Choosing the right Display technology for your displays: DLP, LED, and LCD Explained!

Looking to buy a new display or upgrade your displays? You are one step away from choosing the best display technology by the time reach the end of this article. Choosing the best display to suit your needs can be confusing especially with the market flooded with DLP, LED, and LCDs. In this article, we will be discussing DLP, LED, and LCD technologies. We will also do a comparison of the image quality, intensity, and effectiveness of the display technologies.

What is Digital Light Processing Technology?

Digital Light Processing technology is based on optical technology and uses micromirrors to reflect light and color onto a screen to create images.  The micromirrors are used to project pixels in the image. The mirrors play a vital role in determining the resolution of the images whereby a high number of mirrors guarantees a high-quality image. DLP is used mostly for rear projection in Television sets and on standalone front projectors. DLP display technology is good for fast moving content. Its also know for its low maintenace costs however the replacement of the bulb can be costly when it needs replacement.

A projector- Application of DLP

What is LED (Light Emitting Diode) Technology

The Light-emitting Diode technology uses a panel of light-emitting diodes (LED) to generate light and display information. The technology relies on many tiny LEDs arranged to form pixels that produce images and videos when a current passes through the LEDs. This technology can easily produce vibrant colors, and brightness while using minimal energy. The LED display technology is widely used in various day-to-day applications such as signage, billboards, Television sets as well as computer monitors and smartphones. The LED technology is well know for its clarity, brightness and minimal power usage as compared to other display technologies. LEDs are one of the most common used technology for displays due to their ability to dislay undistorted dynamic content and their long lifespan.

What is LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Technology

The Liquid Crystal Display is a display technology whereby liquid crystals are illuminated to display high-resolution images on flat panel screens. The crystals are put between transparent electrodes and when an electric current is passed the crystals are aligned to regulate the amount of light passing through them to form an image on the screen. This technology is primarily used in smartphones, computer monitors, watches, digital cameras, television screens, and also signages. Amog its advantages include low operation costs, versatility and the ability to produce high resolution images and texts. LCD’s have limited viewing angles and slow response time making which makes the user uncomfortable when viewed from an extended angle or when fast moving scenes.

LCD Display

Comparison between DLP, LED, and LCD

To help you make an informed decision on your choice of display technology to use, we will be comparing these technologies focusing on the key futures, image quality, viewing angles, and response times. These factors are an important aspect when choosing your choice of display for your needs.

Comparison of key futures

The main difference between DLP, LED, and LCD stems from the way these technologies create images. DLP uses very tiny mirrors and light to create images, while LED uses a panel of light-emitting diodes (LED) to generate light and display information and LCD uses illuminated liquid crystals to display images.

Comparison of image quality

Image quality is one important aspect you should not overlook when choosing your display. The different technologies exhibit different image characteristics that can either align with your needs or fail to meet them. An image produced using DLP technology will without a doubt have outstanding color accuracy. This makes it a good bet for fast-moving scenes although the images can be affected by the rainbow effect.  An image produced by LED technology will exhibit great levels of vibrancy, exemplary brightness, and outstanding color accuracy while using minimal energy as compared to DLP.  On the other hand, images produced by LCDs are known to have a high resolution and can display perfectly on many devices.

Comparison of viewing angles

When choosing your display, the viewing angle always comes in handy depending on the use of your display. DLP, LED, and LCD have different capabilities when viewed from off-center angles. Understanding the viewing angle implications of the different displays can help you make the right choice of a display.  Images viewed from DLP displays can lose brightness and sharpness when the angle is extreme giving a bad experience to users not directly facing the display. LED has a better viewing angle as compared to DLP considering images on LED can be viewed from the side and still maintain their quality and color. LCDs exhibit color deformation when viewed from the side.

Comparison of response time

The response time of a display is the ability to render fast-moving scenes smoothly without any after-effects. Depending on the intended use of your display response time is a factor you need to put into consideration. Among these three technologies, DLP has the best response time considering it has minimal image blur and the transition is smooth on moving pictures. LED displays also provide a good response time however they are relatively behind DLP displays but can be considered for fast-moving scenes considering they still allow sharp and clear images. LCD comes last when compared to DLP and LED and the blur effect can be pretty visible when there is rapid motion.

How to determine the best display technology for your needs

When you are choosing a good display there are things that you will need to consider to ensure optimal performance. Depending on what you intend to use the display for, things like the natural factors that the display will be exposed to, durability, the cost as well and the quality of image offered by display technology play a vital part in your decision-making. Different displays have different benefits making each of them well-suited to work best in different conditions and for different purposes. Let us look at the factors to consider when choosing between DLP, LED, and LCDs below.

Factors to Consider When Choosing between DLP, LED, and LCD

  1.  Where the display will be used

Different displays behave differently when exposed to light and when viewed from different viewing angles. When choosing a display, you need to ask yourself if the display will be used in an indoor setting or outdoor setting. You should also consider the distance you are expecting people to view the display from.  For instance, an LED display can work perfectly when exposed in a well-lit indoor setting or outdoors. Both DLP and LCD technologies may not be suitable in areas where they are viewed from wide angles as well as places with too much lighting. With such details in mind, understanding the environment where your display will be used will play a crucial role in choosing the right display technology.

  1. The quality of the images

DLP, LED, and LCD offer different image qualities hence suitable for different uses. Before you make your decision, you need to understand what is required of your image when it comes to resolution, color accuracy, and contrast. For instance, DLP will give you excellent color and contrast, while LED will give you exemplary brightness making it highly visible, and LCD guarantees high resolution. These considerations can guide you in choosing the right display. Looking at these aspects you can note that DLP will be best for a project that requires realistic and vibrant images. LED will be perfect for projects that will need high visibility like signages and advertisements while LCD are properly utilized for detailed visuals such as cinemas.

  1. Installation and Maintenace Costs

DLP, LED, and LCD have different initial and maintenance costs. Depending on your budget you will need to consider the initial cost of purchasing as well as the costs of maintaining your display. DLP for instance has a good lifespan before requiring maintenance and has a slightly lower initial cost than LED. For LED although the initial cost is a bit high, you will notice that LEDs have a long lifespan and in the long run are cheaper to maintain due to their low maintenance cost and energy-saving ability. LCD initial costs may not be high but when compared to LED and DLP the maintenance cost is a bit high as they may require frequent bulb replacement and reconfiguration.

These are the main factors that you should put into consideration when choosing your display, however, some factors such as the response time, of the display can also help you make the right decisions to ensure you get the best out of your display.


When you are choosing between DLP, LED, and LCD technologies for your display needs a clear understanding of the technologies gives you an upper hand in determining what will work best for you. As you have seen these technologies vary in advantages, cost, durability, compatibility, response time as well as the quality of image. Ensure you carefully asses these factors to determine the best technology whether it’s for presentations, entertainment, or digital signage. We believe this article will help you choose the best display technology that will suit your needs. 

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