Backlight lamp replacement ...

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[For background on this post, see the thread "Need Backlight Lamp"]

I received the generic replacement backlight lamp (CCFL Fluorescent
tube) that I ordered to replace the broken backlight in a laptop that I
am repairing, a Toshiba 490XCDT.

This is a surprisingly easy and inexepensive repair.  Replacement tubes
cost $10 to $12, compared to as much as $149 (and nothing less than $47)
that I was quoted for a complete Toshiba assembly (Toshiba PN P000253680
for a Sharp LQ13X023 LCD panel).

You have to figure out how to take not only the laptop but the actual
LCD panel apart.  Experience and training are terribly important here,
and an inexperienced person doing this could easily destroy either the
laptop or the LCD panel, but if you know how to take it apart, it's not
a difficult repair.  Since there are thousands of LCD panels and they
are all different, it's not possible to give specific directions.

One of the keys, if you are using a generic lamp, is to save the wiring
harness from the original lamp being replaced (on Toshiba laptops,
typically a pink and white wire pair with an inverter plug at one end,
and the lamp at the other ends).  You want to save the wire and the
rubber end caps, cutting the wire off as close to the old lamp as
possible (the rubber end caps are not part of the lamp and can be "slid
down" the wire).  It goes without saying that soldering is required.

JKL makes these lamps, they come in about 50 different sizes.  For
laptop backlights, you are going to want a very small diameter, if you
can't measure the old lamp, it's likely to be 2.0mm to 3.0mm diameter,
if in doubt go for the smallest available.  I went with 2.6mm and it was
fine (I don't know what the original lamp was).  Also, in some cases
when choosing between different lamps the brightness of different lamps
is very different.  Go with the brightest, in general (28,000 or 30,000
nits won't matter (and this was a choice among two lamps I looked at),
but one lamp that I looked at was only 7,000 nits and would have been a
poor choice).

I had an issue with the length, the correct length looked like about
194mm, but the only available choices were 188mm and 200mm.  200 didn't
look like it would fit (or would have been a VERY tight fit), so I went
with 188, and it's clearly too short, I have a noticeable dim area in
both the upper and lower right corners of the screen.  This particular
panel is very unusual, it has the lamp along the short edge of the
screen.  Almost all laptops have the lamp along the long edge.  I may
try a 200mm at some point and see if it will, in fact, fit.

The shipping packaging is unreal and had to cost more than the entire
order.  A huge 30" long 4"x4" double-wall box containing a rigid tube,
containing the lamp.  I expected a bare "bulk-pack" lamp, but these are
very nicely individually packed in an elaborate 3-part color-printed
"blister pack", they look like you could find them on a hook on a rack
at Radio-Shack.

The total including shipping was $16.15, $10.29 for the lamp and $5.86
for shipping.

These are available from both Mouser Electronics ( and
also Digi-Key (mouser seemed to have a few more sizes, some accessories
if needed (the harness wire is silver-plated) and no minimum order.  The
manufacturer is JKL Components Corporation,

Hope some of you find this helpful.

Please keep in mind that the output of the inverter is LETHAL HIGH
VOLTAGE, you need to use some care in working on this part of a laptop.
  Also, watch the insulation of the wires, although the lamp inverter
output is "floating" and not connected to the overall laptop ground,
reducing this issue somewhat in some regards.

Re: Backlight lamp replacement ...

Barry Watzman wrote:
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Barry, thanks for sharing the info. I too have a couple of lamps I
bought from LCD Parts, just sitting in my storage bin waiting to get
installed in my Thinkpad. I have taken one display apart, and like your
Toshiba, my TP600 series display have the lamp on the short side (right
side, looking at the display face).

Did the solder take on readily as you solder or do you have to scrape
the oxidation off that non-stranded wire off the lamp?

Re: Backlight lamp replacement ...

I had no problems soldering the wire.  The lamp leads were only
tarnished VERY close the lamp body.

cmdrdata wrote:

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