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LCD vs LED – Which One is Better? (2020)

Television sets have brought entertainment right to the comfort of your home.

It is no more a luxury, but an essential asset to households, restaurants, hotels, and even offices. Electronics manufacturers have taken this golden opportunity to come up with varied television models. 

The technology and TV models, which are storming the market at present are the LCD television sets and LED television sets.

Every top brand is coming up with one or the other model made with these technologies, adding some exquisite features each year. 


Any reference to television sets without using the word LCD or LED at present seems incomplete. But sometimes, it is still difficult to understand the true difference between these two dynamic entertainment technologies.

The glamorous advertisements, each brand claiming to manufacture exclusive LCD and LED TVs, make your decision to choose the right TV tougher. Let us check out what LCD and LED television sets actually mean and how these differ from each other.

LCD and LED television sets are manufactured using the same basic technology. Yet these are different in several ways. Before we get into the differences, let us check out the actual definition of LCD and LED TV sets.

Explaining LCD, LED, Plasma and OLED TVs as Fast as Possible

LCD Television Sets

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) television sets came as a big innovation in the era of big TV screens and hundreds of years old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions. LCDs use liquid crystal technology to feature texts and images.

In this type of television set, the pixels are switched on and off electronically while using liquid crystals to rotate polarized light. LCD television sets can be classified into four types.

  • Twisted Nematic (TN)- The TN comes with the amazing features of low contrast ratio, low color contrast, and narrow viewing angles. Their advantage is that they are pocket-friendly.
  • In Panel Switching Displays (IPS Panels)- Compared to the TN, the IPSDs are more evolved offering the features of a better color contrast, wider viewing angles and high contrast ratio
  • Vertical Alignment Panels (VA Panels)- The VA Panels are the moderate type TV sets that offer medium quality colour contrast and angle viewing features.
  • Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS)- Coming with a wide colour reproduction range, the AFFS is by far, the best that the LCD technology has in store.

LED Television Sets

While LCDs were a joyful transformation from the ancient plasma TVs, these are at present getting quickly replaced by the smarter LED television sets. Now, the LED TV sets can again be divided into two types, namely, OLED and QLED.

OLED Television Sets

OLED or Organic Light-Emitting Diodes use a single glass panel. Sometimes, these are also manufactured using plastic panels. LCD panels, on the other hand, are manufactured using double glass or plastic.

For this reason, the OLED television sets are much thinner than the LCD television sets. If you are looking to save space, the OLED television sets are a much better choice than the LCDs.

An OLED television set also has better contrast and angle viewing features than LCD television sets. One of the disadvantages of the OLED television sets is these may burn-in.

QLED Television Sets

QLED or Quantum Light Emitting Diode and Quantum Dot LED television sets are considered an improved version of the LCD television sets. The QLED television sets come with dramatically improved color and contrast. These television sets are also not known to get damaged by burn-in.

Focused - LCD vs LED Monitors

Key Take-Aways

So, overall, the LED and LCD television sets differ in the following ways:


LED technology uses PN Junction diodes. These emit light when current passes through them. On the other hand, LCD technology uses liquid crystal or plasma. This technology leads to visible light emission. Also, LCD displays texts and images in the form of dot matrix and segments.

On the other hand, LED shows images and texts in the form of numeric and alphanumeric characters.

Technically speaking, the LCD and LED television sets differ in the way these produce light behind the screen. LCD television sets use basic technology to produce light; it uses fluorescent tube technology to produce light.

LED TV sets contain small LED tubes that are placed behind the screen and also around the edges of the display. This technology provides a brighter and crisper image.

Picture Quality

This is one of the most critical factors which affect the choice of the buyer. The LED television sets offer better picture quality than the LCD sets. The prime reason for this is, the LED TVs work with a color wheel. These television sets work on a distinct RGB color wheel, namely, red, green and blue.

For this reason, these TV sets offer more realistic and sharper colors. The dimming feature of the LED backlight prevents light from passing through the panels. For this reason, the displayed picture looks more realistic.

Another factor that defines the picture quality is the refresh rate. This refers to the number of times a picture gets changed each second. LED TV sets have higher refresh rates than LCD TV sets. This means that the same picture is shown at a higher quality on an LED TV than on an LCD TV.

Screen Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels on the screen display. The LED TVs come with better screen resolution than the LCD TV sets.

Backlit Technology

LCD television sets have three types of backlit technologies, namely, CCFL backlighting, full-array LED backlighting and LED edge lighting. CCFL backlighting offers similar levels of brightness in all regions of the picture. CCFL LCD TVs are thicker than the rest.

The full-array LED backlighting offers more precise and evenly distributed illumination. This kind of backlight creates better pictures than CCFL LCD TVs.

This kind of backlight also has higher efficiency to boot. “Edge lighting LED TVs” have shorter angle viewing as compared to LCD TVs since the LED illumination is available only at the edges of the screen. However, television sets using this illumination technology are thinner and also cost less to manufacture.

LEDs control the darkness and the brightness better than any LCD television set. LED TV sets ensure faster adjustment of darkness and brightness of the screen. For this reason, the white and the black colors look truer on LED television sets than on LCD television sets.

LED TV sets can dim each part of the LED bulb individually, so no light gets transmitted through the panels. On the other hand, LCD blocks the light, and thus, there is a chance of light leakage behind the picture.

Viewing Angles

LCD television sets offer better viewing angles than the LED TV sets. This is because, in the pursuit of reducing the bulkiness of the TV screens, the LED screen lights have been moved to the side of the screen. This has ultimately reduced the viewing angle of the LED TVs.

Also, the LED TVs fail to reduce the glare as these are much brighter than the LCD television sets. For this reason, the LCD television sets are perfect for living rooms with wide seating areas or with brighter windows.


Television sets are no more giants, capturing a big part of your living room or bedroom. Though LCD TVs are stunningly slimmer than plasma TVs, the LED television sets are super slim; some are as thin as 0.3 inches. Especially, the LED TVs with edge-lit displays fit easily in small rooms.

These TVs are also lightweight and easy to carry from one place to the other. The thin TVs are also safe to be hung on walls.

Power Consumption

LED Television Sets also consume less electricity than LCD TVs, and thus, in the long run, are more economical. If LCD TVs saved 20-30% more power than Plasma TVs, LED TVs are almost 50% more efficient. LED TVs anticipate darkness and light much better than LCD TVs.

So, when the LED TVs switch off some bulbs when required, they save more electricity. Also, the LEDs are economical light sources than the fluorescent tubes which are used in LCD television sets. LCD TVs offer more backlights and thus consume more energy.

Thus, the additional money which you are spending on an LED TV set can get adjusted with the lower electricity bills which you receive after using it.


LCD television sets are cheaper than LED TV sets. So, if you are looking for an economical entertainment solution, LCD TV sets can be your first choice.


LCD TVs contain mercury, which is known to pollute the environment. LED TV sets do not contain mercury.



Some similarities between LED and LCD television sets include, both these television sets have a good reputation for the gaming and playback features and both LCD and LED TV sets are available as Standard Definition and High Definition.

So be a smart TV buyer. LED and LCD television sets both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Keep the factors in mind and buy the one which meets your requirements.

Budget, energy consumption and watching habits are some of the key factors on which your choice may depend.


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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