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LED and LCD Printers - Are these Laser Printers?

Both LED (light emitting diodes) and LCD (liquid crystal display) printer technologies use a Xerographic printing process to produce their documents. However, their name derives from using either LEDs or LCDs and not a laser beam to transfer an electrostatic image to the photoreceptor: See stage 3 of How Do Laser Printers Work?. LED printers use a linear, high density array of LEDs to produce the image on the print drum whereas LCD printers produce an image on the photosensitive drum by shinning light through a liquid crystal display that filters the passage of light on a individual pixel basis. Given that LED, LCD and laser printers all make use of a similar process of printing, it is common practice for magazines, shops and websites to refer to all 3 types as ‘Laser Printers’. If there is any doubt, always refer to the manufacturers' specifications.

LED printers

Examples of LED printers






  Lexmark C950DE              
OKI C801N            
OKI C9655n   Xerox Phaser 7500dn


What are the Pros and Cons of LED Printers Compared to Traditional Laser Printers?

Tick  They are cheaper to manufacture due to having fewer moving parts.
Tick  Less sensitive to shock/impact. 
Tick  By avoiding the need for multiple passes they deliver as good or better performance.
Tick  Can be made significantly smaller, e.g. A3 LED printers have a similar footprint to A4 laser printers. This attribute makes them ideal for ‘multifunction printers’ that can print, copy and scan.
Tick  Having a flat paper path means they print extremely well on a variety of different media.

Cross  The chief downside is that LED printers currently offer lower resolution because of the technical issue of trying to maximise the number of LEDs in a given area e.g. 1200 dpi would require 1200 LEDs per inch! 

How does an LED Printer Work?

A simplified diagram of the workings of an LED printer is shown below:




1 History of Laser Printers
2 How do Laser Printers Work?
3 LED and LCD Printers - Are these Laser Printers?
4 Laser Printer and Photocopier - What is the Difference?
5 Laser Printer Paper - A3 Size and its Equivalent
6 Toner Cartridges - What are the Different Types?
7 Choosing a Laser Printer – How to Make an Informed Choice
8 Where to buy a Laser Printer and its Consumables - High Street v Internet
9 Basic Maintenance of Laser Printer
10 Who uses A3 Laser Printers?
11 A3 Laser Printers compared to A4 Laser Printers
12 A3 Colour Laser Printers compared to A3 Monochrome Laser Printers
13 A3 Colour Laser Printers compared to A3 Colour Inkjet Printers
14 Why does a Laser Printer cost more to buy than an Inkjet Printer?
15 Laser Printers: Health and Safety

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