Direct LED vs Edge LED | For Monitor and Television


Direct LED offers higher uniform brightness, consumes more power and the display frame is bulkier while the Edge LED offers a thinner frame, may offer lower picture quality, and is cheaper.

While reading through a TV specification you may occasionally have come across DLED or ELED written on it.

DLED refers to Direct-Lit backlighting

ELED refers to Edge-Lit backlighting

But what is the difference between edge led and direct led

Let’s find out

What is LED Display

yellow red green leds

It is the most common and standard display used on TV and monitors

This display is easy to produce and making the gadgets using them budget-friendly

While other premium display technology include OLED and microLED which are entirely different from LED display technology

When we say LED TV

We refer to the TV that has an LCD panel and an LED panel for backlight

This LCD panel can be of two types – IPS and VA

We also have different variations for the LED backlight panel used called DLED and ELED 

Both refer to the arrangement of LED bulbs 

What is DLED

direct led

The entire screen is covered with LED bulbs.

Several stips containing LEDs are placed in rows to cover the entire screen.

In the early days, when LED technology was new and the old LCD technology using CCFL backlighting were vanishing

Direct-lit LED does not use Local Dimming which enhances the contrast ratio eventually increasing the picture quality

But nowadays almost every type of display used in monitor or TV uses local dimming

Local dimming – The entire screen is divided into several zones of light. These zones can go dim or bright separately making a portion of the screen darker. This enhances the contrast ratio and thus increasing picture quality

When DLED uses the local dimming technique it is then called as fullarray.

Pros of DLED

Better Black Uniformity – As the LEDs are spread across the entire display, the brightness levels produced are uniform and so is the blackness.

Better Contrast Ratio – The results of Local Dimming with DLED is better. The zones are smaller and so higher levels of black can be produced in smaller zones increasing the overall picture quality. 

High Peak Brightness Levels – As the number of LED bulbs used are more in number and spread across the entire display. It can produce higher levels of light brightness 

Cons of DLED

Higher Power Consumption – Each LED bulb consumes some power. With a high number of LED bulbs used to cover the entire screen, all these bulbs sum up to higher power consumption.

Bulkier Form Factor – Due to the use of a higher number of LED bulbs, the display is thicker and bulkier.

Costlier – Higher number of LED bulbs add up to the higher cost of the display.

What is ELED

edge led

In this type of arrangement, the LED bulbs are placed on the edge of the display.

Strips of LEDs are placed either on all four edges, or two opposite edges of the display.

The light produced from the bulbs at the edges get spread across the entire screen with the help of diffusers

Earlier it was the more common type of LED backlighting present in TVs or Monitors with DLED being uncommon.

They are still used commonly in budget-friendly TVs.

Earlier, Local dimming was only used with ELED, though it was not as efficient as in fullarray

Note Some people confuse DLED or ELED with OLED. OLED is different from the LED display.

Pros of ELED

Very Thin Frame – The LED bulbs being used at the sides of the display makes the screen frame free of space and thus leading to reduced panel thickness.

Low Power Consumption – Lower number of LED bulbs makes the display consume less power

Cheaper – ELED TV or monitors are cheaper than DLED.

Cons of ELED

Non-Uniform Light – The center of the display can be darker from the edges of the screen depending upon the screen size and the model

Screen Bleeding – This mostly occurs in ELED lit displays where the corners or the edges are way brighter than the overall screen.

Local Dimming results are not the best – Local dimming can be achieved in ELED displays. However, the zones are bigger and the result is not the best as LED bulbs are being placed at the corners.

DLED VS ELED (Comparision)

LED PlacementEntire ScreenOnly Edges
Uniform BlackYesNo
Power ConsumptionHigherLower
Contrast RatioHIgherLower
Form FactorBulkyThin
With Local Dimming


How to differentiate both ?

ELED TVs are very thin while DLED will be bulkier.

Just look from the side and the one whose thickness is similar to that of a paper will be ELED.

Which is better ?

The picture quality is not only limited to the type of LED panel used.

It depends more on the LCD panel used.

However, if we forget about the LCD panel for a moment.

DLED with Local Dimming will better than ELED with Local Dimming for TV or Monitor

If you do not care for screen frame thickness and power consumption

Then your buying decision will depend on your budget.

With a lower budget, you can go with a display with edge-lit backlighting.

These are also good 

And looks stunning with its thin display


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