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LED Display Technology – What You Need to Know

Viewsonic LED all-in-one displays

LED (light-emitting diode) display screens are becoming the new standard for both outdoor and indoor video display. You’ll increasingly find these bright image displays in many retail environments, but they’re also creeping into business locations, offering high quality and impressive image quality.

While projectors still hold an important place in the display technology world, LED products are becoming an attractive alternative; all the more popular due to new products on the market, such as the Optoma FHDQ130, which offers greater flexibility for displaying images in indoor spaces.

If you’re curious about LED displays and how you might benefit from them, we’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know.

What is an LED display?

LED video display is a that uses a panel of LEDs to create the image. This differs to LCD or liquid-crystal display, which sometimes uses LED’s for backlighting, but not for the image creation.

With the ability to create ultra-bright screens, LED displays are perfect for indoor and outdoor applications with varying ambient lighting conditions, whether it is from direct sunlight or nearby artificial lighting. These displays, often found in the form of multiple interconnected display panels that offer amazing images at incredibly large scale, are ideal for use in a number of settings today, including:

Commercial retail spaces Events and festivals
Business digital signage Digital Out of Home Advertising
Educational Establishments Business communication

How large are LED displays?

Your LED display is as big as the number of panels you choose to install. While a single panel can vary in size, depending on the manufacturer and product, large ‘LED walls’ can be created, which link together single displays. This creates seamlessly connected video panels that are ultimately unlimited in terms of size and shape.

Just imagine the video walls that accompany headline artists at music festivals and you’ll have an idea about the kind of size LED displays can reach.

Other single-panel display options are also available, such as the portable Optoma FHDQ130 that offers a moveable 2.88 x 1.62 metre screen. LED display products such as this are a great fit for an office and meeting setting, where presentations or media needs to be delivered to large numbers in a bright environment.

When thinking about LED display sizes, we’re generally talking ‘big’, but just how big they can get is really up to you and your specific needs. An advisor at DisplayPoint can help you calculate how large you need to go when planning your LED display configuration.

LED wall types

Not all LED displays are the same. Depending on your application, there are a number of products that will best suit your needs. The three major categories are:

Outdoor LED technology

These outdoor LED panels are designed to be weather-resistant and will operate in rain or despite strong direct sunlight. You might need an outdoor LED wall if you are organising a festival, sporting event or large outdoor party.

Indoor LED technology

As these indoor LED video panels are typically viewed from closer distances, they usually have much higher resolutions than their outdoor counterparts. These displays are great for things like press and PR events, indoor retail spaces, religious halls of worship or office meeting rooms.

Portable LED technology

As mentioned, certain LED products such as the Optoma FHDQ130 can be moved between different locations. This can offer businesses a great way to offer extremely high-quality images for various meetings or conferences, without the need to factor in lengthy installation procedures and the associated costs that come with setting up a temporary indoor LED display.

Modular LED panels

LED panels are modular in nature. This means that sizes and ratios can be configured, based on how you arrange individual panels. Mobile LED panels will already be set up to display certain content. However, if you choose to create your own custom LED wall, there is no limit to the kind of shapes and formations you create with your display content.

With LED wall panels, you have added flexibility and creativity when it comes to how visuals are configured. Rectangles, pyramids and other shapes can be created, depending on what you think will work for your setting.

Admittedly, this might present obstacles in terms of getting the aspect ratio right for your chosen content. You can create some amazing configurations, but you’ll have to factor in the creation of the kind of content you actually want to display from the beginning, to make sure it all matches up.

How does LED video display technology compare to projectors?

Firstly, brightness is typically much greater in LED panels than both projectors and professional display screens. With LED panels generating their own brightness, they create incredibly vivid viewing experiences on a large scale. LED panels don’t lose brightness over time like projectors and will deliver high saturation and contrast despite old age.

The size capabilities of LED displays are both a strength and weakness. LED panels can range from about 60 inches to 90 inches at the large end of the spectrum, with the possibility to increase your overall display size infinitely if you connect panels together. If you’re looking for this kind of sized though, LED display is likely to be price prohibitive vs. a normal projector or professional display. LED only really comes into it’s own when we’re looking at scale.

The same can be said if you need to display images in a smaller room, you may face difficulties, as you will probably find projectors or a large professional display would be much better-suited.

LED panels are generally more expensive at the outset, but the overall costs may be reduced due to the lack of maintenance or need for replacement with LED systems. Once installed, LED video panels will deliver high quality image content for longer durations than most projectors. Depending on your model, they may also take up less energy during operation, which could cut down on costs in the long run.

If you’re making a decision between an LED display panel, professional LCD display and a projector, don’t hesitate to get in touch with DisplayPoint for some bespoke advice. We’ll be happy to discuss the best configurations for your requirements and the budget.

LED display resolution

Pixel pitch

A form of measurement that is useful for determining image resolution for LED video walls is pixel pitch, also known as ‘dot pitch’. Pixel pitch is essentially the distance in millimetres from the centre of one pixel to the centre of the pixel adjacent to it.

The lower the distance between these two points, the higher the pixel density will be. This means a higher image resolution within a specific amount of space. If the pixels within a panel are 5.5mm apart from each other, then that screen’s pixel pitch is 5.5mm. The more pixels an image contains, the more detailed it will be, resulting in sharper and clearer visuals, especially if the audience is closer.

Viewing distances

Pixel pitch is important when it comes to the viewing distance of people from an LED display. If you get relatively close to an LED wall, you will actually be able to see individual pixels and the spaces between them. Obviously, this is not ideal, so configurations have to be made, based on an idea of where people will be located in relation to the screen.

If an LED display board has a high pixel pitch – which means a low relative resolution – then the viewer will need to be further away from the screen to achieve a clear and crisp image. This might be ideal if you aim to display your image across large distances. Vice-versa, if your spectators are going to be situated closer to the screen, then you’ll need a lower pixel pitch so that images are clear, even at closer proximity to the screen – sometimes this is referred to as a tight pitch.

If you’re wondering what configuration will best suit your needs, we’ll happily make the calculations for you at DisplayPoint. But if you want a general idea of what to look for, a good estimation is that for every 1mm in pixel pitch, you should allow for 8 feet of distance from the screen.

Brightness – lumens vs nits

The brightness of LED panels is measured differently from other display technology, such as projectors. While projector brightness is

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