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The Tech Behind LED Screens: How LED Works

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Did you recently purchase a brand new light-emitting diode (LED) TV screen? Or perhaps you’re looking to rent an LED screen for an upcoming company event? Whether you already have one or not, LED screens are no doubt a sight to behold.

And as LED technology evolved from its humble beginnings, it is now one of the most preferred technologies when it comes to TVs, billboards, and indoor screens. It offers many advantages that make it stand out from its contemporaries.

But with all the praises for LED screens, did you ever stop and wonder how LED works? Continue reading below and discover the technology behind the LED.

LED vs LCD: Are They the Same?

The first thing we need to settle is the LED vs LCD conundrum. Are these two the same? With so many discussions about these two, confusion is no longer a surprise.

But for the record, an LED is still an LCD screen. Like the LCD, LED screens use a liquid crystal display and a backlight. However, there is a key component that differentiates the latter from the former. Instead of using a normal cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) lamp as backlight, LED uses diodes that emit light.

Generally, a regular LCD screen uses the CCFL as its backlight. CCFLs feature thin light tubes to light the liquid crystal display. Think of fluorescent tubes, only much smaller in size.

This backlight works alongside the liquid crystal display.

Main Components of LED Screens

As we mentioned earlier, LED screens are technically LCD screens. What differentiates them from CCFL LCD screens is the use of LEDs.

LED screens still use the same liquid crystal display panel to control where the light will show on your screen. These panels usually feature two polarizing sheets that come with a liquid crystal solution in-between.

Every time an electric current passes through the solution, the crystals align and keep the light from passing through.

As for the backlight, which is the actual LED itself, it is way smaller compared to CCFL. This allows manufacturers to create screens that are thinner than their LCD counterparts.

Furthermore, an LED is more energy-efficient compared to CCFLs. But when it comes to screen clarity, the LED and the CCFL do not have that much of an impact.

Edge Lighting

It is also crucial to note that you can divide the LED screens into three configurations. First is edge lighting; the second one is full-array; and the third one, direct lighting.

As for edge lighting, it is the most common form of an LED screen. Chances are, the LED TV you recently bought features edge lighting.

Edge lighting positions the light-emitting diodes only at the screen’s edges. Also, there are different configurations for this edge lighting setup. Some screens have LEDs on the left and right-hand sides.

Others have them only along the bottom. Some also feature LEDs both at the top and bottom of the screen.

As the configuration differs, so does the picture quality. Regardless of which configuration you choose, they will still beat the CCFLs any day.

Also, most manufacturers prefer using edge lighting because it costs less to manufacture.

Full-Array Backlighting

As for the full-array backlighting, this is the best type of backlighting you will find in LED screens. And when it comes to LED TVs, you will only find this setup in a few models.

A full-array backlighting setup places the LEDs evenly behind the screen. In turn, it produces uniform backlighting. Also, it yields a more effective use of local dimming.

This means the LEDs can change a specific part of the screen’s luminosity.

Furthermore, this setup provides a more even and precise illumination. You will enjoy better picture quality while maintaining energy-efficiency.

Additionally, topnotch TV manufacturers use colored full-array LEDs. This translates into a deeper and broader range of colors.

Direct Lighting

If the full-array backlighting is what the top-tier and expensive screens use, direct lighting is what you will find in the lower-end screens. A screen with a direct lighting setup also places the LEDs directly behind the screen.

However, these diodes are not as many as the ones in full-array LED screens. Also, unlike with a full-array setup, you cannot control the diodes separately. This means they cannot match the luminosity of the picture you are seeing.

And because of this, they cannot provide the same clarity for complex images.

Nevertheless, direct lighting still comes with a few pros. First, direct-lit LED screens are way cheaper compared to full-array screens. They are also the better choice if you want a bigger screen without putting much emphasis on high definition.

Pros and Cons of LED Screens

Like any other product, LED screens come with pros and cons. For the advantages, the most notable is the picture quality. Compared to LCD screens that use CCFL, you can expect better image and color quality.

Also, the contrast of LED TVs is much more remarkable.

Another is energy-efficiency. Compared to LCD screens, LED can reduce energy consumption, which means LED screens tend to last longer.

As for the cons, they are generally more expensive compared to LCD TV or Plasma TV. They are also harder to mount against the wall because of their dimensional depth.

Nevertheless, LED screens offer many applications. First, LED is taking over the billboard advertising and outdoor advertising landscape. Also, offices and government institutions use LED screens to display information.

The entertainment industry also benefits from LED technology. You will find stadium LED screens during sporting events. Some even use interactive LED video floor screen for concerts.

There are also mobile LED video screens that companies use for exhibits and trade fairs.

Increase Your Tech Knowledge

Understanding how LED screens work gives you a better appreciation for technology. You will also make better decisions when searching for screens that you can use at home or work. And if you wish to learn more about other technologies that are shaping the world today, then there is a lot more to discover.

We encourage you to check our different articles on tech and gadgets. We discuss different products and point you to the right purchases.

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