Image by WFP Design
Issues to consider before buying LED displays?
If you consider the buy LED panels, you may find it difficult to make a decision.
There are so many different models available in terms of:
- Technical Specifications,
- Manufacturer’s location,
- And off course, Price.
Thanks to the support of our principal ALFALITE we like to give you some guidance for that selection process. But please note: although we like to give universal answers to a big number of applications, there are specific conditions to be considered for each installation in terms of the technical, commercial and legal aspects.
The questions and answers were raised during our learning and work. You might have made other experiences. So please contact us, if you find important information to be added or changed.
What to ask before selecting an LED Display?
1. Do I want to make money with the LED-Displays?
The very first question for a new technology I often hear: How much does it cost? And, not surprising, I can already predict the answer: It’s too expensive.
From my experience many decision makers just look for a good bargain, they only feel good if they got something “really cheap”. And with that cheap stuff they want to make bulks of money. Do you think that will work?
Why I mention this, there are important aspects for me:
Reliability To make money with any technology, we should make a business and not a personal decision. As long as technology works - it generates income, if technology stops to work - the income will stop too!
Time is money By spending long times for searching the cheapest price, there will no income during that period. Other companies might come to the same idea before we even have found the “cheapest” product.
Quality Often technologies are not fully developed, so using them would bring risks in terms of quality, warranty, service. LED displays are certainly fully developed. They are available since the 1970’s. So we can certainly trust the information of well established manufacturers.
According to my personal experience, by reading the above arguments, the focus for the selection process will now shift “from cheap to good”.
What else should you ask yourself before selecting your LED panel?
2. Indoor or outdoor?
Depending on the application, in which your LED panels shall be used, you should choose between indoor or outdoor. The main differences between both models refer to IP protection level against water and dust, as well as brightness rate. Keep in mind that an outdoor model can also be used in indoor conditions, while this would be impossible vice versa.
3. Floor? Corner?
A state-of-the-art application is the installation “on the floor” (LED displays with transparent protection mounted as floor, e.g., in shopping malls, discotheques). Another available installation is “round-the-corner” (LED displays mounted vertical and horizontal in the corner from wall to ceiling - e.g., in underground stations, night clubs).
4. Temporarily or permanent?
How long will you use the LED displays - in a fixed installation (e.g., wall, stand), or for the rental business (for fast and easy installation).
The key differences would be in weight, toughness, mechanical elements for connection and calibration (e.g., fast locks).
5. Are my panels going to be exposed by sunlight?
It is vital to know if our LED screen will be exposed by direct sunlight. How long, where, how much?
Since LED panels are available with different brightness (cd/m2 or nits/m2), and you don’t want to have panels with subdued colors, you should choose best available brightness.
Alfalite panels can have light sensors, so that the brightness of the displays will be adjusted according to the sun exposure - automatically.
This applies to indoor or outdoor, but also to indoor installation behind glass or showcases.
Image by Alfalite
6. How relate “optimum viewing distance” and “pixel pitch”?
What is your specific application? How far will be the persons, which should see your displays? Make sure you consider the minimum viewing distance at which spectators are going to watch your LED display.
LED technology aims to convey a uniform and consistent image, while the single pixel is not visible anymore.
Request a lower pixel pitch for short distances, while using big pixel pitch when the public is far away from your display.
For example: a minimum viewing distance of 10 m requires a pixel pitch of 10 mm (P10). A minimum viewing distance of 2 m requires P2.
7. Resolution and Ratio?
Resolution is intimately related to pixel pitch; the lower the pixel pitch is, the higher the resolution will be. It is wise to make sure your screen has a minimum resolution both in the horizontal and vertical axises. If not, your contents and images may look distorted or unrealistic.
The aspect ratio refers to the proportion between height and width of an image. You should know this from your TV: 16:9, 4:3. So select the ratio (size) of the display according to the videos or animations to be shown.
Squeezing images or videos into a display with a wrong ratio looks ugly, cheap, not professional - whatever display is used!
8. Environmental restrictions
If the environment in which your screen is going to operate is very specific (Broadcasting, TV), it is very likely that your LED may need special features either to operate in conjunction with other top AV equipment, or to adapt to special sound or lighting constrains.
Image by Alfalite
Usually you will be compelled to use low noise panels that can also provide you with low frequency harmonics. Our high quality Micropix panels are perfectly suited for the task, since these are fan-less devices with the best power cells in the market.
Undoubtedly, it is very important that your supplier has the utmost technical rigor and corporate responsibility to deliver reliable equipment - consistently.
So pay attention to manufacturer’s commitment to quality, technical support, ability for customization, availability and response from service.
10. Gut feeling
Now after considering all above points (please re-read point 1), I would like to give you my personal advice:
Before doing the first “shopping” don’t ask other experts - become your own expert. Go and visit your manufacturer’s place. See all information you wanted to know by your own eyes.