Backlight bleeding or backlight leakage occurs when light from behind the display panel is not fully blocked which causes spots of lighter areas to appear on a dark or black background.
Imagine shining a torch through your hand. Light will likely come through from the cracks between your fingers. This is similar to how backlight bleeding occurs.
While only a small number of 1st generation iPad users reported having backlight bleeding, this problem seems to have plagued the majority of iPad 2 units in varying degrees.
Since a lot of people have been asking about how to check for backlight bleeding on their iPad unit, we’ve provided a simple way for you to do it. We’ve also decided to include a dead pixels test together for good measure.
You can view this tutorial in text/image after the jump if you prefer not to view the video version.
Instructions (Video Tutorial)
Instructions (Text/Image Tutorial)
From your Home screen, open up ‘Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper’. Turn Auto-Brightness ‘Off’ and set the brightness to maximum. *Remember to revert back to your preferred settings once you’re done with these tests.
Go back to the Home screen, open up ‘Safari’ and load this page if you aren’t already on it. (Short URL: http://bit.ly/jli6O1)
Individually tap and hold the images above until a menu pops up. Select ‘Save Image’. You only have to save the black color image if you just want to do the backlight bleeding test. In order to check for dead pixels, you will also need the other colors.
Return to your Home screen and open up ‘Photos’. Locate the images you just saved.
Make sure you are in a dark environment for best results. Make sure you wipe your screen well before continuing to avoid mistaking fingerprint smudges or dust particles for problem areas.
- Backlight Bleeding Test: Select the black color image and once opened, double tap the image to fill the whole screen. You should now be able to figure out whether you have bleeding problems or not. If you are lucky enough to have a problem free unit, you should not be able to see any abnormal light spots on the edges of your screen.
- Dead Pixels Test: Individually open up each color image (including black) and double tap the image to fill the whole screen. If you spot any odd pixels, that is called a dead pixel. Just make sure it isn’t dust.
I Have a Problem. What Next?
Get in touch with your retailer to confirm the options you have for your unit. Options may depend on age of unit, which model, warranty, etc.
If you recently purchased an iPad 2, Apple will perform a replacement for backlight bleeding. However, if the bleeding is not severe and you think you’ll be able to live with it, we recommend you stick with the unit you have. There have been many reports of replacement units also having the same bleeding issue so you may just be wasting your time.
Apple also does replacements for units with dead pixels but the rule of thumb is you need to have more than 1 dead pixel in order to ‘qualify’. No harm in trying though.