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The OLED vs LED monitor debate is real. These competing flat-panel display technologies both have unique qualities, and some potential drawbacks. How to choose which one will suit your needs? While OLED seems like the best bet for all, you might first want to get a clear idea of what you’re going to use the monitor for.

Keep reading to find out more about OLED vs LED flat-panel display technology comparison

Understanding LED Monitor Technology

At present, LED monitor technology remains the most popular option that has proved itself reliable for many years. As the name indicates, LED monitors utilize light-emitting diodes to provide backlighting. This illuminates a liquid-crystal display, creating an on-screen picture.

One of the more potentially confusing aspects of monitor technology involves understanding the terminology surrounding LED and LCD displays. While these sound like competing technologies, they’re not, but this is a common misunderstanding. LED refers to the backlighting of the display, while LCD refers to the diodes that produce light on their own. All LED monitors also utilize LCD displays and LED backlighting, which is why they are sometimes described as LED/LCD.

LED does have some potential advantages over OLED. For instance, it can be less prone to issues like screen burn or image retention, where a display continues to show artifacts of a previous image. The backlighting means LED screens are capable of being brighter than OLED screens, and LED monitors are also generally more affordable too. Although LED contrast is weaker than with OLED, mini-LED is a relatively new technology, which helps to bridge this gap.


What is OLED?

t’s worth taking the time to understand precisely what OLED monitor technology is and how it works. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. The main way in which OLED technology differs from what you would find in a more conventional LED/LCD monitor is that each pixel can autonomously emit light. This is because all pixels are linked to the electroluminescent layer, or the emission of light.

A conventional LED monitor uses light-emitting diodes to emit light when a current runs through it. This then provides the backlight for a liquid-crystal display (LCD) screen and lights up the individual pixels, providing the image that a user sees. By contrast, with OLED technology, the pixels are not backlit. Instead, each individual pixel is able to turn on or off, meaning the display can be controlled down to the individual pixel.

This fundamental difference in technology can also describe OLED as being ’emissive’, while LED/LCD technology is instead described as ‘transmissive’. Therefore, despite the two names sounding similar, OLED and LED technology work in completely different ways.