I have repaired dozens of LG LN series TVs with bad LED backlights. Symptom is the LG logo flashing on power up and the TV is on with sound but no video because the backlight has shut down. Though a LED tester will confirm the failure, it is possible to confirm bad LEDs without one but you need to remove the panel to watch the LEDs flash.
The flash is caused by protection circuitry shutting down the backlights because an error is detected in the LED driver circuitry. Driver circuits are current sources driving the leds wired in a series string like Christmas lights. LEDs can fail short (most common) which will cause an undervoltage situation. If LEDs fail open, there will be overvoltage that the driver can detect as well. If there is an open LED, the backlights in that string will not flash. In non-smart LG models, there is no logo and there may just be a quick backlight flash.
The shutdown protects the rest of the LEDs and the power supply. It may also prevent the LEDs from burning up. I have seen LEDs burn up in LN series even with the protection shutdown.
There are a lot of youtube videos on panel removal and I will include one here from Shopjimmy. The panel is extremely fragile and you need to be extremely careful to not crack it. The boards flex connected to the panel can also be ripped off very easily. Damage to the panel or those boards is not repairable.
The TV will turn on with the panel disconnected so you can observe the flashing. By going frame by frame, I took a capture of the flash where you can see two LEDs not lighting up. If you have an LED tester, disconnect the strips from the power supply and probe each strip individually. You can also test LEDs individually with a multimeter in diode test mode but you need to scrape away the solder mask on one side of every LED if there are no test points.
LEDs are likely to fail if the backlight level is set to maximum. They get hot and will burn out over time. Failure could occur between 2-5 yrs. On LGs, the default picture modes for Standard and Vivid modes are at 100% level. With the LN smart versions, apps may also default to 100% backlight and can only be changed in the Quick menu.
Repairing Your TV
LED failure is not random and they wear and burn out just like like light bulbs. Proper repair is to replace ALL the strips with NEW ones and to turn down the backlight level. Replacing the individual LEDs or strips is NOT recommended since all the LEDs have wear and the remaining ones are likely to fail in the future. Used strips have wear and will not have the same lifetime as new strips.
It is preferred to have your replacement strips in hand before doing the repair. If your tv has been disassembled for weeks waiting for parts, you may forget how it goes together. You also risk damaging the LCD panel if you haven’t stored it safely and prevented it from gathering dust. However, some models use different panels so may have different strips even for the exact same model number.
To ensure your repair lasts, you need to turn down the backlight level. This setting is in the picture menu. For LGs, 40 to 60% is recommended. With apps, you need to access the Q.Menu to adjust the backlight level. You should check on ALL inputs and ALL apps. I would also recommend turning Energy Saving OFF since this could increase the backlight level in a bright room.
Other LG Series
LB – On these models, the backlights flash when there is a backlight error. Some describe the symptom as flickering but they will flash every two seconds. Strip removal is more difficult since stickier tape is used. Removal may cause the lenses to pop off. Also the lenses are thick and heavy and may also fall off over time leaving bright white spots on the screen. You do have to be careful with substitute strips since the lenses may show halos if not 100% compatible.
UH – With a backlight error, it appears these models will shut down and then flash the front LED instead of staying on with the backlight off. With the TV off, you will not see an image with the flashlight test.
Samsung TVs also have LED failure but they don’t have shutdown protection. LEDs will fail until there is damage to the power supply or the screen will get very dim. With Samsung TVs, you can disconnect the cable from the main board to the power supply and this will force the backlights on for testing.
You can also set the backlight level on Samsung TVs. Dynamic picture mode will crank the backlights to 100% (level 20/20). It is recommended to set the backlight level between 8-12 to make them last. Eco sensor feature should also be turned off.
These models have a protection feature but there is no backlight setting in the menu. However you can turn it down in the service menu under Panel Settings. With the TV on, try Input-1-1-4-7 or Source-2-5-8-0 Be very careful with service menu settings since you can brick your tv. I would check every input and set the backlight to around 60. Some models will have an Energy Saving or Power Saving picture mode which runs the backlights at a lower level.
Sonys typically will shut down and flash diagnostic blink codes when an error is detected. 6 blinks is typically the error code for bad backlights though it could be different depending on the model. The default backlight level is fairly low in most Sony models and most failures I have seen have come from users setting their picture mode to Vivid which maxes out the backlights. Sonys may not have a separate backlight setting so you need to turn down the brightness.
List of backlight repaired models
LG 32LB5600 32LB5800 42LB5600 42LB5800 42LN5200 42LN5700 42LN5750 43UF6400 43UJ6300 43UH610A 47LN5700 47LN5750 47LB5830 47LB6000 49LB5550 (no shutdown of shorted leds and lenses fall off) 50LA6205 50LB5800 50LB5900 50LB6100 50LB6500 50LN5310 (2 panel versions, Heesung panel has thick style lenses but smaller than LB series) 50LN5400 50LN5700 50LN5750 50UH5500 55LB5800 55LB6100 55LB6300 55LF6000 55UJ6200 55UJ6300 60LB5800 65UH5500
Vizio D58U-D1 (blue) E60-C3
Samsung UN32EH4003F UN32H5203AF UN40EH5000F UN40EH5300F UN40F6350AF UN40H5003F UN40H5203AF UN46H5203AF UN46EH5000F UN46EH5300F UN46ES6100F (Edge lit) UN50EH5300F UN50H5203F UN55D6300SF UN55FH6030 UN55ES6100F UN55NU6900F UN58H5202AF UN60ES8000F UN60FH6200F UN60H6300AF UN60J5200AF UN65F6400AF
Panasonic TC-60CX650U (1 blink error code)
Haier 40D3505 55D3550 55E5500 55UFC2500 65E3550 65UF2505
Insignia NS-37D20SNA14 NS-40DSNA14 NS-43DR710CA17 NS-48D510NA15 NS-50D40SNA14 NS-55D550NA15
RCA/Proscan PLDED4897A RTU5540-D RLDED5078A-D RLDEDV3988-A RLDED5005A EP5585 SRC5565 RTRU6049
Sharp (Hisense) LC-50LB370 LC-50LB371
Westinghouse DWM40F1Y1 WG55UR4100
Sony KDL-55EX640 (no blink error code, edge lit) KD-60X690E (6 blinks, backlights also turn blue), KDL-55W850C (6 blinks)
Toshiba 40L2200U 49L420U 50L1350U 58L1350U