Monday, April 4, 2011

Back to Basics: More LED Sign Vocabularies

By this time, readers are already aware of what LED stands for. LED, or light emitting diode, is the main source of light for LED signs, a marketing tool that is said it to be the future of advertising. There are many factors in LED signs that operators and owners need to know. Additionally, these elements will largely determine what should be displayed in an establishment. Here are some of the most common terms you will encounter should you purchase a LED sign or already own one.

1. Degradation – Degradation is when a LED sign begins to lose 20% of its brightness, which often occurs during the first 2 to 3 months of usage, or a total of 2000 hours of use. A LED diode’s degradation after that slows down, so slow that it is unnoticeable to the human eye, and eventually dies after 100,000 hours of operation.

2. LED Diode Density – The density of LED diodes reflects the general performance of a LED sign. Generally speaking, the more LED diodes per unit area, the brighter a LED sign will operate, thus giving better performance.

3. Matrix Resolution – The matrix resolution basically defines how many pixels are available on the LED sign. For example, an LED sign with a 320x480 resolution means that there are 480 pixels from side to side and 320 pixels from the top to the bottom. A higher matrix resolution will yield better performance, giving images a better display.

4. Pitch – Pitch is the measurement of a pixel’s center to the next. The pitch is the main factor in determining the LED sign’s resolution. Smaller, tighter pitches will give you more pixels per unit area, thus providing a better resolution.

5. Pixel – Short for “picture element”, pixels are the image components of a LED sign’s overall resolution. More pixels equate to higher resolution which in turn produces a greater picture quality. Grayscale or monochrome LED signs have one or more LED diodes of the same color while color LED displays have LED diodes of different colors or a single diode with semi-conductor chips that emit light with different colors.

6. Viewing Angle – Diodes emit either a single, narrow beam or a wider array just like a bulb. High-beam diodes produce a narrow angle, focusing on a single spot whereas wide angle diodes have a wider range of light across a horizon.

These are the most common LED sign jargons you will encounter when choosing a LED sign. Knowing what these terms mean will help you decide the type of LED sign that is appropriate for your business.