OLED displays, you have probably heard of them. This type of display is often considered, but is even more often confused with LED displays. LED displays are better known as LCD displays with LED backlighting.

We offer OLED display solutions amongst other different display solutions and divide the displays in passive and active displays:



On this page you will read all about OLED displays. We will explain what the word LED in OLED actually means and inform you about different technologies.





What is an OLED display?




Many people call an LCD display a LED display. However, that is not correct. They actually mean an LCD display with a LED backlight. OLED screens don’t need a backlight, but they still have the word LED in their name. This is what causes confusion.

So, are you wondering what an OLED actually is? Keep on reading to find out.

LCD Displays

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. It is equipped with liquid crystals. You can control the crystals by using electrical voltage. A backlight ensures light behind the crystals. The voltage cause the crystals to rotate and light may or may not shine through the display. As a result, an image is displayed.  

Most LCD displays are equipped with a LED backlight. An alternative backlight for an LCD is a CCL backlight.

Since LED has so many advantages, this technology is used more often. A LED backlight is brighter, consumes less energy and displays with LED backlighting are thinner. Some LCD displays (like TV’s) are also equipped with LED lights around the edges, or behind the panel. This gives the viewer an extra dimension.

OLED Displays

An OLED display is made out of millions of small LED lights (diodes). OLED's additional "O" stands for organic. Since the diodes can provide light by themselves, OLEDS do not need a backlight. This allows OLEDS to be a lot thinner than the average LCD displays. An additional advantage is that OLED panels are very light.

The layer images will clearly show the differences between an LCD display and an OLED display.





How does an OLED display work?

As mentioned earlier, an OLED display is equipped with a million small LED lights (diodes). These little lights contain an organic component that emits light, when there is an electrical voltage. Because the lights already illuminate the display, no backlight is required to illuminate the pixels.

The pixels of an OLED can be completely turned on or off. Because of this, OLED displays are completely black when turned off. OLEDS can therefore produce very high contrasts and the images are very bright and sharp. Also, the colors and the response time of the display are very fast due to the OLED technology. Because OLEDS do not require backlight, the displays are very thin. There is an example of an LG OLED display with a thickness of only 1 mm.

The image of an OLED is beautiful. However, OLEDS also have disadvantages. Because OLED screens contain organic material, their lifespan is shorter than LCD displays. Additionally, many OLED displays get burn-ins after showing the same image for a long time. After a burn-in, the image stays on the screen even after showing another image.






OLED Display Technologies




AMOLED Displays

There are two types of OLED displays - passive (PMOLED) and active (AMOLED). Since AMOLED is the most commonly used display between these two, we focus on the technologies within the active OLEDS or AMOLEDS. Within the AMOLEDS, there are two technologies that perfect the display's colors.

These technologies are the RGB OLED technology and the WOLED technology (or WRGB technology).



RGB OLED Displays

The RGB OLED technology was designed by Samsung. RGB OLED stands for Red Green Blue Organic Light Emitting Diode.

Each pixel of an RGB OLED display consists of three subpixels. One red, one green and one blue. The color that appears in the image is determined by the intensity of the light emitting of the subpixels. If the pixels do not emit light, the image is black. In addition, the image is white when the light intensity is maximal. The RGB OLED technology ensures beautiful bright colors. But the viewing angles are slightly less than the WOLEDS.


LG uses the WOLED (White OLED) or WRGB (White RED Green Blue) technology for producing OLED displays. This adds a fourth white subpixel to the RGB subpixels. The RGB pixels have a filter, but the whites have not.

According to LG, the colors of the displays are even brighter and therefore the viewing experience becomes more realistic. Certainly for TV’s, this is something that people like. This technology has the advantage of having intense colors. In addition, the viewing angles are very wide.





Advantages and disadvantages of OLED Displays

Why choose or not choose OLED?




  • No need for a backlight
  • Displays are very thin
  • Low power consumption
  • Viewing angles are wider than with LCDs
  • Brightness and contrast are great
  • High speed
  • Deep black color


  • Costly technology
  • Short lifecycle
  • OLEDS are more likely to burn-in





Talk to a product specialist

Martijn Bustraan

Product Specialist

martijn@sky-technology.eu   |   0251 7002 82






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