When we mention LEDs, most people think of tiny lights and glowing features on toys. Well, this is an essential part of technology that is about to get bigger. Companies like Apple and LG are now using micro LED lights technology. Recently, Samsung showed off their Micro-LEDs prototypes ranging 75-292 inches at the virtual CES 2021.
This is an immersive technology where the picture elements (pixels) are the light source. Because it allows the displays to be thinner than LCD, there's no need for a separate backlight layer. And they don't require an encapsulation layer.
As the name suggests, there're millions of micro LEDs, and each pixel is addressed to emit light. The best way to understand this technology is to think of the Jumbo-Tron displays common in sporting events. The Micro-LEDs are small enough to function like the traditional display (individual pixels).
Micro-LEDs are clustered in triplets of blue, red, and green colors - each in a single pixel. The switching-off is something the traditional LCDs cannot offer. In simple terms, Micro-LEDs offer the brightness of an LCD TV and everything the home theater fans love. So, you get the best of both worlds.
But what makes Micro-LED a unique technology is that it has multiple tiles aligned together to allow the user to create modular screens. With that in mind, we expect Samsung's Micro LEDs to have fixed configurations.
MicroLEDs are not made of organic compounds, so they work better than the traditional InGan-based lights. This results in greater brightness without burn-in or degradation. Of course, OLED TVs are yet to achieve this. The brightness level for the MicroLEDs can go as high as 5000 nits. And thanks to the unique electro-luminescent and chemical properties, there's no risk of retaining a static image.
Unlike the traditional LEDs, MicroLEDs will retain sharpness when used in a wide range of screen sizes. Because there's no pollution of light, the screens respond faster to changes in image content.
Since MicroLEDs lights have the characteristics of self-emitting, they have inherited some of the benefits of LEDs, like energy efficiency and reliability. Keep in mind that self-illuminating properties mean consumption of less power.
The nature and size of micros LEDs convey the benefit to the display screens. The color is excellent, and the resolution can go as high as 6,000 PPI. In addition to that, you get a wider viewing angle. Each pixel can be controlled individually, so you get a better and accurate presentation of colors.
Micro LEDs have a wide viewing angle thanks to the remarkable sensor capabilities. Unlike the traditional OLEDs, there are no screen burns or degradation of pixels. Many factors can contribute to the extended lifespan.
The heat generated by Micro-LEDs guarantees lower pixel failure. This is because it dissipates through the circuit board, and the LEDs are bonded to the backplane.
Eye discomfort is a real concern for many LCD screens. Well, Micro-LEDs can help solve this problem thanks to the flat light distribution. The wide dispersion of light guarantees a better viewing experience.
With this type of technology, you expect less maintenance. The black seal guarantees pixel protection by keeping dust, water, and humidity at bay.
Unlike the conventional LCDs, micro-LEDs utilize flip-chip technology. This eliminates the wire bond to maximize optical performance and minimize physical impact. Furthermore, the technology increases the contrast ratio while maximizing physical performance.
Without a doubt, MicroLEDs offer a real challenge to OLED and LCDs. OLED is a superior technology that promises superior picture quality but is a cheaper option than LCD. It can easily be distinguished from the traditional screens due to the separate backlighting. While all the three are amazing technologies, here are the reasons why Micro-LEDs are better.
In terms of picture quality, Micro LEDs offer the best resolution and sharpness.
Another biggest differentiator between LCD, OLED TVs, and MicroLEDs technology is the quality of black. MicroLEDs offer higher per pixel capability.
While LCD sets offer higher brightness, MicroLEDs are ahead of the game. They give up to 2000 nits of brightness and offer better direct luminance. And there're no filtering layers, so the brightness level is undimmed.
Both OLED and MicroLEDs promise higher brightness, but the latter promises a higher contrast rating - you expect a better viewing experience. Needless to say, an OLED display can emit light of a certain color and switch on individually.
Micro-LEDs don't require light to pass through filters, so you can push the brightness higher than the conventional LEDs. In other words, the high brightness is stable due to the inorganic structure. It's worth mentioning that the LED pixels won't have luminance decay issues.
The majority of LCDs offer a 95-100% color spectrum and a gamut of 99.9%. On the other hand, the latest OLEDs offer 100% scores that exceed the Srgb standards. According to Samsung, the MicroLEDs will allow you to measure the color output. This technology has a clear advantage in terms of color production.
This is the ability of a screen to maintain color detail, irrespective of your sitting position. Generally, LCD screens allow for a noticeable color shift (45 degrees and wider). OLED screens offer accurate visibility at 90 degrees as they put the entire apparatus against the display.
Single micro LED lights claims to deliver all-angle visibility. Each color pixel is visible from the surface of the screen. Furthermore, there's no glass viewer between the pixels and the viewer. The HDR effect is more pronounced, and there are no color or contrast issues.
When static images are displayed on LCDs for a long time, the pixels tend to degrade at different rates. You may have seen some faint rectangular lines on the top and bottom of your screen. Burn-in is also a common problem in OLED screens. Since this issue cannot be easily detected by a common buyer, OLED screens are designed to detect static imagery.
Micro LEDs don't suffer from burn-in, and the short-term color shift is less of a concern. Although there are many aspects of picture performance and quality, we are yet to see any contradicting claims.
According to Samsung, Micro-LEDs can run for 100,000 hours without loss of performance.
Both LCD and OLED are a mature technology and can meet the demands of 8K resolution. By quadrupling the number of pixels on a single panel, OLED manufactures have now focused on the 48-inch 4K resolution TV. For Micro LED lights, Samsung promises monster-sized screens.
Samsung has already launched a massive Micro-LED display that comes at a hefty price tag. Other tech giants have started to use the technology on their LCD screens. But here is the thing - the modular design is still in the R&D phase.
Recently, Samsung claimed that the display can be customized to suit the needs of the end-user. But again, the price of these displays remains high due to the production cost.
OLED can be used in a broad range of display types and guarantees energy efficiency. The Micro-LEDs offer more functionality thanks to the brilliant engineering.
Since the Micro-LEDs are produced in different ways, this is certainly the solution to the problems faced by LCD and OLED technologies.
One thing we know is that micro LEDs are expensive compared to LCD and OLED technologies. A few months ago, Samsung announced the 110-inch 4K screen would cost $156,000. Although we expect the prices of 88-inch and 76 inches to cost less, it's still ridiculously expensive. If you're keeping tabs with the current technology, you must have noticed Samsung's 98-inch 8K costs around $60,000 - but this is not a micro-LED.
LG's flagship 88-inch 8K TV is selling at $30,000. So, don't be surprised to see a higher price tag for the Samsung 88-inch model.
Again, we are yet to see any extravagant pre-order packages, and we doubt whether the 110-inch Micro-LED screen can go below the $150,000 mark. This brings us to the question, how much will these displays end up costing? We expect the first wave to be expensive for regular buyers. But hopefully, in the future, Micro-LEDs will be affordable.
Just like any other technology, the cost is always high before achieving mass production. This is a result of a complicated manufacturing process.
Micros LED might be the best TV technology you'll ever own. It's believed to be the next generation of display technology with no size limitation. No wonder it's being pursued by players of OLED and LED. As with any other cutting-edge technology, tech giants are trying to catch up with the theoretical part micro-LEDs.
The simplest way to sum up Micro-LEDs is that they combine both LCD and OLED technology for an immersive viewing experience. Furthermore, they don't require a complicated process to maintain luminance. In theory, the high picture performance makes Micro-LEDs the perfect display technology.
According to companies that have invested in Micro-LED technology, the market will skyrocket in the next three years. In fact, micro-LEDs are expected to generate revenue of $7 billion by 2025. But this will depend on whether the technology will break through the bottlenecks.
The future is without a doubt very bright, and very soon we'll see screen-dominated devices fill the walls in our homes.