LED Display

LED Display: The Complete Buying Guide

LED is a light-emitting diode in full.

Below you will find a summary of all you need to know about the LED.

Whether you want to learn about the components, working principles, uses or benefits, you will find everything right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

Main Parts of LED Display



Your LED display is composed of three main parts; the display panel, the source, and the controller.

LED display parts

Main parts of LED Display

Normally, the main LED display is composed of multiple LED display panels that are interconnected to form the main display unit.

Remember, the source of the content includes the computer, camera, flash disk, DVD, and others.

Also, the controller is has got two parts; the hardware and the software.

In most cases, the hardware is composed of the control board whereas the control system makes the software part of the control unit.

The size and format of the controller are dependent on the size of the display, application, and the source of the content.

How LED Display Work

LED  emits light due to electric luminescence.

The diode emits light as it flows through two coated silicon semiconductors.

Remember, the LEDs are made of three colors; red, blue, and green.

The differently colored LEDs are mounted in a specific pattern.

The colors do combine to form a specific pixel which is displayed as images on your screen.

How LED Display Works

 How LED display works

LED Display

LED display

1) By Application:

The LED display could be outdoor or indoor utilized.

LED display could be used for indoor, outdoor or semi-outdoor applications.

The indoors are used in less than 1 square meter to over 10 square meters.

They are used in close range and characterized by being light, large viewing angle, and moderate brightness.

The outdoor display is best used at more than 10 square meter.

They are brighter, waterproof and lightning resistant

2) By Color

The LED could be monochrome, bicolor, or full color.

Monochrome: has only red or yellow-green  color emitting materials

Bicolor: It has red and green LED lights.

The combination could emit 65,536 colors different colors.

Full color:  It has three colored diodes. It can have white and 16,777,216 other colors.

3) By Control

Synchronization control the LED is operated like a monitor where pictures are  updated at 30 fields/sec

Asynchronous is mostly used in text display in offline mode.

The content can be edited then played from the storage

4) By Pixel

Indoor or outdoor displays have got different pixels to suit the applications.

You could check the pixel before purchase

5) By Display Content

The LED could be designed to display video, text, graphic, or market quotations

6) By Display

The LED display is configurated differently as;

i. Segmented display

ii. Light bar versions

iii. Alphanumeric

iv. Dot matrix

Differentiations on the four types of configurations are discussed below.

Segmented Display

There are differently segmented display types; 7, 14 , and 16 segments LED display.

7 Segment display

7-segment display

7-segment LED Display

They are used in digit display. T

his is made possible by having a separated segment of 7 LEDs each.

The individual diode in each segment is arranged in a figure-eight arrangement to enable individual lighting of each segment independently.

Each segment could be light or left un-light to achieve a digit display between 0 and 9.

You mostly find it in; calculators, digital clocks and timers, price displays, numerical information boards, and electronic meters.

It only displays numbers, no letters

14-segment LED Display

14 segment display

 14-segment display

It has double the number of diodes found in the 7-segment display.

The arrangement of diodes is similar to the 7-segment display, but it has extra diodes arranged diagonally.

It can display letters though limited in displaying some.

You are likely to find this form of arrangement in;  DVD players, Microwave ovens, mobile phone caller ID, and car stereo fascias

16-segment LED Display

16 segment display

16-segment LED display

It is an advancement of the previous two.

Also, it has a pair of extra diodes formed by splitting the upper and lower horizontal segments into two.

This type of segmentation helps give more details in numbers and alphabets especially where a full alphanumeric LED display is needed.

You are likely to find this type of segmentation in;

Digital scales, alarm clocks, public information display, scoreboards, arcade games, digital timers,ovens, microwaves, shavers, and speakers.

LED Lightbar Display

LED lightbar display

LED Lightbar Display

This type of display has got diodes arranged in a linear or simple arrangement with single or multiple sections lighting up in a programmed sequence.

They are shaped in a square or rectangular shape.

Besides, they are mostly used for displaying fixed messages or highlighting other icons in a display.

The most application of this type of display include; industrial sensors, consumer electronics, home appliances, medical equipment, laboratory instruments, and customization projects.

Alphanumeric LED Display

They are characterized by displaying characters (Alphabets and numbers) in single or duplicate with different character heights.

You are likely to find them in meters, home appliances, display panels, and computing equipment.

Alpha numeric LED display

Image of Alphanu meric Display

Dot Matric Display

 Dot matrix LED display

 Dot amtrix LED display

It is an advanced version of 16-segment alphanumeric arrangements.

Here the clustering of diodes is denser.

Besides, the diodes are arranged in a rectangular arrangement.

Also, the display can show specific alphabets or numerals by turning off or on the individual lights through a programmable sequence.

The resolution of the dot matric is dependent on the density of the LED.

Some of the available resolutions for the dot matrix display include; two-lined, three-lined,  four-lined or eight- lined.

LED dot matrix is commonly found in the outdoor display of complex information.

You are likely to find them in billboards, signage, or hoardings.

You most likely find them being used to displaying; images or symbols, prices, temperature, time, and date.

How LED Display compare to LCD Display

  • LED displays are a subset of LCD broader technology.
  • LCD represents the display that uses liquid crystal to control lighting on the screen.

LED also uses the same technology despite them using LEDs to backlight the pixels.

You will find the LEDs on TV or computer hence they are a subset of LCD.

  • The current technology in LCD manufacture has transformed from using cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) and a majority are using LED technology.
  • Hence, when you go purchasing a screen display, it will most likely be an LED display and not an LCD.

How LED Display compare to OLED Display



  • OLED is an advanced version of the LED. Mostly found in smartphones, TV, computers, or monitor screens.
  • LED depends largely on backlighting for illuminating the pixels whereas the OLED does not.
  • OLED is the most updated technology which is costly with the capability to illuminate or completely switch off each pixel individually.
  • Therefore, OLED technology can offer deeper blacks and thinner screens since they do not need backlight arrays.

Factors Determining LED Display Price

Several factors have an influence on how much it would cost you to purchase an LED display;

  • The type of LED display; Monochrome, double primary color, indoor, outdoor or full color LED display would cost you differently.
  • Point Spacing: The smaller the point spacing the more it would cost you on the LED display and vice versa.
  • The production cost of each type of LED display is different.

Hence, the cost incurred will be summed up in the selling price of the LED display.

The cost incurred would include labor and the raw materials

Benefits of using LED Displays

  • The pricing of the LEDs is declining making them more affordable
  • LEDs have high light efficiency enabling design of luminaries with higher overall efficiency
  • They generate very little heat thus saving on the lifespan of your device and reduces on energy wastage
  • The have capability of producing billions of colors
  • They have long lifespan of 50,000 hours or more
  • Their operation is not affected by the environmental temperature
  • The technology allows for thinner and lighter monitors to be made

Disadvantages of LED Display

  • They are more expensive than convectional lighting technologies
  • They must have the right electricity voltage and current at a constant rate hence need expertise in designing the electronic drivers
  • The color of the image may change due to age and temperature.

List of Top 20 LED Display Manufacturers in China

Some of the top manufacturer include:

  • MLS Lighting (Forest Lighting)
  • NVC International Holdings Limited
  • OPPLE Lighting
  • San’an Optoelectronics co., Ltd
  • Zhejiang Yankon Group Co., Ltd
  • Tospo Lighting
  • Foshan NationStar Semiconductor Technology Co., Ltd
  • FSL Lighting
  • Guangdong PAK corporation Co., Ltd
  • Bull group Co., Ltd
  • Changzhou Xingyu Automotive Lighting System Co., Ltd
  • Jiangxi lainchuang Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd
  • Hongli Zhihui Group (HongLITRONIC)
  • Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Co. Ltd
  • Shilin Lighting
  • Hangzhou Honyar Electrical Co., Ltd
  • Zhejiang Klite Lighting Holdings Co. LTD
  • HC Semitek Corporation
  • Meka Electric Corporation
  • Shenzhen Changfang Group Co., Ltd

Uses of LED Display

There are many applications of the LED display which is not limited to;

  • LED factory and production signs
  • Scoreboards
  • LED health and safety signs
  • Tickers and financial displays
  • Military signs
  • Recep[tion and welcoming
  • Entertainment
  • School signs
  • Transport and highways
  • Sculptural
  • Exhibition and promotions

Determining LED Display Resolution

The resolution of the LED display is determined by the distance between an LED display’s diodes.

The resolution is given as a pair of a number indicating the width and height in pixels.

For example, a screen size of 6*8metres with 1cm pixel pitch has a resolution of 600*800 pixels.

A group of diodes makes a pixel. Each group of diodes is made of either red, green, or blue diodes.

The distance from the center of each pixel is called a pixel pitch.

For example, an LED display with a pixel pitch of 1cm could have 100 * 100 pixels/ square meter of each display.

I know you are wondering how to choose a resolution for your screen display.

This is how;

The distance between your screen and your viewers is a key determinant of the level of the resolution to choose.

For example, it is difficult to view clearly from a close distance on a screen with a low resolution (longer distance between the diodes).

But the same low resolution is ideal for a display screen far from the viewer.

For instance, if installing a display screen to be seen from the top of a building or building façade, the target audience would be a far.

Hence a low screen resolution would be ideal.

But if intending to put a screen display where the target audience are close, a high resolution would be required.

Application of resolution against distance of viewer

Application of  resolution against distance of viewer

However, the high resolution would require more diodes to be utilized.

Hence, your screen display would be equally costly.

There is rule of thumb on the resolution to choose; 1mm pixel pitch per meter of viewing distance.

Energy Consumption of LED Display Systems

LED technology is energy efficient.

However, the amount of energy consumed is dependent on the type of display, usage, and brightness.

For instance, an indoor screen display would not consume similar energy as an outdoor screen display which would need to be brighter than the natural lights.

The content being displayed on the screen would also determine the amount of power being consumed.

For instance, displaying a white image with black lighting would require more of the diodes to be illuminated.

This consumes more power in comparison to displaying white text on a black background.

Quality Standards for LED Display

The quality standard of LED display is contained in ESTA – ANSI/ ESTA E1.50-1 standard.

For more details, please read about it.

Features to Consider in LED Display

For a LED display to be classified as being of quality, it should meet your expectations.

Some of the quality checks you could check includes;


The screen surface should be as flat as possible.

Otherwise, any raised surface is likely to distort the image by affecting its viewing angle.

Also, the surface flatness must be within ±1mm.

Hence, the production process is a key determinant of the achieved flatness on the display screen.

 White Balance Effect

The white balance effect is how well the red, green, and blue colors are mixed to form a white color.

A certain proportion of red, blue and green light should emit white color.

Red, green and blue color mixed in the ratio of 1:4.6:0.16 should give pure white color otherwise, there is a problem.

This is a measure of accuracy on the LED display

Color Lump

Poor control system may result in a color difference between adjacent display modules.

The color lump is also caused by low scanning frequency and low grey level.

Color Reducibility

This is characterized by having the displayed color being different from the color of the source. Therefore, there is no reality in the image.


The brightness expected on each LED display is dependent on the type of the display.

Also, the outdoor display should be brighter compared to the indoors display.

For instance; display brightness of 800~2000cd/m2 is perfect for an indoor display whereas brightness of 5000~7500cd/m2 is expected for an outdoor display.

This is to be able to overcome the natural lights unlike indoors where the lighting could be minimized/ controlled.

View Angle

The view angle is a key determinant on the number of viewers the display screen maybe able to accommodate.

You may find that the larger the angle, the better the view of the display.

No Mosaic

Mosaic is neclosis on the screen which appears as small black squares on the screen.

When this appears, it means there is poor connection in the display.

The number of dead points is dependent on the LED chips.


The size of the chosen LED display should meet your expectations on several aspects;

  • Pixel and resolution
  • Visibility range dependent on the size of the LED display
  • Installation and operating area
  • Effect of the distance on obliquity
  • Area estimation

 Power Consumption & Power Supply

When we talk of power consumption, we mean the average and maximum power consumption of the LED display.

Average power consumption is the actual working power being consumed when the LED display is in operation.

Maximum power consumption is the power consumed when the screen is started or when the screen is in full operation.

Average power consumption is usually lesser than power consumption, approximately 1/3 of the maximum power consumption.

Antistatic Ability

Also, the LED display is prone to static electricity which may affect its operation or damage.

The body of the LED should have a test failure voltage of 2000V and above.

LED Screen Appearance

Besides, the screen appearance should be appealing to the user/ purchaser.

Also, the appearance is a key indicator of the manufacturer’s quality of work or material used.

How to Test Quality of LED Display

The quality of the display is checked against several parameters.

Also, the evaluated LED display maybe classified as poor, acceptable, good or perfect.

Upon evaluating the display, recommendations are given.

Some of the parameters against which the display i.e. evaluated include;

Mechanical Strength of the Cabinet

The cabinet of the display should be checked against; welding strength, finishing, presence of a logo and painting quality.

Some of the solutions given if the display does not meet the requirement include; rebuilding or modifying the cabinet.

Screen Assembly

This test aims at fixing installation problems.

The assessment is done against; gaps presence, ability to easily assemble, presence of a logo, hanging and lock system.

In case it does not meet the standard, you can reassemble the screen or rebuild the cabinet.

Control System and Image Rendering

The test aims at ensuring the screen is installed according to normal configuration of the cabinet.

Some of the checks include the quality of the video or image.

The recommendation includes rebuilding the cabinet

Brightness, Calibration and Uniformity Checking

Maximum brightness is checked and evenness of the RGB and white color.

The masks should also be dark and uniform.

The recommendation is given include; recalibration of the screen, changing the mask or rescrewing the mask

On-Site Full White Viewing

An aging test is done to test how the screen would perform on the image or heat dissipation.

The testing is done against reliability on soldering and brightness continuity.

Water Proof Testing

The aim of the test is to confirm that no water is infiltrating into the screen.

Here, the parameters to check include; front and rear waterproof grade.

The solution to this is rebuilding the cabinet.

Vibration Testing

This test aims at ensuring that all parts are properly fixed.

You will conduct this test against how components are attached to each other.

In case the LED display fails, you should fix the components again.

LED Specifications

Some of the main parameters you should check include; wavelength, colour temperature and diffusion angle.

The solution you would get is to change the modules.

Spare Part Listing

Once you place an order, you will get exactly what you want.

You should conduct quality checks for all spare parts.


 This test aim is to ensure that your screen would not be damaged during transportation.

The parameters to check against include; resistance of the wooden box and flight cases.

In case the test fail, the recommendation would be to repackage.

Importance of Viewing Angle in LED Display

Viewing angle of display

Viewing angle of display

Viewing angle is the range at which the display achieves its largest visual performance.

Averagely, the viewing angle is at 140°(horizontal) and 50° (vertical).

Viewing distance is the furthest distance from the display where viewership can still be achieved.

Wide viewing angle enables one to view the image at consistent brightness and color throughout the viewing range

Diodes have the possibility to emit a single narrow beam of light or wide rays of light.

Viewing angle

Viewing angle

The diodes emit a narrow beam of light.

They can focus light on a small area whereas those with a wide beam light across the screen.

Therefore, standing in front of a display lit by a high beam of narrow-angle you would see a bright spot but moving further you would see a black spot.

However, the high beam of light with a wider viewing angle would show the image with the same consistency of color and brightness regardless of the distance.

Therefore, the viewing angle has an impact on the type of image you see depending on your distance from the display.

How to Determine Brightness of LED Display

The brightness/ Luminance of the display is determined with NIT.

NIT is a measure of luminance per square meter.

NIT equals to meter lamberts or candela per square meter (cd/m2).

Why LED Display is Good for Advertisements

The LED display are better than the traditional advertisement method due to;

  • They easily attract your target due to their brightness hence reaching out to too many people
  • Also, you have the flexibility to adjust the content you wish to advertise depending on your target audience and time among other factors
  • Besides, you can remotely control the display through the internet
  • You have the full control of the message to be dispensed out
  • They require low maintenance. Mostly, they last longer than traditional billboards
  • There are lesser expenses since all you change is the content but use the same device
  • Through the digital billboard it is possible to sell the same advertising platform to different clients. Hence make more income.

Importance of IP Rating for LED Display

IP rating is the measure of protection against water and solids.

The IP rating has two digits e.g. IP65.

The first digit represents protection from solids and the second digit is water.

Normally, the IP rating shows the degree of protection.

UL Rating Requirements of LED Display

This is the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) rating of LED display against safety standards.

The products which have passed the safety standard should have the UL mark.

Therefore, next time you purchase an LED display, check out for that mark.

Features of IPS Display Panels

IPS is the acronym for In-Plane Switching.

Using IPS, you are likely to benefit from some of its features;

  • Wider viewing angles enabling people from extreme ends to clearly see what on the screen. However, those on extreme angles will see diminished color and contrast.
  • Ability to produce great color varieties: This is made possible by its display feature of 8-bit panels. Therefore, it is able to produce a full 24-bit color palette
  • It has high color accuracy: The IPS has a better backlight capable of producing wide colors. Hence IPS is able to produce close to life colors.

Benefits of LED Backlit LCD Display

LED backlight have a long lifespan of at least 50,000 hours

They have efficient power consumption

They don’t produce heat protecting it from destruction or explosion

How does AMOLED Display compare to OLED Display?

OLED is a short form for Organic Light Emitting Diode.

It has LED composed of organic material for lighting.

Compared to the usual LED, it is smaller, flexible, thinner, and consumes lesser power when displaying dark colors.

They are rich in displaying colors.

OLED are largely used in;

  • TVs
  • Smartphone screens
  • Computer monitor screen
  • Making flexible lights, wallpapers, and transparent lighting

AMOLED is the short form for Active Matrix Organic Emitting Diode.

It is mostly used in large platforms through.

AMOLED has similar working principle as OLED.

It has a thin film transistor (TFT) that controls flow of current into each pixel.

Furthermore, it has two TFTs.

One charges the storage capacitor and the other charges the capacitors.

AMOLED is not limited by the size of the display.

It has the least power consumption in comparison to other technologies.

Besides, it thin, light and flexible.

AMOLED is largely used in;

  • mobile phones,
  • TVs, laptops
  • Tablets
  • Portable music players
  • Digital cameras
  • Games consoles

Recommended Lifespan of LED Display Board

The LED display can last for ten years and more.

However, the lifespan would be highly dependent on your maintenance, the environment ( e.g.  humidity, saltiness) where it is being utilized.

The daily use also plays a significant role.

Light images and more brightness requirements on the display result in high wearing off of the display.

This is unlike displaying darker images with lower brightness requirements.

Over time the brightness of the diodes will decline depending on their quality and generation.

Fortunately, most diodes do not maximize their light intensity.

Hence the guaranteed long life span of the light display.

How to Clean LED Display Screens

The LED display is the easiest to clean.

You just need to wipe the dirt off using a good quality microfiber cloth.

However, in case of sticky or stubborn dirt, you may need to dampen the cloth with some water then wipe it off.

However, you should always ensure that you do not directly spray any fluid onto the display.

This is because you risk the liquid ingress and damaging the display.

Otherwise, the display should be IP rated against damage from any liquid.

Additionally, you should not use cleaning chemicals or waxes while cleaning.

During cleaning, you should switch off the display and let it cool.

This is in situations where it is hot.

After cleaning, you should give the display sometime to completely dry off.

This is in situations where you have used a dampened cloth before switching it on again.

Why Understanding RGB is Critical in LED Display Panel

RGB Color formation

 RGB, color formation

RGB is the short form for red, blue, and green.

It is a representation of how different colors are formed from the three primary colors.

The understanding of it is important in helping you to understand how you can achieve different colors using the primary colors.

Understanding SMD display is an LED Display Panel

SMD is the short form for Surface Mount Device.

This includes electronic components that are surface mounted on a printed circuit board.

SMD utilization in LED display is achieved by potting the diodes in a small plastic encapsulation.

They are then mounted on a printed circuit board of the LED display.

This way, you are able to save on space since little spacing is needed in between the diodes.

What is NITS in LED Display Panel

NIT means candela per square meter.

Whereby candela is the SI unit of luminance.

It represents the amount of brightness from different colors perceived by the human eye.

Therefore, it is a very important aspect when determining the brightness of the display.

One NIT equals the brightness of one normal candle.

Therefore, given the NIT of a display, you should be able to assess the brightness of the display.

With this information, you can easily import LED displays from China.

If you need a freight forwarder who can help you import LED displays from China, BanSar is here to help.

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