LED Studio

LED displays as a direct replacement for LCD video walls - how do they measure up?

Posted by Kyal Cundall|16 Apr 2023

LCD has been pivotal to the evolution of large format displays. Many LCD video walls that were installed during the digital signage boom are now reaching the end of their life, raising the question of what to replace them with.

LED is now a strong contender in this space, thanks to our EDGE series. The 43" EDGE Pro and 55" EDGE offer a long-awaited direct replacement for LCD, thanks to their single diecast cabinet structure in the popular 43" and 55" LCD sizes. The benefits include reduced installation time, increased serviceability, reduced weight, enhanced performance, and unrivaled sustainability.

What is the difference between LCD v LED?

Forming an understanding of the key differences between the two is vital to help make an informed decision about which technology is optimal for your project solution.

So let’s open up the LED Studio school books and get back to basics!

LCD displays

LCD displays work by using a backlight to illuminate the liquid crystals that make up the display. The liquid crystals are arranged in such a way that they block or allow light to pass through, creating the image that you see on the screen. And most importantly, all video wall panels have bezels!

LED displays

LED displays, on the other hand, use a different method to produce light. Instead of using a backlight, LED displays use tiny light-emitting diodes to produce light directly. This allows for greater control over the brightness and colour of the display, and also makes it possible to produce displays that are thinner and more energy-efficient than LCD displays.

The benefits of LED

Panel size

Traditionally LCD displays have been quicker and easier to install due to their larger size compared to LED modules. Although video wall braketry can be difficult to align and install. The 43" EDGE Pro and 55" EDGE panels, however, are the largest single diecast LED cabinets available on the market and have been designed to rival the popular LCD panel size.

Each cabinet incorporates eight LED modules, and uses approximately four times fewer internal cabinet components than conventional LED cabinets combined to the same size. As a result, this reduces power consumption, installation time, global shipping costs and reduces the products environmental footprint.

In terms of aesthetics, the EDGE series 16:9 cabinets deliver seamless, bezel-free display configurations featuring various shapes and sizes, offering an outstanding visual display solution.

Bezel comparison

Installation and maintenance

Front service LED module

Break free from complex bracketry! The EDGE series weighs a maximum of 11kg (43") or 15kg (55") per cabinet and has a depth of just 38mm. Moreover, these can be directly wall-mounted or used with existing videowall bracketry or mounts for quick installation, resulting in an easy, seamless, and quick integration into any environment.

This significantly reduces installation time and costs. EDGE modules are also serviceable from the front, allowing direct access to critical components for convenient maintenance, which can be performed by a single engineer unlike large video wall panels. If an LED display module becomes faulty, it is a simple one-person swap.

Colour uniformity and range

The EDGE series has been designed to achieve superior image quality above and beyond that of an LCD display. This includes a higher dynamic range, extreme brightness and a vivid colour gamut for lifelike colour reproduction.

Colour enhancing LED technology with advanced purity ensures a wide colour gamut. A proprietary ultra-low reflection black surface technology ensures intense black levels for the ultimate contrast and dynamic range across both areas of high and low brightness.

The EDGE displays are vastly brighter than LCD, designed to deliver a crisp, clear viewing experience without fading or distortion in any ambient light, whether day or night, bright or dark. Enhanced peak brightness is optimised with colour refinement to ensure the displays capture attention without sacrificing finer details. This remains consistent across the product lifecycle of over 100,000 hours.

Price vs Total Cost of Ownership

LED tends to yield a higher initial investment. However, we are viewing a change in trends as the cost of LED reduces and becomes more accessible. LED has a much lower running cost than LCD, which means that although LED has a higher upfront cost, the total lifetime classifies it as far more cost-efficient.

Generally speaking, the maximum lifespan of LCD is 2 - 3 years, compared to 11 years with LED displays. This means you’d need to look at replacing your LCD four-five times in the entire lifespan of a single LED display.

Energy efficiency

LED displays are generally far more energy-efficient than LCD displays.

The EDGE is one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient LED displays available. The advanced design keeps heat away from the individual LEDs and dissipates it through superior heat management techniques. As a result, using this state-of-the-art design reduces power consumption by up to 75%, or just 153w per panel, without decreasing the brightness or contrast ratio.

Reducing your display power consumption has never been more important at a time in which we are experiencing continuously soaring energy bills, as this can cause a real dent in the bank for businesses running digital signage 24/7.


On the brighter side of things… let’s talk about brightness!

LEDs are capable of reaching peak brightness levels into the thousands of nits, whereas standard LCDs offer hundreds of nits. This vast difference enables the brightness level of LEDs to be set lower than the peak, let's say 50%, which over time can be dialled up to keep the appearance of its brightness consistent across the entire screen and lifespan.

LCD not only starts with lower brightness capabilities but deteriorates at a faster rate. This is often most apparent in video walls, where panels diminish at different speeds, and inconsistencies are instantly noticeable.

The Ultimate Future-Proofed Technology

Market-leading design allows the 43" EDGE Pro to evolve as pixel pitches and manufacturing methods continue to chnage, enabling technologies to be swapped out without changes to bracketry and mounting infrastructure or cabinets.

Pixel pitches can be updated and reduced simply by changing the modules. This is made possible because each module, no matter what the original pixel pitch, can fit the 43” or 55” cabinet. This means a 2.5mm pixel pitch display, for example, can easily be upgraded to a 1.2mm by simply refreshing the panels, and evolved from SMD to Flip Chip.

Future-proof LED display technology

And the winner is...

We encourage everyone to focus more on sustainability in all aspects of life, including display technology choices.

Reducing energy consumption helps minimise environmental impact, and simultaneously, the extended durability of LED displays helps save materials and maintenance for possible repairs.

Ultimately, it's important to do your research to find the display that’s right for you. However, if you look beyond the display and consider the total cost of ownership, you'll be rewarded for years to come.