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About LED Technology

A LED screen is a video display which uses Light-Emitting Diodes.

Types of LED Panels

There are essentially 2 different types of LED display panels:

  1. SMD – Surface Mounted Device
  2. DIP – Dual In-line Package

SMD LED has a single bulb or casing with 3 tiny RBG (Red, Green, Blue) diodes within the casing – not visible to the naked eye. It allows higher resolutions (smaller pixel pitch) and smaller screens, but has lower brightness so is mostly used for indoor LED displays.

DIP LED (Dual Inline Package) is characterised by clusters of RGB diodes to make up a full colour pixel. DIP diodes are larger with higher brightness and are the preferred screen for outdoor use – particularly larger screens.

P12 Outdoor Module

P12 Outdoor DIP Module – clusters of RGB diodes

P5 SMD Indoor Cabinet - single bulb

P5 SMD Indoor Cabinet – single bulb

LED Pixel Pitch & Viewing Distance

Pixel pitch is the measurement in millimetres from the centre of one LED to the centre of the next LED. So a P10 screen has a 10mm gap between each pixel (SMD) or each LED of the same colour (DIP clusters).

Pixel pitch ranges from 3mm (P3) to 20mm (P20) for indoor displays and from P3 to P31.25 for outdoor display. It directly relates to your screen resolution and optimal viewing distance. The lower the pixel pitch, the closer a viewer can stand to your display and still have a great resolution.

The best way to calculate the minimum viewing distance to watch a LED screen is 1metre of distance per 1mm of pixel pitch.  An outdoor P10 screen would have a minimum viewing distance of approximately 10 meters.

If your display is in a space where your target audience will be closer to the display screen, such as in a shopping centre, a 3 or 4mm pixel pitch is probably better suited to your needs. If you are installing your display higher and further from your target, for a project such an outdoor pylon sign, 8mm or 10mm display may be best for you.