The Difference Between LCD and LED TVs


Purchasing a new TV can be confusing, especially if you are trying to decide whether to buy an LCD TV or an LED TV, similar to buying a smartphone.

There are a lot of features in newer TVs that want to grab your attention, making it difficult to make a decision on features alone, hopefully the information in this article will give you enough details on the difference between LCD and LED TVs.

Difference Between LCD And LED TVs

The Most Important Thing: The Display

The one main important thing to remember though is the display. After all, it will be the centerpiece of your multimedia setup. From playing games to watching movies and shows, your TV is where your eyes will be most of the time once you turn it on.

Checking out televisions for sale at your local shopping mall may be helpful to some degree, since you can see for yourself how accurately the display renders colors and the difference between displays once they’re stacked against each other. Before heading out though, what strikes the buyer is the inevitable choice of buying an LCD TV or LED TV.

Which one between these two types offers better picture quality and which one is the best overall? What offers value for your money and will last longer? It sometimes boils down to one’s preference, and to give you an idea on what you get if you choose to go with an LCD or LED TV, here’s a rundown of some of the major aspects being offered by both.

LED or LCD: It’s The Back Lighting

Technically speaking, an LED TV is also an LCD TV, as the screen on both is a liquid crystal display. An LCD display has two layers of glass that are polarized and joined together, the liquid crystals then pass or block the light to display the television picture.

The crystals do not produce any light as the light comes from a series of lamps at the back of the screen. On an LCD TV, the lamps at the back of the screen are fluorescent lamps, whilst on an LED TV the lights at the back of the screen are Light Emitting Diodes (LED).

Difference Between LCD and LED

There are two types of LED methods used to provide the back lighting to the screen: edge lighting (with or without local dimming) and full array lighting (with or without local dimming).  Majority of LED TVs fall in the edge-lit without local dimming category, with the LEDs placed only along the edge of the LCD panel.

It uses “light guides” to illuminate the center and other areas of the screen. Since its introduction a couple of years ago, manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Sony have come up with a better version: edge lit with local dimming. This variety results in better picture quality, with the black levels becoming darker, providing a visual feast even for those very discerning viewers.

The Best Choice For Picture Quality

If you want the best in picture quality among LED TVs, technically it will have to be one that has full-array back lighting with local dimming. The individual zones of LEDs can be dimmed or brightened independently, making it more flexible and suitable to an individual’s taste and preference.

Comparing side by side, LED TVs generally have better black levels and contrasts than their LCD counterparts. Color accuracy is also slightly better on an LED TV. While LCD TVs are no slouch on color accuracy, compared to an LED TV, the latter has a slight advantage.

 

Viewing angle is more or less the same on both as this will depend on the glass panel used by the manufacturer. A thicker and higher quality glass panel is expected to provide a better viewing angle.

The Best Choice For Energy Efficiency

If power consumption is a major concern then what you need is an energy efficient television. LED TVs get the vote here as it is using less light to display its pictures. These are designed to produce a better quality pictures while also using less power than LCD models.

The Best Choice For Price

If the price tag is of major concern, LCD TVs are the obvious choice as their prices have gone down ever since LED TVs started becoming more mainstream.

The Best Choice For Size

In terms of size, LED TVs are slimmer compared to LCD TVs but not by much. LED lights can be installed in smaller places, allowing manufacturers to trim out some unnecessary weight. If space is an issue, better to keep those measuring tapes handy before buying your latest TV set.

The Best Choice For Gaming and Home Theatre

Planning to hook up your game console to your monitor? LCD TVs in the long run are recommended by many as the better choice since heads-up display (HUD) elements in some video games may create ghostly permanent images on the screen when used for a long time. This is what you call burn-in, which is less likely to happen with LCD TVs. Those who have set up a high-end home theater on their PC may also opt for an LCD TV to avoid the same.

Conclusion

Given these pros and cons of both LCD and LED TVs, it’s really up to the buyer to figure out which suits their needs best. Obviously, LED TVs have the more advanced technology, slightly better picture quality (generally speaking), but comes at a higher price point. LCD TVs remain in production despite the gaining popularity of their LED counterparts and this is because they offer good value given at a lower price, doing so with above average picture quality.

Do take note that setting up your new display properly is one of the first things you’ll need to do before going on a movie marathon to get the best results. Even the most advanced TV set can’t produce that stunning picture quality you’re looking for if it’s not set up properly.

This article was updated on the 23rd of December 2011. We also have a new guide on the latest TV technology that will be popular in 2012, OLED TVs, have a look at our OLED TV Explained guide.

Related Items: Gadgets News
  • Alex

    Thanks a lot, it makes some sense for dummies… :)

  • Arun Prasad

    How to diffrentiate between a LCD & LED monitor?
    NB: The manufacturer has not specified that whether LCD/LED?

  • hashim

    Thank YOU :)

  • Ali Raza

    So the only difference between LCD and Led Is Back Light Technology.

  • Pingback: Announces The Worlds Thinnest LCD TV Just 2.6mm Thick | Geeky Gadgets()

  • Pingback: Sony Bravia Z5500 LCD TV | Geeky Gadgets()

  • Hari

    thanQ ! but i think didnt get the perfect solution…u can improve much more.

  • Karan

    Thanks for article and clearing the confusion.

    Which is better of back light LED and EDGE LED. My guess is back-light LED givers better contrast because of local dimming technology.

    Contrast Quality wise traditional LCD and EDGE LED are almost same (other than thickness and fading out of trad. LCD back-light)

    Please correct me if I am wrong

  • subhamoy

    thanx a lot

  • nasrin

    thanks.. i can clear my doubt through this information….

  • http://yahoo.com vidan

    Thanx a lot..very good explanation and easy to be understood by anyone…

  • Pingback: The World’s Thinnest LCD TV From Sharp – The Aquos X Series()

  • Alfred

    I’m not trying to pass an exam here.
    What I need to know what is better for gaming, Action movies,
    slow moving pictures. Are there any significant differences between the two.What about other types of screens ?

    Thank you

  • Bobbykarayil

    Now I can clear my doubt. thanks.

  • Farnaz

    thanks alot

  • Laharika

    thank you,now i feel i got a vivid understanding about LCD’S and LED’s

  • Sunirchettindavida

    now i can ask some thing about led and lcd

  • Fatimasunny

    It is a very big explanation, I don’t want to read all stuff. Can somebody tell which one is better, as the price between LED & LCD is considerable difference in the market.

  • Jaysagar

    LED is better….but its price is more than that of LCD……but that does’nt mean that LCD is bad……. 

  • Darklordsmaster

    Correct LED are still LCD but instead of Florescent lights they use LED lights thus using a bit less energy. Though Full Array Can give you a much better quality picture then either Plain LCD or LED Edge array.

  • Kvjbsingh

    It was a nice class but felt bored. I dont want to know how they work. I want to know which is better  in the long run. Something like which is better, a petrol or a diesel driven car? I know both have engines, and petrol costs more, and also diesel cars cost more. point is which is better?
     

  • Krishan Malik

    does it mean that LED has less effect on your eyes as compare to lcd
     

  • Rafa

    Anything below 40″ go for LCD … nothing much difference in picture quality for below 40″ screens

  • Anjusadal

    Good info.But yet not cleares that which one is better.I mean to say, which is better in terms of power consumption,durability and picture quality too? But one could get the feel that may be LED is better than LCD….. 

  • Anjusadal

    Good info.But yet not cleares that which one is better.I mean to say, which is better in terms of power consumption,durability and picture quality too? But one could get the feel that may be LED is better than LCD….. 

  • Anonymous

    Please give me suggest that, LED is more efficient than LCD. Is there any differ quality of picture? Which one is the high HD,
     
    Thank U

  • Javvaji venu kumar

    J.venu kumar

    Thankyou with your guide i came to know the differencce btw LCD and LED. 

  • vishal maurya

    thanks a lot! now i know what is the main difference between LCD and LED ……
    so main points are
    1. LED consumes less power
    2. LED has brighter pictures( full array )
    3. LCDs are cheap and durable.
    4. main point is when u r going to buy a T.V. or monitor check that how much they become darker when u tilt them….. LEDs dont have problems when u tilt them side by side but some has problems when u tilt them upward or downward… so if u want to hang ur T.V. on a wall  at much height check before u buy………..

  • vishal maurya

    thanks a lot! now i know what is the main difference between LCD and LED ……
    so main points are
    1. LED consumes less power
    2. LED has brighter pictures( full array )
    3. LCDs are cheap and durable.
    4. main point is when u r going to buy a T.V. or monitor check that how much they become darker when u tilt them….. LEDs dont have problems when u tilt them side by side but some has problems when u tilt them upward or downward… so if u want to hang ur T.V. on a wall  at much height check before u buy………..

  • lkj

    my thoughts exactly. That’s why I read the article, but I didn’t get an answer.

  • lkj

    my thoughts exactly. That’s why I read the article, but I didn’t get an answer.

  • Akhilaindu21

    which is bettr whether lcd or led

  • Mazwiliz

    ok so LED is just an expensive version of LCD

  • WiCked Kid

    probably cause you wont find an LED smaller than 40″

  • Ashishpadwal1

    picture quality of led is better than lcd.

  • Ashishpadwal1

    picture quality of led is better than lcd.

  • blackdougwp

    There are actually a lot of pretty reasonable LED’s in the smaller screens at places like Target. 

  • blackdougwp

    There are actually a lot of pretty reasonable LED’s in the smaller screens at places like Target. 

  • Dipalee

    how much is the price difference

  • Dipalee

    how much is the price difference

  • TANVI_AR

    THANXX ALOT
    LED DIPLAYS MORE BRIGHTER AND HIGH CNTRAST PICTURE THAN THAT OF LCD..
    ITS THIN AND ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION IS LOWER YHAN LCD. 

  • Dilip Yarehalli

    Really,it was very helpul
     now i wll prefer for a LED TV

  • Harshit Mundhara

    led have touch screens buttons

  • Alivetonight

    I think LED have longer lifespan 

  • Priyankasharma211190

    thanx a lot………….

  • A Ghosh

    which one should i go for LED ORLCD????

  • Sumith Sathinarain

    Eish !! all i need to know is  , which tv is a better option to purchase? LED or LCD ? and Y ? And What about the 3D tv ?

  • Cnu

    Thanks Now I got A clear idea about LCD and LED

  • Jana

    You guys want someone else to make your decisions for you. This article is mainly to tell you the facts about each one so you can make your own decision. It was meant to be that way, they don’t want to tell you what to think, just help educate people. Duh!

  • Anvar

    LED is better than LCD,because LED power saver and safe of our eyes……….

  • vnokia

    ofcourse led…

  • Jajil

    thanks  lot  for information

  • Ajay kumar

    what type of problem arise when we tilt it upward and downward. in lcd we can only see from front if such type of problem arise in this also then suggest me which type of television is more efficient for picture quality purpose not for power purpuse.

  • Sanjaygill04

    Nice information ,helps alot to decide which brand of TV have to buy alongwith important info.

  • Sanjaygill04

    nice info

  • suresh kanjaria

    while looking to the LCD/LED TV,  Pixels are visible near the logo, why it happens?
    is there any solution to eliminate the problems.

  • Opatysmile

    i did u know that LED is much thinner than LCDs

  • http://www.knowitsdifference.com/difference-between-lcd-and-led-tv/ Asksrini84

    Which is more energy efficient LCD or LED TV

  • Hatim ali

    ya right

  • Rampi tyagi

     i think led will be better than lcd

  • K M Priyadarsanan

    LED TV are better in the long run because of the power you save and the smaller electricity bill.   

  • Kashifbhutto06

    hi guys let me know you that if led damage a little is very harm ful becouse the led bulbs r very smalls and its may damage the hole line in led….so b care ful

  • Cabokalz

    Is there any difference in fast action and pixilation problems…Son in law says theres a big difference but I’ve never noticed…

  • Stuff129

    so do lcd

  • Knitpikee

    Power usage only slightly different, and overall minimal? Power requirements in this comparison may be unimportant. How much energy and how many resources are used to manufacture and sell LED and LCD TVs?

  • Nisummer

    thank you , it was very helpful.

  • Aprillynn_nbu

    Sorry, I was trying to figure the difference of an LED and and LCD/LED. I have all LED’s in my home and love them. My mother now wants an LED in her house and wanted to get her one for xmas. But I keep seeing the LED or the LED/LCD (which are a bit more inexpensive). I (by the price) assume the LED/LCD are much less quality, but am still not sure if that simply means the LED is the best buy…? Does anyone have naymore info???

  • Sk8_n_Destroy

    thanks alot for the info man, im a new sales associate at Sears home electronics, and i knew almost nothing about tvs, this has helped alot. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1270394194 Dave Kakapo Gower

    So up to date it was written next year :-)

  • wman

    thanks it was so helpful

  • Iambri1965

    As far as speed e.g. Sports, action movies etc.  what really matters is how many HZ (HERZ) your tv is.  A relatively SLOW tv is only 60 HZ.  120 is night and day difference.  240 is EXTREMELY good for high speed screen processing.  Plasmas offer 600 HZ which is Total overkill since noone broadcasts in 600 HZ so you don’t truly get to enjoy that type of circuitry.

  • Michael

    I found this a very helpful article. Thank you.

  • Tanya

    which is better for safety of eyes lcd or led?

  • Vipula

    very clear, each and  every thing mentioned here is much valuable. how its work . how fix with prices. great explanation love the way you done. Thanks o lot.

  • Shiva_yuva8

    ya the information provided is quiet helpful…

  • Madhu

    Excellent guidance. Thanks.

  • Abagail dora

    to some extent it cleared my concept,, but not completely, which technology is mostly used in todays world??
    i need still explanation regarding this..

  • Jwilliams304

    very helpful,  thank you

  • Mattsmadre

    Excellent explanation. Easy to read and understand so I can make a decision and be an informed consumer.

  • Hiteshgohel123

    my point of view led is better

  • Yoanchill

    Thank you very much. I have purchased my 2nd lcd I am very happy with the picture and sharpness.
    Thanks very much on the information. I just wanted to make sure I was getting the one true tv that made me happy like the 1st purchase. again thanks

  • Robert Whithouse

    Very useful and helpful description. Thanks.

    Not boring at all!!

  • Naughty One

    I am needing to know which one is good for a sunny, bright living room….Suggestions?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LTWTORX6SZS6NZHIHPMFQYEVMU Americanista

    neither one are as durable was the tube tv’s! which would last you up to 25 years! no wonder they’re obsolete? is all about making money! so now they are disposable 2 years top! then we have to buy a new one if we want a tv that is! it sucks! 

    i have an lcd cost me and arm and a leg! and now is pretty much gone after less that 5 years! it sucks! 

    and what is worse is no longer free channels! in order to see non cable tv we have to buy a converter box! or a tv with it already! wow! talk about making us spend as if we had many jobs in america available as we wished?

  • Antisocial

    Need a section about the longevity of the televisions; Which will fail sooner?

  • H Klk

    Harley didn’t know this!

  • Chetanrami

    I know a lot of computer monitor screens <40" with led screens

  • Paulharidas

    Needs some brain to understand all these technical jargons. But for a layman, it is still confusing. My understanding is that if I can afford it, then it is better to go for LED because it will save power (energy).
    And energy is always a concern for majority of middle-class people everywhere.

  • Kolawole moses sunday

    Technologically, led is better of lcd

  • Nareshkumarsinsodya

    I wanna good advises for led screen for best of the home.

  • Loah

    thx for explaining it so good, excellent!!

  • Rahulranjan38

    so many