Do LED Flat Screen TVs Freeze in Cold Weather?

By Fraser Sherman

An LED television is an LCD with better lighting. LCDs are televisions with liquid crystal displays; the panel consists of liquid crystal cells squeezed between two layers of polarizing material. LED-LCDs use light-emitting diodes to backlight the screen, rather than using fluorescent lights like other models. Extreme cold isn't good for LED TVs, but liquid crystals don't freeze the way water does.

Liquid Crystal

LED-LCD television manufacturers use liquid crystal in the screens to create the television image. Running electric current through the screen controls which crystals allow light from the LED through, which gives the image its form. Despite the name, the "liquid" in LCD panels isn't fluid like water. The Fujitsu electronics company describes liquid crystal as being midway between liquid and solid. Because the crystal molecules all point in the same specific direction, they can flow the way a liquid does.

Cold and Sluggish

Liquid crystal doesn't freeze the way true liquids do, but cold can affect them. At 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit), your LED flat screen won't be as bright as when it's at room temperature. Additionally, the display becomes sluggish, so if there's rapid motion on the screen, the image may not capture it properly. Sony advises TV owners against operating their set at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit).

Change Is Bad

If you move your LED television directly from a freezing cold spot to somewhere nicely heated, that can cause problems too. Your television screen may become coated with condensation, like when eyeglasses mist over moving from air-conditioning to hot weather. The condensation may leave you with a blurry image until it clears off. The company recommends you turn off the television and wait a few hours until your flat screen adjusts to the new temperature.

Storing Your Set

Even if there's ice and snow outside, that won't affect an LED television inside a warm room. At low enough temperatures, though, anything can freeze. This isn't specifically a problem with the screen -- an LED flat screen is a big box of delicate electronic components, and prolonged exposure to cold or heat can affect them. Samsung warns against storing LCD televisions at temperature below -20 degrees centigrade (-4 Fahrenheit) or above 45 degrees (113 Fahrenheit).