L.E.D. Signs

Choosing the right LED sign

At Sign Depot we believe an informed buyer is a smart buyer. That’s why we’d like to help you understand as much as possible about all the options available to you when purchasing an LED sign.

When choosing an LED sign for your organization you need to ask yourself the following questions:

How far away will my audience be from the LED sign?
Look carefully at the location where you want your LED sign to be installed. You want to be sure that your target audience will have the chance to read your complete message before they have passed your LED sign. After all that is the point of the message sign  to convey a message. If you choose the wrong display you may not be able to communicate your message clearly to your targeted audience.

How much time will my target audience have to read my LED sign?
Travel past the location and determine the starting point and ending point of the visibility or your sign location. Note the distance from start to finish and the time it takes to travel that distance. Let someone else drive while you do this. If your target audience is stopped at a traffic light, you will be able to communicate complete messages with a smaller LED sign. If your LED sign is to be viewed by pedestrian traffic the factors still remain the same. How long will it take the average person to walk past your LED sign?

If your target audience is driving past your sign at what speed will they be traveling? Drivers traveling at 55 mph will have less time to read your message than drivers traveling at 35 MPH. How far away will they be when they’re first able to see your sign?

What kind of messages do I want to communicate to my target audience?
Take a few minutes and consider the type of messages you would like to see on your LED sign. Write them out and look at them. When programming an LED sign you will want to use abbreviations whenever possible and avoid punctuation marks. Short, easy to read and understand messages are the most effective.

Will images help convey your message more effectively? If so, your LED sign must be capable of displaying at least 256 shades of gray to your image clear and recognizable from a distance.

Understanding LED technology

What the heck is an LED anyway?

Light emitting diodes, commonly called LEDs, are real unsung heroes in the electronics world. They do dozens of different jobs and are found in all kinds of devices. Among other things, they form the numbers on digital clocks, transmit information from remote controls, light up watches and tell you when your appliances are turned on. Collected together, they can form the text and images you see on an LED sign.

Basically, LEDs are just tiny light bulbs that fit easily into an electrical circuit. But unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they don’t have a filament that will burn out, and they don’t get especially hot. They are illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, and they last just as long as a standard transistor.
Terminology

EMC – Electronic Messaging Centers are available in single color, full color and full video options.

Pitch – This is the spacing from center to center on the pixel you will find that a smaller pitch will make the unit seem clearer from a closer distance. Larger pitch is required for greater viewing distance.

Pixel Matrix  number of pixels (H x W) that make up the display area.

Viewable Distance  the rule of thumb is each inch of character height will provide you with 35 of viewable distance

Exposed pixels   – The exposed style will yield a wider viewing angle while emitting a brighter image. This is especially noticeable in full sunlight. It is also easier to cool because the LEDs are in the open air as opposed to being inside the cabinet.

Protected pixels – The protected lexan (which is behind a lexan face) face is also perfectly suitable and yields full sunlight readability. The exposed style is more costly to manufacture, and therefore priced a bit higher. We recommend this cluster when dealing with signs that are low to the ground. More information to help you make your buying decision:

Pixel Resolution

The closer the pixels are to each other, the higher the resolution or density of the character or graphic image. Higher detailed images can be shown with higher resolution displays. Simply stated, the more pixels used in an electronic LED sign, the higher the resolution of that display and the image will be. The smaller the pixels, the more that can fit into the display area.

  • Standard resolution displays are designed for average viewing (450 to 1,000 feet).
  • High resolution displays are designed for closer viewing distances (100 to 450 feet) and support graphics in greater detail.
  • A pixel can be one or more LEDs.
  • A discrete LED is one individual diode.
  • LED clusters are multiple LEDs installed as a single pixel unit.
Learn more about the latest in custom signage: LED.
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