- A common issue with OLED and LED lights is that they will get confused for LCD. LCD stands for liquid crystal display and is merely a reference to the screen or display. As such, any device — such as a TV, micro computer, laptop, or phone — can be LCD while still being OLED or LED.
- The same confusion applies to 4K devices. 4K refers to the specific resolution of a TV, laptop, phone, or monitor and can come with an OLED or LED display. However, 4K — just like any other device — will look better on an OLED device, not an LED one.
- OLED devices still consume more energy than LED devices, despite the source differences in their lighting.
OLED and LED are both popular types of lighting displays that can be found in an array of devices, such as phones, TV’s and computers. LED (Light Emitting Diode) refers to pixels that are backlit from an external device. However, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is lit by organic material that emits a thin layer of controllable light.
Although the primary difference between the two is the source of their light, there are several other key differences between them – including the brightness, color, and contrast. In this article we’ll fully explain all of them, and identify which is better between OLED and LED.
OLED vs. LED: Side by Side Comparison
|What it is||A light source that is lit by a layer of organic material||Semiconductor light source that is backlit|
|Primary Use||Illuminating electronic devices, such as TV, phones, laptops, and more||Illuminating electronic devices, such as TV, phones, laptops, and more|
|Name||Organic Light-Emitting Diode||Light Emitting Diode|
|Conceived||The early 1950s||1907|
|Initial Release||2002||1927 (widespread commercial adaption occurred later)|
|Influential Developers||Martin Pope, Ching Wan Tang, Steven Van Slyke, Eastman Kodak||H.J. Round, Georges Destriau, Zoltan Bay|
|Technologies influenced||N/A||OLED, PLED (Polymer LED)|
OLED vs. LED: Key Differences Explained
OLED and LED are types of lighting displays that can be found in an array of new devices, including phones, TVs, computer monitors, and more. Both are relatively modern and come with sharp features. However, there are key differences between the two, even though both deal with the specific type of lighting source that the devices use.
The primary difference between the two types of displays is the source of the light: LED devices are backlit, meaning another source actually provides the light for these devices. OLED devices rely on organic material within each diode to actually light the device. This provides for a clearer, sharper, and more well-lit picture.
OLED shows the remarkable capability to be controlled on a pixel-by-pixel basis. This means that individual pixels can be controlled through a display or other mini controller, allowing a full array of colors, brightness, and contrast to occur for individual pixels. This remarkable level of control is simply not available on LED devices.
OLED pixels are created via the application of a mini layer of organic material. This means that OLED pixels can be lit without any source of backlight. This is what allows for the full array of controls that are available with an OLED screen.
LED devices are backlit from an external light source. This means that they consume far more power on a per-pixel basis and cannot give as detailed resolution or pictures as OLED devices are capable of doing. However, while they lack many of the features that OLED devices contain, this does not mean that they are a massively inferior product.
Indeed, LED can still provide crystal clear pictures that can give viewers an excellent experience. Furthermore, a variety of technological innovations – including the advent of 1080p – mean that LED devices can provide excellent quality.
OLED vs. LED: Which is Better?
When it comes to brightness, contrast, and color, there is really no question: OLED is superior to LED. Users with the resources to make the purchase will almost always get OLED devices, rather than an LED one. Furthermore, OLED actually consumes less power, as they do not need to rely on external power devices to create lighting.
Ultimately, whether or not it is “worth it” truly depends on your individual preferences, tastes, and most importantly, your budget. OLED displays may provide a full array of advantages – and there is no question that they are superior for television watching or gaming – but they are also far more expensive, often costing several hundred dollars for similarly-sized screens.