They are known by many different names – electronic message centers, digital displays, reader boards or electronic signs, just to name a few. Whatever you call them, it is our mission to help you feel confident and educated before you buy.
Other sign companies may try to confuse you with meaningless specifications and complicated jargon. Not us. Freedom LED prefers to provide you with the knowledge you need to choose the right sign for your business.
At Freedom, we call them “LED signs”. Here are a few of the key terms you will hear related to LED signs and why they are important to understand:
What is an LED?
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are special diodes that emit light when illuminated Light emitting diodes (LED) are special diodes that emit light when illuminated by the movement of electrons in the semi-conductor chips. Thousands of these LED’s are placed together on a sign, creating the clear images and pictures that you see.
An LED (light emitting diode) is an efficient, effective and ultra bright alternative to incandescent light bulbs. Unlike traditional light bulbs, LEDs do not burn out because there is no filament. Watchfire uses only the highest quality single-bin LEDs that are grouped by color value and brightness to ensure uniformity throughout the sign. We also calibrate every XVS model sign and digital billboard for color and brightness to ensure consistent image quality from end to end and long-lasting, vibrant color. Our calibration process configures the whole sign to a level of uniformity that is 50x greater than the human eye can perceive, allowing our signs to age more gracefully. Lower quality LEDs and signs that are not calibrated can begin to show color variations in a “quilted” pattern after a few months of operation.
What is a Pixel?
A pixel is the smallest discrete component of an image or picture. In the LED business, pixel refers to a grouping of LED diodes – red, green, and blue.
You’ll often hear digital signs referred to by their pixel pitch (e.g. 10mm, 19mm, 35mm). The pixel pitch is effectively the resolution of the sign. The resolution of a sign is dependent upon the distance between each pixel, which is typically comprised of a cluster of three LEDs – one red, one green, and one blue. The distance is measured in millimeters and the smaller the pitch, the closer together the LEDs are placed, giving you a tighter resolution with crisper and more life-like images.
What is LED Resolution?
Standard, Medium or High Resolution Quality ― Which Is Right for Your Business?
The first decision you will have to make is what resolution quality you want your sign to have. While high resolution might always be your first choice when selecting a television for your home theater, it’s not always the go-to option for a commercial LED sign.
High Resolution: 10mm, 12mm
High-resolution displays are ideal for locations with significant pedestrian traffic, a nearby busy intersection or traffic congestion. The closer your LED sign is to your audience, the greater the visual impact and messaging flexibility.
The tight pixel pitch on high resolution signs will allow you to display more graphics and content on your sign, even if square footage is limited. Theaters, entertainment venues, sports arenas and shopping malls are just a few examples of businesses using this type of sign to take advantage of close viewing range. Our 10mm and 12mm displays are also well-suited for locations with space constrictions, either from local zoning ordinances or because of an existing structure.
Go for high-resolution LED signs to wow pedestrians or vehicles passing at low speeds or stopping at nearby intersections. The increased pixel pitch allows for the high-quality content and graphics that will make a striking impression.
Medium Resolution: 16mm
If your location has traffic traveling by at 40mph or faster, or your location is distanced away from pedestrian and vehicular traffic, a medium resolution can offer the perfect balance of sign size and resolution to give you the greatest attention-grabbing power.
Many businesses have found that by choosing a medium-resolution sign they can afford to install a larger display allowing them to truly standout in their community.
Since the vehicle passengers have more time to appreciate the next level of impressive detail, your company’s image will directly benefit.
Standard Resolution: 19mm
Standard resolution signs are the best investment for a business whose daily traffic is passing at a speed of at least 55 miles per hour. Choosing standard resolution also saves money you can then reallocate to a larger-size sign that will call more attention to your business, especially if it is set back from the roadway.