We reckon every single person who knows monitors knows about LCDs and LEDs. But what most of the general population is unable to understand is that comparing the two is actually misunderstanding their definitions.
To sum it up in one short statement: All monitors with LED displays are LCDs, but not all LCDs use LED technology. To be honest, The LCDs differ from LEDs only in their backlighting as they use liquid crystals, while LCD monitors use cold cathode fluorescent lamps for Display.
Nevertheless, we decided to make it our mission to end the LCD and LED debate once and for all and tell you exactly what you should be looking for when you go out to buy a monitor and which Display works better in terms of power consumption, picture quality and the overall size of the monitor. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.
What is an LCD Monitor?
We’ve already mentioned that there are two types of LCD monitors, and in this and the following section, we’re going to discuss them both. LCD stands for liquid crystal display, which is a pretty apt name for it considering how the monitor uses liquid crystal technology for the Display.
In layman’s terms, the monitor’s Display is made up of two layers of polarized glass, also known as a pixel, with crystals squeezed in between these two layers of glass. These crystals though have interesting properties as they can turn into both liquid and solid.
In liquid form, the crystals don’t allow any light to pass through, i.e., when the monitor is switched off. However, in solid form, these crystals straighten out immediately when the monitor passes an electric current through them, which eventually results in the white backlight passing through these crystals.
It’s also worth knowing that each pixel, or layer of polarized glass, is made up of three subpixels, the green, blue and red subpixels. After the light moves through the straightened-out crystals, it directly hits one of these three subpixels, allowing the pixel itself to emit that singular color as the Display.
What is an LED Monitor?
Now that you know how the Display in liquid crystal display monitors works let us now move on to the one aspect that sets an LED monitor apart from an LCD monitor, the backlighting.
As you would’ve probably guessed, LEDs also use the same liquid crystal technology as LCDs for the Display. The only difference between them is the fact that LEDs use a plethora of light-emitting diodes for their backlighting instead of the widely used cold cathode fluorescent lighting in LCDs.
Simply put, light-emitting diodes are a collection of incredibly tiny bulbs that light up all at once or partially, depending on what needs to be displayed on the screen.
Another unique difference between LEDs and LCDs is the fact that light-emitting diodes are flexible in how they can be used. For example, monitors that come with a full array display usually have diodes distributed evenly behind the screen to make sure every inch of the monitor is covered.
On the other hand, edge monitors only possess diodes along the edges or perimeter of the monitor and the monitor uses a sheet of plastic to distribute the light evenly to all parts which ultimately saves the user a ton when the energy bill rolls in.
LED Monitor and LCD Monitor: Comparison
|LCD MONITOR||LED MONITOR|
|Price:||Cheap||A Bit Costly|
|Backlight Technology:||Cold cathode fluorescent lamps||Light-emitting diodes|
|Availability:||No||Easy to find|
How Do I Choose Between an LED and LCD Monitor?
From one perspective, you could say that LEDs and LCDs are quite similar and that there isn’t a huge difference when it comes to picture quality between the two types of monitors.
To reiterate once again, the only aspect that sets them apart is that LEDs use light-emitting diodes for backlighting while LCDs use Cold cathode fluorescent lamps.
However, in our opinion, the presence of light-emitting diodes is the root cause for plenty of differences between the two monitors in terms of features.
On the one hand, LCDs that use CCfl backlighting are generally thicker, heavier, and use more power than LED LCDs which is why most people lean towards LEDs when picking monitors for gaming or just general use.
On the other hand, LCD monitors are quite inexpensive compared to LEDs probably because of the cost of these light-emitting diodes. Full-array LED monitors are almost always the superior choice in terms of picture quality.
But when it comes to choosing between edge-lit LEDs and LCDs, the choice becomes rather difficult. However, from our experience, we still rate LCDs as better than edge-lit LEDs.
What are the Pros and Cons of Each Type of Monitor?
Since the advent of LED technology, especially full-array LED monitors, LCD monitors have become a thing of the past. However, we’re here to tell you that the two types of monitors aren’t so different when it comes down to picture quality.
Of course, Full-array LED monitors cover every inch of the screen which makes them increasingly easy to view even from different wide angles which is why they’re considered the best monitors for wide-open spaces.
LEDs in general also consume less power and are lighter which makes them perfect for gaming, especially if you intend to log in some long gaming hours on a daily basis. LEDs are also quicker when it comes to response times and have a longer lifespan than most LCDs.
LCDs though have the advantage of being considerably cheaper which at times can be the most important factor in deciding which monitor to pick. Moreover, LCDs with TN (Twisted Nematic) panels offer a much faster response time that almost equals LEDs.
AT THE END
So, there you have it, folks, that was our review of the differences between an LCD and LED monitor. Frankly, we believe this article was long overdue as the debate between LCDs and LEDs had raged on for quite some time.
Hopefully, through this article, you were able to understand that there isn’t a huge difference when it comes to overall picture quality between LCDs and LEDs.
However, the fact that LEDs are more energy-conserving and put less strain on your eyes has forced us into admitting that LEDs are indeed better than LCDs, but not by a lot.
In terms of picture quality, responsiveness, and power consumption, LEDs are far superior and clearly the better choice when it comes to gaming.
There are plenty of other LED features that support gaming as well which include, consistent brightness and an adjustable backlight that can be dimmed if you intend to play for a couple of hours to save your eyes. To conclude though, we’d recommend getting a full-array LED instead of edge-lit LEDs as they offer much better visibility from wide angles.
Since the quality of LED monitors has improved, more and more of the general population has been opting for LEDs over LCDs, even though the latter is significantly cheaper.
That’s because, in the long run, the overall long life span of LEDs and their lower power consumption saves much more money than buying an initially cheaper LCD.
As a matter of fact, LCD monitors are not particularly bad for your eyes, provided you don’t use them too excessively. However, unlike LEDs, there is no dimming option in LCDs which helps with general eye fatigue.
If you’re a gamer on a tight budget with no room to increase it any further, you can opt for an LCD as your gaming monitor. However, the only real drawback of gaming on an LCD monitor is the fact that you can’t put in long hours as the strain on your eyes is considerable.