Making a light frame from a broken MacBook Pro display

; Date: June 17, 2017

Tags: Computer Hardware

The backlight in laptop LCD displays produces a lot of light. Just turn out the lights and see how well the laptop lights the room. That's with a LCD in front of the backlight, blocking most of the light produced by the backlight. Suppose the LCD on your laptop dies? You can, in most cases, replace the LCD and keep using the laptop. But what do you do with the old LCD? Maybe the backlight is perfectly fine and can be used for something.

For this project, I have an LCD display from a MacBook Pro 2009. I botched replacing the display glass and ruined the LCD panel. The LED backlight is perfectly fine, and the intention is to power the LCD, mount it in the LCD display, ending up with a light panel. The project was inspired by How to make a relaxing "false window" light panel (using old laptop screens)

Removing the LCD display panel from the MacBook Pro is very difficult. Apple has some really sharp engineers, who excel at cramming lots of capability into a tiny unit, but it means the disassembly is tricky.

On the display panel we see the part number is LTN133AT09. After some searching, I found this product specification document: (www.touchandscreen.de) https://www.touchandscreen.de/mediafiles/Datasheets/SAMSUNG/LTN133AT09-R02.pdf

The LTN133AT09 display was made by Samsung for Apple - and it appears some other manufacturers used the same panel. The LED panel requires up to 3.6 volts at 25 mili-Amps. Power can be supplied through the LVDS cable and maybe brightness is controlled through that cord.