WLCD / LED For Outdoors Use: Any Suggestions?

Few Amazing Ideas : WLCD / LED for outdoors use:


Digital advertising has become the need of modern marketing because traditional print advertisements no longer appeal to the general audience. They want a bright, vibrant moving screen as that screen has the ability to not only grab attention but effectively retain it as well. With so many different options and technologies available, choosing the right one can be troublesome. To narrow down things, there are two main technologies to choose from, LCD, LED, and deciding LED or LCD for outdoor use require some background information.

There is no doubt that digital technology is expanding with every passing day. Thus, every day we see more and more is these screens on roadsides, buildings, public transportation, etc. They are also exponentially increasing in size. The largest video wall at 25,000 square is currently available in New York City. The huge billboard has the ability to span an entire city block and provide advertisers with more than two million impressions in a week. Thus, ensuring a bright future for bigger and brighter LED screens.

So, we can say that things are getting bigger and better than before. Today’s giant digital displays act more than just big video walls for smart cities, on the contrary, they can be used in various other places in order to disseminate information and in most cases advertise products and services.


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Some of these places include


  • Hotels casinos
  • Hospitals
  • Corporations
  • Universities
  • Retail
  • Museums
  • Concerts and events
  • Broadcast on-air
  • Auditoriums


LCD vs. LED: Deciding LED or LCD for outdoor use


The good news is that you have a wide range of digital signage technologies at your disposal. Therefore, you can choose the digital that works best for your business. However, there are certain factors that need consideration before you decide on the technology you purchase. The factors include


  • Viewing distance
  • Cost of repairs
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Physical footprint
  • Design flexibility
  • Image quality
  • Ease of implementation

In addition, you need to consider the type of hardware you plan to use for digital signage. Currently, LCD and LED are the two main technologies that are competing in the market. Despite the fact that LED is relatively new, it still is catching up with well-established LCD market. One of the reasons behind its effectiveness and efficiency is having low maintaining. In addition, LEDs also have a low manufacturing cost.

Even LCDs and LEDs have subcategories and the two best options of digital signage for the audience are ultra-narrow bezel LCDs and direct view LED. Both of these technologies offer numerous benefits however, in order to choose the right one, you should understand the technologies and their respective cost.

What is direct view LED display?


It is not easy to come up with outdoor displays, as the technology is a bit complicated. In order to make a bigger picture, several smaller units are integrating together. The direct view light emitting panels comprises of numerous smaller LED screens that are collectively placed on a flat panel and the light emitting diodes use a technology different then LCD. Every LED in a LED display acts as a small bulb. So, when the light passes through it, it emits colors. The LEDs in an LED screen have the ability to produce light on their own; this is unlike the LCD technology.


The beginning of the direct view LED


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The direct view LEDs we see today are different from the originals ones. They originally started out as a monochrome display and the most prominent use of direct view LED back then was in outdoor digital signage.

However, in the late 90s’ when the RGB color lets hit the market, everything took a u-turn. Within a few years, direct view LEDs have captured an impressive amount of the market shares. Thus, they are currently the leader in technology for both indoor as well as outdoor digital signage. In addition, the success of LED signage puts them directly in competition with the well-established LCD technology.


Pixel construction


There is a black resin epoxy cost on the modern LED that is used in the video walls. To achieve true black and to allow the lights to eliminate reflectance, shades are put between the lights and this technique works wonder, as it improves the pixel density largely. Due to better pixel density, direct view LED display offer quality as high as LCD that you can find on the market.

Another factor that needs consideration is the viewing distance is scaling. As most LEDs do not offer the facility of scaling, thus the closer the audience is the more the number of pixels is required in order to generate smooth and crisp pictures.

Usually, the rule of thumb is that one pixel in a video wall is equal to one surface mount device LED. They RGB die lies on it and to calculate the pixel density, you will need the pitch. A pitch is equal to the distance between each SMD LED and the unit used to measure is mm.

Why choose direct view LED


Due to the effectiveness and efficiency of LEDs, there is an exponential growth in their popularity for the video walls. Therefore, it has become the prime choice of digital sign investor. In addition, there are several benefits to choosing this particular hardware technology. The benefits include:


  • long life > 50, 000 hours
  • Outstanding for outdoor advertising
  • Unmatched uniformity
  • Offer the best accuracy on the market
  • Wide color gamut > 95 percent
  • Due to epoxy coating, LED is able to achieve true black
  • Offers outstanding refresh rate in comparison to numerous other digital screens
  • Bezel-less LED panels, they can easily be tiled together
  • Excellent for handling ambient lights
  • Available in numerous sizes and shapes
  • Offers the best viewing angles
  • They are light on energy
  • Offer brightness > 800 nits
  • They have a low maintenance cost


What is the LCD?


LCD has been a popular option for decades especially when it comes to outdoor and video wall solutions. There are different types of LCDs available, however; the ultra-narrow bezel LCD is the best you can get. LCD is an abbreviation of liquid crystal display and until now, this technology was a part of every smartphone. Nonetheless, some modern smartphones are coming with LED displays as well.

The LCD panels in a video display consist of a layer of liquid crystal between two polarized pieces of glass and to create an image, electricity is applied making the liquid in between the layers to shift. To illuminate the display, a backlight is created as crystals in the liquid do not generate their own light. Often we see LEDs at the back of LED, the technologies often coexist and come as a package i.e. LED-LCD.

Despite the fact that LCD vides are tiled in the same manner as the LEDs, yet we face bezels. In case you are wondering, what bezels are? It is the small spaces in-between the displays. The reason for choosing the ultra-narrow bezel design for video walls is that it creates the smallest seams. Thus, the video walls are able to display uniform brightness due to a narrow bezel and liquid technology.


Also Read: Advertising On a Digital Billboard Worth the ROI


LCD Pixel Construction


Every LCD pixel has a molecular layer aligned between the polarizing filters and the transparent electrodes. Two factors, the electric field and the placement of light help in determining the pixelation. Other features of LCD include


  • Dense pixelation in comparison to LED screens
  • The pixel structure is not very visible
  • 2M cells in a module
  • A single multi-layered LCD module


LCD Digital Signage Advantages


Below are some LCD advantages that make LCD the prime choice for digital signage. However, it is important to mention here that the modern LEDs are very close to beating LCD. Most of the advantages offered by LCD are now also offered by LED screens.


  • Takes very less space and is ultra-narrow
  • Brightness ≥ 500 - 700 cd/m2
  • Easy to maintain and understand hardware
  • Better for indoors in comparison to LEDs, that are an excellent choice for outdoor signage
  • Slim installations depths
  • High uniform brightness
  • Easy to size
  • Installation is easy
  • Higher resolution
  • Brilliant and fluid colors


Difference between LED and LCD


We did explain what LEDs and LCD are, however, below we have come up with a concise and meaningful comparison between LED and LCD. Besides having different technologies, LCD and LED are different in several other ways as well. To fully comprehend the difference between LED and LCD, look at the table below.





Ease of installation

LED are quick to install, however, they are slightly more complicated in comparison to LCD

Very easy to install

Flexibility of design

LED offers numerous design options.

There is a limitation in terms of design with LCD.

Quality of image

No screen gap

Bezel-less screen

Offers a wide color gamut with deeply saturated colors

Pixel pitches range from

0.9 – 20mm


Screen gap

Screen bezels

Standard resolution and contrast

Pixel pitches between 0.5 – 0.6mm



Performance 24/7

100,000 or more hours to half brightness

No image retention


Does not perform 24/7

Ranges from 30,000 – 50,000 hours

Image retention is a common issue




Text Viewing Distance and Time for Outdoor Display


When choosing either LCD or LED, it is important to consider the viewing distance as it helps in determining the right size of the display. A rule of thumb is; 1 inch of text is viewable up to 50 feet away. Likewise, you can see a 25mm of text from about 15m away.

However, you will have to make slight changes to the above rule if the target audience is moving. Then you will have to consider another factor, time, as well. A moving audience is able to comprehend six to eight grouping of content on a digital display in a minimum three to four seconds. Therefore, you display, you should have the text size and the time and length accordingly.

Below we have a table that will provide you with the specific character size and the maximum time an audience will have to comprehend the context. For instance, your potential client might have less than 3 seconds to understand a 4 inches text displayed on the digital sign. In addition, the overload of information renders the electronic sign useless. So, you need to be concise and to the point.


Character Size    Max. Viewing Distance


inch      mm      foot      meter

2           51          100      31
4           102        200      61
5           127        250      76
6           152        300      91
8           203        400      122
9           229        450      137
10         254        500      152
12         305        600      183
16         406        800      244
20         508        1,000    305
24         610        1,200    366
36         914        1,800    549
48         1,200     2,400    732
60         1,542     3,000    914



The table below uses the above maximum viewing character information and maximum viewing distance in order to calculate maximum viewing time in seconds.



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Character Size                        Max. Viewing Time (seconds)3


inch          mm         25mph / 40kph     35mph / 56kph     45mph / 72kph     55mph / 89kph     65mph / 104kph

2               51           2.7                             1.9                       1.5                          1.2                        1.0
4               102         5.5                             3.9                       3.0                          2.5                         2.1
5               127         6.8                             4.9                       3.8                          3.1                         2.6
6               152         8.2                             5.8                       4.5                          3.7                          3.1
8               203         10.9                           7.8                       6.1                          5.0                          4.2
9               229         12.3                           8.8                       6.8                          5.6                          4.7
10             254         13.6                           9.7                       7.6                          6.2                          5.2
12             305         16.4                          11.7                      9.1                          7.4                          6.3
16             406         21.8                          15.6                      12.1                        9.9                           8.4
20             508         27.3                          19.5                      15.2                        12.4                        10.5
24             610         32.7                          23.4                      18.2                        14.9                        12.6
36             914         49.1                          35.1                       27.3                       22.3                        18.9
48             1,200      65.5                          46.8                       36.4                       29.8                         25.2
60             1,542      81.8                          58.4                        45.5                      37.2                         31.5



What is better – LCD or LED for outdoor use


For an untrained eye, there might be little or no difference between LCD screens and LED displays. However, you as a businessperson investing in the digital signage should have indebt knowledge about it.
LED offers Optimal Picture Resolution along with brightest screens. You are able to see the screen even in board daylight. LCDs, on the other hand, are more appropriate for indoor displays. LEDs are waterproof and they are robust. In addition, they have the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. Unlike LCD, LED offers a wide range of design and size.
The flexibility of design makes them appropriate for any and all types of business advertising needs. LEDs are quick to set up, dislocate and reinstall and there is no need for projections. Moreover, there is also a great difference in price, the bigger an LCD screen, the more expensive it is. LED screens are also expensive, but in comparison with LCD, they are affordable. It seems that the merits of LED screens are more in comparison to LCD, thus it is safe to say that LED is a better option for outdoor use.