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I have a few old and broken laptops that I'm thinking of extracting the monitors and position them in various places to provide light.

  1. Could this be done by simply adding a voltage to some cable, or must I still have a controller chip for some reason?

  2. Could I somehow, easily, change the colour of the monitor (e.g. all red, green or blue)

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2 Answers

Assuming the backlight still works, you should be able to find the point at which to supply power and turn it on. However that will probably give you a black backlit screen. Changing its colours is not likely to be easy.

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If you've disassembled the case, then the backlight is probably easily separated from the LCD panel, and it would give a white light. I agree that you're not going to get a solid color without actually providing a video signal. –  Kevin Reid Oct 6 '11 at 12:49
    
I imagine this would be a kind of "cold" light. Might not be suitable for what I want, but I'll try anyway. Any ideas of what voltage I should use? –  Mika Oct 6 '11 at 13:00
    
Usually there's an inverter somewhere which steps up to 120V AC from 12VDC. Mind your fingers on the high side of the inverter. –  pjc50 Oct 11 '11 at 15:24
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You will need more than power. This will require a way of sending a red, blue or green signal to the screen to energize the crystals properly. The graphics controller in your computer does that so you see an image on the screen. Without the signal, all you will have is a dark screen.

A Google search of how LCDs work will give you an idea of what you are up against here. Unless you have a significant electronics background, this could be very difficult to accomplish. If you are able to make this work, please post how you did it as I will be very curious to know the details.

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