How to Choose the Best Resolution for Highway Billboards

Best Resolution for Highway Billboards {Guide}


Over the years, digital marketing has become an integral part of any effective and active advertisement campaigns. The digital marketing trends are slowly prevailing the entire marketing industry. They are going to outrun the traditional static advertising methodologies. The success of digital marketing relies mainly on its ability to capture potential customers and retain their attention. There is no doubt that digital marketing techniques have brought both outdoor as well as indoor advertising to a fundamentally new level. Among different outdoor LED displays, we believe that digital billboard offers the best results. However, choosing the best resolution for highway billboards requires consideration of several factors including pixel pitch, maximum viewing distance, size of the billboard, minimum viewing distance, etc.


LED billboards are able to draw potential consumer’s attention in an effective and efficient manner in comparison to the tradition static billboards. Choosing the wrong resolution for your digital billboards will not yield the desired results. On the contrary, it will leave a bad impression on the audience.


The Birth of Digital Billboards


We did not find a definitive timestamp for the appearance of first digital signage.  However, unofficially, a South Dakota based Advertisement Company; Daktronics claim to be the pioneer in the digital billboard world. They believe that Dakota was the first one to integrate the idea of digital display on billboards in order to improve the advertisement’s effectiveness.

Nonetheless, like all other technologies, digital technology has evolved as well. The digital billboards we see today are very different from their ancestors. The initial billboards were not 100% LED or completely digital, on the contrary, they were static images with digital messages. They were hybrids with 1/3rd or 2/3rd ratio between traditional format and the digital format. In addition, the resolution and pixel quality were extremely low. Full LED billboards were very expensive, thus making it impossible for the purchasers to justify the expense.


                                               led billboard


The idea of using digital signage was new to the market, thus it promised results. Moreover, advancement in technology led to better and enhanced digital billboards. The digital billboards we see today offer excellent quality, they are programmable and less expensive. These billboards promise results and play a critical role in improving brand awareness and enhancing the company’s image.


Choose Best Resolution for Highway Billboards


As we mentioned above, for a digital billboard to be effective, it is important that the billboard offer visibility and readability to the potential consumers. The important question here is how to get clarity and visibility. The answer is simple; choose the best resolution for your highway billboards.

Resolution plays an important role in defining the quality of LED signage. Likewise, several factors contribute to choosing the best resolution for highway billboards. You need to understand every factor to comprehend the concept of resolution and its impact on the quality of LED billboard.


What is Pixel Pitch?


LED (Light Emitting Diodes) display consists of clusters of diodes or pixel. Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of another pixel. When deciding the best resolution for highway billboards pixel pitch plays an important role. It only the right pixel pitch can make an impact. A small pitch translates into a higher resolution.


For a higher resolution, you need to have a small pitch. A small pitch allows more LEDs on the display, thus offering clearer and crisp images. If your digital signage is located near the audience, you need to have a small pixel pitch. At a small distance, if the image is not crisp, the audience will be able to see the distance between each pixel.


Same screen size with a different pixel pitch


It is important to understand the difference between screens having the same size, but different pixel pitch. Maximum and minimum viewing distance are the two main factors that affect the size and pixel pitch of the billboard. You need to understand the definition of maximum viewing distance along with minimum viewing distance.


Define maximum and minimum l Viewing Distance


In order to measure the minimum and the maximum viewing distance consider two fundamental characteristics of the screen, the screen dimensions, and the pixel pitch.


To calculate the minimum distance you will have to convert the pixel pitch into meters. For instance, if the screen has a pixel pitch of 10mm, then the minimum viewing distance would be 10 meters. Likewise, for a 20mm pixel pitch, the distance would be 20 meters.


To calculate the maximum viewing distance, you need to know the screen dimension. Multiple the dimensions with 10, convert the result into meters and then into screen square meters. For instance, 4 x 3 = 12 sq. This size of the screen is easily seen from a distance of 120 meters.


Readability and Visibility


When talking about maximum distance, it is important to mentions the readability and visibility concepts. Readability factor is the distance at which the audiences are clearly able to read the messages displayed on the LED billboard. Visibility, on the other hand, identifies the distance within the image shown in order to attract the human eye’s attention. This is irrelevant to the fact that the image is not perfectly identifiable.

A digital billboards visibility is usually twice its readability factor. For instance, if a screen has readability 120 meters, its visibility should be 240 meters.


Now that we understand maximum and minimum viewing distance, we need to pay heed to the concept of screens with the same size having different resolutions. An LED billboard that has a higher definition will generate images of high quality. These images are ideal if the viewing distance is less. However, in the case of LED signs with lower definition, the image quality is also low. This type of LED signage is perfect for greater viewing distance.


NOTE: A small pixel pitch means a greater number of LEDs per meter square and a bigger pixel pitch means a lesser number of LEDs per meter square.


                                     led display


The placements of the LED signs play an important role as well. In this case, the billboards are a good deal away from the potential consumers, thus using smaller pixel pitch is not an effective technique. Yes, they offer more crisp images, but at a greater viewing distance even bigger pixel, screens are effective. The reason being; human eye is incapable of recognizing small details from a greater distance. For instance, if the billboard is about 300 meters away from the human eye, we use higher pixel pitch in comparison to the LED signs just 30 meters away from the audience.


Color Levels


Color levels are imperative for displaying an image to its full potential. In lame man terms, we can call color levels as the shading we see in printed pictures. LED visualization field uses three primary colors in order to generate more colors.  The color level of the pixel is defined by the amount of energy supplied to the diodes. If they have a higher number of touches, the quality of the screen will be better and the images will be improved and enhanced.


Color Temperature of Billboards


Keeping a close check on the color temperature is important. The International Commission of Illumination defines international convention. According to the convention, the chromatic content of the source light has to be considered while evaluating its properties. The measure of reference that we use is “color temperature” and it is expressed in Kelvin degrees.

Low level of colors temperature corresponds to tones of red while high levels correspond to tones of blue. The color temperature measure is kept constant in many billboards. In addition, modern billboards come with electronic systems of colors that are able to manage these parameters automatically.


LED Billboard’s Contrast Level


Contrast Level of the LED billboard is the difference between the environmental light reflected by the screen and the light emitted by the display. If the contrast is high, there will be a minor reflection of light, thus offering better and crisp images.


To ensure the clarity of the images and increase the contrast level, modern LED billboards to come with anti-reflex flyers that split the light and reflect it in different directions. Thus, increasing screen visibility even under direct sunlight.


The modern Technology


The 8-bit technology has an adverse result on the quality of the image generated by the digital displays. Due to 8 bit technology, the billboards are able to visualize 266 colors for every primary color. In other words, these billboards are able to generate 16.8 million colors in total.

We have 16-bit technology, and this allows managing the video without compromising on its quality. With 16 bit of technology, it is possible to visualize 65,000 color levels for each primary color. You can now visualize 280 trillion colors in total.


How to Calculate Screen resolution


After understanding the role of each factor towards choosing the best resolution for highway billboard, we are going to present you with a simple and efficient way of calculating screen resolution.

We are going to use the size of the display along with the pixel pitch in order to calculate the screen resolution of the billboard.

To find the display resolution, measure the height and width of the screen. Now divide the height and the width by the pixel pitch. For instance, take a 6096 mm display wide and 3048 mm high. The display has a pixel pitch of 7.62.  Below is the optimal screen resolution


  • 6095mm/7.62mm = 800 pixels
  • 3048mm/7.62mm = 400 pixels


Since the resolution, if written width figure x height figure, so the resolution for the current display is 800 pixels x 400 pixels.


Cost of Good Resolution


                                   led wall mountain


We understand that a billboard offering good resolution tends to be expensive. However, it is a one-time purchase and thus you should invest in it. In addition, a digital billboard does not require HD as the human eye is not able to see the space between the pixels from a greater distance. Thus, with a digital billboard, you can get away with small resolution.

Invest in the right resolution

The main objective of digital LED billboards is to create brand awareness and improve brand image. Now, if your billboard is of low quality, it is bound to leave a bad impact on the consumers. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you invest in the right resolution for your screen.

On the contrary, you can save money by investing in large resolutions. However, this is workable only if the billboard is has a greater maximum viewing distance. A large pixel makes it possible to read your text clearly from the distance.


Cost of a LED Billboard


The cost of an LED billboard depends on the total number of LEDs present in each square meter and the size of the screen. Since both these factors are customizable and the consumer decides them, thus it is impossible to calculate the exact cost of an LED billboard.

Nonetheless, you can get a rough estimate by multiplying the cost of a single square meter with the total screen’s desired size. It will provide you a rough estimate.




Having billboard in your ad campaign is bound to generate results, however, it is imperative that you choose the best resolution for your highway billboards. Resolution plays a vital role in determining the success of a billboard. Highway billboards with the best resolution will generate results that are more effective by capturing the potential audience’s attention.


To choose the right resolution, you need to consider different facts including maximum viewing distance, minimum viewing distance, pixel pitch, and color contrast. Other factors that are important for choosing the right resolution include billboard contrast level, color temperature cool and last but not the least, the modern technology. Instead of using 8-bit technology, use 16-bit technology to enjoy outstanding video and image quality on a digital billboard. All these features will make it possible for you to choose the right resolution and thus generate effective and efficient results.