What is the Actual Difference between OLED and LED?

Computer monitors have undoubtedly come along way. Today, a huge percentage of these screens are manufactured using LED technology. However, in 2013, LG introduced to the world the OLED display. Ever since the question of which is better between OLED and LED has dominated conversations. While both screen types have their pros and cons, it is important to understand how they differ before settling on one. This is especially if you are in search of a good gaming monitor. These two display technologies differ in many respects.

What is OLED and LED?

The acronym LED stands for Light-Emitting Diodes while OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes. LEDs function by passing electrons through a semiconductor to produce light. Due to their size LEDs cannot be used as independent pixels on a TV screen or computer monitor. In light of these, they are mainly used as backlighting for LCD displays. Therefore an LED display is simply an LCD display that uses LED for backlighting.

OLED displays, on the other hand, are organic compounds that light up when an electric current is passed through them. Unlike LEDs, OLEDs can be made into individual pixels. In essence, millions of these pixels occupy an OLED display. These pixels can be shut off and light up independently.


While TVS and computer displays are designed to be bright even in sunlight, OLED and LED displays to differ in brightness. Due to the fact that LED displays are basically LCD screens with LED backlighting, they tend to be brighter. OLED displays, on the other hand, cannot match the brightness of LED screens.

Contrast Ratio

Generally speaking, OLED displays are relatively pricier than their LED counterparts and one of the reasons for this is the contrast ratio. Though LEDs are brighter than OLEDs, the latter can be extremely bright and can also be absolutely black. By definition, the contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest a display can be. Therefore, OLEDs have a better contrast ratio than LED displays.

Refresh Rate

There comes a time when you want to select some of the best 144hz monitor and do not know whether to go for an OLED or an LED. Well, there is no much difference between the two when it comes to refresh rate. However, OLEDs are capable of a 120 Hz refresh rate. On the other hand, cheap LED displays come with a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. Nevertheless, there are some extremely rare LED displays that feature a 240Hz refresh rate.

Viewing Angles

Another reason why OLEDs are pricier is that they offer better viewing angles. One of the most common complaints about LEDs is a change in picture quality when viewed away from the center. OLEDs on the other hand, do not have this problem and the picture quality remains the same irrespective of the viewing angle.


OLED displays are pricier due to the fact that they offer a better viewing experience, despite them being less bright than LEDs. Nevertheless, there are some high-end LED displays that offer the same viewing experience. That being said, choosing between OLED and LED will depend largely on your preferences.

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