What if Big LED Screen Got Wet? Managing The Risks Of Water Damage To Your LEDs

Technological advancements in LED technology have given us quite a lot of benefits. Today,. LED screens are providing us with creative and innovative displays, all of which are transforming the way we view content as a whole. 

But, one of the major issues you always need to keep in mind when it comes to LED display technology is exposure to the elements. Particularly, users need to be especially careful of water damage and its impact on the quality of their LEDs. 

So, what happens when you have a wet screen? And how do you prevent this from happening? Let’s find out!

Understanding LED Screens

So before we look into the impacts of display water damage and what you need to do to avoid it, let’s look into LED screens themselves and what makes them so notable. 

As we all know, “LED” comes as a short form for “Light Emitting Diode.” An LED screen is an innovation of design, and it incorporates an array of these LEDs being arranged together. The diodes themselves are actually semiconductor devices that light up when they come in contact with an electric current, thus displaying the content that they are given. 

With the LEDs being arranged in a grid pattern, you have them holding thousands or even millions of pixels, which are placed in columns and rows. In most cases, you’d find that every big LED pixel is capable of emitting its own light – so, you’re able to control things like the color accuracy and the brightness of the display. 

LED screens are known for their ability to offer both optimal brightness and contrast ratios. This makes them perfect for different lighting conditions – from dimly lit environments to those with considerable levels of ambient light. At the same time, they are very energy-efficient, so they are good for the environment and won’t cost you so much money in the long run.

The Effects Of Water On LED Screens 

With a perfect understanding of the big LED panel and how it works, let’s now examine its interactions with water and what you might need to know. 

First, we ask – can LED lights get wet? Yes, they can. At the end of the day, LEDs are tasked with operating in both indoor and outdoor environments. Now, if you’re working with something in an indoor environment, then a wet screen is probably something you won’t need to worry about. But, for outdoor environments, water inside phone screen or any other LED becomes a present risk. 


To be fair, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all explanation for what happens when an LED screen suffers water damage. Water is very varying, and this means that there are several ways that it can affect an LED component if they come in contact. 

That said, here are a few common effects that tend to be seen:

The Emergence Of Short Circuiting

As we all know, water conducts electricity rather well. So, if it gets into the internal circuits of your LED screen, there is a considerable chance that it will cause short circuits.

Basically, a short circuit occurs when electrical current – which helps an LED screen to work – is made to move across an unintended pathway. If this happens, the entire LED screen could malfunction, and its electrical components could suffer irreparable damage. 

Corroding The Metal Components

The introduction of water could also cause the metal contacts and tools in the LED screen to corrode. Over time, this will lead to weaker connections, reduce the screen’s performance, and cause it to fail entirely.

Images Can Become Distorted 

When you have water droplets on the surface of an LED screen, you might also notice that they change the quality of your images. This happens because water droplets can cause diffraction patterns, which will alter the movement of light. 

As a result, images can become blurred, thus affecting your viewing experience a great deal. 

Brightness & Clarity Also Drop 

Another effect of water  droplets on the surface of your screen is light scattering, which leads to a drop in the clarity and brightness that your display offers. As a result of this, the content of your wet screen can be difficult to view – especially when the environment becomes too bright around you. 

Your Ability To Control Will Drop 

The entry of water can affect the  LED screen’s circuitry, thus causing things like buttons and switches to malfunction. If your LED screen is touch-sensitive, then you might find it becoming more challenging to operate as well because water damage will affect its sensitive parts. 

LED Layers Could Hold The Moisture

In some instances – such as a few touchscreen LED display options – you could find that water will penetrate different layers of the panel. The most prominent layers that suffer this are the backlight unit and the LCD layer, and once water gets trapped there, it could cause fogging or even affect the quality of color representation. 

Over time, visual clarity will degrade, and the screen will also lose its shelf life.

In Rare Cases, The Screen Can Just Stop Working

This doesn’t happen every time, but if you have a really sensitive screen or you let the water damage linger on for too long, then the LED pixels, backlighting components, and other major electronic components could be damaged irrevocably. Here, fixing will be completely impossible.

Precautionary Measures For Water Intake

So from what we’ve shown, water damage to LED screens can be pretty bad. And considering the fact that LED screens can be a bit on the pricier side, the very last thing you want is for water to destroy the value of your investment. 

So, as much as possible, you want to make sure that you prevent screen water as much as possible, and with that in mind, here are a few precautions that you could take: 

Waterproof Enclosures Are A Must 

In the battle against screen water damage, it’s always recommended that you install LED screens in waterproof cabinets or enclosures. This is especially true if you know you’ll be using your screen in an outdoor environment and you don’t have a water proof screen on board. 

Close All Gaps Tightly

Next, you want to ensure a tight seal on things like ports, connection slots, and other openings that could present opportunities for water to get into your screen’s enclosure. Sealants, gaskets, and more are all appropriate techniques that ensure that all gaps are sealed, and there is no opportunity for water to come through. 

You Could Just Get A Waterproof Screen

Fortunately, innovations in design have also led to the development of waterproof screens and materials. And, considering the long-term benefits, you can easily see that these designs are surely a plus. 

Check out screens with Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, which show how well they are protected from things like dust and moisture. 

Fix Up Your Maintenance Schedule

Even without the threat of water inside phone screen, your LED always needs rto be maintained. So, when designing your maintenance schedule, ensure that you account for water damage checks and prevention too. 

Cover The Screens Always 

If you’ll be working with an outdoor screen, then protective shields and covers are an added benefit for you. This is especially true if you’re not using the screen at the  moment – just cover it up, and you should be good to go. 

Keep An Eye On The Environment 

An added benefit will be to install environmental monitoring systems to keep track of things like humidity, changes in the temperature, and any additional factors that could lead to water damage. This way, it becomes easier to take precautions when the weather turns and water damage becomes a present threat.

Get The Pros To Install It

As always, we’d recommend professional installation when it comes to things like this. To ensure waterproofing and electrical safety, installing your LED screen should most likely not be a DIY project. 

When professionals handle the installation, you at least know that you’re protected from harm to a considerable degree.

Speak To The Users

You would also need to be clear when training users and personnel about the dangers of water getting into your big LED panel. Anyone who will be operating the screen needs to be aware  of this, and they should be trained on how best to prevent it from happening. 

Remedy for Water Intake Of The LED Display Screen Body

We talk a lot about preventive steps when it comes to water damage, but the truth is that your screen could still soak up water regardless. And if that happens, then there are some steps that you could take to remedy the situation – or, at the very least, ensure that the damage isn’t as bad as you might think.

Turn The Whole Thing Off

The moment you notice that your screen has come in contact with water, the first thing you need to do is turn it off. This way, you can prevent any further damage from happening to the circuits and other components. 

Shut Off The Connection 

We also recommend that you disconnect it from the power source. This reduces the risk of s short circuit, as well as eliminates any risk of electrocution in the long run. 

Take Out The Surface Water

If you find any water on the surface of the screen, then wipe it off carefully. Get a towel or a cloth, and remember to be gentle so that water doesn’t spread any further to the internal components.  

Find A Way To Dry It

Next, attack the water on the inside. You can use a stream of compressed air or get a hairdryer and set it to a low, cool temperature. Expose it to any vents or visible openings, and let things dry from there. 

Try as much as possible not to use any high heat, as this might cause damage to the components or screen itself.

If You Can, Open Things Up 

For LEDs that are housed in an enclosure, open them carefully to let air circulate and access those internal components. Try as much as possible to be careful, so you don’t end up further damaging the screen or its housing. And if you can’t, just call someone to help.  

Examine The Components

This is another task that might be better for a professional to handle. Once you open the enclosure, look into all of the LEDs components to check for signs of water damage. Particularly, look out for the buildup of any moisture, corrosion, or changes in color.

In most cases, areas that get affected the most are circuit boards, connectors, and other highly sensitive points.  So, be extra careful with those. 

Let The Components Dry Out 

Get desiccants, packets of silica gel, and more to suck out additional moisture from the internal components. Then, put the LED in an area with proper ventilation and low humidity to begin drying. 

For this step, you need to be very patient. Let the internal components dry entirely, and be prepared to wait for hours or even days for this to work. 

Put It Together & Test

Once you’re confident that the screen is dried, assemble it carefully and connect it o a power source again. Test it to ensure that it works well, and that there are no additional issues. 

If the screen works, then your job is done. If it doesn’t, then you might need to consider help from a professional. They will probably be able to give more context and nuance, so consider letting them examine the internal components instead.  


At the end of the day, water damage is something that most LEDs have to contend with. Taking precautions is important, but if you find that your screen gets wet, then there are some steps you could take to remediate things. 

If you need any additional information about this, feel free to reach out to a professional or contact us at NSE LED Cloud. 

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