most easily read 2x16 LCD color combination - daylight only



  • Paul_B



    An LCD screen that uses a backlight. Transmissive LCDs are widely used in portable computers and provide excellent viewing indoors. They must be used outdoors in the shade because direct sunlight overwhelms the backlight, making viewing difficult, if not impossible.


    A reflective LCD uses the ambient light in the vicinity. The light passes through the LCD layer to a mirror, which reflects it back to the viewer. Reflective LCDs are the least costly, but require bright light. Viewing is difficult in dark rooms or outside at night. Reflective LCDs can also be built with frontlights, which significantly improve the viewing in dimly lit environments.


    A transflective LCD uses both transmissive and reflective methods. It uses a backlight as does transmissive, but also adds a reflective mirror that lets light pass through from the back.

    Transflective LCDs are a compromise that allows users to obtain better viewing under both lighting conditions. However, because the mirror is built to let through backlight as well as reflect frontlight, it cannot do both equally as well as mirrors dedicated to one purpose. As a result, transflective LCDs are typically not quite as bright indoors as transmissive units and not as bright outdoors as reflective ones.

    Even though transflective appears to be the best method, it may not be the best for you. You need to consider your applications specific needs. For your application you can use either a reflective or a transflective LCD.

    Hope this helps!

  • j ferguson

    Hi Paul,
    I re-read the specs on the LCD I'm using and found that it was transflective grey on blue.  NHD-0216K1Z-FSB-GBW-L.

    My thought was that some other color combination might be more effective.  It isn't a display that will be stared at, but should communicate in a quick glance, one line of device status data which won't change if there isn't a problem  and a line of running data which updates on 3 second intervals, more to show the thing is working, than to be absorbed by the viewer.

    I suppose I should mention that i owned a Toshiba laptop, 286 i think it was, and it really did fill the lap.  It had black letters on an orange background and was actually very unpleasant to use. made me feel like an albino rabbit.

    so the question is what other color combination might produce better contrast?



  • Paul_B

    Hello John,

    The best contrast would be black text with a white background  

    Please see the link below:

  • j ferguson

    Thanks much Paul,

    I'll order up a few straight away.

    best regards,


  • Paul_B

    No problem John, enjoy the LCD's!


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