OLED vs. LED: Which screen is better?
- LEDs, or ‘Light-Emitting Diodes,’ originated in 1927 by Russian inventor Oleg Lesev. Using Lesev’s theories, Professor Kurt Lechovec named the lights (as LEDs) in 1952.
- OLEDs, or Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, were invented by the Kodak camera company in 1987 with an alternative purpose to its use now, digital cameras.
- LEDs are “semiconductors that create light when an electrical current passes through to illuminate them.” Its bright white light is achieved by covering mixed colors with phosphor.
- OLEDs use “carbon-based organic material to create light-emitting panels,” and are available in either bulb or panel form. Light emitted from OLEDs is comparable to soft natural light.
- Both LED and OLED lighting are considered more environmentally friendly, consisting of carbon-based organic materials that are biodegradable.
- The first OLED Television was created in 2004 by Sony. Nonetheless, other companies, such as Toshiba, Samsung and Panasonic, were experimenting with the lights at the time.
When choosing between OLED and LED display technologies, OLED is the clear winner in terms of color accuracy, contrast levels, and overall picture quality; however, is it worth the extra money? It's certainly not, as it is too expensive for most consumers. LED displays are generally more affordable than OLED displays, with a price difference that can be more than double. This cost difference is significant, considering most people can only tell the difference when comparing the two side by side.
Additionally, LEDs also have the advantage of being brighter than OLEDs. This is because, unlike OLED displays, which can turn individual pixels on and off, LED displays have a backlight that illuminates an LCD screen to create images. This results in brighter displays ideal for well-lit rooms and outdoor spaces. Using a backlight also means LED displays are less likely to experience screen burn-ins, which accelerate the aging of the display. LEDs overall have a lifespan of 8-13 years, compared to only 8-10 years for OLEDs.
LEDs are more versatile than OLEDs. It can be used to make signs, bulbs, and large-scale displays stand out like digital billboards. They're also more reliable and durable than OLEDs since they are less susceptible to heat, moisture, and other environmental damage. OLED is still a relatively new technology that can get better and more affordable over time. However, at this point in time, LEDs are practical and offer better value for money, especially for people on a budget.
Although OLED technology is significantly more expensive than LEDs, there are plenty of benefits that more than justify the price—demonstrating why OLED's bright future in display technology. OLED screens have better contrast and colors compared to LED panels. This is due to OLED's ability to turn on and off each individual pixel and does not rely on a backlight like LED panels do. This results in deep blacks and bright whites, improving the display's contrast.
OLED's ability to turn on and off individual pixels also means less spillage from one pixel to the next, leading to an accurate color representation and better viewing angles of up to 84 degrees. This allows for a vivid and lifelike viewing experience. The ability of the display to turn off individual pixels when not needed means it doesn't require a backlight like LED screens. This means that OLEDs use less power over time, making them ideal for devices with limited battery life, such as smartphones and laptops. Turning on dark mode in phones with OLED displays has proven to reduce power consumption, resulting in a long-lasting battery life.
Additionally, OLED technology is flexible. It is capable of using thin and light panels and displays because they do not require a separate backlight layer. According to OLED Space, OLED displays are flicker-free and emit less blue light than LED displays, giving an easier on the eyes, mainly when used for long periods. OLED technology has a clear edge over LED technology. OLEDs are only expected to get better and more affordable with time as it is still a developing and emerging technology.