LED vs LCD Monitor: How Different Are They?

LED vs LCD monitor

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Most of the time you hear about LED vs LCD monitors and are left wondering about the same. Particularly, if you are looking to buy the best monitor available on the market, you will come across terms like LED or LCD. It is good to have a clear understanding about topics like these and familiarize yourselves with the differences between LED and LCD monitors. This can help you make an informed decision by opting for the best. 

For that same reason this article talks about: LED or LCD which is better? It goes on to discuss which monitor is best suited for gamers and professionals like graphic designers and photographers. Additionally, this article also discusses Low Blue Light Technology that will reduce considerable eye strain. 

So, let us dive into the topic without any further delay: 

What is an LED Monitor? 

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. A LED monitor is a flat panel display that uses light emitting diodes to emit light when electricity passes through it. These light emitting diodes appear like small festive lights. It is a display technology that has been around for half a century. It is superior to standard monitors in terms of displaying vivid and bright images. There are a lot of advantages of LED monitors. Basically, the types of LEDs can be split into two groups- Full array LEDs and Edge lighting. Full array LEDs use uniformly distributed diodes for emitting light. On the other hand, edge lighting requires LEDs at edges with a plastic sheet in the center for illumination. 

What is an LCD Monitor? 

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. An LCD monitor cannot emit light itself so it requires the presence of fluorescent lights for illumination. That backlight is either provided by LED (Light Emitting Diode) or Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCFL). It also features two polarized glass substrates with organic liquid crystal sandwiched between them. Usually, the crystals are dense and without any alignment but when electricity passes through them, they become straight and allow the passage of light. 

Types of Panels Within LCD Monitors 

There are basically three types of panels within an LCD monitor. Each of these panels is mentioned below with comparisons: 

TN Panels or Twisted Nematic Panels 

There are three main characteristics of Twisted Nematic Panels: 

  • Poor color reproduction 
  • Not great viewing angles 
  • Fast response time (1 millisecond) is helpful for videography and gaming. 

VA Panels or Vertical Alignment Panels 

The characteristics of Vertical Alignment Panels as apart from TN panels are as follows: 

  • Inky black in appearance 
  • Accurate colors 
  • More response time as compared to TN panels 

IPS Panels or In Plane Switching Panels 

The characteristics of Plane Switching Panels are presented below: 

  • Vivid appearance 
  • Angle viewing is good 
  • High response time (4-8ms) 

Differences Between LED and LCD Monitors 

Before we elicit the differences between LED and LCD, you must understand that there can actually be no comparison between the two. The reason owes to the fact that LED is a light emitting technology while LCD is all about display. What we have tried is to find differences between LCD that use LED and LCD that uses CCFL as their corresponding backlights. So, let us state out the main differences between LED LCD and CCFL LCD and discuss them in detail: 

  • All LED monitors are LCD monitors because LED cannot exist independent of LCDs. LED monitors can therefore be referenced as “LED LCD”. LCDs require LED to emit light from the screen. However, all LCD monitors are not LEDs because the former may use Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCFL) as backlights. LCD has been using LED as backlights until recent times whereas previously, LCD monitors used CCFL exclusively. 
  • LED LCD requires low energy to operate unlike LCD that uses CCFL as backlights. There is more power consumption in CCFL LCDs as compared to LED LCDs. 
  • We already know that there are two types of LEDs- 1. Full-array 2. Edge lighting. Out of the two, full-array LEDs are way better than edge lighting LEDs. The former has a better viewing angle as the backlights are dispersed evenly in the background allowing even brightness all throughout the screen. On the other hand, CCFL LEDs have low color contrast and accuracy that at times may give a faded appearance. 
  • The response time of LED LCD is fast when compared to CCFL LCD. The minimum response time taken by a LED LCD is less than 1 milisecond. 
  • The best thing about CCFL LCD monitors is the fact that they are cheaper and easily affordable for anyone having a low budget. LED LCDs are a bit expensive and cannot be termed budget-friendly. However, LED LCDs have negligible maintenance cost which overall increases their durability. 
  • LED monitors are thinner and lightweight in comparison to the larger and thicker CCFL LED monitors. 
  • No heat is generated in the case of an LED monitor because these backlights do not have a filament that typically heats up incandescent bulbs. Moreover, they do not produce heat in the form of infrared radiation (IR). Most of their energy is invested in producing light and not heat. 
  • The cathode tube in a CCFL backlight contains mercury unlike its competition LED LCD which has no trace of mercury. For this reason, it is being phased out or banned by numerous countries worldwide. 
  • CCFL LCDs guarantee a prolonged life when compared to regular fluorescent lamps. However, in regard to LEDs, it has a lifespan of 50,000 hours. LEDs have double the lifespan of CCFL i.e., 100,000 hours. 
  • Some LED monitors have backlight dimming options that illuminate only certain parts of the screen and the output is an inky-blackness effect and dynamic color. CCFL falls short of these features. 

Which Monitor is Best for Gaming? 

LED LCD monitors rule supreme over CCFL LCD monitors. There are many types of LED LCD monitors which you must choose depending on your specific demands regarding gaming. Go for full-array LED LCD monitor with an IPS panel for intense Player vs Player (PvP) gaming. The full-array feature will illuminate the screen from all sides evenly unlike edge lighting. Moreover, IPS panels will offer vivid colors and great viewing angles. If you want to scale up your gaming experience a notch higher, purchase an HDR or a curved monitor. 

If you are a Framepersecond (FPS) and a hardcore player, you deserve an LED LCD monitor with a Twisted Nematic Panel (TN). The competitive level of an FPS player is quite high, which requires a faster response time. A response timing equal to 1ms or lesser is a boon for such gamers as there is a greater need to switch between colors quite faster. Only an LED LCD monitor with a TN panel can provide the gamers with such requirements. Specifically, LCD Gray to Gray response time are best suited for gamers and videographers alike. 

Which Monitor Serves Graphic Designers and Photographers Well? 

As a graphic designer, an LED monitor with a Vertical Alignment Panel is preferable. VA panel is somewhere in between TN and IPS panels regarding angle viewing, response time and color reproduction. This means it has a better color rendition than TN and quicker response time than IPS panels. Typically, VA is budget-friendly but combined with LED, it becomes expensive. 

For photographers, refresh rate is highly important. There must be sufficient refresh rate so that the monitor updates a new image every second. Go for an LED monitor with an IPS panel and you will pat yourself on the back for having framed this decision. The additional features that come along with an LED IPS panel are perfectly suited for photography purposes. 

Which Monitor Eases Out Eye Strain? 

The best way to reduce eye strain is to go for monitors that have Low Blue Light Technology. Low Blue light is the main reason behind eye fatigue and eye strain. Staying engaged on a screen for longer hours enhances the absorption of low Blue Light which can damage the retina over time. The light also interferes with the body’s sleep cycle and can cause insomnia. This is why you must opt for monitors with Low Blue Light Technology. Moreover, you can also look for features that minimize backlight flickering. 

Monitors these days can also be found with automatic brightness adjustment. Such monitors will temper down their screen brightness in perfect alignment in a low-lit surrounding. These features will reduce unnecessary eye strain and keep them healthy for a long time. You can even find monitors that come with Eye Saver modes or eye care technology that takes special care to prevent damage to your eyes. 

Wrap Up

Hopefully, this article has served as a guide that will help you self-declare the winner in the battle of LED vs LCD monitors. After going through this article, did you find it comparatively easier to opt for the monitor that best suited your needs? Since you have a fair idea about the different panels that match the type of monitors well, you can determine which option is viable. At the end of this article, we ask you the same question-LED or LCD which is better? 

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