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Video: LED and Fluorescent Backlighting in LCD TVs


Steve Kindig

Steve Kindig has been an electronics enthusiast for over 30 years. He has written extensively about home and car A/V gear for Crutchfield since 1985. Steve is also a volunteer DJ at community radio station WTJU, where he is a regular host of the American folk show "Atlantic Weekly," as well as the world music program "Radio Tropicale."

More from Steve Kindig

Learn about the differences between fluorescent and LED backlighting in LCD TVs, including LED's improvements in color and black levels.

Video Transcript

Steve: Hi. I'm Steve, and I'm here in the Crutchfield studio to talk about two different kinds of backlighting used in LCD HDTVs.

Most LCD TVs use fluorescent backlighting, and it's not the same kind of fluorescent lights you might find in an office or a department store. These bulbs are specially designed for TVs to display a bright, accurate picture.

Some higher end LCD TVs use LED backlighting. LEDs are even more energy efficient than fluorescent bulbs and they also have the ability to offer truer, more lifelike colors since they can produce pure white light. LED backlit TVs may be edge- lit — that means the LED lights are arranged around the screen's edge. And this makes it possible for these panels to be remarkably thin.

Other models place the LEDs in a grid right behind the screen, and many of these TVs offer a cool feature called local dimming. The TV can dim or even fully shut off clusters of LEDs in very dark areas of the screen, resulting in dramatically improved contrast and even more vivid colors. Local dimming is really effective, because it allows the TV to accurately display both bright whites and deep blacks at the same time. You can learn about other HDTV terms and technologies at or you can always call one of our experts at 1-800-555-9408.