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Does Sunlight Damage TVs?

Undiluted UV radiation can wreak havoc on plastic, leather, wood, and metal components, which is why electronics and indoor furniture are best kept away from indirect sunlight. But what about TVs? Does sunlight damage TVs?

The short answer is yes, prolonged exposure to sunlight can, indeed, damage TVs. It can cause dark spotting, screen discoloration, overheating, and even warp the plastic frame of the TV. Unlike outdoor TVs, indoor TVs aren’t made with weatherproofing in mind. 

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about sunlight damage to TVs, including how to position your TV to avoid the rays of the sun. 

Does Sunlight Damage TV?

The answer to this question depends on how much sunlight the TV is getting. 

If you place your TV in an area where daylight would only occasionally hit the screen, sunlight won’t cause any long-lasting damage to the TV. You’ll have issues with sun glare, but nothing more than that.

It’s a different matter if the TV is placed under constant, direct sunlight, like if it’s outdoors or close to the window. 

Heat and UV rays can physically damage not only the LCD screen but also the TV’s plastic frame. Direct sunlight can cause unsightly dark spots and pixel discoloration on the LCD. The screen’s plastic enclosure may appear deformed and wrapped due to excessive heat.

Outdoor TVs are made with a considerable amount of weatherproofing, allowing them to live outside for years under extreme temperatures and UV rays. Indoor TVs don’t have this advantage. This is why they’re best kept away from direct sunlight. 

What Does Excessive Sunlight Do to a TV? 

TVs get damaged when placed near a fireplace, radiator, or a similarly strong heat source. The same logic applies when the TV is placed under excessive sunlight. Here’s what prolonged sunlight exposure does to a TV:

Dark Spotting

Excessive sunlight can greatly damage the performance and appearance of your LCD screen. 

The damage is gradual. First, the heat would slowly deteriorate the liquid crystals inside the LCD screen. Then, it would gradually change the color of your TV. Before you know it, unsightly dark spots would appear on the TV. 

These spots are caused by burnt LCD backlights as a result of having been subjected to the sun’s heat for too long.  

Warped Plastic Frame

TVs are made from a variety of raw materials, from plastics and circuit boards to metals and glass. Plastics made up the exterior of the television, and we all know what happens to plastic when exposed to extreme heat: they melt. 

TV frames are made of thermoplastics such as polyethylene, which has high heat resistance. 

But although this is the case, the thermal strength of such thermoplastics is rather low compared to other plastics. 

As such, they’re not immune to heat-related damage like deformation. The outer plastic enclosure can become warped with constant exposure to sunlight, which can result in internal component damage. 

Screen Discoloration 

Similar to how the sun’s UV rays can burn skin, they can also burn the TV’s liquid crystals

When burned, the screen would cease to respond to electrical currents and would become transparent or completely opaque. This means that the screen won’t be able to filter external light passing through the TV. 

Over time, the TV would lose its brightness, definition, and contrast. The screen would appear dull and discolored. 

Overheating 

Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the TV to overheat, which can bring about a load of problems. 

Extreme heat can cause the electronic parts of the TV to degrade and eventually stop working entirely. As time goes by, you’ll notice your TV shutting down randomly or working poorly.  

How to Position Your TV 

When positioning your TV, place it away from direct sunlight. Ideally, position it in an east or west-facing direction. 

Avoid locations such as glass doors or windows as much as possible, as these are sunlight-rich areas. 

Likewise, TVs should be placed away from high heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, and refrigerators, as they can cause overheating.

If your room naturally receives a lot of sunlight, add some drapes or blinds to the window to prevent the sun’s glare from hitting the TV. You can also place your TV in a media center or recessed cabinet to block out incoming light. 

Final Thoughts 

Prolonged exposure to sunlight can permanently damage LCD TVs. It can cause screen discolorations, dark spotting, overheating, and warp the plastic frame of the TV. As such, TVs should always be positioned away from direct sunlight. 

If your room naturally receives a lot of sunlight, invest in drapes or blinds to protect your TV from the sun’s harmful glare. Also, make sure to position your TV away from windows and glass doors, as these areas get the most sunlight.