300px-IPod_Touch_2G_BacklightContrary to what many people believe, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) don’t produce light themselves. Instead, they “propagate” light that’s produced from a different source — a backlight. The backlight found in an LCD display is used to illuminate the liquid crystals; thus, creating the images that we see on the display. There are several different types of backlights used in LCD displays, some of which use light-emitting diode (LED) technology. To learn more about LED backlights for LCD displays, keep reading.

According to Wikipedia, LCD displays typically use one of three different LED backlighting solutions, the first of which is edge-lit. In edge-lit LEDs, the actual light-emitting diode bulbs are constructed around the rim of the screen using a diffusion panel that spreads light in a consistent manner behind the screen. Edge-lit LED is the most common type of backlighting solution on the market, and for good reason: it’s simple, effective, and provides even light to prevent some areas of the display being brighter than others.

Another common type of LED backlight that’s used in LCD displays is full array. The light-emitting diode bulbs are placed in a “full array” behind the screen, without having the option of being controlled individually. Full-array backlighting is an effective solution for LCD displays and is commonly used in televisions, computer monitors and other LCD displays.

A third type of LED backlight is dynamic local dimming, in which the LEDs are controlled either individually or in groups. This allows the operator to adjust the level of light and color intensity in various parts of the screen. If an area of the screen is dimmer than another area, for instance, the operator can adjust the light level of the problematic area to create a more even and consistent lighting.

When compared to CCFL backlit displays, LEDs offer several key benefits. This includes the ability to produce images with a higher dynamic contrast; slimmer design; wider color gamut (assuming RGB-LED is being used); less environmental pollution when disposed; greater energy efficiency (between 20-30% more energy efficient on average); produce less heat; more reliable; and they offer a wider dimming range.