LED vs. QLED | Which TV Screen Technology Is Better for Your Needs?

Your tv, or display device, is composed of several layers which work together to produce the final picture. The light source in a tv creates light sent through color filters and pixel microdiodes, each having the colored subpixels needed to make a complete picture. Many different technologies can be used to build the subpixels in this process. Two of these are LED and QLED.

These days it can be complicated to know if the TVs are worth buying. The resolution, refresh rate, contrast ratio are all things that are important when looking for a device to purchase. However, none is more discussed or misunderstood than LED vs. QLED.

LED vs. QLED: What Are They?

Firstly it is worth talking about precisely what LED, and QLED means. LED stands for light-emitting diode. It is a type of Microdiode that uses small semiconductor chips to create colored light. It's then overlayed on top of the black and white picture produced by the backlighting layer. LED has become very popular in recent years due to its low power usage, low price, and ability to create a bright picture quality.

QLED stands for quantum dot light-emitting diode. It's a relatively new technology that uses semiconductor material called quantum dots, emitting different colored lights of varying intensity. An LED tv will typically have one type of LED used in its construction, and QLED uses quantum dot technology.

two large TVs

What Are the Differences?

Although LED and QLED use the same technology, there are some significant differences between them.

Viewing Angle

LEDs produce a much wider viewing angle than QLEDs do. Average LED and QLED has a viewing angle between 20 and 40 degrees. However, LED tv has a vast viewing angle, excelling it in environments with lots of competing light sources. QLEDs suffer from the same problem as plasma and OLED units due to their lower response time, meaning that they can't compete with LED on this front.

Price & Power Consumption

QLED tv displays are much more expensive than traditional LED's and use more power. QLEDs consists of 7 different layers compared to the three used in standard LED units. More layers mean more opportunities for light loss, resulting in a lower lumen output per watt consumed which is why they are not as bright as LED TVs.

Image Retention

QLED units do not suffer from image retention nearly as much as standard LED units. The reason for this is that the light emitted by a QLED is more like to be polarized than other display types, which prevents it from entering and leaving subpixels multiple times (which causes ghosting)

Motion Blur

Due to the slow pixel response time of QLEDs, they are not very good at handling fast-moving images. It's because, under normal circumstances, different subpixels will be lit separately, causing an artifact known as ghosting. If you play lots of video games on your tv, it might be worth looking elsewhere.

Color Gamut and Volume

QLED units have a considerably more excellent range of colors than LED units. QLED has a much better volume of colors which means that they can produce more colors overall and with a broader range between different shades of the same color.

Brightness

LED units are much more bright than QLEDs. The peak brightness is measured in lumens and LED tv has higher lumens per watt than QLED. It's due to the fact that LEDs are lit on different subpixels separately, which means they don't have to share energy between subpixels.

What Is a Mini LED Tv?

A mini LED TV is a type of LED tv that uses many tiny LEDs to create its light for the display. The benefit of this technology is that it allows the device to produce bright and vivid colors without using much power.

Mini LED TVs, like QLEDs, use quantum dots to create their colored subpixels, which means they can also produce intense blacks. The technology is still developing, but it has already stood up to its promise of matching OLED TV quality of OLED TVs while using less power and being even more affordable.

What Is MicroLED?

MicroLED is a type of LED technology that uses many microscopic LEDs to create subpixels. It becomes possible for the device to produce vivid colors without using much power like a mini LED tv can. It also means that MicroLED units can make affluent blacks due to their high brightness levels (higher than OLEDs, actually).

MicroLED is very similar to OLED, but it is even easier for manufacturers to fabricate and produce an ever-increasing amount of companies are turning to MicroLED.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between MicroLED and QLED?

Some manufacturers have produced devices that use LED technology but give them a different name to try and persuade customers that the devices are something they're not. This means that it is nigh on impossible to tell what technology a device is using just by looking at it or reading the product's name.

Black Level & Contrast

Both use the same technology to achieve deep blacks, but QLED is slightly better. It's because it can produce more shades of black due to its more significant number of subpixels (quantum dots).

LED backlights are different than QLED backlights in that they use white LEDs to provide light for the device, whereas QLED uses blue LEDs to create all of its colored subpixels.

TV on the wall

QLEDs can produce more colors than LED units, which means they have a much more excellent range between different shades of color.

Moreover, MicroLED can achieve even black levels than QLED, but this will only become apparent when the technology has had more time to develop.

Input Lag

QLED TVs have input lags that are much higher than MicroLED TVs due to their slower response times. If you are looking for a gaming TV, it would be worth looking elsewhere.

Pros of QLED TVs

Pros
  • QLED TVs are capable of producing intense blacks
  • It uses less power than LED units
  • Can have more colors than LED units can
  • QLED TVs are capable of producing more colors than MicroLED units

Cons of QLED TVs

Cons
  • High input lag due to slower response times

Pros of LED TVs

Pros
  • Very little input lag due to faster response times
  • Produces great color depth because of the high amount of subpixels
  • It is possible to tell the difference between LED and QLED units by looking at them or reading the name of the produce

Cons of LED TVs

Cons
  • It uses more power than QLED TVs, which are often energy

QLEDs vs. OLED TVs: What’s the Difference Anyway?

Both of these technologies are good at producing deep blacks, so they are often compared. When comparing QLED to OLED, it can be difficult to tell what you're looking at without viewing the two units side-by-side, but this makes a big difference.

OLED is known for producing vibrant colors that have an excellent range. QLED, on the other hand, can produce more colors overall because it has a broader range of subpixels.

Most experts believe that OLED is better at producing blacks, but others think that QLED performs slightly better in this regard. The difference comes down to the number of subpixels used to create color for each unit.

TL;DR

QLED and MicroLED are similar technologies that produce deep blacks and vivid colors. The difference between the two is hard to spot for most people, but it is becoming increasingly apparent which one will come out on top as time goes on. QLED uses a broader range of subpixels and produces slightly better colors overall.

tv in the living-room

FAQ

Q. Is QLED better than LED?

A. QLED is slightly better than LED in some areas, but they have similar technologies producing deep blacks and rich colors.

Q. Is MicroLED the same as QLED?

A. Not entirely, but they are very similar, and MicroLED devices use quantum dots to create color, so they can be expected to perform similarly.

Q. What is the difference between LED and OLED?

A. OLED uses organic pixels to create color, while LED uses tiny dots of LEDs. It means that QLED can produce a wider range of colors because it has more subpixels at its disposal for each pixel, whereas OLED only needs one technology for creating light and color.

Q. Is QLED better than LED 4K?

A. No, they are very similar technologies that produce deep blacks and vivid colors. QLED may be slightly better in some areas, but this is hard to spot for most people.

Q. Which is better, LED or OLED or QLED?

A. OLED televisions are better at producing rich blacks because it uses organic pixels to create them, whereas QLED needs more subpixels. QLEDs are slightly better at creating colors, but this isn't noticeable for most people.

It is also worth noting that LED 4K is very similar to QLED, except it does not use quantum dots to create colors, but OLED is even better for this area.

Q. What is the difference between LED and MicroLED?

A. Not much at all since they are so similar, though MicroLED can create more colors due to having a more comprehensive range of subpixels available. QLED is slightly better in this regard, but it's almost impossible for the average person to spot the difference without viewing both technologies together side-by-side.

TV on white background

Conclusion

There is no clear winner in LED vs. QLED; all significant factors come down to personal preference. If you are looking for a wide viewing angle, low ghosting, and good blacks, go for an LED unit. HDR, refresh rate, and backlighting are also essential factors that you should consider.

Whichever unit you buy, make sure that it has a wide color gamut because it will allow it to display more colors than the standard sRGB gamut. You should also look at whether or not your TV can produce HDR, even if you don't plan on using it in the next few years when it becomes more widespread because it is brighter and contains a wider range of colors than non-HDR units.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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