• Mr Toasty

All you need to know about - Direct, edge mounted LED and OLED/QLED

Not all LED backlighting are the same and we are here to guide you through it. Don’t let companies and salesmen confuse you with their marketing terms!

Apart from OLED and QLED, there are 2 main difference of LED backlighting - direct and edge.

LED direct lighting backlight

Direct lighting

Direct lighting is where there are arrays of LEDs behind the LCD panels. The main advantage of direct lighting is that it can support local dimming. Local dimming just means that these LEDs can be turned off partially while the other LEDs stay on.

This will allow televisions to achieve higher contrast ratio where blacks are truly black. There is also the full-array local dimming which is exactly the same as local dimming with a lot more LED and “zones”.

Edge lit

Edge lit televisions are the most common. These television have their backlight along the edges of the television. The advantage of using edge lit is that it is cheaper to make, uses less power and creates ultra thin television. Yes, that is correct. The premium we pay to companies for their ultra thin televisions are actually cheaper to make (unless you have an OLED). The downside of edge lit televisions are the occasional light bleeds along the outer edge of the television.


QLED is where Samsung is working its magic again. Like how they previously revolutionise the market by calling LCD TVs with LED backlight “LED TV”, they are currently rebranding their flagship SUHD TV as QLED. QLED TVs work by placing a quantum dot colour filter in front of a LED backlight. It still adopts the same function of a LCD TV.


OLED organic light emitting diode, uses a completely different technology from the rest whereby the pixels themselves are producing light and when they need to be black they get switched off. This means that there is no need for backlights and this allows for super thin TVs. The contrast ratio and lightning quick refresh ratios are amazing. However, this technology is still prohibitively expensive and it is very hard to justify paying 3 times more for less than 3 times the difference in quality.

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