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Understanding LED

Text Box: An LED or Light Emitting Diode contains a chemical compound that gives off light when an electrical current passes through it. Unlike a light bulb, there are no filaments or breakable parts that will need to be replaced. LEDs have a life expectancy of 100,000 hours! Thatís about 10 or more years. That is a long time. 

LEDís do not use filaments like incandescent light bulbs do. That is why they are more efficient, almost all the electricity is used for making light, not heat! In other words, it doesn't cost as much to use an LED bulb. 

A customer by switching from an old message signs which used incandescent bulbs and an electric bills of $500 per month with an LED in signs the electric bills dropped to $50 or less per month.

LED Sign Basics


There are 3 industry terms for LED signs you need to understand.

Picture of a Pixel Cluster




Pixel - A pixel is a point of light on an LED sign. An LED sign is made up of an array of pixels (or points of light - appearing as dots). A pixel can be as small as one LED or it may contain a cluster of pixels. (3, 4, 6, etc.) The closer the LED's are together, the higher the resolution of the image. (.6" spacing has a higher resolution than .9" spacing) The number of LEDís in each pixel varies. There could be one LED or there could be 25 LEDís in one pixel.

Viewing Distance & Time ARE Important

Viewing distance is one of the most important factors used to determine the correct size of an LED display. As a general rule, 1" of LED text is viewable up to 50' away.

The following chart lists the maximum time an audience will have to view a sign with specific character sizes.

Based on our experience, an average of at least 4 seconds is needed for a moving audience to adequately recognize and comprehend the content of a sign.

Pitch - The major factor which determines the number of LEDís in a pixel is the 'pitch' of the pixels in the LED sign. The pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next pixel. The pitch determines how crisp the image will be.


If there are 2 LED signs sitting side by side and each one is the same height and width but they have different pitches, the LED sign with the smaller, tighter pitch, will have more pixels and thus a better resolution.


Selecting the right pitch when you are purchasing an LED sign may save you money as well as getting you the appropriate resolution for your particular application so make sure you read the section on choosing the right size LED sign.

Matrix The third term is 'matrix'. The matrix is made up of the number of pixel high and the number of pixels wide of an LED sign is. The matrix is what determines the physical size of the sign. If an LED sign is 24 pixels tall and 96 pixels wide, the matrix is 24 x 96.


With monochrome (single color) LED signs and with an indoor LED sign, the matrix determines how many lines of text you can put on the sign as well as how many characters will fit on each line. With programmable color LED signs the matrix determines how much total space you have. A quick word or caution, having the correct height to width ratio is CRITICAL in color LED signs, you should always consult an LED sign professional for help determining the best matrix for a color LED sign. Do so by completing our LED Sign Quote form, by clicking the GET QUOTE BUTTON


So to sum it up...

 Groups of LEDís make Pixels

 The distance between pixels, the pitch, determines the resolution

 The number of vertical and horizontal pixels determines the matrix which determines the number of lines in the sign and the number of characters per line.

How big should my LED display be?

road sign 3d model - Road Signs... by Lazarushun

First, check with your city, county, or towns for LED Sign ordinance rules in your area.


There are several factors that must be considered when choosing your LED Sign.


 Speed Limit of Traffic

 Lanes of Traffic

 Stop signs or Stop lights

 Viewing Distance

 Sign Height/Elevation

 Signs Content

So, if your LED sign will be viewed from a long distance by people in cars travelling 45mph you will need a larger character size to make sure the traffic can read it. That means you will need a larger pitch.


If your sign will be close to the traffic and the speed limit is 25mph you can use a small character size, and smaller pitch, and your message will still be readable.


Determining the matrix and the pitch is even more complicated if you are getting a color LED sign because you must carefully consider the application as well as the aspect ratio.

Illustration of Viewing Angle


With wide viewing angle LEDs, the image is visible in consistent brightness and uniform colors throughout the entire viewing range of the display. A quality LED sign will have 140ļ of viewing angle which maintains the highest color accuracy and extends reading times.

If all of this seems complicated and possibly a bit overwhelming, don't worry, that is what we are here for complete our LED quote form by clicking on the GET QUOTE BUTTON and we will make a recommendation to you.

LED Sign Can come in a variety of colors and styles.

From single color (Monochrome), Multi color to Full color.

From Wall mount, Post mount or mounted to an existing sign

Itís all possible!

Picture of an LED

What is an LED?

memorial led sign

Adding LED to an Existing Sign

Some times your sign is not getting the attention it deserves by adding an LED to it, it brings attention to your existing sign


As a rule of thumb, with color LED Displays, the smaller the matrix and the larger the pitch, the grainier the picture on the LED sign will be.


Viewing distance


Viewing distance also plays a role in how high of a resolution you need. If the LED sign will be viewed from a long distance you do not need as much fine detail. The closer the viewer is to the LED sign, the more detail you need. You must carefully consider what kind of content you will putting on the LED sign and the viewing distance.

Signs Content


Of all the items listed above, Sign content is the most involved. If you are getting a monochrome LED sign you need to know what you want to say AND the most effective way to say it.


Traffic (Speed, Lanes, Stops)


Then you must consider the traffic patterns. The speed limit and viewing distance will affect the viewing time. Now you need to determine the correct pitch. A smaller/tighter pitch will make the minimum character size smaller.

All Original Designs are the property of JDesigns LLC,† and may not be used without written authorization from JDesigns LLC