Electroluminescent Display

Definition of Electroluminescent Display

An electroluminescent display (ELD) is a type of flat panel display technology that creates light by applying an electric current to a thin layer of phosphor material. This process causes the phosphor to emit visible light, which in turn creates the desired images on the display. ELDs are known for their fast response times, wide viewing angles, and low power consumption compared to other display technologies.


The phonetics for the keyword “Electroluminescent Display” is:ɪˌlek.troʊˌluːmɪˈnesənt dɪˈspleɪ

Key Takeaways

  1. Electroluminescent Displays (ELDs) are energy-efficient flat panel displays that emit light through electroluminescence, where a material emits light in response to an electric current.
  2. ELDs offer several advantages over other display technologies, such as low power consumption, wide viewing angles, and their ability to operate under extreme temperature conditions, making them suitable for applications in various industries.
  3. Despite benefits, ELDs face competition from technologies like OLEDs and LCDs, which currently provide higher resolution, larger display sizes, and faster response times. However, ongoing research and development efforts continue to improve ELD technology and broaden its applications.

Importance of Electroluminescent Display

The technology term “Electroluminescent Display” is important because it refers to a unique type of flat panel display technology that uses electroluminescence to produce light and display an image on the screen.

Electroluminescent displays (ELDs) are known for their low power consumption, lightweight design, and high visibility even in low-light or outdoor conditions.

This makes them ideal for various applications such as automotive instrument clusters, industrial control panels, and wearable devices.

Additionally, ELDs offer a relatively fast response time, which can be crucial for real-time and dynamic information display.

Overall, electroluminescent displays contribute significantly to the advancement and diversification of display technologies, catering to different user requirements and benefiting various industries.


Electroluminescent displays, commonly referred to as EL displays, serve as an effective medium for presenting visual content for a wide range of applications. These ultra-thin and versatile displays are well-suited for scenarios where lightweight, low-power consumption and high responsiveness are key requirements. EL displays find their usefulness in various sectors, including consumer electronics, automotive industry, and even aerospace.

A notable feature of EL displays is their ability to produce a high resolution, vibrant display, and exceptional visibility in diverse lighting conditions, making them a perfect choice for devices like cellphones, digital clocks, in-vehicle instrument clusters, and aviation control panels. The superior visual performance of electroluminescent displays can be attributed to the unique technology that drives it. The distinctive system involves electroluminescent materials, typically phosphor-based, which emit light when an electrical voltage is applied.

This allows for rapid response times and the capability to reset quickly, making them highly suitable for applications demanding fast image transitions. Furthermore, EL displays exhibit prolonged service life and durability under harsh environmental conditions, amplifying their demand in areas where operational reliability is deemed essential. To sum up, electroluminescent displays provide an exceptional combination of flexibility, low energy consumption, and high-contrast image quality, proving indispensable across numerous industries.

Examples of Electroluminescent Display

Electroluminescent Displays (ELDs) are flat panel displays that produce images by emitting light through a phosphorescent material when an electric current is applied. ELDs are known for their high contrast ratios, fast response times, and low power consumption. Here are three real-world examples of Electroluminescent Display technology in action:

Timex Indiglo Watches: Indiglo is a brand name for a series of watches by Timex that feature electroluminescent display technology. The faces of these watches light up evenly when the user pushes a button, making it easy to read the time in low-light conditions. The electroluminescent panel provides a clear, bright, and energy-efficient backlight that consumes minimal power.

Car Dashboard Panels:Automotive manufacturers have been using electroluminescent panels in instrument clusters and dashboard displays. Electroluminescent displays provide excellent readability at night and do not generate excessive heat. Examples of vehicles that have incorporated this technology include certain models from Toyota, Lexus, and Mazda.

Advertising and Signage:ELD technology is used in creative advertising and signage applications to attract the attention of customers. Electroluminescent billboards and posters provide constantly changing images and can be seen from a distance. Due to their ability to emit light, they are particularly effective at night or in dimly lit environments.

Electroluminescent Display FAQ

What is an electroluminescent display?

An electroluminescent display (ELD) is a type of flat panel display that emits light through a layer of electroluminescent material in response to an electric current. The electroluminescent material can be in the form of a phosphor or organic compounds, producing a bright and vivid display.

What are the advantages of electroluminescent displays?

Electroluminescent displays have several advantages compared to other display technologies. They are known for their high brightness, wide viewing angles, low power consumption, thin and lightweight design, and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures. This makes them ideal for various applications, such as automotive dashboards, industrial control panels, and wearable devices.

How does an electroluminescent display work?

An electroluminescent display works by applying an alternating electric field to a thin layer of electroluminescent material, which in turn emits light. The light is produced through a process known as electroluminescence, where electrons in the material are excited and release energy in the form of photons when they return to their ground state. The color of the emitted light depends on the type of electroluminescent material used.

What are some common types of electroluminescent displays?

Some common types of electroluminescent displays include organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, which use organic materials to emit light, and inorganic electroluminescent displays, which use inorganic phosphors. Thin-film electroluminescent displays (TFEL) are another popular type, where the electroluminescent layer is sandwiched between two layers of dielectric material.

Can electroluminescent displays be used outdoors?

Yes, electroluminescent displays can be used outdoors. They are known for their durability and ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including temperature extremes and exposure to moisture. However, it is essential to choose a display specifically designed for outdoor use since these are typically designed with additional protective features to enhance their longevity and performance in outdoor environments.

Related Technology Terms

  • Phosphor materials
  • Thin-film transistor (TFT)
  • EL backlighting
  • Applied alternating current (AC)
  • Luminescence

Sources for More Information


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