Flat-panel displays aren’t limited to liquid-crystal display (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED). While LCD and OLED are two of the most popular technologies for flat-panel displays, there are others available, including microLED. Pioneered at the turn of the 21st century, microLED involves the use of miniature LEDs for the pixels. MicroLED displays, though, offer both pros and cons.
Pro: No Backlighting
MicroLED displays don’t require backlighting. The pixels in microLED displays are self-illuminating. Self-illuminating means the pixels can produce their own light when exposed to an electrical current. They don’t require illumination from an external light source, such as a backlighting layer. With their self-illuminating pixels, microLED displays eliminate the need for backlighting.
Pro: Energy Efficient
Since they don’t require backlighting, microLED displays are energy efficient. They consume less energy than LCDs, in fact. LCDs are already known for being energy efficient. They consume less energy than many other display technologies. But all LCDs require backlighting, and backlighting consumes energy.
Pro: Low-Profile Support
MicroLED displays support low-profile designs. All modern flat-panel displays, of course, support low-profile designs. MicroLED displays, however, are oftentimes thinner than their counterparts. Backlighting takes up space. Displays with a backlighting layer are typically thicker than those without a backlighting layer. MicroLED displays don’t have a backlighting layer, so they are usually thin and feature a low-profile design.
Con: Limited Availability
On the other hand, you may struggle to find microLED displays available to purchase. MicroLED is still a relatively new display technology. With its limited availability, it’s not easy to find. You’ll have a much easier time finding a traditional display like an LCD or OLED display. LCD and OLED are two of the most popular display technologies. Whether you’re shopping for a computer monitor, a human machine interface (HMI) or any other display, you can probably find it in one of these two technologies.
Another disadvantage of microLED displays is the cost. They tend to cost more than other types of displays. Both LCDs and OLED displays, for example, cost less than microLED displays. As more manufacturers adopt microLED technology, prices will continue to drop. But until that happens, you can expect to pay more for a microLED display.
Con: Cooling Requirements
MicroLED displays require cooling as well. Cooling is necessary to protect the display from succumbing to heat-related damage, such as warping. MicroLED displays feature silicon. The temperature of the silicon will be different than that of the LEDs. And with these temperature nuances, the display may warp. MicroLEDs have built-in cooling to protect the display from warping.