The difference is in the backlights. While a standard LCD monitor uses fluorescent backlights, an LED monitor uses light-emitting diodes for backlights. LED monitors usually have superior picture quality, but they come in varying backlight configurations. Knowing the type of backlight helps in identifying an LED monitor.
There are four basic backlight configurations for LED monitors: edge-lit, direct-lit, local dimming and full array. “Edge-lit” backlighting uses an LED light source at the sides of the screen. Some LEDs work as a single unit that displays different colors depending on whether they’re lit up or not. This is commonly found in most televisions as well as some laptop screens today. Direct-lit displays use separate LED chips above each pixel of the display panel.
The lights are placed directly behind the LCD panel to illuminate it from behind without requiring a diffuser plate, creating brighter images with better contrast ratio and deeper blacks because their brightness can be controlled individually rather than by turning them off entirely when not needed. Local dimming is a variation of direct-lit and edge-lit with LED light sources placed at the edges and corners of the backlight panel. The LEDs are placed behind an LCD panel with a diffuser layer in between, which controls how much ambient light hits each pixel by letting through some or most of it.
One drawback to local dimming is that since brighter parts on screen require more power than darker parts, there can be visible blooming where lights from brighter areas bleed into neighboring pixels. Full array is essentially the same as local dimming except for using separate LED light sources for each individual pixel instead, allowing for even better control over brightness and contrast ratio than local dimming and fewer blooming issues because the lights are completely turned off in dark areas.
Some laptops with edge-lit LEDs have a glossy finish that lets more light escape from behind the LCD panel through indirect reflection instead of diffusing it through an actual diffuser layer. The result is images with less contrast ratio and deeper blacks compared to monitors with direct or local dimming backlights with similar brightnesses because these monitors have control over each individual pixel’s brightness rather than being limited to turning them all off at once, but they’re still superior in both picture quality and viewing angle compared to conventional LCD panels.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is an older, inferior type of screen technology used in many TVs while LED (Light Emitting Diode) is more expensive but newer and generally superior. Let me explain some of the ways to tell them apart at a glance. Note that there are also OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screens which are even newer than LED ones or may be included with either variety. They function similarly to LED screens but will not be discussed here.
The ports used for inputs/outputs at the back of your laptop connect to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable that is often multi-colored. A newer screen like LED will have 4 small metal pins sticking out from the ribbon cable – LCD screens, on the other hand, will have multiple white plastic clips which snap onto the motherboard and hold the ribbon in place!
The brightness of a laptop’s display is controlled by a knob on top of the screen labeled as “brightness”. This knob may be fixed on some older LCD models but active ones on laptops with LED displays are usually sliders or buttons located on either side of it which you can move up or down to adjust brightness levels as per your liking
While many people mistakenly think they know whether their laptop has an LCD or LED screen, the only way to be absolutely sure is going into your laptop service manual and finding out. The type of screen it has will be mentioned in a section called Display Assembly .