The new display backlight unit.

The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) has developed a new, innovative technology for the background lighting of LCD screens, which will be adapted in cockpit display systems. These new LCD backlight units use Color Conversion via Light Emitting Diodes (LED), while offering the additional benefits of lower energy consumption, extreme sustainability and flatter designs. The production of these lights is also more environmentally friendly.

Two prototypes have recently been completed, involving the unit situated behind the screen illuminated by LCD-backlights. NDF Special Light Products, a company based in Roosendaal, will introduce this new technology on the international market. Owing to the support of Agentschap NL, NDF was able to involve NLR in the development of the new LCD backlight units.

The currently used LCD screens are illuminated by Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL), but this technology has the disadvantage of requiring the use of toxic mercury during production. With this new technology (or Backlight Unit) however, this can be circumvented.

The basic (blue) light is generated from the LED light source, from which a photostimulable phosphor plate is emitted, ensuring that the blue light is converted into an extremely stable and high quality white light.

During the development of this new technology, NLR was responsible for the integration of the LEDs and the control thereof. NLR also developed the electrical and mechanical design and conducted the environmental testing. In short: an existing avionics backlight display unit based on CCFL was converted into a LED color conversion-based display.