Incredible pieces of technology surround you today in this digitally forward world. These advancements have created a visually appealing society and are sometimes even overwhelming to sight. One of the key contributors to this eye-catching society is the existence of flat-screen displays, specifically LED and LCD screens. 

The rise of visual marketing gave way to the introduction of many technologies that supported this venture. Some of these innovations are LED and LCD technologies and applications. Other more advanced technologies like OLEDs, QLEDs, and AMOLEDs have been introduced to the market. This paved the way for the use of OLED displays in high-end smartphones. According to a study, OLED shipments are expected to increase to $90 million by 2027 from the estimated $19 million recorded in 2022.

Understanding the difference between LED and LCD can be so much for many people that they would just resort to not knowing at all. This is not surprising, especially since their disparities can be a bit technical and difficult to understand for most people. But it’s important to learn their differences and understand better what you’re buying and investing in, especially since you will be able to maximize its use more in this way. 

Discovering What LCD Means

LCD phonetically means liquid crystal display, where the liquid crystal is the actual semiconductor used to power the entire technology. This technology was first invented in 1964 in the RCA Laboratories located in New Jersey. LCDs became available in the mainstream in 1970 in the form of calculators and watches and then in 1988 through computer monitors and laptop screens. It is currently applied in different devices today, from calculators and phones to computer monitors and video cameras, as well as both LED and LCD screens. 

This technology helps generate high-resolution images in these displays, which is one of the reasons why it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate them from each other. 

How LCD Functions & Operates

A major difference between LED and LCD is how they function and operate. Both of them use liquid crystal to produce top-notch images and video quality but they operate differently. LCDs use fluorescent for their backlighting, which is a big distinction from LEDs. It has excellent color accuracy with the wide angle decreasing by 30 degrees. This leads to a lower contrast ratio and less clear image quality. 

LCD screens have two glass sheets as the base of the device. They are smashed into each other with liquid crystals trapped between them. It also has fluorescent backlights and a screen to protect everything in a pack. The outer sheet has color filters and the backlights are located at the back of the screen. When white light is produced, images are displayed at high speed and brightness

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Using LCD Display

You will also see a major difference between LED and LCD screens once you look at their advantages and disadvantages. LCDs weigh less compared to LEDs. They also use millions of colors to produce top-notch images. The downside though is that the viewing angle can be quite restricted and it needs more light sources, especially with its slow speed.

Discovering What LED Means

LED is a device that can be classified as LCD but only with a different technology integrated into it. The main difference between LED and LCD is that the former uses light-emitting diodes or LEDs while LCD screens often use cathode-ray tube technology. 

Russian inventor Oleg Losev created LEDs but it was Japanese physicist Shuji Nakamura who improved upon it. It is what the market currently considers LED with its blue light and common applications today.

These LED flat-panel displays use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to produce pixels and in the end images. They are popular for their incredible brightness, which makes these screens effective even when outdoors dominated by sunlight. Many billboards and wall displays are LED screens. 

How LED Functions & Operates

Both of the screens have the same composition but another notable difference between LED and LCD is the backlight they use. The former uses diodes and RGB light to produce colors in billions that make it possible to generate vibrant images and videos. These diodes have flexible placement and they can be installed either behind the screen or on its edges. 

The operation of LED may be dependent on the technology it is integrated with. Here are some of the LED technologies offered to the market and how they work differently from each other.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using LED Display

LED displays are leading the market for a reason and this is due to the benefits you can enjoy from using the technology. LED is a more efficient option since it requires less energy and doesn’t need much its maintenance. All of these benefits are wrapped up in a device that can last for a long time. The disadvantage though is that it has a restricted viewing angle and comes at an expensive price.  

Discussing The Difference Between LED And LCD Screens

The flat screens you can see in the world today vary in different aspects, including their sizes, models, and forms. LED and LCD screens are only part of this extensively varied portfolio you can explore and learn. 

To put it in a Venn diagram, all LED monitors can be found inside the LCD circle. This simply means that you can call an LED screen an LCD but not the other way around. The use of light-emitting diodes can easily be recognized as the basic difference between LED and LCD. Besides that though, there are many more differences you can take note of. To have a clearer view of their disparity, here is a summary you can check out.

FactorsLED ScreensLCD Screens
Energy ConsumptionLessMore
BacklightingLEDs backlightingFluorescent lighting
Response TimeFasterSlower
Image QualityExcellent & better than LCDGood 
Black Level & ContrastBetter than LCDNot as good as LED
Color AccuracyBetter than LCDGood enough
Viewing AngleWider<30 degrees (From the center) 
SizesUp to 90 inchesMost come in 13 to 57 inches
Shelf Life100,000 hours on average50,000 hours on average
Mercury ContentNoneWith Mercury
Semiconductor MaterialGallium arsenide phosphideLiquid crystals
Price PointMore expensiveMore affordable

Energy Consumption

The difference between LED and LCD when it comes to energy consumption is a ratio of 1 to 10. LEDs significantly use less power compared to LEDs, if all other factors are set in the same numbers. Older LCDs consume more energy than newer LCDs but LEDs are still more energy-saving. 

Backlight Usage & Positioning

Another major difference between LED and LCD is the use of different types of backlights and the positions they are installed in. The former uses light diodes and while the latter utilizes the more traditional fluorescent lighting. LCD has its backlight positioned evenly behind the screen while the diodes of LEDs can be installed either on the sides as edge lighting or behind the screen too for full-array backlighting. For LEDs, diodes can also be placed densely in one area or evenly across the back, whichever would be better for your use. 

Image Quality & Performance

Image quality and performance are also another worth-mentioning difference between LED and LCD screens. LEDs are known to have a faster reaction speed and a higher refresh rate. This allows the device to produce a better image and video quality clearer than LCDs. Besides the viewing angle, LED performs better in many aspects contributing to an excellent viewing experience. 

Sizes & Shape Differences

LCDs are offered in more standard sizes and shapes, limiting your options. LEDs, on the other hand, are available in a wide selection of sizes and shapes that can even be customized to meet your needs, whether it’s for an indoor marketing event or an eye-catching gigantic outdoor video wall. Many people see this size difference between LED and LCD as relevant enough to be considered before making a purchasing decision. 

Environmental-friendliness

LED displays are considerably more environmentally friendly since they are more energy efficient and do not use mercury in their construction while LCDs have traces in them. Mercury can be very dangerous to the environment. In addition to that, LEDs also have a longer shelf life which leads to less trash to work on. 

Price Point & Affordability

And finally, when it comes to price points, LCDs are more affordable but LEDs are more cost-effective to use. LCDs are the more affordable option. If you’re exploring something to invest in, LEDs may be the better deal. The considerable price difference between LED and LCD is due to the technology, materials, and manufacturing processes used to develop them. 

What Should I Choose Between LED And LCD Displays?

It’s very difficult to decide which one between LED and LCD is better, especially since there are several factors you need to take into account. Some of these factors include applications or purpose, specs, and even sizes. 

Before you decide on what type of flat screen to buy, make sure to consider the difference between LED and LCD screens. You can just look at the table presented above for easier comparison between the two to help you reach an informed decision. 

Here are some of the ideal applications of whether LCD or LED based on specific situations. 

  • For Gaming – Full-array LED screen
  • For Tight Space – Edge-lit LED screens
  • More Affordable – LDS display
  • More Cost-effective – LED screens

Conclusion On LED vs. LCD

LEDs and LCDs are different from each other despite many people interchanging them for each other. To understand better, you need to fully grasp the difference between LED and LCD. This means looking at different aspects and factors of both screens, from their standard specifications to their basic functions. 

LEDs and LCDs can both be classified as LCDs but not both can be considered as LEDs. While they both use liquid crystals, the distinction comes in the form of every other factor, from backlighting to the technology used. 

Because of the technology it uses, LEDs are considered to have better specs that lead to better image and video quality. LEDs are also a better investment option considering they require less energy consumption leading to more savings and yet they also have a longer lifespan. LCDs, on the other hand, have better viewing angles. They are also offered at more affordable prices compared to LEDs. 

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