What is Transmissive,Transflective and Refective LCD Display?

July 25, 2022

What is a Transmissive LCD?


A transmissive LCD has all of the light provided from the backlight of the LCD Panel. A transmissive LCD looks great in indoor environments but can be quite dim when in direct sunlight. Sunlight is about 1,000 times brighter than that of a typical LCD Backlight, so it can adversely affect the appearance of the LCD. Generally, direct sunlight can cause the monitor to look very dim outdoors.


Advantages: The backlight will be brighter in a Transmissive LCD display than in a Transflective LCD module.

Disadvantages: The display is very difficult to read when the backlight is not ON.


1. Readability deteriorates with strong surrounding light (direct sunlight).

2. The background lighting must always be switched on(power consumption, lifespan)


What is a Reflective LCD?


A reflective LCD involves a reflective mirror layer on the LCD or in the LCD. All light that is used to view the LCD goes through the LCD, bounces off of the reflective mirror layer, and goes through the LCD again to display. This applies to both indoor and outdoor applications so a reflective LCD is not of the highest quality when used as a display. A reflective LCD generally uses a front light display so many factors can compromise the performance since the light has to go through the LCD twice.


Advantages: Low power consumption(needs no background lighting)

Disadvantages: Cannot be read in dark surroundings.


What is a Transflective LCD?


A transflective LCD, which is a combination of a transmissive and reflective LCD, begins with a transmissive LCD and adds a partially reflective mirror layer between the LCD and backlight. When a transflective LCD is used indoors the illuminated screen comes from the backlight. When the LCD screen is used outdoors, light has to go through the LCD twice before displaying, once on the way into the LCD and one more time out with the backlight. This can cause the LCD to not be an optimal solution when being used as an outdoor monitor compared to being used as an indoor monitor. There is also a certain point that makes the LCD very ineffective. At this point, it is caused by just enough sunlight overpowering the backlight, but also not producing enough light to be reflected back from the reflective mirror to produce an adequately illuminated LCD.



1. Good readability in all environments(light or dark)

2.The background lighting can be switched off in light surroundings(power saving)


1. A transflective display is a compromise between a reflective and a transmissive display. In extreme conditions (very light or very dark surroundings), a transflective display does not achieve the same good results as a reflective or transmissive display.

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