Edge Lit vs. Backlit: Which is better LED TV?

  • By reComparison Contributor
  • comments 14
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Difference between Edge Lit LED and Backlit LED

Each television has a different way of displaying picture using different resolutions. The colors and contrasts are all different as well as the appearances. Although some people may think that the Edge Lit and Backlit are the same television, there are quite a few differences. The Backlit version has higher contrast ratios than the Edge Lit version. They both however do have some similarities and both are wall mountable as preferred.


With televisions, differences come down to the size, the length, width, height and picture. The main difference between the Edge Lit LED TV and the Backlit appearance is the thickness of the television. While an Edge Lit is pretty thin and skinny, the Backlit is a bit bigger. To some people this doesn't matter much, but to others this difference in appearance makes all the difference. An Edge Lit can be as thin as 1.2” or less while a backlit can be 3.9” or even 5.0” thick.


The Edge Lit is an LCD television of extremely light weight that produces a great picture and it is easily maintainable. With the screen being so thin and light weight it’s easy to move and mount onto the wall. However, the Edge Lit is much less expensive than the Backlit and often presents uneven brightness. The Backlit on the other hand is a bit thicker in width as well as heavier to move when mounting or cleaning. However the Backlit does offer superb picture quality, better than the Edge Lit. 


While the Edge Lit is cheaper than the Backlit, the Backlit has every reason to be more expensive. The Backlit has LED lights that are actually positioned behind the screen which results in something called “local dimming.” This means that if the picture needs to be lighter in one area and darker in another area that can be easily achieved. The Edge Lit on the other hand has LED lights that go around the edges of the frame. Therefore the contrast isn't as good and they don’t distribute independently, but instead evenly across the screen. This is the main reason why the Backlit is more expensive than the Edge Lit, even though the Edge Lit is thinner.


  • The Edge Lit is skinnier than the Backlit and less expensive.
  • Although the Edge Lit is less expensive the picture quality is no where near as good as the Backlit.
  • The Backlit has lights behind the screen while the Edge Lit has them around the screen, thus making the Edge Lit quality worse. 
  • The Backlit is thicker and more expensive because of the local dimming that comes along with it. 
  • The Edge Lit can be as thin as 1.2 or less while the Backlit can be as thick as 5.0 or more in some cases. 

Edge-Lit Local Dimming LED Backlight Solution

Which TV would you buy?
  • Edge Lit LED
  • Backlit LED

Discuss It: comments 14

  • Guest
  • sandra thompson wrote on June 2010

Redd your article. At one point you say side lit is more expensive .....

  • Guest
  • tonichi wrote on November 2011

Not "Redd" >>> spell READ for both present and past tense (just pronounce it as "REED" and "RED" for the present and past tense, respectively.

  • Guest
  • Anon User wrote on February 2012

You're an expert, huh?

Nice article. LED TV is the best TV. Good job keep going on...

  • Guest
  • T S Sarangarajan wrote on October 2010

Thanks. But is there any TV in India which has backlit LED technology. If so pse intimate as I am looking to purchase one of 40/46inches. thanks once again.

  • Guest
  • Paras Raizada wrote on May 2015

I recently bought SHARP which has all backlit TV's. Quality is excellent

LG only has a 46inch Back lit 3D LED TV. YOu can check this.

  • Guest
  • wedding photographer suffolk wrote on February 2011

Just brought a Sony KDL-46HX803 (edge lit) and when I veiwed a back lit and edge lit side by side in the show room you couldnt tell much of a difference. The back lit had a bit more saturation but that could have just been down to the settings. Either way the performance was so close I wasnt prepared to spend the extra money to have backlit.

  • Guest
  • tonichi wrote on November 2011

The problem will be solved. The future of thinner and thinner HDTV is in this technology !!!

  • Guest
  • Jarrett wrote on November 2011

I work at Sears as an electronics expert. The thickness of a back lit tv is now remarkably thin. (i.e. The Sharp 60"-70" LED) which is only 2.8" thick at the mounting point. I've stared at LED, LCD, and Plasma for a while now. Hands down Samsung LED 6300 series wins.

  • Guest
  • Suzi wrote on August 2014

What's your opinion now in 2014 Jarrett, besides a 4k which is out of my price range.

  • Guest
  • ledscreenz wrote on January 2013

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  • Guest
  • ledscreenz wrote on January 2013

Thanks for this nice posting I will come again your site.

Ledscreenz.com manufacturer indoor outdoor wireless display LED screen, Buy video wall tv LED, Digital board screens India Chandigarh Punjab.

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