LED leads the way in large format display – both indoor and outdoor
In the world of large format display there have traditionally been two technologies that ruled the space; Video Wall TV’s/Monitors, and Projection. Video walls tend to be heavy, have visually prominent lines in the image, are not suited to outdoor settings. Also can be difficult to service. Projection can be really creatively applied but has limitations in outdoor settings and can’t really be applied to digital advertising settings.
The last 10 years have seen the maturation of LED technology where it is becoming both mainstream and affordable. LED technology has been the foundation of advanced, breakthrough visual trends and is still unfolding in its vast potential.
In this article, we will explain what LED technology is, what LED displays are capable of and what technical details you should consider when investing in a LED display solution.
What is LED technology?
LED is an acronym for “light-emitting diode”. This is a small device that produces light once an electrical signal passes through it. LEDs are capable of generating different colours of light and hence, create images when working in sync with each other.
What makes this technology widely used is that it is flexible and reliable. It fits many purposes quite well – alarm systems, remote-controlled operations and robotics oftentimes feature LED technologies. However, their most popular application is in LED displays. They are massively adopted because of their versatility and have proven to be the bread and butter of large-scale visual technology. Here’s why!
What is a LED display?
Simply put, a LED display is a panel with an array of LEDs. The diodes work simultaneously and are capable of generating an image, thanks to the harmonised electrical impulses and the colour-changing capabilities of each diode.
Businesses rely on LED displays for many reasons. This is because:
- LED displays are efficient. They require much less energy. LED displays save more electrical power than conventional LCDs and plasma screens.
- LEDs have a long life span. When compared to other technologies, LED screens have a longer lifespan. This helps businesses optimise budgets and reduce waste.
- They are durable and resistant. LED displays do not require a high voltage. This makes them reliable and ideal for working in harsh conditions such as very low temperatures, unstable electrical systems and even improper use of the device.
- LED displays are versatile and feature-rich in performance. They can produce a wide range of colours and shades. This, along with the fast response times, allows for enhanced creative flexibility.
- LED lights produce little to no ultraviolet light. LED displays protect different kinds of surfaces – carpets, artwork, windows, and most importantly, the human body.
- Wide choice of design and sizes. LED displays come in a big range of sizes and types. This allows for unseen design freedom. Also, many of them are physically flexible. This contributes to a neat creativity boost.
Other benefits of using LED displays include that they are visually attractive, can feature neat curves, and that there are no bezels to spoil the visual experience.
What are the technical characteristics of LED displays?
The Pixel Pitch
This is the space between the centre of a single diode and the centre of the neighbouring ones. The smaller this distance, the sharper the image becomes. Low Pixel Pitch index indicates a higher-quality image.
The different types of LEDs
Some of the different types of LED technology include DIP, SMD, COB and OLED.
- What is DIP technology?
This is a LED technology that has existed for more than 50 years. DIP derives from Dual Inline Package and these devices are still widespread. In fact, these are also the most recognisable ones.
Usually, DIPs are used for illumination. They offer a low cost, high light brightness and ease of installation. DIPs generate red, blue and green light and are used in conditions that require durability and strength. These diodes find a place in residential or home use and in electronics as lamps indicator lights.
- What is SMD technology?
The Surface Mounted Diode is the second generation of LEDs. It is considered to be more precise, compared to DIP. The tree colours of a LED bulb are encapsulated into a slim case, which allows for closer placement. SMD LED modules generate images with higher resolution, compared to DIP LEDs.
- What is COB technology?
This is one of the latest LED developments. The name derives from Chip On Тechnology Board and indicates a new technical concept. The main difference is that COB devices only have 1 circuit and 2 contacts for everything in the chip, regardless of the number of diodes. In contrast, SMD requires a circuit for each diode in the chip. Also, COB units come with very low Pixel Pitch index.
The COB setup allows for a denser package, due to the larger number of LEDs in a square array. Also, these LEDs further reduce energy consumption and keep the light output constant.
In short, COB LEDs are able to produce high-quality bright light with very low wattage and a sharp image. These features make them the preferred choice for many industries and applications.
Other chip-on-board LED advantages include:
- They come in compact sizes that do not sacrifice light or performance quality.
- They feature a better design that fits more LED chips. Therefore, COB lights provide a better image and ensure more performance features, compared to SMD and DIP setups.
- COBs generate much less heat when compared to BIMs and SMDs, which means they have a longer lifespan.
- What is OLED technology?
The term is an abbreviation for organic light-emitting diode. The difference from conventional technology is that the organic diodes are the only source of light in the panel – there isn’t any backlight to support them. This offers faster response times, more saturated colours, darker blacks and lighter whites.
It is considered that OLED technology generates some of the best up-to-date digital images. This is why there are so many high-end TVs, monitors and phones that feature OLED displays.
Advantages of OLEDs include:
- Dark and saturated blacks.
- Some of the best contrast features in the industry.
- OLEDs have large fields of view, up to 170 degrees.
- Such displays are usually thinner, lighter and with more technical versatility than conventional LEDs and LCDs.
What is also cool about OLEDs is that they allow the production of flexible displays. This is an important technical feature because it adds one more layer of usability and creative ideas to the array of LED displays.
LED displays are commonly used outdoors, and many of them cover water/rainproof standards. Usually, these are SMD units with waterproof housing for the power supply and diodes.
This is an important characteristic, should the LED display be used in a naturally bright area. Also, customers might need that extra boost in the brightness level for some specific activities. Because of the high brightness capabilities, LEDs can be used as lamps. For example, for filmmaking and photography illumination.
Contemporary LED screens allow for curved installation. Usually, the range is 12 degrees internally and 6 degrees externally. This is one of the coolest features of LED displays, as it showcases the next generation of digital visualisation and immersive visual experience.
LED displays and panels come in fixed sizes and buyers should consider the right one before purchase. Also, the different sizes and shapes allow for a specific image ratio – an important factor for consideration.
What are some of the applications of LED displays?
Part of the flexibility of LED technology is that these displays and components have numerous different purposes. Usually, LED displays generate images and are prevalent in a wide array of industries. LEDs best suit large format displays. This means that they are a perfect fit for large venues, reception areas, concert halls, presentations and similar.
Since there are numerous benefits of using LED displays, it is unsurprising that businesses are searching for new ways of adopting the technology. LED solutions find application in many industries and bring many benefits to business owners. Some ideas include:
LED displays are a powerful Out-Of-Home Advertising tool.
The technical flexibility and the enhanced brightness of LED displays allow them to transit memorable slogans day and night. This is why they remain a powerful marketing tool for every kind of business. Traffic signs and banners, as well as video walls, use LED technologies to transmit their messages. Some of the advantages of such applications are:
- LED displays are bright and vivid and are capable of presenting an attention-grabbing visual message.
- LED displays prompt unique content opportunities. Since the image can be controlled in numerous ways, it is possible to change the visuals and the message during different periods. Coming up with original day-night advertisement sequences, announcing “happy hours”, transmitting the right message to the right audiences during the day/night cycleс are only part of the countless possibilities.
- Operation is simple. The image of a single screen or a group of screens can quickly be changed with a few clicks and from anywhere.
LED walls open up a new world for big events, exhibitions and presentations.
They can promote your message on a large screen during sports events, festivals and concerts. Speaking of concerts, you’ve probably seen these gigantic screens that performers often use. Yes, these are also LED displays.
LEDs can also help any organisation make a memorable and highly effective event by including the right visuals via a LED wall. For example, the displays can enhance the message of the presenter and can highlight different on-stage events. Also, they can generate different images and become part of the interior styling, or can simply (and effectively) play sponsor logos and videos during breaks.
LED video walls can improve the inner business processes.
Team gatherings can become more productive with LED walls. The technology allows interaction with the screen, showing detailed images and flexible options to switch between topics and pictures. Additionally, teams can benefit from an entire AV setup with numerous LED walls. It would ensure quick and productive communication between departments.
Which industries rely on LED displays the most?
LED technology is not limited to any particular sector, but we see LED screens and walls in industries such as:
- Physical retail
- Art and museums
- Sport and concert venues
How LED displays can help your business?
Even though LED technology is flexible and useful, sometimes people can feel overwhelmed with information about what and how to adopt it in their businesses. Here are some tips.
- LED technologies can greatly enhance the marketing activities of any business. They allow for more vivid, memorable and engaging visual ads. Also, LED screens allow for wider brand exposure to bigger audiences.
- LED displays can reduce business expenses and organisations’ carbon footprint. Electrical lightning produces CO2 emissions. However, LEDs can reduce the amount to very low levels due to their clean way of operation. This means that organisations can simultaneously become more efficient and ecologically clean if they simply switch to LED screens.
- LEDs can be incorporated within the AV setup of any organisation. Relying on LED displays can boost any team’s productivity and ease communication with partners and clients. There are many ways that businesses can adopt such technology.
How can ITSL help with choosing and installing LED display solutions for your business?
We specialise in providing custom AV solutions to our clients. ITSL focuses on delivering the right setup and approach towards every individual client. We manage to achieve satisfactory results after comprehensive research on what works best in every particular case.
Our portfolio includes consultancy, AV integration, AV installation, maintenance and support, cloud services and more. In terms of LED-related services, ITSL specialists are capable of providing the most fitting and flexible solution for your business needs.