Choosing Right Size Outdoor LED Sign - Dakcoled

How to Choose the Right Size of Outdoor LED Signs


To choose the right size of outdoor LED signs, you need to plan and pay close heed to several elements that will affect the decisions. The good news is that LED signs are available in different sizes, however, choosing the right size is imperative. To ensure the effectiveness of your LED signs, you need to have the right size. Just imagine the disappoint you might have to feel after installing the wrong size of the LED display.

After you put up your LED and you are ready for the bright future, it turns out that the text is too small for the viewers. Despite wasting a lot of energy, and time, you actually wasted a lot of money. The right side of the LED along with the right pixel pitch is important to make a lasting impression. You also need to have an understanding of the viewing distance to make decisions that are more informed.


What is the LED display


LED display comprises a matrix of individual LED lights. Thee LED lights are better known as the LED pixels. LED pixels are responsible for making the video together, text and images on the screen. From the right distance range, the human eye is not able to detect the distance between each LED pixel. However, if you opt for the wrong size, the audience might be able to see this distance, thus rendering the impact of LED display useless.

Unlike LCD that comes with large pixel numbers, LED has less number of pixels to offer. Thus, they have a lower resolution, but it does not mean the images are unclear and vague. On the contrary, they offer pretty good video and picture quality. In addition, the color production and brightness of the LED screen are better in comparison to the LCD display. Thus, they are the best shot for outdoor digital signage.


What is the right resolution to choose the right size of outdoor LED signs


To choose the right size of outdoor LED display, you need to understand resolution and its importance. Resolution is among the major factors in selecting the right size. Some of the other factors do involve square meters the project will cover, the viewing distance, the type of content, the quality required and your budget. The viewing distance and the quality of the LED screen also depend on its pixel pitch.


What is Pixel Pitch?

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Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of an LED cluster to the center of another LED cluster. The unit that is used to measure pixel pitch is in millimeters. Indoor and outdoor LEDs have different pixel pitch range. For instance, for the indoor LEDs, the pixel pitch ranges from 4mm to 20mm, however for outdoor LED displays the pixel pitch is between 10mm to 34mm or in some cases higher.


A smaller number of pixel pitch implies that there is less distance between every pixel and the LED panel comprises a greater number of pixels to make up the image on the display. So, when we say improving the resolution and calculating the optimal distance, it basically means that the lower pixel pitch means the audience can stand neat to the display and enjoy the outstanding resolution.


Resolution of a Display


LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Large screen or LED displays are made up of Light Emitting Diodes. The manufacture of LED includes three smaller LEDs of different colors, Blue, Green, and Red. These small LEDs combine to come up with a pixel.


The combination of these three colored LEDs allows the technology to generate millions of colors and details. In addition, the development of technology leads to enhanced and better-LED technologies as well. Today, we have SMD, surface-mount devices- to replace the three lights and combine three colors. The major advantage of using an SMD is its ability to develop crisp and precise images even at close range. The resolution is simply the number of pixels present on each square meter.


Thus, the resolution is inversely proportional to the pixel pitch: higher resolution means there is a smaller distance between two pixels. For instance, if you have a screen resolution of 2304, the screen pitch will be 20 mm. We calculate this by dividing the entire length of a single module, in this case, it is 975 mm by the pixel pitch i.e. 20 mm.


The number of pixels on a single line is 975:20 = 48 pixels. To calculate the total number of pixels present on the screen surface, you need to multiply the number of pixels presents on a single line to the total number of lines present on the screen. For example, take the pixels of a single line from the above example, 48 and the number of total lines is 48, thus the entire pixels present on the screen surface are 48 x 48 = 2304.

Using this formula, you can calculate pixel pitch for different screens. For a 30 mm pitch screen, the pixel resolution per module will be 1024, likewise, for a 10 mm pitch screen, the resolution per module will be 9216 pixels.



NOTE: The key point to remember here is that a LED density increase exponentially by reducing only a few millimeters the pixel pitch. 


 Selecting the Right Resolution


In order to select the right size outdoor LED, you need to choose the right resolution. Thus, you also need to understand the difference between different resolutions. We are going to shed light on 480p, 720p, 1080p and Ultra UD (4k) resolutions.

The screen displays a number of pixels in each dimension and this is called the resolution of the screen. If you have a high resolution, the LED is going to display a clearer picture. However, do remember that the resolution is not the only factor that adds to picture qualities, but at the moment we will focus on it only.

An important thing to remember is that you should avoid watching media in the screen’s native resolution. If you watch 1080p content on a 720p resolution, you will face inverse effects. Watching higher quality content on a low resolution of television will not improve the quality, on the contrary, you will lose some details.


Refresh Rate


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Another thing that defines the quality of an led screen is the refresh rate. If you wondering what a refresh rate is, it is the number of times per second at which the hardware of LED screens draws the data. The refresh rate is different from the frame rate. The refresh rate of an LED screen includes the repeated drawing of identical frames, on the contrary, the frame rate measures the number of time a video source feeds an entire frame of new data to the display.


Viewing Distance and Text Height

Viewing distance is imperative when it comes to deciding the size of your LED display. The formula to calculate the viewing distance is very simple, thus making it easier for you to determine the character size as well.


Maximum Viewing Distance


The maximum viewing distance is the key to determine the right size of outdoor LED displays. You need to understand how far the potential audience is going to be and will they be driving or walking by.

Multiple character heights in mm by 0.4 in order to get a readable viewing distance in meters.

Multiple character heights in mm by 0.6 in order to get maximum viewing distance in meters

For instance, if the viewing distance is 30m, use the character height of 53mm as the maximum viewing distance for this character height is 32mm. So, the theory holds, however, people with eyesight issue might not be able to read content. Therefore, the better character height would be 76 mm for a 30 m.


Pixel Pitch


Most common sizes for LED pixel pitch used today are 3-6mm for indoor LED signs and for outdoor events; people opt for 14-20mm.

If you plan to use an LED screen at the center of your event and the audience will be able to see it at a distance, opt for high graphics and slightly smaller pixel pitch such as 3-6mm. However, for outdoor events, we suggest you opt for a 14-20mm pixel pitch. To ensure higher definition appearance for your potential audience, go for a 10mm LED display screen.


LED Screen Size and Content


The size of your screen is dependent on the way you want the graphics to be displayed. For example, if you have a 3 mm LED and you want to enjoy true HD, it is important that your screen should be of 18.9ft longer. The screen will be truly HD as 1920 times 3mm equals to 5760 and then convert this into feet.

In case the pixel pitch that you want to use is 10mm, then we suggest a screen size of 63ft in order to fully enjoy the HD quality of the content. In addition, you need to pay close attention to the resolution of the graphics because the graphics have a direct impact on the size of the screen. For example, in order to fully see a 4K resolution(3840 x 2160), ensure that your graphics are in accord with the 4k resolution with the aspect ratio 16:9. If the graphics are not according to the screen resolution, it will affect the quality of the content.


LED Screen orientation


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The orientation of the screen is also important. For instance, if you have a portrait LED accent wall, it is important that the graphic you use is build using the same orientation. If you use landscape graphics on a portrait screen, things will have to be scaled down a lot in order to fit the smaller size.


Choose the Right Size of Outdoor LED sign


Once you know the resolution, you want and the location, choosing the right LED sign size is simple math.

Below are some LED sizes

  • P20 LED display module size is 320mm x 160mm
  • P16 LED display module size is 256mm x 128mm
  • P16 LED display module size is 256mm x 128mm
  • P10 LED display module size is 160mm x 160mm

You will have to divide the final dimension by the LED display module size. Let’s take a simple example to make things easier for you. If you are looking for a 2m width and 1m height. If  you choose P10 Led screen, 2m/0.16 = 12.5.  You can round it either to 13 or to 12. We are taking 12 in this example. Now take the width to be 0.16 and multiply it with 12, 0.16 x 12 = 1.92m.  Take 1m/0.16m = 6.25 and we can round this to 6.

For the height, take 0.16 x 6 = 0.96. So, the final dimension that we get now is 1.92m x 0.96m.

We do believe it is not difficult to calculate the right size for outdoor LEDs. Use the above information and calculate the LED size.




LED displays are revolutionizing advertising ways. They offer tremendous opportunities to you to increase your return over investment. Outdoor LED displays are effective, but you need to choose the right one for your product or services. The size of an LED is important to ensure the effectiveness of your content. However, choosing the right size does require search and information. You will have to understand the concept of resolution, pixel pitch matrix, location, maximum viewing distance in order to find the right size of your LED screen. The formula will help you calculate the size of your LED display in no time and effectively.