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How Long Do Computer Monitors Last? (Different Types Guide)

There’s nothing more frustrating than a computer monitor breaking down in the middle of a work day or gaming session. High quality goods often come with high price tags, so you want to be sure the monitor you select isn't going to let you down. Look no further than this article to learn how long monitors last. 

Generally, you might expect a computer monitor to last anywhere between 30,000 - 60,000 hours or around 10 - 20 years. This is dependent on how often the monitor is used, what kind of monitor it is, how well it is made, and how well it is cared for. 

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Monitor 

While not as impressive as LED or OLED lifespans, LCD monitors can also be pretty durable. Typically you can expect them to be operational for between 30,000 - 60,000 hours, which is between 10 and 20 years, with the standard expected daily usage of around eight hours.

LCD monitors will become worn out with constant use. By altering the contrast and brightness settings, you can help your monitor last as long as possible. 

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Monitor 

The CRT monitor has the shortest lifespan among monitors, lasting only around 20,000 - 30,000 hours. With eight hours of daily use, this is about 10 years. This is now a very old kind of technology.

Compared to newer models, CRT monitors are less efficient, usually heavier and bulkier, and not expected to last as long as other kinds of displays. In addition, their lifespans can be shortened due to overheating, which can be a common problem for CRT monitors. 

LED (Light Emitting Diode) Monitor 

LED monitors could last for up to 20 years when used for an average of 8 hours a day. This translates to between 80,000 - 120,000, which is an outstanding lifespan for a monitor! You can expect LED monitors to last longer than other kinds in general. The display quality is also likely to be better in terms of color, as will be their energy efficiency.  

led monitor

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) Monitor 

There isn't an exact answer for how long OLED monitors will last, but with decent usage, a model could last for as many as 100,000 hours, which might be between 8 - 15 years with regular daily use. If used too much and too often, the components may break down faster, shortening this estimation.

OLEDs could also develop burn-in towards the end of their lifespan. Unlike LCD and LED monitors, OLEDs do not use a backlight, which improves image contrast, brightness, and response times. As they are a newer technology, OLED monitors tend to be more expensive than LEDs. 


Factors Affecting The Lifespan Of Monitors 

There are a few environmental and usage variables that could impact how well your monitor is able to work and, therefore, how long you can expect them to last. 

  • Type of Monitor  
    As discussed above, different kinds of monitors will give different levels of performance. Each will have specific weaknesses you will want to avoid and a set length of time that they will perform well. Make sure you are familiar with the particular kind of monitor you’re using and that you know how to get the most out of it. 
  • Brand and Build Quality  
    With technology, the rule of getting what you pay for often holds up. Reputable brands will want to assure quality, which means a higher caliber of components, which should also mean the hardware will last longer.
  • But, of course, the higher the build quality, the higher the price tag. So while some technology companies specialize in high quality for lower prices, top-of-the-line tech definitely won’t come cheap. 
  • Care and Maintenance   
    Monitors are just like any other piece of technology - they break if you’re not careful. And while they should be durable enough to survive one or two accidents throughout their lifetime, they are not indestructible.
  • Avoid exposing your monitor to high temperatures regularly and keep it away from heavy fumes. Take care that it is not placed in a position where it can be easily knocked over or hit with any flying projectiles. Avoid liquids and unstable desks. 
  • Blocked Vents  
    A very important aspect of maintaining your monitor is avoiding blocking the air vents. This could easily lead to overheating issues, which may damage the components and shorten its lifespan. Regularly check for dust and debris build-up and clear this away with a brush, cloth, or appropriate vacuum attachment.  
  • Optimized Screen Settings  
    Monitors constantly maxed out for brightness and contrast will break down faster. Nothing can maintain peak performance indefinitely. Optimize your monitor to be energy efficient, and make sure the monitor is turned off when not in use. 
  • Hours of Usage  
    The predicted lifespan of monitors is usually based around the computer being used for eight hours a day. If your monitor is regularly used for longer than this, its life expectancy will fall. Heavy, constant use will put a strain on the monitor’s components and lead to them wearing out faster. Computers need sleep too! 
  • How Often Monitor Is Turned Off and On  
    Just as using the monitor for too long a period is not a good idea, neither is constantly turning your monitor off and back on again. This could be another strain on the internal components, which need time to rest between uses in order to keep working to the best of their ability.  
  • Use of Surge Protectors  
    A good way of protecting your monitor and potentially lengthening its life is using surge protectors. If the monitor is plugged directly into an outlet, it could be at risk of being exposed to many electrical current fluctuations, which could cause damage over time. Surge protectors, as their name suggests, protect against these electrical surges. 
  • Planned Obsolescence   
    As much as we'd like to think manufacturers design every part of their products with the consumers in mind, the harsh truth is they also design with maximum profits in mind.
  • Technology, especially mobile phones and computers, are designed to break after a certain period of time. This ensures you are constantly upgrading to the latest models and keeping that money flowing in. By keeping your monitor in good working order for as long as possible, you can stave off this inevitability as long as possible! 

How Long Does a Gaming Monitor Last? 

If you're looking for a monitor specifically for gaming, your top choices are likely to be either LCD, LED, or OLED monitors. LED and OLED will give the best picture quality and are likely to last longer than LCD models, but if your budget is a little more limited, you’ll still be able to get a decent performance from an LCD monitor.  

A monitor marketed specifically as a gaming monitor should last just as long, if not longer, than a run-of-the-mill computer monitor, as typical gaming strains will have been considered in the design and components used.

Graphic-heavy games and long play times will wear out the components quicker. Lessen the strain on both your eyes and your computer by taking regular breaks. Your monitor should last for at least 5 years, but the typical life expectancy for all types of monitors is 10 - 20 years.  

desktop led monitor

How To Make a Computer Monitor Last Longer? 

Here are some helpful tips to keep your monitor running as well as possible for as long as possible. 

Banish Dust and Debris 

Dust build-up around the air vents will lead to overheating. This is a massive problem for all kinds of technology, as heat will damage the components and stop the monitor from working. Regularly dust the room your computer is kept in, and especially keep the area around the monitor as clean as possible.  

Once a month is a good target for how often the vents on your monitor should be cleaned. This can be done easily with a damp cloth, a brush, or a vacuum cleaner attachment. Avoid using detergent and take care not to damage the plastic.  

Environment  

Consider the best room to keep a computer in carefully. It must be kept away from regular high temperatures and not in a room that is too humid. Avoid placing it in a busy area where liquid could be spilled or it could be easily knocked over. Make sure the surface it is placed on is a stable and level surface.  

Settings 

Make sure your monitor is as energy efficient as possible by taking the time to properly optimize it. Turn the brightness and contrast down to a comfortable level that won't cause eye strain. Make good use of any power-saving modes and set up a standby mode.

By placing it on a time of 5 - 10 minutes, you can make sure it's not wasting power when sitting idle. Set your screensaver to solid black rather than anything with lots of colors. Not only will this save even more energy, but it will also prevent the burn-in effect from happening.  

flat screen computer monitor

Computer Monitor Life Expectancy FAQs 

How can you tell if your monitor is going bad?  

A monitor at the end of its life may show wear through signs such as a drop in brightness, a yellow or greenish tint, lines, dark areas, or dead pixels appearing, refusal to turn on, or the dreaded blue screen malfunctions. 

Can you use a TV as a computer monitor?  

If the TV can be connected to your computer with an HDMI or DP cable, it can be used as a computer monitor. If you need a quick replacement, you can also use a laptop as a stand-in monitor. 

How much does a new monitor cost?  

There are monitors for all budgets, with some costing as little as $50, while more sophisticated models can cost up to $1,000. An average monitor is typically priced between $200 - $300. 


Conclusion

Technology can be an expensive investment, so we want to make sure we’re getting the most out of our equipment. With a few simple steps, you can keep your monitor in top shape for many years to come.