Less Is More

By James Wood

The words of Tim Allen, playing Tim the-tool-man Taylor on TV, “More POWER!” are followed by a series of grunts. It feels manly to just think about it. More power must mean more options, better performance and improved productivity. Almost everything you see as you walk through your day is trying to convince you to get more: more meat on your burger, more money in your bank and more horse-power in your car. More, more more.

What if “more” isn’t always the answer? What if less is more? The phrase comes from a poem by Robert Browning:

Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.

Seeking less is sometimes better than striving after more. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969) is a renowned architect who took up Browning’s refrain and brought the design element of less into buildings. There’s a school of artistic and design thought that tends toward less, known as Minimalism, which looks for less rather than more.

But what if the concept isn’t limited to art and design, poetry and architecture? What if less can be more in technology? Typical liquid crystal displays use a cold cathode fluorescent light tube that sits behind the colored crystal pixels and shines through them to produce the image on the display. Think of a CCFL as a miniaturized version of the fluorescent tube in the light fixture over your head. It uses dangerous chemicals like mercury to produce light.

Newer technology for LCD displays is based on light emitting diodes, most well know for the blinking red light on your coffee maker and myriad other electronics in your house. The LED has grown up in recent years and can now produce bright, white light to rival fluorescent bulbs. What makes LEDs so great is that they don’t use chemicals like mercury housed in a tube, but are solid state technology. Electricity passes through the diode’s material and it glows with light. There’s very little energy lost to heat waste and the life of LEDs is many times that of CCFLs.

Less is more. Less energy used, fewer chemicals involved and less need for repair and replacement make LED backlighting much more attractive for LCD displays like the Planar EP-Series. At Planar we believe that less can be more. The EP-Series is minimalistic in size and design so that your message comes through. The screen is less than two inches deep and the bezel is logo-free. The displays take less energy and have less opportunity for failure so that you can use them more, more often and in more places.
We might disappoint Tim Allen with our EP-Series, but we’re okay with that.