Display Technologies: LCD, LED, OLED and QLED explained

We all know about displays. We are surrounded by them. There is one device with a display that you always carry around, and that is your smartphone. Previously displays were limited to your computer and your phone. But nowadays you can find displays even on your fridge and washing machine.

Display Technologies
Display Technologies

There is a long history of display technology. There have been various types of displays in the past but we won’t go into that today. Today we will look at displays that are currently being used on our devices.

The main aim of this article is to help you understand modern-day display tech and to help to understand what kind of display you need in various devices that you buy.

Types of Display Technologies:

Right now, LCD, LED, OLED, and QLED displays technologies are most prevalent. Here is a brief summary of each one of them.

LCD Displays

This is the most common type of display currently. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), has two main components that make it work. Liquid Crystals and backlight. Liquid crystals are responsible for the colour we see in the display, but they don’t have a light of their own, so they are lit up with the help of a backlight. LCDs don’t have good blacks because of the backlights. The technology is being outpaced by other technology but is still somewhat relevant.

LED Display

LED (Light Emitting Diodes), this technology is not very different from LCD, but definitely an improvement over LCD. LED and LCD both filter light to create an image. The light filtering process is not very different. What makes it different is the source of the backlight. Instead of having a single backlight source like LCDs, LED display has multiple backlight sources inside the display which improves the quality of the image it produces. There are various kinds of LED displays based on where the backlight is located inside the display and how many LEDs are there.

Types of LED displays

  • Edge-lit LED displays
  • Direct-lit LED displays
  • Full-array LED displays
  • Mini-LED displays
  • Micro-LED displays

QLED Displays

QLED stands for quantum dot light-emitting diode. This display is also a type of LCD. True QLED displays don’t need a backlight, but Samsung still uses a backlight in their QLED TVs. These displays have quantum dot filters which separate this technology from LEDs and LCDs. There is very less loss of light in these filters and they are brighter and better in quality.

OLED Displays

Organic light-emitting diode displays are completely different from what we have discussed above. All other displays mentioned use a backlight, but OLED displays don’t need a backlight to work. Every pixel in these displays has its subpixels which light up when a certain voltage of current is passed. When no current is passed a particular pixel remains off. This arrangement makes OLEDS way better in quality and it also helps OLEDs achieve true blacks.

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