LEDUCATION

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS AN LED?

L.E.D. stands for light-emitting diode and is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electrical current passes through it. There are two basic types of LEDs typically referenced: discrete LEDs and surface-mounted (SMD) LEDs. A discrete LED, also known as through-hole or dual in-line package (DIP), is a single conducting component mounted through a hold-punched printed circuit board (PCB) and soldered in place. An SMD LED is soldered to the PCB via six pins and is typically packaged with at least two other LEDs as a pixel. For more information on LED types and packaging, see our Pixel Packaging eBrief.

What does “SMD” mean?

SMD stands for surface-mount device and is a method of mounting and packaging diodes to create pixels. SMD components are mounted directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB).

What is “pixel pitch”?

Pixel pitch is the distance between the center of a pixel and the center of an adjacent pixel. Typically, pixel pitch is measured in millimeters. For example, if an LED display has a pixel pitch of 8.0 mm, that means the center of each pixel, regardless of how many total pixels there are in the display, is eight millimeters from the center of an adjacent pixel. Pixel pitch determines the density of pixels in an LED screen. The lower the pixel pitch number, the closer the pixels are together, and thus the higher the pixel density. Pixel pitch is a very important factor when choosing the right LED display and may be affected by optimal viewing distance, proximity to other LED displays, and other environmental aspects. For more information, see our Understanding Pixel Pitch eBrief.

How much does an LED display cost?

Well, it depends on the overall display size, pixel pitch, complexity of design and many, many other factors. Direct-view LED displays can cost anywhere from the tens of thousands to several million dollars. If you'd like to narrow that range significantly for your project, contact a representative on our sales team.

How long will my display last?

The typical life for an LED display is 100,000 hours, or about 10 years give or take. However, there are many variables that affect LED life, including diode manufacturer, environment, and how the display is used over time. For example, the life of a display could be significantly reduced is a user operates a display at full brightness and bright/light content for the majority of the content schedule. The brightness for LED displays should be regulated and scheduled according to ambient light. For example, screens that are blinding at night because they are needlessly set at full brightness are losing their LED life over time.

What is “bit depth”?

Bit depth, sometimes referred to as color depth or color capacity, is a reference to the amount of color levels a display is capable of. To understand this important metric, see Bit Depth And Why It Matters.

What is “color space”?

Color is a 3-dimensional space. SNA Displays products typically have a higher number of available total colors. High-quality direct-view LED has color space significantly larger than that of television broadcast standards. If you have a standard in mind, please contact an SNA Displays representative, and we will help you find a solution.

What geographic regions do you service?

We are a global company with more than 2000 employees placed all over the world. Our U.S.-based operations cover all of North America, Central America, and South America. Contact us today, and we’ll find the right representative for you or refer you to one of our international offices.

Can I become a dealer of SNA Displays products?

We established our channel program to support a select group of best-in-breed audio-visual integrators. This division allows us and our technology experts to connect with industry specialists, commercial A/V integrators, key consultants, value-added solution providers and other strategic relationships. Contact our channel division today to discuss our dealer program and the services we offer.

Where are your products manufactured?

We have more than two million square feet of manufacturing space in Shanghai, where the vast majority of our products are fabricated. All work derived in North America, Central America, and South America – from project award to commissioning to post-installation service – is managed by our talented team at SNA Displays.

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