What is an LED Printer?

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Updated November 19, 2022

If you are new to the world of printers, you may wonder what an LED printer is. Many of the best printers feature drastically different designs and features, and this lineup includes LED printers. So what exactly is an LED printer, do you need one, and what benefits do they bring to the table for average consumers? Keep reading to find out.


  • LED-based printers use an LED array to shave off toner and apply a design via the print head to the page.
  • This is a newer type of printer, but the segment has grown quickly in a short time, as they create a great print quality due to the array of LEDs.
  • LED-based printers are great for making large batches of documents in a short amount of time due to increased print speeds.

LED Printers Defined

This type of printer to a laser printer, and not an impact printer, as it uses LED lights on the printhead to make an etching from printer toner. The LED bar pulses quickly across the entire page width to create an image on the print drum as the print belt moves, even if you compare an inkjet printer to a dye sublimation printer.

Insider Tip

LED printers do not require ink but toner or a similar compound to complete prints.

Modern LED printers are considered to be efficient and long-lasting, so you won’t have to learn how to dispose of an old printer anytime soon.

Uses for LED Printers

LED-based printers are found wherever laser and even inkjet printers are found, as they offer a similar variety of use case scenarios. LED printers are great for printing simple documents, especially when you are in a rush. You will find them in offices, home offices, college dorms, and just about anywhere else.

Benefits of LED Printers

There are many benefits to choosing an LED-based printer over a laser printer, an inkjet printer, or other types of printers.

Increased Speed

Modern LED printers are extremely fast, making them the best option for churning out documents quickly. The speed varies, of course, depending on the make and model. The overall design allows for this increase in speed, as it does not take very long for the LED-equipped printhead to make it down the page.


This is a relatively new type of printer, and they were fairly expensive upon initial release. As technology has become commonplace and LEDs have reduced in price, this type of printer has only gotten more budget-friendly. Nowadays, you can purchase an LED printing device for around the same price as a standard inkjet printer.

STAT: Oki Electric Industry claims to have made the first LED printer in 1981. A commercialized variant called OPP6220 was developed in 1986. (source)

Quiet During Use

There are not many moving parts with this type of printer, so they are extraordinarily quiet during use, especially when compared to inkjet printers. They barely make a sound when using this printer type to complete print jobs.

Printer LED FAQs

What are the best LED-type printers?

LED is a newer print technology, so choose a model based on the feature set. If you want a color printer, for instance, make sure it can do that. Otherwise, look for superior print quality and high rates of print.

LED vs laser printers: Which is better for business?

Both types have their place in office environments, as they both complete print jobs quickly and without too much fuss, though laser printers can occasionally get hung up on static electricity when performing print jobs.

What should you look for when buying a laser printer?

When going for laser-based printer technology for laser printing, look for a high DPI resolution, a photosensitive drum, and a design that prioritizes low print costs.
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