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LED Display Technology: What is it?

Projectorpoint blog - What is LED display technology

LED is now used for a wide range of applications. Ever since they were developed for practical commercial usage, they have become a popular alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs of the past.

Today, LED technology can be used for a variety of different purposes and offers a number of benefits over other types of display technology. Key here is its ability to deliver ultra-bright, high-quality images on an extremely large scale.

Understanding how these light-emitting diodes (LED) function may well inform your decision when investing in a new piece of technology. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about LED technology below, but if you need more guidance or information about how LED achieves its impressive results, or need help choosing the right LED screen for your venue, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts here at Projectorpoint.

What is LED display technology?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are solid-state devices that use semiconductors and electroluminescence to create light. In short, this is the process of a material emitting light when an electric current is passed through it.

Essentially, LEDs convert electric energy directly into light, which differs from traditional incandescent lighting, which uses heat energy to generate light, which typically result in a significant waste of energy through heat loss. In comparison, LED technology is often referred to as ‘cold light technology’, due to the lower heat output from LEDs, and the fact they don’t waste energy in the form of non-light producing heat.

In the past, visible-light LEDs were of low intensity and limited to red. However, LEDs now cover the entire light spectrum, including the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white. As a result, they can now be used for many different purposes, including display technology, offering exceptionally accurate colour and stand-out brightness, even in outdoor settings.

The rise of LED

The earliest LED technology emitted low-intensity infrared light, limited to the colour red. As such, these little lights didn’t have the same kind of wide commercial compatibility as they do now. However, they were still commonly used as replacements for things like incandescent and neon indicator lamps in cars and were progressively integrated into various remote-control circuits for consumer electronics.

LEDs were also used in calculators, radios, telephones and watches. However, it was not until the 1970s that LEDs become more affordable and had a greater capacity in terms of their light output levels across a range of different colours.

We largely have Japanese, Korean and Chinese technology manufacturers to thank for the most recent research and development in LED technology. This has resulted in incredibly high light output capacities with increased efficiency.

Due to factors like market competition, this technology is now increasingly cost-effective. It was these changes that enabled the further development of LED-based technology and eventual usage in the kind of applications we are familiar with today, such as LED panels.

Famous examples of LED display panels in action

Fast-forward to today and LED technology is now used for a number of impressive applications – here are some of the most famous examples.

Suntec City Retail Shopping & Convention Centre (Singapore)

  • Over 660 integrated LED flat-panel displays were assembled to deliver dynamic content throughout the day. Around 49 feet tall and 197 feet wide, the HD video wall at Singapore’s Suntec City is one of the world’s largest LED displays.

Times Square (New York City)

  • One of New York’s best-known attractions is the huge LED wall, located on the façade of the Marriott Marquis Hotel. It has 24 million pixels, is around 23 meters high and 100 meters long.

Viva Vision canopy, Fremont Street (Las Vegas)

  • Featuring more than 12 million LED modules and coupled with a 555,000-watt sound system, this 27-metre tall screen, which spans 457 metres in length, has an average daily attendance of 25,000 at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas.

The Place, Chaoyang District (Beijing)

  • The entire canopy at the Place in Chaoyang District, Beijing is made up of LEDs, with the entire screen measuring 250 metres long and 30 meters wide. It is also suspended 25 meters high for added impact, joining the ranks of Asia’s biggest screens.

Piccadilly Circus (London)

  • Europe’s largest single digital screen is located at Piccadilly Circus in London. Distinctive for its curved shape and incredibly large surface area of 790 square metres, it also displays a patchwork of LED video display images for the huge crowds of people that pass by this popular junction each day.

Plaza de Callao (Madrid)

  • Samsung’s giant LED screen, which is 6 meters wide and 37 meters high, is the largest outdoor screen in Spain. It is also a smart LED model that repels water and dust and can even operate at temperatures between 40 degrees below zero and 55 degrees above!

What are LED screens?

An LED Screen, or LED wall, is often compared to a giant television or computer monitor. However, the screen itself is composed differently and is actually made of multiple light emitting diodes placed close together, to form an overall display panel. Each of these LEDs emits three colours – red, green and blue – and when combined, can display most colours in the spectrum.

LED technology should not be confused with LCD (liquid crystal display) technology, which is often used in television or computer monitors. Often, brands will advertise their screens as LED TV screens or LED monitors, but they are merely LCD screens with LED backlights to replace an alternative light source.

LED screens are a completely different technology to LCD screens. While LCDs are designed with indoor usage in mind and are created to smaller scales, LEDs are designed for much larger settings – often used in places like conference venues or shopping centres. Due to the high brightness output of LEDs, they are also much more capable at delivering images in bright outdoors spaces, unlike LCD technology.

LED screens can be used for a number of applications including the following:

Event spaces

High resolution indoor LED screens are a popular display choice for indoor event spaces such as exhibition centres, conferences, innovative marketing installations and corporate events.

Corporate & educational settings

LED screens can be used as a great medium for delivering highly engaging and informative content. This could be images, video, text or graphical information representing data. Delivering this content to scale in extremely high quality is an ideal way to increase overall engagement from your audience, ensure workplace collaboration and reinforce specific messages in both corporate and educational settings.

Digital signage & retail

Digital signage has seen massive growth recently. All over the world, LED screens are used to display a range of different promotional and commercial content, to deliver high impact to viewers in places like shopping centres, commuter networks and company office spaces.

The benefits of LED technology

High-resolution LED screens deliver messages with extremely high impact. We’ve outlined the major advantages below.

Better tech for lower prices

LED screens typically deliver better value and lower costs compared to other display types when you’re talking scale. When looking for display options for large spaces, they are often the best choice, due to their overall resolution quality and pixels per inch, which come at reasonable prices for the quality you are getting.

Brightness & flexibility of application

LED screens do not get washed out by bright ambient light. As such, they are suitable for use in a number of very bright environments such as outdoor parks or shopping spaces, or indoors, where excess light filters through from windows or doors.

Experiential spaces for commercial uses

There’s almost no limit when it comes to LEDs and screen sizes. If you can afford it, then you can max out your screen size as big as your space will allow, without ever compromising on the image quality. This does come with the need to produce custom content however, so it’s important to be mindful of this.

The lack of restriction on size and aspect ratio is largely due to the fact that LED screens are modular. This means they are made up of many individual panels and modules which can be connected to create the exact screen dimension you need.

Today’s technology – the Optoma FHDQ130

One of the most impressive developments in the world of LED technology is the new range of displays from Optoma. Models such as the FHDQ130 offer an all-in-one solution for a quick and easy out-of-the-box installation, without compromising on the high-end quality consumers expect from LEDs. These models can range from £96,000 for fixed-installation solutions to around £105,000 for mobile solutions.

Technology like this reduces the typical complexity associated with installing large LED systems. As each model comes pre-calibrated, they can be easily installed and used in a number of different settings with minimal hassle. While many LED screens of the past required significant time to allow for a custom build or installation in each new location, the Optoma FHDQ130 is completely mobile and can moved between different rooms or spaces. This cuts out the need to implement complex structural LED mounting.

The FHDQ130 is also a great fit for an office and meeting setting, where presentations or media needs to be delivered to large numbers. This is supported by a range of connectivity options, including HDMI and HDBaseT, as well as a motorised, adjustable trolley that can be used to taxi the machine from room to room.

Companies now have the option of investing in a single LED panel screen, to be used across a number of different rooms and spaces, rather than purchasing multiple display options for each individual space. You can see from this example just how far LED technology has come and also see its increasing usefulness as a consumer product.

Choosing the right screen for your needs…

There are a number of factors that determine what the right screen is for your event or office setting. These include things like how often you will use it, where your audience will be positioned and how much ambient lighting there is. If you need some help figuring out exactly what you need, then give us a call on 0800 073 0834 and we’ll be more than happy to help you with your decision.

There are now a number of LED display options on the market that offer easy usability in terms of buying and setting up your LED screen yourself, such as the Optoma FHDQ130. Even so, it pays to seek advice on the kind of preparation you need to make, in terms of servicing your new LED screen or mounting it to a specific framework. At DisplayPoint, we can answer all these questions for you and more.

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