Buying Tips

Outdoor LED (Light Emitting Diode) Sign Terminology

Pixels are the actual dots that create the text or images.  Within each pixel are the actual lights or diodes called LED's (Light Emitting Diodes). 

Pixel Matrix is the arrangement, or array, of the pixels (Ex: 16 x 64). 16 pixels tall (or rows) by 64 pixels wide (or columns).

Pitch is the distance between pixels.  Some companies use the term °resolution±.
Most small LED displays have one LED per pixel and large LED displays can have anywhere from 4 to 25 LED's per pixel.

Pitch determines the size of the text. A 17mm pitch displays 5± text as compared to a 34mm pitch which displays 9± text.

As the distance between pixels increases (the pitch), the more LED's per pixel is typically required, so the text is fuller in appearance.
Typically, a wider pitch is required for LED Displays that need to be read from a long distance.

Outdoor Static Series
Before you decide on the size of your LED display, you need to evaluate the distance between your target audience and the display. How far away will your potential customer be from your sign? Use the chart to the right to help determine the appropriate character size for your display.  
Information Chart
  Letter Height Readable Distance (Max) Distance for Input (Max)
FX200 Series 9" 450' 90'
FX300 Series 12" 600' 120'

Viewing Angle, typically means, how far the user can walk from center facing the LED display in either direction and still see the same level of brightness .  Most companies refer to viewing angle as readability and not brightness. 

There are two common types of LED's on the market: a 30 degree diode and a 70 degree diode.  This degree refers to the brightness.

On a 70 degree diode, pass 35 degrees from center, the brightness will fade a bit, but the LED Display is still readable up to about 70 degrees from center, creating a 140 degree °readable viewing angle±.

On a 30 degree diode, pass 15 degrees from center, the brightness will fade a bit, but the LED Display is still readable up to about 45 degrees from center, creating a 90 degree °readable viewing angle±.


Solid State LEDS are 10 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and about twice as efficient as fluorescent lamps

The LED display also has a much greater viewing distance, especially at night, which allows your message to reach more people for more hours of the day. Unlike changeable lettering signs, the LED display allows you to update your messages quickly, easily and safely, without concern about weather, and eliminating the ongoing cost of replacing standard lettering.

Neon & Fluorescent Light
LED’s offer several advantages over both neon and fluorescent light sources. Since they are considered solid-state devices, they provide extremely long life. Typical life expectancy of an LED approaches 11 years (100,000 hours) of constant power on usage. By using the lights only at night this longevity figure would double to over 20 years. This translates into reduced maintenance costs for the user. Another advantage is the low energy usage that LED’s offer over other light sources.
Consider the traffic pattern of the audience for your sign. Understanding the viewing distance and speed of traffic will help you determine the correct size of your electronic sign. A driver in a 45mph speed zone will have less time to read a message than a driver in a 25mph speed zone.
Viewing distance and traffic patterns are important factors to consider before making a decision about your sign purchase. Call SunRise LED Inc (800-660-4414) today and let one of our product specialists help you determine the best display for your location... or better yet, schedule a demo and site survey.
Information Chart
20 MPH
30 MPH
40 MPH
50 MPH
60 MPH
9 450 15.4 10.2 7.7 6.1 5.1
15 750 25.6 17 12.8 10.2 8.4

Has This Happened To You?

You’ve got a customer who is very anxious to purchase an Electronic Message Center (EMC), only to find their city or community does not allow this type of sign. What can you do to change the tide on this type of old fashioned thinking? We suggest you get educated! The best defense for any situation is to know and understand the value of your product and “the enemy”, in this case, those who might not yet see the value of Electronic Message Centers.

There is an abundance of information waiting for you right here on the SunRise dealer page. You will find details about EMCs function, specifications, user manuals and check out the glossary of terms. We encourage you take time to become familiar with this information and you will soon find you are an expert on EMCs. Because you will be armed with the knowledge to answer your customers questions this will give them confidence about their investment and make your job so much easier.

Another excellent source for studies and information about the use if EMCs can be found on the Small Business Administration Web Site. You can refer your customers to the site so they can see firsthand the various studies about the value and use of these signs for their business. The site is very informative them with information to use when necessary to make a presentation to their community leaders to acquire their sign permit:

Successes in life goes to those who are willing to be leaders and make changes. This is the 21 Century and it’s time for everyone to realize that EMCs are the signs of the future. Let’s work together to inform and educate those in our communities about the value of EMCs.

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