What Is the Difference Between LED and Laser Color Printers?

There are some key differences between LED and laser color printers:

Light source:

  • LED printers use an array of LEDs that flash a line of light across the print drum to form the image. This allows printing a full line of dots at once.
  • Laser printers use a laser beam that scans back and forth across the drum one dot at a time via rotating mirrors and lenses.


  • LED printers can offer faster print speeds as they flash a line of dots simultaneously. The scanning speed of the laser limits laser printers.

Reliability and maintenance:

  • LED printers have no moving parts in their printhead compared to the mirrors and lenses in laser printers. This makes LED printers more reliable with less need for servicing.

Image quality:

  • Modern LED and laser printers offer comparable print quality and resolution. Early LED printers had lower resolution.


  • LED printers tend to be cheaper to manufacture than laser printers so they can be less expensive.

In summary, LED printers leverage LED arrays to print faster with fewer moving parts, while laser printers rely on precise laser optics to build the image. But both technologies now produce excellent quality color prints for home and office use. LED printers aim for speed and simplicity, while laser focuses more on precision.


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