An in-depth study of the physical and electrical properties of Si-nanocrystal-based MOSLEDs is presented. The active layers were fabricated with different concentrations of Si by both ion implantation and plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition. Devices fabricated by ion implantation exhibit a combination of direct current and field-effect luminescence under a bipolar pulsed excitation. The onset of the emission decreases with the Si excess from 6 to 3 V. The direct current emission is attributed to impact ionization and is associated with the reasonably high current levels observed in current-voltage measurements. This behaviour is in good agreement with transmission electron microscopy images that revealed a continuous and uniform Si nanocrystal distribution. The emission power efficiency is relatively low, ∼10 -3%, and the emission intensity exhibits fast degradation rates, as revealed from accelerated ageing experiments. Devices fabricated by chemical deposition only exhibit field-effect luminescence, whose onset decreases with the Si excess from 20 to 6 V. The absence of the continuous emission is explained by the observation of a 5nm region free of nanocrystals, which strongly reduces the direct current through the gate. The main benefit of having this nanocrystal-free region is that tunnelling current flow assisted by nanocrystals is blocked by the SiO2 stack so that power consumption is strongly reduced, which in return increases the device power efficiency up to 0.1%. In addition, the accelerated ageing studies reveal a 50% degradation rate reduction as compared to implanted structures.