3 Questions To Ask To Choose The Right LED Screen
Advancement in the LED technology is transforming the LED screen display industry in a big way. The manufacturing process of the LED chip is getting more efficient. The production cost has decreased considerably. As a result, LED screen display has become more affordable.
The revolutionary change in the LED screen industry has opened up a new opportunity. Many business owners and advertisers have been utilizing LED screens in their businesses. LED screen has a lot of advantages when compared to other existing technologies such as projector screen, LCD display and traditional print media. Hence, LED screen is widely adopted in replacing these outdated technologies.
LED screen can be used for various types of applications including both indoor and outdoor applications. Choosing the right LED screen can be a daunting process. Cheapest or the most expensive product is not necessarily a winning solution. When making any purchase decision, the cost-to-performance ratio is the most important factor. In short, users want to choose the right product with the best performance and the best price, for the right application. As a LED screen specialist in Malaysia, Big Screen Media has created the 3 Golden Rules in choosing the right LED screen. We suggest you to ask 3 questions before placing your order with your LED screen solution provider.
- What is your LED screen application?
- How does the environment look like?
- What is your viewing distance?
1. What is your LED screen application?
The first question to ask is what do you want to do with your LED screen. LED screen can be used in many scenarios. You will need different types of LED screens for different types of applications.
- Ceiling Hung
- Wall Mounted
- Wall Embedded
- Single pole or Double-pole
- Overhead Screen
- Mobile Application
- Sports Arena
- Strong & rigid ceiling structure
- Lightweight LED screen display panels
- Small & medium sized screen (less than 200 square feet)
- Indoor LED screen with magnesium alloy panels
The installation of a hung LED screen does not need any physical space on the ground. Hence, it is a very convenient installation for indoor or semi-indoor applications. The LED screen can be found in areas with high foot traffic such as passageway, railway station, main entrance and event venue.
Due to the load limitation for most ceilings, only small and medium sized LED screens are allowed to be installed. Not every ceiling structure is designed to support a heavy hanging object.
- Strong & rigid wall structure
- 750mm to 900mm maintenance platform (for outdoor installation only)
Wall mount installation is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. A customized steel frame bracket will be mounted to the building wall to support the LED screen display panels.
Wall mounted LED screens are commonly found on building walls. It is one of the most favourite installations for outdoor advertising and digital billboards. Outdoor billboard needs a maintenance platform which is located between the LED screen and the wall. On the other hand, indoor LED screen does not need a maintenance platform because it is front serviceable.
- Strong & rigid wall structure
- Sufficient depth for both LED screen and the supporting steel frame
- Active ventilation system to dissipate heat (for outdoor installation)
- Outdoor LED screen
- Indoor LED screen
Wall embedded installation is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. The LED screen is embedded into the wall and the overall design will look uniform. The installation is a great option for aesthetic purpose.
However, the wall embedded installation requires a more careful approach in designing and planning the LED screen. Engineer needs to ensure sufficient depth of the wall to fit both LED screen and its supporting steel frame. The surface of the installed LED screen needs to be aligned with the wall surface.
Single Pole or Double-Pole
- large concrete foundation with great soil condition
- screen size requirements or restrictions can be vary depending on the locations
- do not cause disturbance or obstruction to road traffic and nearby infrastructures or buildings
- Outdoor LED screen
Single pole or double-pole installation is widely used for outdoor digital billboards at open spaces. A pole or two poles are used to support the LED screen which is usually very high above the ground level. A high outdoor LED billboard can have a better visibility and a longer viewing distance.
Another important part of the single pole or double-poled LED screen is the concrete foundation. The foundation serves as a great support to the whole structure and ensure that the structure is capable of withstanding strong wind load. In order to build a structurally strong LED billboard, engineers need to assess the soil condition, the wind load and the billboard height.
- a steel frame structure or a bridge structure is required
- availability of ladder or stairs for rear service & maintenance of the LED screen
- Outdoor LED screen
Overhead screen is also known as overhead panel (OHP). It is a type of LED screen which is mounted on a standalone steel frame structure that spans across the road. Besides, the LED screen can also mounted on an existing pedestrian bridge. In order to ensure a safe installation, permits need to be obtained from the highway or local authorities.
- strong & rigid rooftop structure
- proper waterproofing prior to steel frame installation to prevent water leakage problem
- Outdoor LED screen
Installation and post installation maintenance are some of the challenges that need to be dealt with. However, if the installation is planned and conducted well, rooftop LED screen can bring advantages. Large LED screen can be built on top of a high-rise building to enable better visibility for a greater viewing distance. Besides, this method does not require additional land estate.
- customized body work is required
- additional power generator and inverter to provide electricity to the LED screen
- incorporate ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness automatically, to ensure the safety of other road users
- Mobile LED Truck
This installation method has gained popularity in recent years. The whole display system is installed on movable vehicles such as truck, van or bus. The screen is usually used to display advertisements, or serves as a backdrop for live event together with sound reinforcement system.
- strong & rigid ceiling, rooftop or wall structure
- walkway platform at the back of the LED screen is required for future service & maintenance
- Outdoor LED Screen (for outdoor stadium)
- Indoor LED Screen (for indoor stadium)
LED screens are commonly found in sport arenas. Digital LED scoreboard is used to display the game score. Besides, a large LED screen in a sport arena can be a multi-purpose display. Live match, video replay, game score and advertisements are displayed commonly using the multi-purpose LED screen display.
2. How does the environment look like?
The location or the surrounding environment of the LED screen is very important. It can affect several factors such as screen brightness and weather resistance.
A. Weather Resistant Capability
One of the main differences between an indoor LED screen and an outdoor LED screen is the degree of weather resistance. LED screen’s capability of being weather resistant is measured by using the Ingress Protection (IP) rating.
IP2X and IP3X are the most common IP ratings for indoor LED screen panel. Indoor LED panel is protected against large physical object but is not protected against moisture (dictated by X).
IP65 is the standard rating for outdoor LED screen panel. The panel is dust tight and is protected against jets of water. If users want to use the LED screen in an outdoor environment, IP65 is the standard that the LED screen needs to achieve.
Another main difference between an indoor LED screen and an outdoor LED screen is the level of screen brightness. The screen brightness is measured in nits (cd/m2). Higher level of brightness means the screen can appear visible even when there is strong ambient light.
Outdoor LED screen usually has a higher brightness level, ranging from 4,500 nits to 7,500 nits. Some LED panels which are made of high grade materials, can even reach as high as 12,000 nits. On the other hand, indoor LED screen does not require a high level of brightness. The indoor environment has lower ambient light. If an indoor screen is too bright, it will affect the viewing experience heavily.
- 500 to 1500 nits for most indoor displays
- Computer monitor and smartphone screen have brightness levels of 250 to 500 nits
- 1500 to 2500 nits is ideal for indoor displays located in bright environments or close to the windows
- 2500 to 7500 nits is required for outdoor displays
- 5000 nits is the ideal brightness level for most outdoor applications, and it is sufficient to ensure a great viewing experience under strong sunlight
- Up to 12,000 nits is possible by using DIP based LED screen panels
3. What is your viewing distance?
It is very important for users to determine the viewing distance of their applications. It will then help the users to pick the suitable pixel pitch. Pixel pitch is an important factor to take concern of since it can affect the visual clarity and the cost.
A general rule of thumb is to select the pixel pitch (in mm) that corresponds to the viewing distance (m). For example if your viewing distance is 4m, the chosen pixel pitch should not greater than 4mm. Although a smaller pixel pitch such as 1mm can achieve a greater resolution, the viewing experience will be greatly affected if the viewer is not viewing the content within the range of optimum viewing distance. Besides, cost is higher when the pixel pitch is smaller.
On the other hand, if the pixel pitch is too large for indoor display, such as 10mm, the visual can appear pixelated and not visual appealing if the viewer is standing too near to the screen.
Minimum viewing distance (m) = Pixel Pitch (mm)
Pixel Pitch (mm) x 3 = Optimal viewing distance (m)
Using the formulae above, users can determine the minimum and the optimum viewing distance easily. Optimum viewing distance refers to the acceptable distance where the screen can appear sharp without any obvious visible pixels.
What is Pixel Pitch?
Pixel pitch is the center to center distance of adjacent pixels measured in millimeter. In layman term, pixel pitch refers to the gap between the pixels of LED display.
Smaller pixel pitch means closer distance between each individual pixel. In other words, there are more pixels within the same display area, resulting in higher resolution and better image clarity.
Figure below illustrates the pixel pitch for an LED module.
Finally, we can refer to the following table for the general idea on choosing the right pixel pitch. Indoor LED screen usually has a pixel pitch below 5mm, while outdoor usually has a pixel pitch of 6mm and above.
Advancement of LED panel manufacturing technology has enabled pixel pitch as small as 2.5mm for outdoor application but it is still not common yet. We expect to see more outdoor applications with smaller pixel pitches in the near future.
The three questions we mentioned above are extremely important when it comes to choosing your best LED screen. Users should always make a reasonable decision before purchasing any LED screen.
If you still have doubt in choosing the right LED screen, always feel free to seek advice from LED display experts or solution providers.