What Is Local Area Dimming and How Does It Work?

May 5, 2022

When shopping for a liquid-crystal display (LCD), you may come across the term “local area dimming.” It’s a common feature in many LCDs. Computer monitors, televisions and other LCD devices often come with local dimming. What is local area dimming exactly, and how does it work?

The Basics of Local Area Dimming

Also known simply as local dimming, local area dimming is a feature that’s designed to improve the contrast ratio of LCDs. Contrast ratio represents the difference between a display’s dark and light colors. The higher the contrast ratio, the greater the difference. With local area dimming, LCDs can achieve a higher contrast ratio that manifests in the form of darker dark colors and lighter light colors.

It’s important to note that not all LCDs offer local dimming. It’s typically limited to LCDs with light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting. LED-backlit LCDs are often marketed as LEDs. They are still LCDs, and they still have liquid pixels; they simply have LED bulbs for their backlighting. Nonetheless, many LED-backlit LCDs come with local area dimming.

How Local Area Dimming Works

Local area dimming works by leveraging backlighting zones. As previously mentioned, it’s a common feature of LED-backlit LCDs. LED-backlit LCDs have LED bulbs behind the pixel layer, which are responsible for creating illumination.

With local area dimming, the LED bulbs are separated into zones. LCDs can then adjust the brightness of these zones to achieve a higher contrast ratio. They can make some zones brighter, and they can make other zones darker. LCDs can even turn off zones altogether.

Local area dimming uses zones to increase the contrast ratio of LED-backlit LCDs. Each zone is a section of LED bulbs behind the pixel layer. Some LCDs have more zones than others. Regardless, all LCDs with local area dimming have multiple backlighting zones, which they control independently to achieve a higher contrast ratio.

Benefits of Local Area Dimming

The main benefit of local area dimming is a higher contrast ratio. LCDs with local area dimming typically have a higher contrast ratio than those without this feature. Local area dimming works by creating multiple backlighting zones. LCDs can then adjust the brightness of these zones, resulting in a higher contrast ratio.

A higher contrast ratio means that dark colors will look darker and light colors will look lighter. Whether you’re looking to buy a computer monitor, TV or any other display, you may want to choose an LED-backlit LCD with local area dimming.

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