LED Education

The engineering and manufacturing of an LED display is fascinating. Well, as least we think so because they aren't just our business, but our passion as well. We strive to deliver the most head-turning and eye-catching LED displays in the industry. Here is some information about LEDs and LED displays you may not know.


LED (Light Emitting Diode)

An LED is a cost effective, energy efficient, ultra-bright product that operates for up to 100,000 hours.

The LED is constructed using a semiconductor diode which releases light when DC voltage / current is applied. Various colors are achieved by changing the base material of the diode.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

PIXEL

A Pixel is a single point of light. The pixel can be composed of either one or multiple LEDs. Our LED displays utilize different pixel configurations based on the model and graphic resolutions.

PIXEL

MODULE

The Module is a single section of the LED display that contains a fixed number of pixels. The module size of the outdoor LED diplays are typically 8 x 16 (8 pixels high by 16 pixels wide) but sometimes can be 8 x 8 for lower resolution signs.

8 x 8 Matrix Module

8 x 8 Matrix Module

Each module contains pixels (clusters of LEDs) that are attached to a circuit board. There is a louver over each of the individual pixels which helps to enhance the contrast and brightness of the sign.

Louver close-up

Louver close-up

In the event of failure, the modular technology allows for easy replacement of a small and inexpensive section of the sign eliminating the need to replace the entire sign.

Internal look at the Modules

Internal look at the Modules

PITCH

The Pitch is the distance from center-to-center of adjacent pixels (expressed in millimeters).

The density of the pixels determine the image clarity or resolution. The more pixels per square foot, the higher the resolution.

Pitch diagram

Pitch diagram

35 MM dot pitch

35 MM dot pitch

20 MM dot pitch

20 MM dot pitch

16 MM dot pitch

16 MM dot pitch

IMAGE RESOLUTION & DISTANCE

Higher resolution images have more clarity and are better to use at closer viewing distance.

Lower resolution signs look better at a greater viewing distance.

20 pixels x 20 pixels

20 pixels x 20 pixels

40 pixels x 40 pixels

40 pixels x 40 pixels

80 pixels x 80 pixels

80 pixels x 80 pixels

VIEWING DISTANCE

The size and pitch of your sign really depends on multiple factors. Where is the sign going to be installed? If it is lower to the ground and closer to the road or people passing your sign, then a lower pitch (higher resolution) sign would be best. If your sign will be higher off the ground and/or farther back from the road, then you can use a higher pitch (lower resolution) sign. See the image for more details.

A sign installed high off the ground or back from the road some distance

  • Any sign from low resolution (higher pitch) to high resolution (lower pitch: aka 10mm) is fine.
  • A larger sign for increased distances from the viewer is needed.

A sign installed at medium height off the ground or set back from the road a small distance

  • Use a medium to high resolution sign (medium i.e. 20mm) to low pitch (i.e. 10mm))
  • A medium to large size sign is recommended

A sign installed low to the ground or is close to the road or viewer

  • Use a high resolution sign (low pitch like 10mm to 16mm)
  • Use a smaller to medium size sign (not too small so they can't see it from a distance)
Viewing Distance

PIXEL VARIATION

Note the difference in pitch on these modules.

12MM - Indoor Tri Color (LED-40)

12MM - Indoor Tri Color (LED-40)

16MM - Outdoor Full Color (RGB)

16MM - Outdoor Full Color (RGB)

18MM - Indoor Tri Color (LED-60)

18MM - Indoor Tri Color (LED-60)

PIXEL MATRIX

The Pixel Matrix is the dimension of electronic message area of the sign in pixels. A matrix of 32 x 112 means the viewable area of the sign is 32 pixels high by 112 pixels long.

A matrix of 56 x 144 has a much better aspect ratio to show full images and videos than a 40 x 128 pixel matrix. See example to the right.

You should never go below 48 pixels in height to display graphic images or video.

56 x 144 pixel matrix

56 x 144 pixel matrix

40 x 128 pixel matrix

40 x 128 pixel matrix


VIEWING ANGLE

Viewing Angle is the maximum angle LEDs can be seen at 100% brightness. Outside of this angle, the visibility is reduced by half.

VIEWING ANGLE

Our Outdoor LED diplays have a 140 degree viewing angle


NITS (LED Brightness)

The brightness of an LED sign is generally measured in a value called NITS.

The higher the number of NITS the brighter the display. Sunlight is rated at 4,000 NITS.

Guru LED signs have a NITS value of 7,500 or greater.

The software includes a feature that allows the user to adjust the brightness for daytime or nighttime use.

NITS (LED Brightness)

CHARACTER HEIGHT

The Character Height is the height (in inches) of a letter, number or symbol that can be displayed on a single line of the viewing area.

If the LED display has multiple lines of text, there can be multiple character heights.

Example:
The 4 line tri-color has 4 lines of 6" characters, but the software can change the sign to display one line of 24" characters, two lines of 12" characters, or one line of 12" characters and two lines of 6" letters.

Viewing Distance Chart

Viewing Distance Chart:
Use these tables to help determine the appropriate character size for a display based on viewing distance and or the speed at which the viewer may be traveling.

Example:
At 35 mph travel speed you have 7 seconds to view 12" high letters.
Letters will become readable at a 360 ft. distance.


POWER SUPPLY

The Power Supply converts 120V AC input to DC voltage used to operate the sign.

POWER SUPPLY

POWER PROTECTION DEVICE

The Power Protection Device helps prevent damage to the electronics due to lightning strikes and sudden power surges.

POWER PROTECTION DEVICE

CONTROLLER

The Controller executes the programs it receives from the software.

CONTROLLER

THERMAL MANAGEMENT FANS

Thermal Management Fans are used to cool the electronic components and are calibrated at the factory to a preset temperature.

THERMAL MANAGEMENT FANS

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