The main difference between how light-emitting diode, or LED, and plasma televisions work is their viewing panels. LED televisions are lit by two lead semiconductor light sources, or light-emitting diodes. Plasma television panels consist of small subpixels that contain an ionized gas.
The light sources on LED televisions are most commonly found on the edges. This, plus the type of light source used, give the LED television several perceived advantages over plasma televisions. Edge lighting allows for manufacturers to make their products super thin, and the diodes can reproduce a vast array of colors, making for a larger range of colors on the viewing panel than with a plasma television. Other differences that give LED televisions an advantage is the energy efficiency and panel brightness.
Plasma television differences do offer some advantages over the LED television. For example, reviewers remark that plasma televisions produce true, deeper blacks, and even though their color ranges aren't as vast, their color reproduction is richer. Another difference between the two types of televisions is in the viewing angles. In Plasma televisions, each cell is self lit, so the picture remains enjoyable from any angle without losing color integrity as would happen with an LED television. Plasma televisions also have a reduced motion blur compared to LED televisions, due to having a faster response time.
LED TVs, even the 42-inch models, typically use between 40 and 50 watts, although that amount rises if additional features such as Wi-Fi are active. Even though plasma TVs have become more efficient as the technology improved, they still normally require more power when compared to an LED TV with the same screen size.