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How do LED / LCD displays work?

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Marketing your brand involves using displays of different types available on the market. But do you understand some fundamentals of different displays to be able to choose which one to choose for your needs? In this post we explain some display fundamentals briefly.

Displays traditionally have evolved from the likes of Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), to LCD displays, to LED displays, to OLED displays and so on. An important question to ask is, how do these technologies differ fundamentally? When you go to buy a TV set in a store, you are surrounded by various acronyms, qLED, oLED, uLED, LCD, and what not. If you have a bit of technical background, it is easy to understand how displays work fundamentally.

Every display consists of fundamentally what is termed a pixel. A display consists of many pixels which together combined show an image on the display. Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) were a big change of technology from the bulky CRT monitors, because LCD were flat. However, LCDs have their own issues such as no deep black colors, less contrast compared to the latest technology OLED (Organic LED). LCDs are a mature technology and so very cheap relatively compared to the latest in display like OLEDs. O in OLED stands for Organic which is the material used in the LED. OLEDs are a technology where each pixel can be individually turned on / off thereby offering deep black colors because lack of light is black color. This is not possible in LCD displays because LCD displays fundamentally have a backlight that is used to control the pixel brightness and hence no matter what you do, you can not get a fully shut pixel as some light leaks as its a backlight. This backlight in LCDs could come from different sources and decide the brightness of the displays.

LED displays on the other hand are very similar to LCD displays and are just a marketing gimmick to show them as a completely new technology, while at their fundamental they are just LCD displays with a LED backlight. This backlight using LED can be better controlled hence LED displays can offer better black colors than LCD displays. In the video below you can see a clear visualization of how LED displays work and their fundamentals.

In our HOLOFIL displays we use LCD displays to project 3D media on specially coated materials to create illusion of floating images like holograms. Check them out for more details how HOLOFIL Can be used for your retail / educational learning use cases.

Hope this has given you some idea of how LED / LCD displays work.

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