Backlight bleed and IPS glow are two common monitor issues that can impact your viewing experience. Although they have fundamentally different solutions and causes, they do look extremely similar. It can be helpful to identify which condition you’re dealing with so you can decide how to proceed.

IPS glow is usually mild and is rarely a serious issue. It tends to appear in the corners of the monitor, but the intensity of the glow may vary depending on your viewing angle and your distance from the monitor.

On the other hand, backlight bleed often shows up on the edges as well as the corners of the monitor. Some monitors will only have bleeding in a single corner. Others might have different intensities of bleeding on every edge of the screen.

Do note that it’s impossible to get IPS glow unless the monitor uses an IPS panel. This is because IPS glow is, unfortunately, a quirk of the panel technology. You ideally wouldn’t purchase or keep a monitor that bleeds since backlight bleeding is a defect.

That being said, some monitors can be faulty and have a much stronger IPS glow than is normal. If you have a monitor with intense IPS glow, then something is probably wrong.

Once you’ve spotted the problem, it might not actually matter whether it’s IPS glow or backlight bleed. There is no fix for either condition–-they are both caused by a lack of quality control and poor manufacturing technique. Your best bet is to return the monitor and order a new one.

For future reference, it can still be helpful to identify each condition. You can’t know whether you like IPS monitors or the drawbacks outweigh the benefits without acknowledging the IPS glow. 

Let’s take a look at the underlying causes of each condition.

Backlight Bleed vs. IPS Glow: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Backlight BleedIPS Glow
Area of EffectEdges and corners of the monitorCorners of the monitor
Type of Monitor AffectedAll LCD monitors and LED monitors less commonlyIPS monitors only
Preventible?NoNo
Impacted by Distance to Monitor?NoYes
Impacted by Viewing Angle?NoYes

Backlight Bleed vs. IPS Glow: How Are They Caused?

Although we covered how you can tell the difference between backlight bleed and IPS glow, there’s more to it than that. They have similar, but unique causes that could impact your future monitor purchases.

Cause

IPS glow is a problem that only impacts IPS displays. This is because the core cause is the IPS technology itself, which makes it an unavoidable issue. You should expect at least some level of IPS glow on every IPS monitor you purchase.

If you’re expecting a monitor to have none of this natural glow, then don’t get a display with an IPS panel. IPS is a kind of LCD technology that uses a backlight. It’s this backlight glowing through the panel that causes the IPS glow as we know it.

Since it’s partially related to the screen panel and how it’s installed, the exact same model of IPS monitor could have wildly different degrees of IPS glow. In that way, it’s very similar to backlight bleed.

The cause of the backlight bleed is a problem with the way the screen is installed. The term “backlight bleed” explains exactly what is happening; the backlight is bleeding through the screen. This happens either by having the light pressed too close to the screen or by having an improper fit between the screen and the frame.

Since backlight bleed is directly related to having the backlight shine through, it won’t change intensity just because you look at it from a different angle. IPS glow does change intensity, both by different viewing angles or by distance from the display. If you think about it, this makes sense. IPS glow has to do with the screen technology and not just the backlight. 

Solutions

A very reasonable way to solve IPS glow and backlight bleed is to simply avoid playing in the dark. This is going to be the most effective tactic because dark environments make excess light more obvious.

The other solution is to try to stop the “excess light”–-in other words, turn down the brightness. Your monitor should have a similar brightness to your surroundings. If you’re dealing with backlight bleed, though, it’s completely reasonable to turn it down a bit.

In a well-lit environment, it’s very possible that you will never notice IPS glow or backlight bleed. Only very severe cases of IPS glow should be noticeable at all, generally speaking. If you’re seeing IPS glow even with the lights on and without staring at a black screen, you have a defective monitor.

The solution, in that case, is just to return the monitor and get a new one. It’s the same for backlight bleeding, too. Any monitor with IPS glow or backlight bleed that’s serious enough to bother you in an ideal environment has a serious enough problem that you should return it.

Although there’s no consistent way to remove backlight bleed, you can try to loosen the panel frame slightly by moving it around with your hands. Honestly, though, it might not be worth it. This only has a chance of working if the bleeding is caused by the panel frame pushing into the screen, and you could damage the monitor more.

Person playing video games on high-resolution tv
A small amount of an IPS glow is normal, but if it’s too severe, it’s a problem. There aren’t really any surefire ways to solve backlight bleeding as often it’s a defect in the monitor itself.

Ways to Avoid

The most obvious way to avoid IPS glow is to not buy an IPS monitor to begin with. Of course, IPS monitors are very attractive options for a variety of reasons—wide viewing angles, relative cheapness compared to VA monitors, and generally solid visuals, to name a few—and it can be hard to give them up entirely.

Instead, you could choose an IPS monitor with a mediocre contrast ratio. It sounds counterintuitive, but most IPS monitors don’t have amazing ratios to begin with. It’s the price you pay for purchasing an IPS instead of a VA or OLED monitor.

The contrast ratio tells you how deep the blacks are and how bright the whites are on your monitor. Many IPS monitors, which typically have a ratio of 1000:1, show black as closer to a dark gray.

If you’re constantly being bothered by IPS glow, it could be because you’re looking at monitors with closer to a 5,000:1 ratio. It’s best to stick with something lower if you hate the IPS glow.

As for backlight bleed, you would have to avoid purchasing any type of LCD monitor. That isn’t a very realistic option, since LCD monitors dominate the market. Plus, LED monitors can also have backlight bleeds. It just isn’t as common.

An easier solution that works for both backlight bleed and IPS glow is to spend more on your monitor in the first place. It can feel painful to spend a lot of money on a display, but it’s the best way to get a quality monitor.

Remember: severe IPS glow and backlight bleed are both signs of a low-quality monitor. Don’t accept them as the status quo, and don’t buy a cheap monitor expecting it to be well-crafted.

Backlight Bleed vs. IPS Glow: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • Backlight bleed and IPS glow are two separate phenomena that look similar and can affect the same types of monitors.
  • IPS glow happens on every IPS monitor to varying degrees.
  • Backlight bleed can occur on any type of LCD monitor since they all use backlighting to work.
  • You can’t fix backlight bleed or IPS glow, but you can minimize the impact by avoiding dark environments.
  • IPS glow is a quality of every IPS monitor, but both extreme IPS glow and backlight bleeding is the results of poor manufacturing.

Backlight Bleed vs. IPS Glow: Which is Worse?

Backlight bleed is, hands down, a worse condition than IPS glow. It’s always the result of poor manufacturing and/or another monitor defect. Usually, backlight bleeding is more intense (which makes it more disruptive) and there’s no consistent way to change or fix it.

IPS glow is never really a serious condition, except in rare scenarios. At that point, it would also be considered a defect. Still, backlight bleed is generally worse even in that scenario.

At the very least, IPS glow is often restricted to the corners of the screen and is symmetrical. Backlight bleeding can show up around all of the edges of the screen and can be very distracting because it’s not always even.

There are also plenty of ways to reduce IPS glow since it’s rarely as bright as backlight bleeding. IPS monitors naturally have lower contrast ratios. They also have wide viewing angles, so there’s no reason you can’t tilt the screen slightly.

All in all, backlight bleeding will cause the most severe lighting problems with your monitor. If you’re dealing with a serious problem, though, just return or replace the monitor. There’s no real solution, and a defective monitor is worth replacing!

Backlight Bleed vs. IPS Glow: How Do You Spot It? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is IPS backlight bleed normal?

Backlight bleed is never normal, but a slight glow around the corners is a normal condition called IPS glow. IPS glow shouldn’t be very visible except in specific environments (high brightness, dark visuals, dark environment), so you might actually have a monitor defect if you have severe “IPS glow.”

Is IPS glow a defect?

IPS glow is not a defect, and is instead the result of IPS panel technology. The backlight shining through the IPS panel will naturally result in IPS glow. If the glow is severe even in a well-lit room, then you might be dealing with an actual defect like backlight bleeding.

 

Does IPS glow reduce over time?

Since IPS glow is simply a side effect of IPS panel technology, it will never reduce even after years of usage. It also shouldn’t worsen at all. The IPS glow that you have depends more on the quality of the monitor and how well it was assembled than anything else. 

What is a good IPS glow?

A good IPS glow is one that you can’t really see unless you’re in a very dark room, looking at very dark visuals (like a fully black screen), and with high brightness. Of course, many IPS monitors will have a bit of IPS glow even with only one of these conditions. It’s only a bad thing if you find it strenuous or distracting. 

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