lcd vs led monitor

A Comparison Between LCD Vs. LED Monitors: What is the Difference, And Which Is Better?

Monitors play a crucial role in determining the quality of display you get out of your screen. when talking about monitors, it will be an injustice if you fail to mention LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and LED (Light-Emitting Diodes) in the same breath. Both monitors utilize liquid crystals, but backlighting distinguishes them from each other. While LCD monitors use “cold cathode fluorescent lamps”, LED monitors employ “light-emitting diodes.”

What Are the Differences Between LED and LCD?

Differences Between LED and LCD

LED monitors are all LCDs. LCD monitors, on the other hand, are not all LED displays. All eagles are birds, but not all birds are eagles, in a way. While the titles may be perplexing to those sifting through specifications searching for the most exemplary monitor, they’re much easier to comprehend once broken down.

We’ll go through the basics of technology and naming practices before highlighting various HP monitors that could be ideal for you. Let’s look at the differences between LCD and LED displays and how to choose the best one.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Explained

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Explained

Liquid crystals are used in both types of screens to help form images. The backlights are different. Backlights on an LED monitor are light-emitting diodes, whereas manufacturers use fluorescent backlights on a typical LCD.

LED displays often offer better image quality, but they come with various backlighting options. Furthermore, specific backlighting arrangements provide better photos than others.

A Short History of LCD and LED monitors

Plasma screens were the most regularly made displays until 2014. The LCD, however, took over after that—the term LCD is an acronym for liquid crystal display. In a moment, we’ll explain what it implies. But first, keep in mind that an LED also employs liquid crystals, so the term is a little deceptive.

The Principles of LCD Technology

Let’s start by looking at how liquid crystals are used in LCD and LED monitors. This science combines optics, electrical engineering, and chemistry is exceedingly intricate. But we’ll break it down for you in layman’s terms.

  • Liquid crystals

“Liquid crystal” is the key phrase here. In high school, you may have learned that there are three states of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. There are, however, certain chemicals that are a curious mix of multiple states. A liquid crystal is a material that possesses both solid and liquid qualities. When you reach the top echelons of science, you realize that everything you thought you understood is incorrect.

Solid properties: Liquid crystal molecules can take on a basic, geometric shape.

Liquid properties: Liquid crystal molecules can also have a fluid, unstructured form.

A liquid crystal’s molecules are typically clumped together in a thick, unstructured pattern. However, when the liquid crystal gets subjected to electricity, the molecules expand to form a highly organized, interconnected shape.

  • Pixels

Pixels are the fundamental components of a computer image. A pixel is a tiny dot capable of emitting colored light. Thousands of pixels make up your display, and they’re all different colors to offer you your computer interface and the webpage you’re viewing right now. It functions similarly to a mosaic, except each piece is considerably less visible.

Each pixel has three color filters known as “subpixels.” Every pixel has a red, blue, and green subpixel.

How the LCD Displays Works

How the LCD Displays Works

Every pixel comprises two glass sheets, with the subpixels on the outermost sheet. Between the two sheets are liquid crystals sandwiched.

The light can’t flow through the liquid crystals in their fluid configuration; hence LCDs have white backlights behind the panel. However, an electric current is applied to the liquid crystals, which straighten up and enable light to pass through when using a pixel.

Every pixel contains three backlights, each of which may shine through a red, blue, or green color filter, allowing the pixel to produce a particular color.

An LCD screen’s structure

From the rear (furthest away) to the front (closest to you), an LCD is arranged as follows:

  • Backlights
  • 1st sheet
  • Crystallized Liquid
  • Color filters on sheet #2
  • Screen


The table below lists the differences between LCD and LED.

LCD stands for the liquid crystal display.LED stands for light-emitting diodes.
All LCDs are not a variant of LED TV.All LEDs are a variant of LCD TV.
LCDs often use fluorescent lights.LEDs use light-emitting diodes.
One can usually place fluorescent lights behind the screen.Light-emitting diodes are usually positioned behind the screen or near the edges.
LCDs are usually thicker and don’t have energy efficiency compared to LEDs.LEDs are much thinner and have much more energy efficiency.

What Are the Different Types of LED Monitors?

Types of LED Monitors

LED and LCD monitors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Understanding the differences and terminology while shopping for a new TV or monitor will help you get a better deal. Here are some of the most prevalent LED and LCD panel variations.

LEDs That Light Up the Edges

LEDs are positioned around the rim of an Edge-Lit LED TV or monitor behind the LCD panels facing the screen.

Edge-Lit allows for thinner designs, uses fewer LEDs, and potentially lowers the cost of a new screen. It creates the image by light reflecting uniformly across the screen.

The dark contrast of an Edge-Lit screen is one disadvantage. Color uniformity and black levels can be a concern because the Edge-Lit LED display is the brightest closer to the edges, with some parts seeming darker than others.

LED Full-Array

A grid of LED lights is used behind the LCD in a Full-Array LED display. The LEDs shine straight into the LCD, resulting in a bright and consistent image. Full-Array LED panels take advantage of LEDs’ high efficiency.

A Full-Array LED display may contain local dimming for the finest image reproduction. Local dimming refers to the ability of groupings of LEDs to turn on and off as needed to improve overall brightness management.

LEDs that emit white light are commonly known as RGB LEDs. On the other hand, LEDs create more yellow than white light. The image you see on your screen may change color due to this discrepancy. 

Some manufacturers replace white LEDs with red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs to address this issue. The RGB LED color combination produces a pure white, resulting in brighter and more accurate colors across the spectrum.

Some manufacturers, such as Dell, make RGB LED screens like the Dell Studio XPS 16 laptop.


Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) are sophisticated LED illumination found in some LED monitors.

An OLED TV’s pixels may light or dim independently, resulting in many improved black levels, incredibly sharp colors, and higher contrast ratios. Most OLED TVs and monitors feature exceptional color quality and viewing angles.

Because of their higher brightness and color accuracy, OLED monitors and TVs may also employ High Dynamic Range (HDR) content.

OLED TVs and monitors (and even smartphone panels) have excellent color depth. However, this comes at a price. The latest flagship smartphones all have OLED panels, contributing to their exorbitant cost. Another factor to consider is power. The power consumption of an OLED panel is higher than that of other LED-backlit screens and ordinary LCD screens.


QLED, which stands for Quantum Dot LED, is the next acronym. Compared to a standard LED TV or monitor, Samsung’s QLED improves color accuracy by up to 90% and can achieve the high levels of brightness and color depth required by HDR.

What is a quantum dot monitor, exactly? In a nutshell, quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals that absorb one wavelength of light and emit another. A QLED’s LEDs produce all the blue colors required for the image. 

Consumers, on the other hand, do not desire a blue picture. The quantum dots refract the blue LED light into the green and red hues that complete the image.

Hundreds of billions of semiconductor nanocrystals are in a single quantum dot monitor or television. QLED displays provide exceptional dark range and color depth and excellent color saturation and contrast, thanks to the nanocrystals.

Probably you might be asking where the “quantum” part comes into play. There isn’t any quantum action going on. It’s simply Samsung’s catchy marketing term.

What Are the Different kinds of LCD Monitors?

There are different varieties of LED monitor technology, just as there are different types of LCD monitor and TV technology. The LCD technology used to power your panel impacts the final image. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:

TN Panels

Twisted nematic (TN), which dates back to the 1980s, was one of the first LCD panels. The response time of TN panels is quick. Most of the fastest gaming monitors use a TN LCD screen with 240Hz frame rates. That refresh amount isn’t necessary for most individuals, but it can make a difference for top-tier players (for instance, reducing motion blur and image transition smoothness).

VA Panels

The manufacturers first introduced vertical alignment (VA) panels in the 1990s. As the name implies, the liquid crystals in a VA panel are vertically aligned. The vertical alignment structure allows VA panels to generate far more profound blacks and a more brilliant array of other colors than a TN panel. In addition, the contrast on a VA panel is usually better.

While a VA LCD panel offers a broader color gamut than a TN panel, the refresh rate is slower. They also tend to be more costly. VA is the least popular LCD panel technology among TN and IPS panels.

Unless the price is your primary consideration, there’s no reason to choose an LCD monitor over an LED, as LEDs outperform LCDs in practically every manner.