I have a 4 year-old Samsung SyncMaster 2233 LCD display and recently part of the display got dim. I've checked all external connections and they look fine.


  1. Top of monitor is dim (maybe about 35% brightness) and the brightness increases down to about 100% at the bottom (roughly in a linear gradient)
  2. I can smell ozone when the monitor is running
  3. Other than brightness, the display looks fine (no distortions or anything)
  4. The dimness is constant and I have observed no flickering
  5. Turning the monitor off and on again has not apparent effect

What could be the cause?

I've read that common issues are inverter failure and backlight (CCFL) failure. Since the backlight is fluorescent, I'd expect some flickering or some binary (0% or 100% brightness) behavior. I haven't found a good list of inverter failure symptoms.

  • 5
    The backlight works by simply having a light behind the LCD screen. I suspect your monitor has 2 lights, one at the top and one at the bottom, and the top light has died, leaving only the bottom light lighting up the whole screen. Do you hear any high pitched noises or anything coming from the screen ? – Lawrence May 12 '14 at 4:16
  • Thanks! I don't hear any high-pitched noises coming from the screen when it's on. I've tried tilting/shaking the monitor to see if I could get a CCFL to come back on but nothing has happened (not even a flicker). – Jared May 12 '14 at 14:14
  • Sounds like either the CCFL or the inverter has died then. Have a google around for guides on how to fix them – Lawrence May 13 '14 at 1:43
  • Thanks! Yeah, I'm mostly trying to figure out whether it's the CCFL or the inverter. I can't find a good description of the symptoms (esp. unique symptoms) of the two different kinds of failures... – Jared May 13 '14 at 4:33
  • Opening it up and swapping the plugs on the 2 CCFLs could be a good way to do it, assuming the manufacturer was smart enough to put plugs on the wires that plug from the ccfl to the inverter. – Lawrence May 13 '14 at 7:54

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