OLED TV Lifespan: Full Guide (With Examples)
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When you’re spending a small fortune on a new OLED TV, you want to know if it’s going to last before you buy.
LG has their official lifespan numbers, which we’ll look at.
But I thought it would be interesting to get some authentic data from real users too.
So I turned to Reddit to see how long people have had their OLED TVs for.
Firstly, let’s see what LG has to say.
What’s the lifespan of an OLED TV?
According to LG (via the Korea Times in 2016) LG OLED TVs have a lifespan of over 100,000 hours. This equates to 11 years of constant use.
Hopefully you won’t have your TV turned on continuously for 11 years!
But watching an LG OLED TV for 10 hours a day is more realistic. In which case it could last you 30 years!
According to LG, the lifespan was just 36,000 hours in 2013.
So you can see how far the technology has come along since then!
Real user experiences
The figure above gives us an idea how long an OLED TV will last. But it’s always good to get some figures from real users.
To get this information, I turned to Reddit to see what people were saying about their OLED TVs.
Here’s a summary of what people had to say:
|TV Model||Time Owned (at date of Reddit comment)||Comments/Notes|
|LG C8||3 years||Played games/YouTube/Netflix.No issues, no burn-in, no brightness reduction.|
|LG CX||6 months||Used as a PC monitor. No flicker with G-Sync enabled.|
|LG B6||5 years||Heavy gaming, watching TV. Great picture quality, no burn-in.|
|LG B855||2.5 years (11,000 hours)||Picture quality/panel like new. Plays games, watches 4K movies/TV shows.|
|LG 55EG9100||6 years constant use||Picture still looks great. No burn-in.|
|LG C6||4 years||No issues.|
|LG C6||18,000 hours||No issues.|
|LG OLED B7A||Nearly 3 years||Faint vertical line stuck in the middle of the screen.|
|LG OLED65B6 (2017)||2.5 years||Failed after 2.5 years.|
|LG C7||4 years||Netflix, gaming. Static gaming console UI left on for max 2 hours. Temporary burn-in. Performs pixel refresh 1-3 months.|
|LG CX||2 months||Considerable ‘banding’.|
|LG EG9100 (2015)||8,000 hours||Perfect condition.|
|LG C7||10,000 hours||Extreme burn-in.|
|LG B7 (2017)||4 years||Burn-in.|
|LG B7||About 2 years||Burn-in.|
|LG CX||400 hours||Heavy gaming. No burn-in.|
|LG C8||3300 hours||No issues.|
|LG C7||1700 hours||No issues.|
|LG C7 (2017)||7000 hours||No issues. Daily usage 6-8 hours. Various content including Netflix, Disney+ etc.|
|LG C6 (2016)||7700 hours||Still going strong.|
|LG C9||1626 hours||Lots of testing. No burn-in.|
|LG C9||1 year||Very heavy usage. 10-12 hours per day. No issues. No burn-in. Lots of gaming with mini HUDs, maps, etc.|
|LG B7||4 years||Burn-in after 4 years of gaming.|
|LG B6||4 years (10,000 hours)||No burn-in. Still as bright as day 1.|
|LG E6||4 years (2,100 hours)||Movie watching/gaming. No issues.|
|LG B7 (2017)||700-800 hours||Netflix, 4K HDR Blu-ray. No burn-in. Vertical banding on very gray scenes.|
|LG E8||Over 10,000 hours||No issues.|
Let’s look at some conclusions
The data above was taken from Reddit comments. Although there isn’t a ton of data, there are a few things that we can learn:
On Reddit many people have used their LG OLED TVs for at least three years without any issues.
One user in particular used their LG 55EG9100 constantly for 6 years without any issues.
From what users were saying it seems that some older OLED TVs had ‘burn-in’ issues.
In the main it was the LG B7 2017 that seemed to have these issues.
Newer OLED models don’t seem to have any ‘burn-in’ issues. This is despite being used heavily for gaming in some cases.
And many games have static content such as Head Up Displays and logos etc.
It’s important to note though that the data above is just a snapshot in time.
Many of these users on Reddit may continue to use their OLED TV for many more years without issues.
So these figures are very conservative.
A reduction in brightness does not seem to be an issue.
OLEDs like normal LEDs do reduce in brightness over time. But it’s likely to take a very long time before it’s visibly noticeable.
One user used their LG B6 for over 10,000 hours. It was still as bright as the day they bought it.
How long do non-LG OLED TVs last?
So far in this article, we’ve focused on LG displays.
But many OLED panels used by brands other than LG are in fact manufactured by LG Display.
Their lifespan will be similar to the 100,000 hours quoted by the Korea Times in 2016.
According to flatpanelshd.com, brands that use LG OLED panels include:
- LG Electronics
- Bang & Olufsen
Do OLED TVs last as long as LED TVs?
LG says its OLED TVs have a lifespan of 100,000 hours. In comparison, the individual LEDs used in LED backlit TVs last between 40,000 and 60,000 hours.
So it would appear that OLED TVs could last longer than LED TVs.
This is based on a couple of assumptions:
- The LEDs are at maximum or close to maximum brightness.
- The LED backlight is the first component to fail. This is usually the case with LED TVs.
But if you lower the brightness, an LED TV will last even longer and could easily last 100,000 hours or over 10 years.
Also, the use of LEDs as a backlight in LCD TVs is a proven technology. And as yet, it’s not clear how long OLED TVs can truly last out in the wild.
Lifespan of OLED Vs QLED TV
OLED TVs have a lifespan of 100K hours. LED TVs have a lifespan of between 40K and 60K hours.
OLED TVs should therefore last longer than QLED TVs.
Because QLED TVs are LCD TVs with an LED backlight and a layer of Quantum Dots.
These emit their own light when light hits them.
But no one knows for sure.
OLED TVs have only been around since 2013. QLED TVs are even newer.
Samsung first introduced Quantum Dots into LED TVs in 2015.
But the LED backlighting technology in QLED TVs has been around for many years.
It’s therefore got a proven track record and may last longer than an OLED.
What affects the lifespan of an OLED TV?
How long an OLED TV lasts depends on:
- How much you use the TV.
- Environment factors such as heat and direct sunlight.
- Display brightness.
Let’s look at each one in turn:
How much you use the TV
LG claims that you should get about 100,000 hours out of an OLED TV. This equates to 10 hours per day for 30 years.
But if you use the TV for more than that each day, it’s not going to last as long in terms of years.
But you should still get 100,000 hours out of it if you look after it.
OLED TVs generate much more heat than LED TVs. That’s why they can’t get as bright.
Because it’s difficult to keep them cool.
If OLED TVs get too hot, the organic compounds in the OLEDs can degrade.
This can damage the display or cause ‘burn-in’.
It’s therefore important that you keep an OLED TV in a cool environment with plenty of ventilation.
Direct sunlight shining is also a problem for OLED TVs.
The UV rays from sunlight can also cause damage to the organic compounds.
This can cause dark patches to appear on the display.
This has been reported by a number of users in some online forums.
The OLEDs in TVs work by emitting light when a voltage is applied and a current flows through them.
More current is required to make those OLEDs brighter.
But when more current flows through an OLED, its lifespan is reduced.
According to techhive.com, HDR content also can affect the lifespan of the OLEDs.
This makes sense because HDR content requires the screen to get bright.
In some areas of the screen, HDR content may demand that the screen reaches 100% brightness.
This can make some areas of the screen wear out quicker than others.
But for the average viewer, this shouldn’t be an issue. Especially if you don’t watch movies very often.
Also, peak brightness, even in small areas of the screen, is relatively infrequent.
It’s also very unlikely that the entire screen will reach peak brightness.
Nevertheless, display brightness will affect the lifespan of an OLED display.
How to make an OLED TV last longer
OLED TVs contain organic compounds that are susceptible to environmental damage and burn-in.
So to help keep your OLED TV in good shape, try the following tips:
- Reduce the display brightness. Similar to LED TVs, you can control the brightness of an OLED in the settings. On the LG C1 for example, the setting is called ‘OLED Pixel Brightness’.
- Vary the content and avoid ‘static content’ such as logos to reduce the likelihood of ‘burn-in’. Burn-in is also known as permanent image retention. It occurs when some organic compounds degrade quicker than others. This is a cumulative process that happens over hundreds or thousands of hours.
- Avoid placing an OLED TV near heat. Too much heat can cause the organic compounds to degrade. This is the main reason why OLED TVs can’t get as bright as LED TVs. Put the TV somewhere cool with good ventilation. Also, make sure the vents are free of dust build-up.
- Avoid placing the TV in direct sunlight. UV rays from sunlight can damage the organic compounds.
What’s the first thing to break on an OLED TV?
OLED TVs don’t have a backlight. But the self-illuminated OLEDs in the display are usually the first to break.
But an OLED TV should last a long time if it’s taken care of.
Will an OLED TV last 10 years?
LG claims 100K hours which is 11 years of constant use.
But no one knows for sure how long OLED TVs will last.
That’s because the technology hasn’t been around for long enough to verify this claim.
Do OLED TVs fade over time?
OLED TVs do fade over time. In fact all OLEDs and normal LEDs have a ‘half-life’.
This is the amount of time it will take for the OLED to reduce in brightness by 50%.
According to LG, to reach 50% brightness, it will take 100K hours.
OLED TVs can last for a long time but it remains to be seen if they last 100,000 hours.
No-one knows for sure since the technology hasn’t been around for that long.
Here’s what else we’ve learned:
- OLED TVs have an official lifespan of 100,000 hours according to LG.
- Most users of newer OLED TVs do not have any issues with their TVs.
- Burn-in is not really an issue for newer OLED models and for average users that vary the content they watch.
- OLED brightness reduction is a thing but not an issue for most users. It takes a long time to become noticeable.
- Most non-LG OLED TVs use LG panels. They will likely last just as long as an OLED TV made by LG.
- OLED TVs may last longer than LED and QLED TVs.
- The lifespan of an OLED TV is a factor of how much you use the TV, environment factors and display brightness.
- The first thing to break on an OLED TV are the OLEDs themselves.
Robert Anderson, the founder of Tech Parasol, had a keen interest in tech from a very young age. He studied Electronic Engineering at University and then went on to become a Software Developer. He launched Tech Parasol in 2021 to share his knowledge with the aim of making tech easier to understand for everyone.