As well as the obvious differences between LED (light-emitting diode) displays and other forms of image display, there are some major differences between the different types of LED products available on the market. We’ve done our best to answer some of the most important questions when it comes to buying an LED video display.
Hopefully, these points will help you make an educated decision regarding your potential purchase but you can always get in touch with the experts at DisplayPoint if you need some added guidance.
1. Is the screen fixed, mobile or modular?
LED display screens are all of the above. Depending on your requirements, a suitable LED display can be configured to meet the needs of your environment and application.
Fixed LED screens can be permanently installed at any location, providing a reliable form of image display that is well-suited to advertisements or sporting events, among other uses.
Mobile LED displays are becoming increasingly popular, with models such as the Optoma FHDQ130 leading the way in terms of offering businesses a practical way to use mobile LED technology in a number of different settings – perfect for events, conferences and more. This usually involves an additional vehicle system that is used to transport the screen between locations.
Modular LED displays refer to how different panels can be connected to build a custom LED configuration suited to any number of environments. Whether it’s music festivals or indoor retail displays, LEDs can be created by linking individual panels together, thanks to their modular nature.
2. Can LED displays be used both indoor and outdoor?
You can purchase LED displays that are suited to both indoor and outdoor environments. Typically, outdoor screens will be designed to withstand rain and wind. They may also come with a higher (bigger) pixel pitch measurements, making the images suitable for longer viewing distances associated with their application (large industry conferences, sporting events). These screens generally have a higher brightness output and long ‘shaders’ to mitigate the effects of direct sunlight. Internal circuitry will also be protected by conformal coating.
In contrast, indoor LED displays may be smaller in size generally, and lower (smaller) in terms of pixel pitch measurements. This means that pixels are more dense and therefore individuals will be able to enjoy the images from a closer viewing distance at optimal resolutions.
3. How do LED displays deal with ambient light levels?
The brightness output level of LEDs is typically higher than in other forms of image display such as projectors, making it great for handling ambient lighting. Indoor displays may have typical minimum values for screen brightness of around 650 nits while outdoor displays will have a minimum brightness of 5,000 nits.
Depending on the current light conditions, LED displays may not have to use their entire brightness capacity and can sometimes be adjusted to use less energy, which can also reduce operational costs. For instance, outdoor LED displays will require less brightness at night than in the middle of the day.
4. What screen size is required?
Your decision on the size of LED display you buy should be determined by:
- The environment you are installing into
- The distance viewers will be from the screen
- The kind of content you want to display
While a custom-made LED display can be built to produce images of any aspect, ratio size or resolution, some screen will be suited to specific ratios such as 16:9. If you simply choose the biggest screen you can afford, you may end up with a stretched image if your content requirements are not factored in.
5. How does the audience viewing distance impact LED display?
The size and resolution of your LED display should be determined by the distance your viewers will be placed from your screen.
If people will be positioned closer to the screen, such as would be the case in an indoor corporate reception, conference room or boardroom setting for instance, then you will need a tighter pixel pitch to make sure that the individual pixels are not visible and resolution is suitable.
Similarly, this means you should not simply opt for the largest-sized screen. An outdoor LED display might be intended to be viewed from a great distance, which will require a larger pixel pitch.
6. How does the audience viewing angle impact LED displays?
Depending on where you audience is located, the quality of image viewable will differ. If you expect that individuals will be viewing your screen at wider angles, then you will need to offer the right amount of brightness to compensate for this. Newer LED screens produced by Optoma for instance can offer much wider viewing angles than previous models on the market, which includes both greater vertical and horizontal viewing angles.
7. What pixel pitch is required?
Pixel pitch is determined by the kind of content you wish to display and audience location/distance.
Remember, the lower or smaller the pixel pitch, the more expensive the technology will be.
To achieve a specific resolution to suit your content, you will need a certain number of pixels and if size is a factor (which it always is) then you need to work with both the pixel number and pitch to match this content requirement.
You will not need the same pixel pitch for a large outdoor LED display as you would for one that is used in smaller indoor environments. It is wise to speak to an expert about the specific pixel pitch that will suit your needs as this can often represent the largest saving on your project.
8. What kind of content can LED displays deliver?
All manner of media can be delivered through LED displays, but the greatest success is when content choice and LED specification have been matched up appropriately.
The content you wish to display should ultimately determine the kind of hardware you use. Custom-made content may produce the best results if you are configuring a unique modular LED set up. However, other LED displays will have a standard aspect ratio such as 16:9, which should be factored in when considering what type of content you are displaying.
9. How are LED screens mounted?
Depending on the type of LED screen you use, you will need to factor in how it will be mounted onto a specific framework.
Some LED displays will need very little installation and can be mounted directly onto interior walls, while larger outdoor LED walls will require unique structures to be built and put in place to mount your display.
There will also be specific weight restrictions based on your location and supporting structure. Heavier screens will obviously need more sophisticated frameworks to ensure safety and practicality – especially in public places.
10. How are LED screens accessed and maintained?
LED displays will need to be accessed and maintained differently depending on your configuration. Some may require expert engineers to service and maintain the screen regularly, while others may be accessed and maintained more easily. Much of this depends on how the screen is installed and where. Larger custom-made screens placed on the side of buildings for instance will require a more comprehensive on-site maintenance procedure from trained engineers.
11. What are the power requirements for LED displays?
LED displays will require a significant amount of energy to be powered. Indoor screens will typically require 480 watts and 2 amps per square metre to produce images at maximum brightness. This is massively greater for outdoor LED displays, which can be scaled infinitely through custom modular configurations. When performing power calculations, always use the peak values to measure how much is needed rather than the average to get a more realistic estimation of what is required.
If you’d like to find out more about the above topics or to receive a recommendation about the type of LED technology you need, get in touch with us at DisplayPoint on 0800 073 0834. We’ll be happy to discuss your options regarding LED display products and the practicalities of building and installing your chosen display system.