LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, while LED stands for (and uses an array of) Light Emitting Diodes.
LED displays are essentially LCD technology with LED back-lighting. Realistically, the two display types are a lot more similar than they are different. Both contain liquid crystals between two layers of polarized glass. In fact, while LCDs traditionally used CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamps) for illumination, the vast majority now use LED backlights as well; with slight differences that separate the types.
OLEDs and Beyond
An emerging class of commercial display technologies consists of OLEDs and MicroLEDs, that can emit visible light without backlights. However, they are commercially used for small applications such as mobiles due to very high costs.
Choosing between LEDs and LCDs
Regardless of type, digital display technology is rapidly moving from expensive, use-case specific, and proprietary screens to cheaper, multi-purpose, and standard ones. This aligns with the paradigm shift of IoT and cloud-based computing—which relegate content storage, processing, and management to AV-over-IP software—drastically scaling installation size while optimizing hardware and support costs.
See AV-over-IP video walls and digital displays in action with a free demo from one of our experts: