Understanding the Differences Between LED Array vs LED Edge-Lit Backlighting

Jul 20, 2023

Light-emitting diode (LED) has become synonymous with backlighting. It’s one of the most popular backlighting technologies for keypads, switches, TVs, computer monitors and other devices.

LEDs are semiconductors that generate light in response to an electrical current. As electricity flows through an LED, it will illuminate. This illumination will shine through the device with which the LED is used. While all LEDs act as light-producing semiconductors, some of them are arranged differently than others. There’s LED array backlighting, for instance, and there’s LED edge-lit backlighting.

What Is LED Array Backlighting?

LED array backlighting is a backlighting technology that involves the use of light-producing semiconductor LEDs across the entire screen or interface. The LEDs are placed in a grid-like pattern behind the top panel.

Also known as LED full-array backlighting, it allows for consistent brightness. Since the LEDs are spread evenly in intersecting rows and columns, they are able to illuminate the entire device without creating bright or dark spots.

What Is LED Edge-Lit Backlighting?

An alternative LED backlighting technology is edge lit. LED edge-lit backlighting still involves the use of light-producing semiconductors that, when exposed to electricity, illuminate the respective device. LED edge-lit backlighting simply uses a different arrangement for these LEDs.

With LED edge-lit backlighting, the LEDs are arranged on the edges of the device. They aren’t arranged in a grid-like pattern. Instead, the LEDs are arranged exclusively along the edges or perimeter of the device.

Differences Between LED Array and LED Edge-Lit Backlighting

LED backlighting technologies are often classified according to the way in which the LEDs are arranged. LED array backlighting is characterized by a grid-like arrangement involving both rows and columns of LEDs. LED edge-lit backlighting, on the other hand, is characterized by a perimeter of LEDs. With LED edge-lit backlighting, the LEDs are only placed along the edges of the device.

LED edge-lit backlighting typically costs less than LED array backlighting. This is because it requires fewer LEDs. And with fewer LEDs, devices with edge-lit backlighting cost less than those with LED array backlighting.

Another advantage of LED edge-lit backlighting is energy efficiency. Devices with LED edge-lit backlighting consume less energy than their array counterparts. All LEDs consume energy. LED edge-lit backlighting uses fewer LEDs than LED array backlighting, resulting in increased energy efficiency.

LED array backlighting, though, offers a more even and consistent level of brightness. The LEDs will illuminate the device without creating bright or dark spots. The end result is a more even and consistent level of brightness.

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