Mini-LED vs MicroLED: What’s the Difference?

Jul 21, 2020

Not all display devices use the same technology. There are many different types of display technologies, each of which involves a different approach to create visual images. In recent years, mini-LED and microLED have become choices for display devices. You can find computer monitors, TVs, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other display devices powered by these two technologies. Mini-LED and microLED aren’t the same, though. So, what’s the difference between mini-LED and microLED?

What Is Mini-LED?

Mini-LED is a display technology that involves the use of super-small LED bulbs as backlighting for a light-crystal display (LCD). Each LED bulb, in fact, is almost as small as a single pixel. When used as backlighting for an LCD, they create various dimming areas known as Full-Area Local Dimming (FLAD) zones.

With mini-LED, LCDs are able to produce stronger contrast. The FLAD zones created by the super-small LED bulbs essentially produce darker black colors and brighter white colors. In turn, mini-LED displays have strong contrast that’s not found in many other display devices.

All mini-LED displays have pixels consisting of a liquid organic material. These liquid pixels are the defining characteristic of LCDs. If an display device is labeled as an “LCD,” it will use liquid pixels. Mini-LED is simply an LCD technology that uses super-small LED bulbs to illuminate an LCD’s liquid pixels.

What Is MicroLED?

MicroLED is a display technology that uses microscopic-sized LED bulbs as the pixels. How does this technology differ from mini-LED exactly? In a mini-LED, the LED bulbs are only used as backlighting. In a microLED, on the other hand, they are used as both the pixels and the backlighting.

MicroLED displays don’t use an LCD configuration. Instead, they are true LED displays because they use LED bulbs as the pixels. The LED bulbs used in their construction form the individual pixels. When illuminated, they’ll create the visual images projected by the microLED display.

MicroLED displays are often compared to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. Both microLED and OLED use LED bulbs as the pixels. MicroLED displays, however, typically produce brighter images than their OLED counterparts.

In Conclusion

Mini-LED and microLED are display technologies used to power computer monitors, TVs, HMIs and other display devices. The former is essentially an LCD-based technology that’s characterized by the use of LED backlighting, whereas the latter is an LED-based technology that’s characterized by the use of LED bulbs as the pixels. They both use super-small LED bulbs, but they work to create visual images in different ways.

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