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Replacing your Allen Bradley 550 Backlight Bulb

Replacing your Allen Bradley 550 Backlight Bulb

The Allen Bradley Panelview 550 is a very common controller, sold throughout the world. While it has enjoyed success and heavy use throughout the entire planet, it has one fatal flaw.

The back light bulb produces too much heat, and as a result causes the display to fail. This is not an isolated or rare case; we get hundreds of calls asking us to repair a damaged panelview 550. Seeing a problem with the design, we engineered and manufactured our own replacement bulb. This LED bulb is a direct replacement for the original incandescent bulb; it is simple to install, and guaranteed to prolong the life of your Panelview unit.Our LED replacement bulb is a lifesaver for companies relying on 550’s. A failed display can cause costly downtime, halt productions, and even cause an entire company to grind to a halt. Finding a replacement takes time; shipping takes even longer. Monitech has already done the hard work for you- we have found a solution, and are ready and waiting to fix your problem! Often, a product can be sent out the same day it is ordered. Having a failed monitor today means a call to Monitech. A call to Monitech means a working monitor tomorrow!

What exactly is the problem with my screen?

The way that the screen works is simple. To make the screen readable, light must be shone though it. The component that does this is called a back light. The back light works by using a regular incandescent light bulb (albeit a very small one), very similar to the one found in an old lamp. This light shines directly into a fiber optic bundle, which is a collection of very pure plastic strands, each approximately the width of a strand of hair. The fiber optic goes in behind the screen, carrying the light along its length, making it viewable. The most common problem we see is the fiber optic melting close to the incandescent bulb because of the tremendous amount of heat being produced. This leads to uneven light distribution, shadowing, and, if it deteriorates enough, complete lack of view-ability.

Below, you can see the damage caused. On the left, the browning is burning. On the right, you can see the melted and split ends on the fiber optic. In the middle, the black plastic clips that hold the heat shield have melted, and the shield has fallen out.

Allen Bradley Panelview 550
How do I know this is my problem? What are some signs and symptoms?

While this is not the only thing that can go wrong with your screen, it certainly is the most common. Some signs and symptoms are as follows:

-Weak light on the screen
-Uneven lighting (bright or dim spots)
-Extreme heat coming from the back of the unit
-Fuzzy video
-Distorted screen images
-Screen becomes very dark, or excessively bright

Diagnosing the problem is very simple. Simply remove the back cover of the unit, and look for obvious damage, such as burning, melting, and corrosion. Ideally, there should be an incandescent light bulb in a silver housing facing a fiber optic bundle, with a small circular plastic heat shield in-between. If any of these components are damaged or missing, you should strongly consider replacing the missing component.

Pictured below is a unit that is complete and undamaged. Does yours look like this?

Allen Bradley 550
What does your replacement bulb do?

Our replacement bulb solves the major problem right off the bat – heat production. By using an LED bulb that operates cool enough that you can hold it in your hand, we have eliminated the risk of damaging the fragile fiber optic bundle. Installation is very simple, and can be done in minutes.

Pictured below is the normal back light bulb (right, silver housing) and the Monitech replacement bulb (left, brass clip).

Light Bulb
My fiber optic is damaged! Help!

We are pleased to say that, along with the LED bulb, we can offer replacement fiber optics specifically made for the Allen Bradley 550.

Want to find out more, or order a replacement?

Please contact us! We are open from 8 A.M until 5 P.M EST, Monday to Friday. Feel free to email or call! Emails are answered within one hour!

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Comments (2)

  • Stewart

    I have a 20 year old Fluke model 1052 CRT touch screen I wand to upgrade to an LCD touch screen. The Fluke has a 25 pin serial plug. Another option would be just to replace the back light bulb in the Fluke 1052 if available. Please advise. Stewart

    October 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm
    • Chris

      Hi Stewart, can you e-mail the details to

      One of our sales representatives will be happy to find the correct replacement kit for your model.


      October 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

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