Weekly Deals
Enjoy great savings on select products.
Plus, get FREE shipping storewide.


Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
What is the difference between LED and QLED backlight

What is the difference between LED and QLED backlight?

Michelle Wilson
Reading time: 7 minutes
You settle in for a long night, ready to binge-watch your favorite TV show. The last thing on your mind is your screen’s visual quality. Even so, it makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of your entertainment experience.
After all, nobody wants to deal with sub-par screen quality with a fuzzy picture where you can’t make out anything. If you’re detail-oriented, every pixel counts.
To make the most of your television experience, you may want to learn a little more about what’s going on behind the scenes. More specifically, you’ll need to know what’s happening behind the screen.
It turns out there a quite a few differences between the screen technologies available on the market today. As you begin your search for the perfect television display or gaming monitor, you’ll run into two similar technologies: LED and QLED.
Below, we’ll dive into the basic definitions of these screens, the differences between them, and which one is the best investment for your home entertainment system or your gaming rig.

What is LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode [1]. It’s a semiconductor that lights up when an electrical charge travels through it. Compared to an LCD screen, LED displays produce an image that boasts more dynamic contrast and can be considerably lower profile. For consumers, that means that their monitors and television displays can be thin enough to rest nearly flush against a wall.
The technology that powers LEDs goes back to the 1960s when scientists were working on a chip of semiconductor material. The first practical LED display was created by Hewlett-Packard and was introduced to the marketplace in 1966 [2].
Original applications for LEDs include alphanumeric displays and traffic signals. Today, they’re used for a variety of purposes including residential outdoor lighting, city lighting, and flashing regulatory or warning signs. They use significantly less energy than traditional lighting technology, so they make an excellent choice when budget-friendly lighting is necessary [4].
LEDs come in two forms: dynamic RGB LEDs, positioned behind the display panel and white edge LEDs which are located around the edge of the displays and spread light evenly behind the screen using a specialized diffusion panel.
As technology improved, the first all-LED flat panel television screen was introduced in 1977 [3]. It was the first step that showed potential for replacing the cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology that characterized the generations of displays that came before.
HP Store offers users an unparalleled LED monitor experience in the form of the HP Z24n G3 24-inch display. Ideal for users who need reliability and longevity in their monitors, this high-powered accessory is the answer. Each HP Z display undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it provides consistent visual performance time and time again.
HP Z24n G2 24-inch Display
One concern for computer users everywhere is pixel failure, even one pixel malfunctioning can be distracting. The HP Z monitor is backed up by the HP Zero Bright Dot Guarantee; HP will replace the screen entirely if even one bright sub-pixel fails. Every detail counts when it comes to producing top-notch work.
Characterized by accurate and consistent color, this display is a great tool to leverage for projects of all types. Need more than one display? You can daisy chain up to three displays per workstation with DisplayPort™ connections to increase your efficiency and streamline your workflow.

What is QLED?

QLED is short for Quantum Dots Light Emitting Diode. It’s considered the next big thing in television displays. QLED offers viewers more than just amazing picture quality. It utilizes quantum dot technology to show light by adding an additional layer of tiny particles in front of a regular LED backlight panel [5].
Each dot varies from between 2 and 10 nanometers in diameter and produces a color that depends on the dot’s size. The smallest dots emit blue and the largest emit red.
Quantum dots are considered an improvement because they can produce more heavily saturated and precisely defined primary colors compared to standard LEDs. The result? Greater color accuracy, rich colors, dynamic contrast, and better brightness.
In terms of user experience, LEDs still provide users with a gorgeous way to enjoy television and high-octane, graphically-intensive PC games. However, QLEDs are significantly more advanced and when it comes to high-definition.
QLED is heralded as the future of television displays because of its advanced image technology that transforms the user experience into more immersive entertainment.
If you’re ready to level up your desk space with QLED, you may want to consider adding the HP Pavilion 27 Quantum Dot 27-inch monitor to your office. Built with high-powered users in mind, this display features anti-glare, color control, image control, and input control. You can easily use the controls and settings to fine-tune and dial in your display until it meets all of your requirements.
HP Pavilion 27 Quantum Dot 27-inch Monitor
This capable monitor supports a variety of resolutions from 1024 x 768 all the way to 2560 x 1400. You can be confident this display can handle all of your visual requirements, from video editing to high-octane PC games.
In addition, there are multiple USB ports that provide plenty of room for your favorite peripherals like speakers and dock stations. Protected by HP Store’s limited one year warranty, you can have the peace of mind that your screen can stand up to any task. Thin and beautiful, this display boasts deep, vivid contrasts for an immersive visual experience that brings images to life.

Differences between LED and QLED

On the outset, LED and QLED sound very similar, but these two image display technologies are actually considerably different. While LED used to be the lighting of the future, QLED has quickly proved its preeminence. Here are a few key ways these two technologies differ:

1. Contrast ratios

You might not think that the amount and depth of black in your display matters all that much. However, the deeper the blacks and the brighter the whites the higher the contrast ratio which provides the user with a more dynamic image.
LEDs work with specific red, green, and blue-colored lights with a wide color range but often don’t show true black or white. In contrast, QLEDs boast deep blacks and very bright whites. Each pixel in a QLED display runs more brightly than any other display technology available today.
QLEDs win in this category.

2. Color and saturation

QLED is the dominant force when it comes to color. Quantum dot technology gives QLED TVs 100% color volume with incredible saturation levels. The larger range of colors means that QLEDs give the overall picture quality a boost as well. More color saturation means more realistic images for the user.
LEDs are still a great choice but they don’t hold a candle to a QLED's unbridled color volume.
QLEDs win in this category.

3. Peak brightness and power

LEDs can achieve peak brightness without eating up a ton of power, it’s one of the main benefits of using LEDs in the first place. With other types of technology, TVs tend to reduce the maximum brightness in order to save power but LEDs circumvent this issue entirely. In contrast, QLEDs use a different type of power that actually consumes more power as they near their peak brightness levels.
LEDs win in this category.

4. Angles of viewing

Both LEDs and QLEDs are tied in terms of optimal viewing angles. Both suffer from the same problem: viewed head-on, displays appear perfect to the viewer. But as soon as you skew your perspective to a side view, the quality of the picture begins to take on a hazy quality.
This category is a tie.

Conclusion: LED or QLED, the choice is yours

Although QLEDs offer distinct advantages such as a brighter, more colorful visual display, LEDs are still a great choice. When you’re setting up your battle station for gaming or you’re trying to outfit your home entertainment system, your preference will ultimately determine what’s the best display technology in your particular situation.

About the Author

Michelle Wilson is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Michelle is a content creation specialist writing for a variety of industries, including tech trends and media news.

Popular HP Monitors
[1] Computer Hope; LED
[3] P.C. Richard & Son; The History of Television, Part 2
[5] Difference Between; Difference Between LED and QLED

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.