LED VS LCD Monitor for Photo Editing

There was a time when plasma displays were the most commonly manufactured displays for almost everything, including photo editing. Since the advent of LCDs, this has changed. Now people mostly use LCD monitors for photo editing, specifically IPS displays.

If you don’t know, an LED is also equipped with liquid crystals like LCD, so it is important to remember that the name “LED” is somewhat misleading. In technical terms, an “LED” display should be referred to as a “LED LCD display.”

We can say, there is no LED monitor that is not an LCD monitor. Nevertheless, all LCD monitors are not LED displays.

All these things have their place, but the real question is, what is the main difference between LED vs LCD monitor for Photo Editing?

LED vs LCD Monitor for Photo Editing

As discussed earlier, an LED monitor is simply an LCD monitor with a LED light source rather than a fluorescent light source. A typical LED backlighting has a color gamut of 68% – 70%, or a little bit more or less. Standardization in the industry suggests that a normal color gamut should be 74%, and a wide gamut should be anything above 74%.

Because of the slightly lower color gamut from 74%, LED backlight monitors are generally characterized by slightly having blueish colors. It’s not a big deal for the majority of us, but if you’re concerned about color accuracy, you should avoid LED monitors for photo editing.

The one exception to this rule can, however, be found in the form of high-end “LED monitors” that are meant for professionals in photo editing and graphics fields, and they are very expensive and might exceed $1,000.

A huge factor that most average consumers don’t consider when buying a monitor is panel technology, which is one of the most crucial factors. The vast majority (nearly 99%) of monitors available at local stores are TN panels.

Compared to more expensive technologies with higher color accuracy and viewing angles, these panels are quite affordable due to their below-average color accuracy and poor viewing angles.

It is important to understand that poor viewing angles can affect the quality of the colors. The more off-center you are from the monitor, the more faded the colors will appear, and in some extreme cases, the colors may seem negative (in the case of white being black, red being blue, green being purple, etc.). However, this is not a huge issue for the average consumer.


Overall, because of the slightly lower color gamut from 74%, LED backlight monitors are generally characterized by slightly having blueish colors. This may not be special for a newcomer, but it is very important for a professional, so LCD monitors and especially IPS displays are ideal for photo editing.

The biggest problem here is the budget. If your budget is not enough, then maybe you should buy an LED monitor. But keep in mind, never buy TN displays for photo editing because their color accuracy and viewing angles are not good even though they are LCDs.

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