Which is better, Direct LED or Edge LED, and why? Is there a preferable alternative to these backlighting methods? This manual contains the information you need to find the solution.
Knowing the distinction between D-LED and E-LED displays can be helpful when shopping for a new monitor. Even though D-LED produces more accurate colors, E-LED consumes less energy.
Even though there appears to be little distinction, this is actually an important point. One method uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate your display, while another modifies the colors.
The effects of the various lights vary. Particularly when it’s nighttime, it can alter your perceptions.
We’ll compare and contrast LEDs and ELEDs here. We’ll also define Direct LED/Edge LED and talk about its advantages. What’s best for you can be determined.
In the end, you’ll know the most crucial factor to consider when selecting a television or computer monitor.
What is LED/WLED?
Diodes that emit light are known as LEDs. LEDs are tiny semiconductors that can be found in a wide variety of electronic gadgets. The use of LEDs has spread to everywhere that requires illumination.
LEDs are used for the frame of the display. Light guides reveal everything, including them, so you can see them.
White light emitting diodes (WLEDs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are interchangeable terms for the same thing. You cannot tell them apart because there is none.
LCD televisions and monitors use lights to create the backlight. The lights emit light, which then reacts with the liquid crystal layer to form an image.
Displays that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have their illumination situated behind the liquid crystal layer. For high dynamic range (HDR) photography, this improves the quality and brightness of the image.
LED lights are a unique variety of illumination. A wide variety of applications exist for them. The technology behind direct LED is distinct from that behind edge-lit LEDs.
As a result, the black level is reduced and the contrast between colors is increased in this technology. In other words, the deeper the blacks are, the better the picture quality will be.
Because of this, the quality of the images displayed on your screen may suffer. Determine which LED you want to buy by giving some thought to the type you want.
What is Direct LED (D-LED)?
Direct LED panels fall under the category of FALD (Full-Array Local Dimming) panels. Each has a backlight made up of a series of LED lights. Edge-Lit was the name given to older models of computer screens. They continue to dominate the market for displays.
Direct LED displays don’t allow for zone-specific adjustments. The FALD method is distinct from this. In high-end displays, the backlight technology is called FALD.
DLED panels are available as an alternative to both high- and low-contrast lighting. And the light is brighter now.
D-LED televisions and monitors are inferior because they cost more, consume more power, and have a larger profile.
To clarify, when we talk about backlighting, we’re referring to a system where the LEDs are located directly behind the panel.
What is Edge LED (E-LED)?
Edge LED displays are one kind of screen. Rather than having a central light, it has lights around the outside. These lights illuminate the entire display, much like a conventional light bulb would.
DLED (Direct Light Emitting Diode) displays, on the other hand, don’t require a backlight.
It’s the standard for displays and TVs. With local dimming, the brightness of specific areas of the screen can be adjusted independently of the rest, enhancing the contrast between different elements on the screen.
In addition, FALD panels are superior because they uniformly brighten or darken the entire display.
One brand of edge-lit TV is LG’s Nano cell series. Moving the Magic controller in a low-light environment will cause highlights to appear along the scene’s borders.
Light leakage, in which a bright spot appears on the corner or edge of a TV screen, is not to blame.
There is less of an impact on the environment when using LED bulbs. They also improve the efficiency of televisions and computer displays. However, there are issues such as wall effect (clouding) and light leakage.
These days, edge LED backlight is standard on most LCD monitors, including those we review and rate in our monitor Ratings. On most displays, the LEDs are situated on the bezels.
Direct LED vs Edge LED – Pros and Cons
Direct LED’s main benefit is that it can supply brighter illumination, along with improved backlight and black uniformity.
On the downside, this type of backlight generally results in larger and more power-hungry displays than edge LED. Blacks on direct LED screens tend to look like dark grays, and the contrast isn’t as good overall.
As was previously mentioned, Edge LED displays only have LEDs along the very edges of the display. As you might expect, this reduces energy consumption and makes it possible for TVs and monitors to be more stylish and compact.
Edge LED has a higher propensity for clouding and backlight bleed, especially at the edges.
Direct LED vs Edge LED – Which Should You Choose?
Assuming you keep the aforementioned in mind, picking out the best backlight for your project should be simple.
Choosing between better contrast and better brightness, as well as backlight and black uniformity concerns, is the main issue if you aren’t concerned with power efficiency or the aesthetics of the monitor/TV.
For those who cannot tolerate low contrast, edge LED is the better option, while those who prefer a more muted display with no distracting backlight bleed should consider a direct LED screen.
Many modern LED screens, however, also include local dimming, which allows the display to completely black out specific areas of the backlight. As a result, the screen’s contrast is increased in some areas. How much local dimming aids in enhancing contrast naturally varies between models.
Differences between Direct LED and Edge LED
Different from one another are direct LED and edge LED. Some similarities exist, but there are also notable distinctions between the two.
While direct LED is brighter and more uniform in its blacks, edge LED is more cost-effective and open to customization.
Whether or not the screen has backlighting is less crucial than how it functions. The image’s sharpness, color, and contrast will all suffer as a result.
Panels can be broken down into three broad categories: IPS, VA, and TN. Learn about your options so you can make an informed decision.
- Color reproduction on IPS-type monitors and TVs is more precise than on other screens, but the edges of the display may occasionally glow pink. In addition, they don’t display blacks as well as other screens.
- Twisted Nematic (TN) focuses on performance and affordability, and is widely used in monitors. It’s beneficial due to its high refresh rate and minimal input lag. However, the colors are dull and there isn’t much contrast or wide viewing angles.
- TVs and computer screens with VA panels are common. The contrast and consistency of the black are particularly noteworthy features of the color scheme. Due to the high response time, they experience ghosting and motion blur.
The term “black uniformity” is used to quantify the consistency of the black color on a display. Direct LED (D-LED) technology has this advantage because it provides more uniform colors at the expense of color richness.
Edge-Lit displays have the ability to display true blacks. However, a high level of consistency across the display is undesirable. Colors may appear differently depending on your viewing angle when using a large monitor.
More backlights are used in direct LED screens, making them brighter.
DLED lights aren’t as bright as edge LED screens. However, due to the mapping of these lights, they cannot fully illuminate the screen.
Power consumption is minimal with LCD-LED displays. Regardless of which option you go with, your monthly energy costs will remain the same.
Contrarily to Edge LED, however, Direct LED light panels typically feature a much higher density of LEDs.
Size and design
The Edge LED models are more compact and lightweight than the Direct LED models. They look nicer and take up less room on the work surface as a result. DLEDs, on the other hand, are bulkier and a bit heavier.
The more you spend on a television or computer monitor, the better it will be. However, a well-functioning and accurate TV need not be prohibitively expensive.
The cost of a new screen hinges on the specific model you’re looking at. The build quality of an IPS monitor that costs $800 won’t compare to one that costs $2500 or more.
Many of today’s input displays employ direct LED technology. Many varieties of monitors use edge LED, and the price range reflects that. The fun part is figuring out what you want and how much you’re willing to spend by keeping an eye on the reviews.
It’s tough to estimate how much it’ll cost. Brand, display size, and quality are all factors.
Which is better, Direct LED or Edge LED?
The differences between these two backlight technologies and dashboard technologies are small.
Accordingly, it comes down to personal preference in terms of aesthetics and desired levels of efficiency.
When compared to other lighting options, direct LED shines brighter, has less light leakage around the edges, and produces more consistent blacks.
Advantages of edge LED include a smaller footprint and lower power consumption. Its contrast is also strong, but it has some drawbacks, such as uneven blacks and excessive light leakage.
Direct and Edge are the two categories of LED screens. They’re virtually identical, but there are a few minor distinctions.
Pick the one that best suits your needs. It is advised that you choose a monitor that offers a happy medium between color accuracy and performance.
It’s Not All About the Backlight!
As was previously mentioned, the image quality of modern monitors and TVs can be affected by the various panel types used to create them.
In a nutshell, the following are the most common kinds of displays:
- In-plane switching (IPS) panels are common in both monitors and TVs and offer the best color accuracy and viewing angles, but they also tend to have poor contrast and backlight bleed.
- Both monitors and TVs use VA panels, which have good color reproduction but lag behind IPS in this regard. Despite having issues with ghosting and motion blur due to relatively slow response times, they make up for it with much better contrast.
- TN: Twisted nematic panels, found primarily in monitors, are known for their high refresh rates, fast response times, and low prices. They typically have poor color accuracy, moderate contrast, and narrow viewing angles.
Our in-depth coverage of this topic is available here.
Price Is Also a Factor
Quality is needed when a metric such as quantity would be inadequate, such as when describing intangible concepts such as aesthetics or experience. There is no such thing as a “generic” product, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
It’s important to note that this is not to say that low-cost displays are always inferior. The opposite is true, however, as there are many low-cost alternatives that provide excellent value for the money. Budget TVs and monitors still have to skimp in some way.
It’s important to read reviews, both expert and user-written, because a $100 IPS monitor won’t provide the same experience as a $500 one and you can’t judge everything based on on-paper specs.
The 6 Best LED LCD TVs
Samsung QN90A QLED
From our testing, we found the Samsung QN90A QLED to be the most impressive LED television. It is a fully-loaded model that provides brilliant picture quality in both dim and bright settings. Mini LED backlighting is a distinguishing feature of this TV that sets it apart from other LED TVs; the LEDs that illuminate the LCD panel on the back of the screen are significantly smaller than those on conventional LED TVs. As a result, you’ll have more say over the local dimming feature, which means better performance in low-light settings.
The TV’s high brightness is another benefit of the Mini LED backlighting. Because of how well it handles reflections, even in bright rooms, visibility is not an issue. Samsung’s “Ultra Viewing Angle” technology makes it possible to enjoy an expansive field of view from any seat in the room, despite the TV’s VA panel. This means the image holds up well when viewed from the side, though not as well as on an IPS-panel TV. The Tizen operating system is preinstalled, making it unnecessary to purchase a separate streaming box.
A dirty screen effect is particularly noticeable in the middle, and there are some issues with uniformity overall. Watching sports on it with large areas of bright colors or using it as a computer monitor can be a distraction. If that doesn’t sound like you, then this LED TV is a great option.
Consider the Hisense U8G if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option. It delivers deeper blacks but has a narrower viewing angle compared to the Samsung QN90A QLED due to its lack of viewing angle technology. The uniformity is superb, with very little blooming around bright objects, and the great full-array local dimming feature further enhances the black level. It still gets very bright and makes HDR highlights stand out, despite the lack of Mini LED backlighting. It’s compatible with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 , so you can relax knowing that your HDR content will look great no matter what format it’s presented in. While the overall response time is great, there are some issues with red ghosting when using Game Mode.
The Samsung LED TV is a top choice. Consider the Hisense if you need a cheaper option and are willing to sacrifice some viewing angle quality.
Samsung QN85A QLED
The Samsung QN85A QLED is the ideal LED TV for watching sports or shows with a large group of people. A lot of its features, such as Mini LED local dimming, are identical to those of the Samsung QN90A QLED. The main benefit it has over the more expensive QN90A is a wider viewing angle, which ensures that the picture is not distorted from any angle and that viewers from all over the room can take part in the action.
Due to its wide viewing angle, the QN85A is great for watching television and particularly impressive for sporting events. Additionally, Tizen’s intuitive design and plentiful app selection make it a breeze to stream your preferred media. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare and has fantastic reflection handling, even better than the updated Samsung QN85B QLED, so you won’t have any trouble using it in a bright room.
However, it suffers from some uniformity issues, such as the dirty screen effect, which can be annoying when viewing sports with large areas of uniform color, such as hockey or basketball. Blooming around bright objects also detracts from its dark room performance, but the local dimming feature helps it produce deep blacks. Aside from that, it is an excellent TV for large groups.
There is no better LED HDR television than the Hisense U9DG. This LED TV is unlike any other on the market because it employs dual-panel technology, which consists of two LCD panels stacked on top of one another. Because of this innovation, the TV has the highest contrast ratio of any LED TV we’ve tested. Almost no blooming can be seen around bright objects, and the black level is excellent.
Having local dimming on gives you an even better dark room performance, which translates to a fantastic HDR viewing experience. Colors look accurate right out of the box, and the wide color gamut is perfect for HDR content. Although HDR makes subtle highlights stand out as the director intended, the overall HDR real scene peak brightness is only adequate and falls short of the Samsung QN90A QLED. Still, even if you watch your films in a room with a few lights on, the reflection handling is top-notch.
Unfortunately, its gaming performance is restricted, so it is recommended only for movie watching, especially in HDR. Its input lag is significantly higher than that of competing TVs, and its slow response time makes moving images appear choppy. With its mediocre gradient handling, HDR content will show banding. Only comes in a 75-inch screen size, but if that’s fine with you, it’s the best TV for watching HDR films.
The Hisense U6G is the best LCD TV we’ve reviewed if money is tight. It may be an inexpensive TV that lacks some of the bells and whistles of more expensive models, but it still provides excellent picture quality. The Android TV platform is built right in, and it’s incredibly intuitive and loaded with apps from the Google Play Store.
This TV has a VA panel, which produces rich blacks in a dark room, and it performs admirably in most other areas as well. The black uniformity is excellent, and the picture quality in low-light situations is greatly enhanced by the full-array local dimming function. It displays a wide color gamut and supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 , so you can stream HDR content without worrying about which format it is in. It has passable HDR peak brightness, but not all highlights are brought out to the same degree.
It’s a great gaming TV with low input lag and a fast response time, but it doesn’t support any VRR technologies, so it won’t provide a smooth, tear-free experience. As a result, the PS5 and Xbox Series X cannot take full advantage of the display, as it has a 60 Hz panel and only 2.0 Gbps of HDMI bandwidth. We found it to be one of the best value LED TVs on the market, and a top pick if you don’t need VRR support.
TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED
If you’re looking for a cheap LCD TV with variable refresh rate support to lessen screen tearing while gaming, the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED is your best option. While it is compatible with the Xbox One X and PS5 thanks to its native FreeSync and HDMI Forum VRR support, high-frame-rate games are out of the question due to the monitor’s 60 Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.
Because of its fast response time and low input lag, it provides a fantastic gaming experience by reducing the appearance of motion blur in fast-paced scenes. There is a feature that uses backlight strobing to lessen the appearance of persistence blur, but this results in duplicate images. It has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, making it ideal for gaming in a dark room. Full-array local dimming is included, but it doesn’t help much with low-light images. It has a high contrast ratio (SDR) peak brightness, so it won’t be too bright in bright rooms, and it handles reflections reasonably well.
The biggest problem with this TV is that it is inaccurate right out of the box, and even after calibration, many of the problems persist. This means that the image still appears tinged red after calibration, which detracts from its overall quality. You can get a great LED gaming TV for a low price if that doesn’t bother you.
We hope this comparison of Direct and Edge LED monitors has been helpful to you.
You should consider your intended use, the features you need, and your budget when deciding which monitor is best for you.
You should check out our buying guide, where we recommend some fantastic monitors that we believe would work well in a variety of settings. For your attention, I thank you.