cathode fluorescent. LEDs are "Light Emitting Diodes", which used to be used for calculator displays are are now used for things like stoplights and tail lights in cars. As they get brighter and available in more colors, there is definitely a future in LED room lighting. The advantage is that LEDs are energy efficient and last for a long, long time.
davidlbangs, Aug 18 2004

       There has been a future in LED room lighting for a while now: Color Kinetics. My husband had some of their fixtures installed in the TV room. You can control the color they output with a computer or room lighting system. They're RGB but don't seem to do white very well.
bristolz, Aug 18 2004

       + interesting!
xandram, Feb 15 2017

       Laptop LCDs are useful for:
• Polarised light source
• Video lighting at close-up distances (which obviously isn't a distance, it's a nearby)
Ian Tindale, Feb 15 2017

       They can also be used as an impromptu safelight - just get the screen to display red.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 15 2017


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