WLED vs LED – What Is The Difference?

Perhaps in the shop you may have seen LED and WLED displays and wondered – what’s the difference?

Simply put, LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, while WLED is simply White LED.

At first glance, they seem nearly identical, but there are some key factors to consider when choosing between the two.

As your helpful guide, I’ll walk through the pros, cons, and differences between these display technologies to help you make the right choice.

A Brief LED Display Overview

First, let’s understand what makes an LED display.

LEDs are tiny semiconductor chips that emit visible light when electric current passes through them. Compared to old-school lighting, LEDs are often more efficient and long-lasting.

You’ll find LEDs illuminating everything from home lightbulbs to smartphone screens. Despite their small size, LEDs enable creative display designs, since they don’t have to resemble traditional bulky lamps.

LED displays offer eye-catching benefits:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Thin, lightweight builds
  • Vibrant, high-contrast images
  • Durability and long lifespan

LED monitors also switch on instantly, while LCD displays take longer to warm up when first powered on.

Key Takeaway: LED displays provide stellar visuals, slim form factors, and durability.

What is WLED?

Essentially, WLED is just a standard LED display that produces white light. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably when marketing LED monitors and TVs.

Meanwhile, LCD means liquid crystal display. So an LCD monitor could use either WLED or older CCFL backlights.

WLED backlights offer key advantages over CCFL:

  • Lower energy consumption
  • Faster power on
  • Brighter images
  • Thinner profiles

Because WLED components cost more than CCFL backlights, manufacturers typically reserve LED backlighting for premium LCD models.

Over time, declining WLED prices have made this feature more mainstream.

Key Takeaway: WLED backlighting brings performance upgrades to LCD displays.

Comparing LED and WLED Display Attributes

The term LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, in case os screen its white, while WLED refers to White Light Emitting Diode.

Properly engineered, LED and LCD TVs can both last over 50,000 hours.

However, LEDs may suffer fewer failures over time. Keep in mind OLED lifespan is closer to 5,000-30,000 hours.

Since WLED is essentially a white LED, the technologies share many similarities. But a few differences are worth noting:

Image Quality

  • WLED LCDs often outperform plain LED monitors in color, contrast, and brightness.
  • Full-array WLED backlights beat edge-lit versions for uniformity.
  • OLED surpasses both for perfectly dark blacks and infinite contrast.

Viewing Angles

  • LEDs can have narrower optimal viewing angles than LCDs.
  • Edge-lit LEDs are more directional than full-array.

Glare Handling

  • LEDs are more prone to glare than LCDs.
  • Edge-lit LEDs exhibit worse glare issues than a full array.

Response Times

  • LED displays enable faster response times than LCDs.


  • LEDs are slimmer than CCFL-backlit LCDs.
  • Edge-lit LED designs are thinner than full-array.

Key Takeaway: WLED brings some improvements, but LED and LCD both have strengths and weaknesses.

Which is Best for Gaming?

For gaming, a full-array WLED LCD is your best LED option. Avoid edge-lit versions, which can limit viewing angles – bad news when sitting off-center.

LED displays also enable fast response times, which helps minimize distracting visual tearing effects during fast-paced games.

That said, LCDs provide wider viewing angles and reduced glare, thanks to their uniform illumination approach. Ultimately, consider the total package of resolution, refresh rate, and features along with display technology.

Key Takeaway: For gaming, fast LED displays shine, but don’t dismiss LCD’s strengths either.

Key LED Technologies Compared

Beyond standard LED and WLED, there are additional LED-based display technologies to know:

  • OLED – Self-emitting pixels produce perfect blacks and infinite contrast. Premium TVs feature OLED.
  • QLED – Quantum dot LED backlights boost color vibrance. Popular in high-end LCD TVs.
  • Micro LED – Miniaturized LEDs are super efficient. Mostly future tech for now.
  • RGB LED – Combine red, blue, and green LEDs to create white light. Used less today.

Key Takeaway: OLED and QLED TVs deliver the pinnacle of LED display technology.

Should I Choose LED or WLED?

When choosing a display, don’t get overly fixated on LED vs WLED alone.

Here are a few final tips:

  • Prioritize picture quality attributes like resolution, contrast ratio, color depth, and backlighting approach.
  • Consider your space constraints and budget. Edge-lit LEDs offer thinner and cheaper options.
  • Remember LCD televisions and monitors can utilize WLED backlights for energy efficiency.
  • For gaming, look for fast response times in addition to your preferred display tech.

No one display technology is ideal for every situation. By understanding the LED landscape, including key terms like WLED, you can make the display choice that best fits your needs.


What is the difference between LED and LCD?

LEDs directly illuminate the display, while LCDs use liquid crystals to block light from a backlight. LEDs are generally more efficient, with better contrast and faster response times.

Is WLED better than LED?

Most modern LED displays are WLEDs producing white light. WLED delivers improvements in color, brightness, and efficiency over older LED backlights. But standard LEDs still have benefits like fast response times.

Is WLED good for gaming?

WLED displays can offer fast response times and vivid colors for gaming. Look for a full-array WLED backlight rather than edge-lit versions. Overall performance depends on factors like refresh rate too.

Is WLED worth the extra cost?

For LCD monitors and TVs, WLED backlighting provides worthwhile upgrades. But quality edge-lit and full-array WLED displays can still have very different prices based on other specs. Consider the total value package.

More Information

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Main photo by Farzad Nazifi

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