“As technology moves ever forward it has become increasingly more confusing as LCD displays are using LED for back-lighting and are being termed LED displays, they are not, they are simply LCD displays with LED-backlighting” emphasises Harry Filer, managing director of Messagemaker Displays, which manufactures a range of full colour and variable LED signage displays.

What are the differences between LCD Display and LED Display

Filer continues’ “A ‘pure’ LED display is using LED’s to create pixels. LED is a much more flexible technology that can handle different size screens, larger formats and brighter screens. LCD screens on the other hand are the preserve of huge multinationals, so if we got involved in them we would just be a value added reseller at best. We are in more control of our product and destiny with LED”

Filer also believes that LED and LCD when properly defined will remain as separate display mediums explaining “Occasionally LED and LCD will compete for digital signage application and the main overlap area is in large-format internal screens, but there are surprisingly few areas of overlap. Sometimes we will see a client initially specify an LCD screen for an application, for example digital foreign exchange rate-boards, then switch to LED”

Which Digital Display System is Right For me?

Filer also points out that when LCD and LED vie for custom, the project planning can often lead to some previously unconsidered factors: “The thought process goes something like this: ‘I need a screen, a large-format LCD/Plasma is cool, let’s have one of those, they’re for sale at Curry’s for about £500 how can I go wrong?’ Then they realise they need a dedicated PC or player and dedicated software.

“Furthermore, if they are going to do it properly they need high quality content, and if it’s a professional application they need high quality content, and if it’s a professional application they need a professional quality screen which is more expensive, and a decent quality bracket system. Then they realise they need the screen bright enough to deal with window light and so it will be more expensive still. Suddenly the project is £1,500 to £2,000 per screen, double what an LED alternative would have cost.”

“A rough rule of thumb I give to clients looking to use LED for a big video or digital signage screen is that if they are indoors, and the screen is a standard size and under 2sq m, then they are better off with LCD, any other application really requires using an LED array” concludes Filer.

Messagemaker Displays are now part of the Stocksigns Group.