Is an LCD or LED Monitor Better for Your Eyes?
If you’re searching for a new computer monitor your choice will be between the two leading technologies: LCD or LED. Both options are considered a serious upgrade from the bulky CRT monitors of the past. If you’re trying to decide between LED and LCD monitors, it can be a tough decision if you’re someone who spends most of their time stuck behind a computer all day.
Many computer users argue that the debate regarding which technology is better for the eyes is more a matter of personal preference. While others feel that the cold cathode technology utilized in LCD monitors is one of the leading causes of eye strain in the office.
So, is an LCD or LED monitor better for your eyes?
One of the top office safety tips in any workplace that every PC user should follow is to take frequent breaks from your computer monitor, usually ten minutes every hour. Eye fatigue and eye strain are common occurrences for those of us who spend several hours a day on a computer and it can have a major impact on your productivity if you don’t take precautions and use the right type of monitor.
LCD Monitor Pros and Cons
LCD monitors are usually the more affordable option. This style of monitor utilizes cold cathode technology and a fluorescent panel. It’s also definitely a major step up from the older style cathode ray tube monitors your parents used back in the day.
CRT monitors used a type of vacuum tube that emitted electrons onto the fluorescent panel. These days, the LCD monitor uses just half the power that CRT monitors did, in addition to low electromagnetic interference. They’re also much slimmer and lighter than computer monitors of the past. The cold cathode in LCD monitors works by emitting electrons creating a type of mercury vapor that transforms into ultraviolet light. This causes the monitor to light up, thanks to a process known as CFL backlighting.
These screens are available in a wide range of sizes and take up very little space on your desk. The screen can also be easily viewed at a variety of angles and they work well in both bright and low light conditions.
However, some computer users can be sensitive to blurring, especially people who suffer from neurological conditions. Because of this, a higher hertz LCD screen is a better option. This feature goes under several different names. As an example, Sony refers to it as Motion Flow technology. An LCD screen with 120 hertz will eliminate any blurriness.
LED Monitor Pros and Cons
The LED or light emitting diode doesn’t use the type of fluorescent cold cathode technology that an LCD screen does. LED screens use light diodes to illuminate the screen. This is done in one of two ways, or it can involve a combination of both methods. Edge lighting is one way and it involves white LED lights that gather around the rim of the monitor, working to evenly diffuse light. The other method uses evenly places LED lights behind the screen and features a local dimming option that allows users to control the brightness or dimness of the monitor. However, some older models are not equipped with this dimming option. If you have a desk job that requires you to use your computer for more than a few hours a day we highly recommend using an LED monitor with this dimming option.
LED monitors offer top of the line clarity, color quality, and better than average energy saving abilities compared to LCD monitors. Their local dimming option allows the user to fine-tune the screen’s settings, which means you can adjust the brightness of the screen in order to avoid eye strain. This is a huge selling point for any desk jockey.
Past models of LED monitors had a lot of issues with poor viewing angles, but newer LED screens are equipped with an anti-glare feature that improves viewing angles.
LED Vs LCD
Compared to LCD screens, the LED wins in terms of energy savings. LED monitors also offer faster refresh rates, improved clarity, and better color quality than LCD monitors. They’re also lighter and thinner than LCD screens since the LED monitors have lights located around the edge of the panel. The biggest difference between these two types of technologies is the lighting technology they use. Basically, it’s light diodes versus cold cathode fluorescent lighting.
Winner: The cold cathode lighting technology used in LCD screens can be hard on the eyes, which is why we recommended LED monitors over LCD. However, both types of technologies can lead to eye strain if you don’t take a short break from your computer every hour. For under $100, the HP Pavilion 21.5″ is one of the most popular LED monitors and one you might consider. It has vivid colors and a bright screen. The brightness is adjustable and there were no issues with glare. It is high quality but at a very attractive price. Check the current price on Amazon.
Common Signs of Eye Fatigue
Computer vision syndrome affects ninety percent of office workers. If you’re staring at a computer monitor all day at work and you experience some of the following symptoms, then CVS is probably the culprit:
- Soreness in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Eyes that are too dry or watery
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Itchy eyes
- Burning eyes
- Increased general fatigue
How You Can Combat CVS
Use the best ergonomic chair, practice appropriate office safety tips, such as taking breaks away from your computer screen once an hour and use an LED monitor. Once you begin to experience any of the symptoms above, adjust the monitor to a lower light setting for instant relief.
You can also use over the counter eye drops, once you begin to experience blurry vision, eye tenderness increased sensitivity to light, or painful, itchy eyes.