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LED vs. QLED Backlight

When you settle in for a long night, ready to binge watch your favorite TV show, your screen’s visual quality makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of your entertainment experience. After all, nobody wants to deal with a sub-par screen quality with a fuzzy picture where you can’t make out anything. If you’re detail oriented, every pixel counts. To make the most of your television experience you may want to learn a little more about what’s going on behind the scenes. More specifically, you’ll need to know what’s happening behind the screen. It turns out there a quite a few differences between the screen technologies available on the market today. As you begin your search for the perfect television display or gaming monitor you’ll run into two similar technologies: LED and QLED. Below, we’ll dive into the basic definitions of these screens, the differences between them, and which one is the best investment for your home entertainment system or your gaming rig.

What is LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. It’s a semiconductor that lights up when an electrical charge travels through it. Compared to an LCD screen, LED displays produce an image that boasts more dynamic contrast and can be considerably lower profile. For consumers, that means that their monitors and television displays can be thin enough to rest nearly flush against a wall. The technology that powers LEDs goes back to the 1960s when scientists were working on a chip of semiconductor material. The first practical LED display was created by Hewlett-Packard and was introduced to the marketplace in 1966 Original applications for LEDs include alphanumeric displays and traffic signals. Today, they’re used for a variety of purposes including residential outdoor lighting, city lighting, and flashing regulatory or warning signs. They use significantly less energy than traditional lighting technology, so they make an excellent choice when budget-friendly lighting is necessary. LEDs come in two forms: dynamic RGB LEDs, positioned behind the display panel and white edge LEDs which are located around the edge of the displays and spread light evenly behind the screen using a specialized diffusion panel. As technology improved, the first all-LED flat panel television screen was introduced in 1977. It was the first step that showed potential for replacing the cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology that characterized the generations of displays that came before.

What is QLED?

QLED is short for Quantum Dots Light Emitting Diode. It’s considered the next big thing in television displays. QLED offers viewers more than just amazing picture quality. It utilizes quantum dot technology to show light by adding an additional layer of tiny particles in front of a regular LED backlight panel. Each dot varies from between 2 and 10 nanometers in diameter and produces a color that depends on the dot’s size. The smallest dots emit blue and the largest emit red. Quantum dots are considered an improvement because they can produce more heavily saturated and precisely defined primary colors compared to standard LEDs. The result? Greater color accuracy, rich colors, dynamic contrast, and better brightness. In terms of user experience, LEDs still provide users with a gorgeous way to enjoy television and high-octane, graphically-intensive PC games. However, QLEDs are significantly more advanced and when it comes to high-definition. QLED is heralded as the future of television displays because of its advanced image technology that transforms the user experience into more immersive entertainment.

Differences Between LED & QLED

On the outset, LED and QLED sound very similar, but these two image display technologies are actually considerably different. While LED used to be the lighting of the future, QLED has quickly proved its preeminence. Below are a few key ways these two technologies differ:

1. Contrast Ratios

You might not think that the amount and depth of black in your display matters all that much. However, the deeper the blacks and the brighter the whites the higher the contrast ratio which provides the user with a more dynamic image. LEDs work with specific red, green, and blue-colored lights with a wide color range but often don’t show true black or white. In contrast, QLEDs boast deep blacks and very bright whites. Each pixel in a QLED display runs more brightly than any other display technology available today. QLEDs win in this category.

2. Color & Saturation

QLED is the dominant force when it comes to color. Quantum dot technology gives QLED TVs 100% color volume with incredible saturation levels. The larger range of colors means that QLEDs give the overall picture quality a boost as well. More color saturation means more realistic images for the user. LEDs are still a great choice but they don’t hold a candle to QLEDs’ unbridled color volume. QLEDs win in this category.

3. Peak Brightness & Power

LEDs can achieve peak brightness without eating up a ton of power, it’s one of the main benefits of using LEDs in the first place. With other types of technology, TVs tend to reduce the maximum brightness in order to save power but LEDs circumvent this issue entirely. In contrast, QLEDs use a different type of power that actually consumes more power as they near their peak brightness levels. LEDs win in this category.

4. Angles of Viewing

Both LEDs and QLEDs are tied in terms of optimal viewing angles. Both suffer from the same problem: viewed from head-on, displays appear perfect to the viewer. But as soon as you skew your perspective to a side view, the quality of the picture begins to take on a hazy quality. This category is a tie.

Conclusion: LED or QLEDS, the choice is yours

Although QLEDs offer distinct advantages such as a brighter, more colorful visual display, LEDs are still a great choice. When you’re setting up your battle station for gaming or you’re trying to outfit your home entertainment system, your preference will ultimately determine what’s the best display technology in your particular situation.


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