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Brighter, Lighter, Greener:

  • Updated
  • 13-08-2010

Johannesburg, South Africa, 13th July, 2010: LED has come a long way. From very specific beginnings, when it was seen almost exclusively on buildings and mobile phones, this highly efficient light source has come down in cost and complexity, making it suitable for all manner of functions. Today, LEDs are lighting up everything from car headlights to TVs to billboards to road signs.

Looking to repeat this success is the monitor, which is now one of the fastest growing market segments for LEDs. Drawn by LEDs’ energy efficiency, high picture quality and slim-line size, monitors are looking to reap the benefits that have already so energized TV technology.

From just 1 percent last year, LED monitors’ share of the monitor market is expected to soar to 30 percent this year. According to DisplaySearch, a market research company, this means sales of LED monitors this year will increase at least 10-fold over last year.

While neither monitors nor TVs use LEDs for their actual screens, the difference between LED and LCD displays is that the former has replaced its CCFL backlighting with LEDs. But just what does that mean in practical terms? And how does it make for a better monitor?

The Beauty of Style

The first evidence of LEDs’ influence is apparent before you even turn the monitor on. Significantly slimmer than LCD monitors, LED monitors have made a virtue of their ultra-thin size and light-weight with slick, elegant designs that turn them into virtual ornaments.  

Take the E60, an LED monitor from LG. At just 12.9mm in depth, this sophisticated model is fully one-third lighter than LCD monitors with a similar screen size. Also taking great strides with monitor design is LG’s E80VX. With a premium, slim-line body, E80VX rests on a stylish, circular-necked stand, while a seamless bezel makes for a thinner, more polished look. The bezel also allows for a more expansive picture, producing a unique viewing experience that seems to stretch beyond the frame and blur the borders between the real and the virtual. And with glowing “galaxy lights at the bottom of the screen,” a feature unique to LG monitors, the overall effect is dreamlike and utterly distinctive.

Clearer, Crisper, Realer

Of course, design is all very well, but no new light source would be worth its salt unless it actually improved on the picture of LCD monitors. Fortunately, LED does precisely that, with pictures greatly enhanced by far higher contrast ratios.

Thanks to this, LED monitors make video film and pictures far more vivid and clear than they would appear on an LCD monitor. LG’s LED monitors, for instance, boast an LED-fuelled mega contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, meaning an exceptionally crisp and vivid picture even with dimly-lit movies, games or pictures.

Better still, LG’s E50VR and E80 series of LED monitors have produced significant improvements in screen resolution. Through LG’s mold-breaking Super+ Resolution technology, the E50VR and E80 series produce an even more realistic HD picture while also making it possible to watch SD-level content at HD-level.

The secret behind LG’s Super+ Resolution is the IC Engine, which uses LG’s algorithm to get rid of frame delay, without the need for any external memory or software. The IC Engine chip also works in tandem with another LG technology, the F-engine, to deliver images with even sharper color.

For a new generation so accustomed to high-tech entertainment options ranging from video streaming to SD, HD-level movies and games, the high resolution and wide gradation of LED monitors isn’t just a nice extra – it adds a whole new level of enjoyment and convenience. Little wonder that LED monitor sales are taking off.

Keeping it Green

Besides their aesthetic and technological blessings, LED monitors have another compelling advantage over their LCD counterparts: eco-friendliness. As they have a longer lifespan than CCFLs (the main material in LCD monitors), LEDs make for longer-lasting monitors and thus less e-waste. LEDs are also much more energy-efficient than CCFLs, meaning lower electricity bills and less harm to the environment.

Indeed, LED monitors consume, on average, 40 percent less energy than LCD models, a benefit that is multiplied in offices, where dozens or even hundreds of monitors can be in use simultaneously. And compared with CCFLs, which operate using mercury, argon and neon, LED is also very clean, using a compound that contains no harmful substances at all.

With credentials like these, LG’s LED monitors have already received acclaim for their eco-friendliness: In a first for the industry, the company’s E2350V model was awarded environmental certification from UL, a US testing and certification organization. Made with fewer hazardous materials – and no halogen or mercury at all – the E50 series also uses up to 45 percent less power than normal LCD monitors.

From science labs to building facades to TVs, it’s been a long, interesting journey for LEDs. Having found their way to monitors, their exceptional picture quality, slimness and eco-friendliness are now producing tremendous gains in what might be their most natural home. In addition, LG is helping generate interest in LED monitors through a series of quirky and inventive marketing campaigns. In recent months, the company launched its Sincerity campaign, in which people from around the world were asked to share their own poignant stories, with the best getting the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

With campaigns such as these, and with the cutting-edge power of LEDs, LG’s monitors now have a brighter future than ever.