LED vs WLED Backlighting: What’s the Difference?

May 9, 2022

There are many different types of backlighting. Liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), of course, require backlighting to illuminate their respective pixels. Without backlighting, LCDs can’t produce visible images. When researching backlighting technologies for LCDs, you may come across light-emitting diode (LED) and white light-emitting diode (WLED). While they both leverage LEDs, they aren’t the same.

What Is LED Backlighting?

LED backlighting consists of electroluminescent bulbs. LED bulbs don’t contain a filament, nor do they require heat to produce light. With their electroluminescent properties, LED bulbs produce light when exposed to an electrical current. As electricity flows through them, the LED bulbs will illuminate. LED backlighting is a lighting system that uses LED bulbs to illuminate the pixels of a display device.

What Is WLED Backlighting?

WLED backlighting is a specific type of LED backlighting. It involves the use of white LED bulbs behind a diffuser. The white LEDs are arranged in columns and rows. LCDs that feature this backlighting technology typically offer local dimming zones. They can turn down the brightness of specific areas or “zones” of LEDs. Some LCDs can even turn off the LEDs altogether. WLED backlighting allows for local dimming zones such as this.

Differences Between LED and WLED Backlighting

LED and WLED backlighting both leverage LED bulbs to illuminate the pixels of a display device. LED backlighting simply refers to any lighting system that consists of LED bulbs. Most LCDs use LED backlighting. LED has become the leading backlighting technology for LCDs. With that said, there are different LCD technologies, one of which is WLED.

WLED is a type of LED backlighting that lives up to its namesake by leveraging white LEDs. LCDs with WLED backlighting have columns and rows of white LED bulbs, which are placed behind a diffuser.

You may discover that WLED-backlit LCDs feature local dimming zones. They can control the brightness of the zone independently of each other. In other words, WLED-backlit LCDs can make some of the LED zones darker than the other zones.

In Conclusion

LED backlighting is synonymous with LCDs. More LCDs use LED backlighting than any other technology. But don’t let that fool you into thinking all LED backlighting is the same. There are different types of LED backlighting, one of which is WLED. WLED involves the use of white LED bulbs. It’s used to create local dimming zones. Most LCDs that feature local dimming zones use this type of LED backlighting.

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